Friday, July 10, 2009

Sphinx 27 Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

Made in New Jersey, 1902.

Given to me by a friend....just because. :)

She had purchased it years ago in Colfax, Iowa, and used it as decoration, then it sat in her garage for years. She never used it. She knows it spent some time in Yale, Iowa, because when she purchased it it had a Yale phone listing, circa 1950, in the drawer.

Today I finally had a chance to clean it up a little. I'm a hesitant to do to much to it, becuase I don't want to damage the paint or decals. But truly, it's in pretty good shape. Mostly I used a gentle soap/water solution to get off some dust, dirt, and cobwebs, and then used some natural handmade furniture polish on it. And that's it. All the moving bits move smoothly. I think that's really what fascinates me about these machines....they're utterly gorgeous, and REALLY well made. I mean, just think of the plastic junk we have now. Could any of it be forgotten in dusty sheds for decades on end, then pulled out and be essentially ready to use? Um, I think not. Our disposable society disgusts me. For example, we us printers at my work. Simple cheap computer printers. And at least once a year, we have to literally throw one away, because we've worn it out and cannot fix it. They aren't built to last, and the companies that make them have no interest in servicing or repairing them. Even if I want to, I can't. It's ridiculous.

Anyway. I have yet to actually get to the inner workings and figure out how the, well, work, and clean them up. That's next!! But for now...check out this amazing puzzle box that was in the drawer!!

This tidy, tiny little wooden box opens up to reveal:

A treasure trove of cool little attachments and tools! Now, I don't have a CLUE what these do. Not. A. Clue. But I'll figure it out eventually. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because I just think this is so need and tidy and gorgeous, it makes me swoon.

PLUS? There's at least that many more attachments, loose in one of the sewing machine drawers. I may spend my lifetime figuring them all out....

Here's a closeup of one, just so you can see how intricate some of the attachments are. This would fit very comfortably in the palm of my hand, to give you an idea of size.

Thanks John for the puzzlebox and attachment photos...I know you've got more so post them on your blog and I'll like from here!

I have pics of my other treadle too....will post them soon.

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Blogger jag said...

Utterly cool! :)

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

extreme toy envy over here ;)
Looks so cool!

9:43 PM  
Blogger Amanda Stanoszek said...

Incredible!!! I have a similar old Singer machine (looks almost identical to yours), but not the stand, or any of the neat little attachments. I agree 100% with your post - the quality inherent in Old Things is just unbelievable, and worth holding onto.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Mama Podkayne said...

Interesting. We have inherited DH's great great grandmas' White machine that she carried here by covered wagon. It is supposed to be fully functioning, but my fear of sewing machines has prevented me from trying it out. You'll have to take a peek when you visit!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Hanna said...

at least its pretty obvious that those are all different presser feet... now what they are for... at least some of them are similar to modern feet.

11:51 PM  
Blogger girlwithasword said...

Momma P! I want pics of the White! Sounds utterly fascinating!!!

I can tell that some of the feet are for rolling the hems as you sew. I know there is a buttonholer, and some rufflers. But I don't know which is what. HAHA. Fortunatly there is actually a weath of info about all these stuff on the internet, so, I'll figure it out eventually.....

7:57 AM  
Blogger Bonne said...
Manual for the 27
Manual for attachments

10:21 AM  
Blogger Bonne said...

I had 3 plastic "modern" machines that I gave away after acquiring several vintage ones. They were junk to me after sewing vintage. You'll love it. Finally a machine that will mend your jeans without flinching!!!

10:26 AM  
Blogger girlwithasword said...

BONNE you're amazing! thank you! :)

6:32 PM  

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