Now, Mary is not my grandmother's name. Mary is my Mom's name, and soon, you'll understand why I named this machine after her instead of my grandmother. That's what Way Back Wednesday is for. Telling a story.
This one starts in 1957. My Mom had her first job. She was working for the phone company, and I think she was a switchboard operator. Sorry, I forgot to verify that fact when I heard this story. Anyway, my grandmother convinced my Mom to trade in my grandmother's treadle sewing machine as the downpayment on a new electrified machine. My Mom would make the payments, and when she married and moved out, the machine would be hers.
My parents married and when it was time for my Mom to move to their new home, my grandmother said she couldn't take the machine. And, it was my grandmother's from then on. But, I think my Mom deserves the credit because she made the payments and I'm pretty sure she picked it out. And, she was under the false assumption that it was going to be hers one day. Before she was tricked by my very tricky grandmother.
She's a model 15-91 with all the modern features and the attachments from my 1954 featherweight fit her perfectly. I found an owner's manual on the net and printed it out and disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the tension and the bobbin assembly. Thank goodness the motor just needed routine maintenance and I won't have to replace it.
She's been oiled and lubricated and the loose veneer has all been glued back down. Don't you just love that "modern" cabinet? See the worn spot where my grandmother rested her arm?
The serial number dates to 1956, the year before my Mom bought her. I was worried when I was working on her that there was something wrong with the motor. But, the lubricant was really old and as soon as I cleaned that out and added fresh and cleaned the carbon rods, she worked like a clock. Just a light purring sound. Even the lightbulb still works. She had my grandmother's last bobbin still inside with a lavender thread. I thought about unwinding it and continuing to use it, but hey, I think that's one rusty bobbin I don't really need and I already had others that fit. That bobbin can be saved in my jar of old spools of thread as a memory to the last user of the machine.
We disassembled her and Rob wrapped her in plastic like a mummy and sealed her up with duct tape in case we encountered rain on the way home. No rain, and despite cleaning it up before we sealed it, every piece I unwrapped, spiders crawled out of. Thankfully, I got very few bites and only from tiny spiders. But, a good oiling seems to have taken care of most of that.
I used her to make the gathers in that bedskirt I've been planning for Sydney since Christmas. I have one more section to gather and then I can start putting it all together. Maybe even this weekend. Maybe.
There's still some work on the cabinet. I'd like to lightly sand it and reapply a fresh coat of polyurethane, but not sure when I'll get to that. My next project is finding a place for her in my very crowded sewing room. There are at least 7 other machines in there and I might lose a chair or table to get her in. But, I'll find her a place, even if I have to hang her from the ceiling.
Take care and have a great Wednesday. We'll see ya round the net.