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Thread: When is a machine considered vintage? antique?

  1. #1
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    When is a machine considered vintage? antique?

    I've noticed that many old machines are being adopted -

    I don't know the difference between "antique" and "vintage"

    Where are the ones that were made in the 1960s, and later, classified?

    Are any other brands besides Singer "good" to acquire?

    Is there a time period where the machines seemed "better" than other time frames?

    I had heard that Singers went into a decline - maybe 1970s? Is that true?

    Looking forward to answers. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Look for about any machine that is ALL METAL - inside and out. You want to make sure it makes a stitch. I think there are pointers on here other places what to look for. Are you looking to collect or just a good very basic machine? The Singer Featherweight is very collectable and so is the Singer 301. If you want something inexpensive look at Singer 15 clones - they are made in Japan and work very well thank you very much. I think if you go up to the top of the page and search you might find pictures and a ton of info. There is blank box that says advanced search. Singer 66 is a very simple and good machine. White machines. Elna, Viking, Bernina, the upper end Kenmore, some of the Necchi machines are fantastic, Pfaff , New Home, Free, Domestic, Davis, and the list goes on. The old machines were made pretty simple and will last a very long time if they aren't all rusted out - that said, there are members who take those old rusted up machines and fix them up to run. There are many old companies that made fantastic treadles. Peek on the vintage photos. You'll see tons of machines. My all time favorite is a Singer 403 which is similar to a Singer 401, 500 or 503. You can search the same above and find all kinds of posts. Yes the machines went into decline as soon as they went plastic. I would say our vintage shop talks about any of the old metal machines. As far as time frames - there were still some metal machines made in the 1970s.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t130994.html All kinds of old machines.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...p-t164361.html - all around good machines and cheap too.

    Here is another link http://www.quiltingboard.com/blogs/v...nks-b7514.html

    Actually something you never heard of might be a really good machine - do some home work on here - there are tons of things to read.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #3
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Most of my machines are good ones...and I have a mix of different brands/styles, and they are ALL my favorite! LOL
    Antiques are 100 years old. (Not *my* rule, but a general rule among "antique gurus") Technically, the word "vintage" should be accompanied by a year, i.e., my Singer 201-2 is "vintage 1951", or "vintage 1950's"

    Are you thinking of looking for a machine bearisgray?
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    If you looking for a vintage or antique machine I am fixing to unload several in the next week including 301's, 99's, 66's and a few 1800's models that are not Singers.

    Billy

  5. #5
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    I've bought a Singer 401 - sight unseen -

    I've purchased it from another board member's mother - and we need to pick it up -

    I'm pretty anxious to get it, because some of the people have really raved about it.

  6. #6
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I have a 401A - haven't used it much ( shame on me ) but they are suppose to be work horses

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b View Post
    I have a 401A - haven't used it much ( shame on me ) but they are suppose to be work horses
    Sharon when do you have time to play with your machines? You are always on here, with your family and work, I dont see how you do it. How is Mom and Dad doing?

    Billy

  8. #8
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I've noticed that many old machines are being adopted -

    I don't know the difference between "antique" and "vintage"

    Where are the ones that were made in the 1960s, and later, classified?

    Are any other brands besides Singer "good" to acquire?

    Is there a time period where the machines seemed "better" than other time frames?

    I had heard that Singers went into a decline - maybe 1970s? Is that true?

    Looking forward to answers. Thank you.
    Antique vs vintage depends on who you are asking. My teenage son thinks all my machines are antiques, but then he thinks anyone over 30 years old is an antique. If it's close to 100 years old, I call it close enough to antique, otherwise the machine is vintage.

