Mrs Howard Harman

For now, that’s the name of the new two-spool.  But, if I can figure out Mrs Harman’s first name, I’ll rename the machine.  I think I have it narrowed down to two women…Cleo, or Goldie.  They both have the right dates and record of burial is all I’ve found so far for this family.  Here is the machine, setting in the table I was using for the other machine.  The other machine is in the treadle base.  The belt came in last night’s mail and I got it installed.  Works like a charm.  My first treadle belt install and it only took about 10 minutes.


Anyway, Mrs Harman the machine was sold on July 7, 1927 according to her certificate of warranty.


We hereby warrant this National Two Spool Fine Family Sewing Machine No. 48231 to endure the wear and tear of family use for Twenty-five Years from the date of purchase, and upon delivery of Machine with charges prepaid, to our office agree to replace, Free of Charge during that time, any defective parts, excepting only the wear and breakage of needles.  Northrup Sewing Machine Company, Oklahoma City, Okla.  Jul 7 1927

And, it’s a good thing she had that warranty, because in 1938, she had trouble.


National Sewing Machine Company

Belvedere, Illinois

Oct. 27, 1938

Dear Madam:

We regret to learn from your letter of the 25th that your machine is not operating satisfactorily.  We repaired the parts you returned to us.  The only other suggestions we can make are either return the sewing head complete, or if you prefer, remove the hook shaft complete with spool case, also the face plate of the machine.

We are enclosing the instructions for removing and replacing the hook shaft.  The face plate may be removed by unscrewing the knurled thumb screw that holds it to the arm of the machine.

If you return the head be sure it is packed in a strong wooden box, marked with your name and address and ship it via express. 

If you return parts only, address the package for the attention of A. G. Gay and place your name upon it.

We hope you will decide to return the head, as we feel sure this would give the best results.

Very truly,


GG (presumably, A.G. Gay above)

The problem must have been resolved to her satisfaction.  There is no other correspondence until 1958…


Northrup Appliance Co

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

April 19 1958

Mrs Harmond

Dear Madam

I have mailed to you the spool case for your sewing machine. 

That little knob on the end that holds it on the machine works like a valve in a innertube in a auto tire.

You can push down with a screwdriver and screw it out some to let it slip in your machine.  If it goes in to hard or tight, tighten or screw it down a little or if it don’t snap in tight enough to stay in, let the screw out a little & that will let the little plunger come out further.

I’ve kept all repairs for the two spool no ch (looks like they did it for free, even six years out of warranty.)

Yours truly

Jms A can’t make out the last name.

Don’t you just love vintage business communication?  A different time than now, for sure. 

I also have the original owner’s manual, including the instructions for using the attachments.  It’s in really rough shape, tho.


All this was tucked into this envelope and sealed in a ziploc and in a drawer. 


When the seller saw it, I could tell he was disappointed that he had not noticed that little bit of bling earlier. 

Oh, well.

I couldn’t resist getting both machines set up last night.  I’m going to replace the old electric foot pedal because it is not safe and I’m not skilled enough to repair it, so better to let it go than burn the house down.  I have a good plastic kenmore pedal that I hope will give me better speed control.  This is my big Christmas present. 

Okay, honestly, the machine and cabinet are only part of the present.  I’m pretty dang happy with the deal I got on it and that can feel like a Christmas present in itself.

Everybody have a great Tuesday. 

I sat down last night and wrote Christmas cards.  No sense in waiting ‘til the last minute or anything, right? 


Can someone further define last minute?  I’m not sure I understand because I’m sure this can’t be it.



Scott said...

Wow, having another Two Spool is awesome! Having all the history & correspondence to go with it is priceless! I'm totally jealous. LOL On your manual, there should be a date code in the upper left hand corner which should also help date your machine. Cheers!

lw said...

So cool to score the history and the attachment book-- I love the fact that the repairman repaired her machine six years out of warranty.

Anonymous said...

Last minute is just as it says, last minute. As in this case mailing a Christmas gift on Dec. 24. Hoping it will be delivered by Dec, 25 of the same year.
So proud of your mecanicing (sure this is spelled incorr.) on the machines and your sewing talents. lum

Anonymous said...

Findng out the lady's name might be an interesting wee research job on the internet, methinks. Surely there will be parish records or something similar...............