Ever since I was a little girl I can remember my "mom's" sewing machine. She didn't sew a whole lot, but it would get taken out every now and again -- usually for a Halloween costume. It was stored in the back bedroom closet. The last time I think I saw it in use must've been the early 80s, where it was doomed to sit for the next 30 years.
In 1998 I became interested in all things vintage and one of the firt things to come out of hiding was that old sewing machine. By now, I knew it was actually my grandmother's machine from the late 1930s. I looked up the model number online and found it was manufactured in 1938. I was thrilled, since I dated it around 1945ish.
It was just a showpiece until 2008 when I seriously learned to sew. I actually went and got it repaired and it works. New life has entered the 70+ year old sewing machine 30 years after it's last use.
It is powered by a knee lever, which takes getting used to. The cord is very "modern" and is in perfect condition.
Ahhh, the machine pops out! It is HEAVY AS HELL -- solid metal. I've dropped it and it still keeps going -- no cosmetic dings, even! And even though she has been cleaned and refurbished, she still smells of oldness and oil. Mmmmmm!
This part was completely replaced. It had a big indent in it from being on its side for 30 years.
I also found an ad for the closest thing I can find to grandma's sewing machine. It's in my Sears 1940-1941 Winter Catalog. I got excited when I saw it:
I always like to see vintage items in their "natural habitats." Hehe! Dating the machine was easy. I just looked up the model number in the Sears Archive for sewing machines.