    As to other machines than a Singer being good to use just depends on the condition of the machine and if it has all the parts needed to make a pretty stitch. I own numerous non Singer machines at are awesome to use. Some folks love the "White" sewing machines, others love "Davis", while I have enjoyed many different brands. My suggestion is to google and read up on vintage machines. Take a look at blogs too! Some folks have interesting collections, and some use their machines too. Join us at the Vintage Machine Shop; we love to chatter away about different vintage and antique machines. Here is the link to my blog: http://color-my-world-with-warmth.blogspot.com/. I use my machines that are posted to make quilts. Look for great deals on CLs for the machines. Sometimes someone is giving away a machine for free. Your machine is out there waiting for you!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I've purchased it from another board member's mother - and we need to pick it up -

    I'm pretty anxious to get it, because some of the people have really raved about it.
    I hope you enjoy your Singer 401. I have one that was given to me by a friend and all I had to do was replaced the plug in wire and the wire for the foot pedal and have it serviced. It runs great. It's so much fun to use.

  10. #10
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    You're going to LOVE that 401! When do you go to get it? If you have any questions once you do, Miriam knows TONS about them!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51 View Post
    If you looking for a vintage or antique machine I am fixing to unload several in the next week including 301's, 99's, 66's and a few 1800's models that are not Singers.

    Billy
    I bought an Atlas from Billy (Lostn51) and I LOVE it!! It was packed really well and it was cleaned, oiled and ready to sew.
    ~~Cathy~~

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid View Post
    I bought an Atlas from Billy (Lostn51) and I LOVE it!! It was packed really well and it was cleaned, oiled and ready to sew.
    I was going to email you and see if you had made the first quilt off of it yet. You know it is a rule of mine that if you buy a machine from me you have to post a photo of the first project off of it right?

    Billy

  13. #13
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Here's a link to my 402A. Boy do I love this machine!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...a-t143608.html
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I've noticed that many old machines are being adopted -

    I don't know the difference between "antique" and "vintage"

    Where are the ones that were made in the 1960s, and later, classified?

    Are any other brands besides Singer "good" to acquire?

    Is there a time period where the machines seemed "better" than other time frames?

    I had heard that Singers went into a decline - maybe 1970s? Is that true?

    Looking forward to answers. Thank you.
    the only thing to judge antiques or any age household goods by is 'do i love it and want to live with it?' people don't buy these machines to make money... they like their unique-ness or their style or they remind them of grandma's machine... if you love it then you know whether it is too much to pay or not... i have 25 machines from my mother's toy (that really sews), in its original box to a 14 ft nolting longarm... i've bought coffin tops because they were lovely and well kept or because they were original in some way...(i have one 'knee control coffin top' that keeps its 'question mark-shaped knee control' in a clip in the lid till you take it out and 'plug it in'. then it hangs down off the side of the table to operate by your knee...i bought it simply because i had never seen one before.... i have 5 featherweights from 'perfect' to 'i have to buy it because no one else will love it'... buy what you love and it will always be worth it...if no one loves the metal machines of the 50s, 60s and 70s, then now is the time to get a good price.... not me, but if it's what you like, go for it! i have machines in almost every room....two matching Whites in cabinets are my night tables. One treadle in the dining room (under a window so i can use it when the power goes out), one treadle in the living room under a large painting and next to a chair for a side table. two different coffin tops sit on either side on the floor next to the treadle. featherweights are all over.... you have to play with this stuff and decide if you really want to live with them....

  15. #15
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    Wow - you have a lot of machines.

    Your advice to buy (or keep) only what one likes and/or will use is excellent.

  16. #16
    Muv
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    If you can get a good one, pre 1940 German machines are in a class of their own. I could go on for hours about their bobbin winders - they knock spots off Singers.

  17. #17
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    Oh I am so excited. I have been wanting a Singer treadle with 6 drawers and in working condition and I went on craig's list and put up "wanted" and I found one. I have only seen a picture of it, but the price is right and so tomorrow I will be taking a short trip to get acquinted with it. The present owner says it has 1916 on the cover plate. It does not have a belt but I know I can get one. I am so excited!!! OH BOY!!!!come on tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dianna77984 View Post
    Oh I am so excited. I have been wanting a Singer treadle with 6 drawers and in working condition and I went on craig's list and put up "wanted" and I found one. I have only seen a picture of it, but the price is right and so tomorrow I will be taking a short trip to get acquinted with it. The present owner says it has 1916 on the cover plate. It does not have a belt but I know I can get one. I am so excited!!! OH BOY!!!!come on tomorrow.
    Hip Hip Hurray!!!!
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

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