Singer Sewing machines.

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by scotjimland, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    As some know and as mentioned in my profile I collect and restore old Singers sewing machines, so thought I would share a few pictures of just a few of them .. they all work as good as they day they left the Kilbowie factory in Clydebank Scotland.. and will go on for the next 50 or 100 years or more.. they are so well designed and built.

    In my eyes they are beautiful machines, some say works of art, and deserve not only to be preserved but used as intended.. and if your looking to buy you can't buy better than an old Singer .. they just don't make them like this any more..

    https://picasaweb.google.com/scotjimland/SingerSewingMachines?authuser=0&feat=directlink

    At it's height the factory employed 14,000 people, had their own dock, railway siding, and even sourced the wood from their own forest..
    Sadly it all came to an end, it was just too labour intensive and making huge losses.. eventually closed in the early 80s.. the end of an era in more ways than one.. it was all downhill after that..

    The history of Singers is fascinating.. an interesting insight to Isaac Merritt Singer
    http://www.sewalot.com/singer_history.htm
     
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  2. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Always interesting to read someone's passion - which does show through. I suppose this is where art and engineering come together.

    Does not happen now, does it?

    Steve
     
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  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi. you arent alone ,i have a singer 201k. had it for years .used it for alsorts .
    my dad met my mum when he was a singer sewing machine repair man. my mum was a tailoress. sadly both passed away.
    in the very early sixties she traded in her treadle machine for an all singing dancing new one .button holes ,sewing on buttons ,even embroidery. she worked it alot .still works my brother got it .mind he has 230-250g as well,that says made in germany.
    wonder if that helped the demise in uk.
     
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  4. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    We used to have a sewing machine - we called it "Pearl".......






    (Pearl's a singer...........) :Laughing::Laughing::Laughing:
     
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  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    The 201k was the Rolls Royce of Singers, still sought after by those who are looking for a strong dependable machine.. will sew though six layers or denim, sail cloth, leather ..in fact just about anything you can throw at it .. wonderful machine.. smooth as silk, sews beautiful regular straight stitches, still the standard and bench mark that modern machines aspire to..
    .. I have, (not shown in album) a Mk 2 in cast aluminium, same internals but a lighter body to the Mk1 which is cast iron..
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    yes ,i used it for car seat repairs . sometimes needed a quick shot of silicon spray to stop the needle getting clogged.
    just rang my brother to get the model of my mums old machine . he says its in the loft for safe keeping .
    hers as done wonders . she did in fact work for a company that did famous stuff. but her favourite was wedding dresses . think ever body round here she made them for.
    i bouight aload like mine a few years ago for 2quid each. got my dad to check them over then took them to maroc . gave or swapped them for fish or bread over there with friends . they love them over there. the sisters or daughters thought they had a gift from allah.
     
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  7. Janine

    Janine Funster Life Member

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    I've got 4 Singer machines in my attic. I too love the design and craft of them.

    If you know of a good home for them, they're there for the taking :Smile:
     
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  8. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    My mum had a treadle Singer and she tried to teach me to sew on it.
    I have one somewhere in the house--inside it's own table, not sure which room it's in.
    I have a lovely singer base (€5 at a vide grenier) in the laundry, keep meaning to sand it all down and restore it as a terrace table.
     
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  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Indeed not....
    I see beauty in most mechanical things.. be it a pocket watch, steam ship or locomotive .. but I settled on sewing machines, can just see Jan's face if I bought a steam driven beam engine .. as it is she's threatening to leave if I buy any more Singers ..:Laughing:

    There is no soul in a computer or even a camera these days.. just mass produced plastic for the disposable society .. even many modern sewing machines are only made to last 3 or 4 years... simply because there is no money in making everlasting consumer goods..
    In saying that, cars have come a long way and are probably better now than they were 60 years ago.. but you won't find many still going after 50 years.
     
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  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    better not come down here them jim, my mate where my garage was now as 50 steam engines. some showmans some stationary.
    even in this street we have vintage cars bikes buses tractors . best street in the world i,m sure. i forgot hot rods and american cars as well. in the next village is south west choppers and tewo villages away .there they build classic bsa and triumph trials bikes for use in events like the scottish 6 day trial. you would love here.
    plus a short drive to the early beam engines . and trevithicks steam auto.
     
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  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes, I would love that .. the only vintage stuff you'll see in our village are old people with steam driven zimmer frames ... :Laughing:
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    well get that caravan hitched up. sure i can find a place somewhere . bit full at moment have some friends over with a 1966 merc truck with a wooden box on the back. used to be a disater area truck .got flown all over to any disaster . your always welcome.
    only two weekends ago there was a tractor run going past .80 odd tractors on a run. slows the boy racers a bit.
    remember cornwall is the home of deep mining .
    my family moved up near durham when the first deep coalmine was being dug. if theres a hole in the ground there as to be a cornishman involved .
    lots of history here,
     
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  13. gawatt

    gawatt Read Only Funster

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    My gran had an old singer in a wonderful little wooden cupboard. The top folded over to make a worktop and the sewing machine folded up from inside. I vaguely remember hiding inside it as a child. :BigGrin:
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i can still hear my mums treadle machine .i spec i shall hear it all my life. she always reckoned the treadle could be worked faster than any of the later leccy jobs .
    she never had a hand machine. always said if your working fast you need both hands to look after the job.
    i can see her struggling with foam backed material years ago .till she worked out if you sew through tissue paper the foam or nylon material didnt sick to the needle .
    that was years before silicon spray.
    lots of treadles got converted into tables etc . what a waste.lovely black cast artwork.
    mind scotland was also famous for acme wringers from glasgow.
    i still use one when in the truck . ideal for getting the washing dry. on its original stand .
    was my grans. like living in a working museum down here. ha ha .
     
  15. sabconsulting

    sabconsulting Read Only Funster

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    I was working at that Singer factory in Clydebank the other week - or rather the exact location of it. Unfortunately it was knocked down and there are a set of fairly anonymous office buildings there now - such a pity they didn't even keep that fantastic clock tower.

    Steve.
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yeah.. nothing short of industrial vandalism ...

     
  17. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    you,ll have us all in tears in a minute. ha ha .
    if we knew then what we know now.
    i live in steptoes yard now .
    that looks usefull shame to throw it out .
    oh ,yes i can look after it if you need it you know where it is
    any body want some old round pin leccy plugs ./never mind they can sit here. hee hee.
     
  18. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I have an electrocuted one in the unit - was left to me in a will, believe it or not. Why on earth I would want a sewing macine, I have no idea!

    Mind, I did restore and sell an old caravan once, so maybe she was thinking I might be stupid enough to do hat again, and would find it useful......or maybe mother had been moaning to her after sewing up the last lot for me!:Rofl1:
     
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  19. PenelopePitstop

    PenelopePitstop Funster Life Member

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    I worked for Singer Sewing machines for a while in 1980 - in their shop in Altrincham, Cheshire. I used to go out and service peoples machines - usually old ladies with equally old machines that they hadn't cleaned since the day they were bought! I used to clean them out and change the needle and giving them a good oiling and they were as good as new! I didn't last long though - I was really supposed to go out and tell them their old machines were useless and sell them a new one! I couldn't do that - too honest I suppose! :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  20. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    My Mum has got one of the treadle ones. It was her Mums before that.

    Next time I am in Wales I will take a picture of it Jim.
     
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