Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vintage Sewing Machines

My hand crank sewing machine finally got some needed adjustments and is working great. It's a 1928 Singer. When the power went out Monday night, I was able to sew by candle light. It was kind of neat.

I am now the proud owner of 2 other vintage machines: a January 1941 Singer Featherweight and a Montgomery Ward Damascus manufactured by National Sewing Machine Company (NSMC) If a company ordered a large quantity of sewing machines, NSMC would put whatever name (aka badge) on the machine that the company wanted. Montgomery Ward chose Damascus.

I need to get some more bobbins that will fit the treadle and the hand crank. The bobbins aren't easy to find. My bobbins cannot have an internal length shorter than 1 1/8" and no longer than 1 1/4".


Jean in Georgia said...

Incredible!!! And it's wonderful that they're in working condition. So many I see at antique stores and such are missing parts.

yarndiva said...

I get the new repro bobbins for my own 128. They don't fit really well but if you use a dremel tool on the tips for a few minutes you can sharpen them enough to fit nicely. Ebay sells them, my favorite store is Stitches in Time. Lovely machines!

Jean Belle said...

Hello Laurie, I just purchased a Damascus treadle machine that looks just like your model. While trying to research it a bit I stumbled on your blog post. Have you had any luck finding out when yours was manufactured? Maybe we can compare notes.

Laurie said...

Hi Jean, my machine is a 1927. Surprisingly, my machine number was found on the Singer list here: is a very good website with information about antique machines.

There is a yahoo group dedicated to the Damascus sewing machine and the National Sewing Machine Company - It's not a very active group. Damascus Annie used to own the group and is extremely knowledgeable about the machine.

I'm sure in your research you've already found this:
This machine was made by the National Sewing Machine Company of Belvidere, Illinois which was formed in 1890 by the merger of the Eldredge Sewing Machine Company (est.1869) and the June Manufacturing Company (est. 1881). The firm appears to have specialized in producing badged machines for retailers. In 1953 it merged with Free Sewing Machine Co. but was unable to compete with imported models and the National Sewing Machine Company closed in 1957.

A "badged" sewing machine is one that has been manufactured by one company and then sold to another company for the second company to sell with its own name on it, such as Montgomery Ward did.