Day 2 of the TOGA (Treadle On Gathering and Academy), Monroe NC
Lots of things happen at a TOGA. Machines for sale. Other stuff for sale. Classes. A guy doing scissor sharpening. Young kids sewing and helping people and otherwise behaving impeccably. I"m not making this up and I'm not exaggerating. I had a marvelous time but most of this post is just about sewing machines. What a surprise!
I took three classes and I did take pictures but I am not comfortable with posting people's faces without their permission. Besides, you have all seen rooms full of women sewing. What you may not have seen is a room full of women sewing on ALL kinds of sewing machines, from antique hand cranks through vintage electrics and vintage electrics converted to hand cranks, to the very latest whiz-bang electronic plastic wonders. (No, I am NOT sneering at them--I own two of them myself. They are just fine as long as you keep them in their place.)
I had a terrific time looking at everyone's machines and came home with a new lust-obsession: a Singer 316G. O.M.G. What a beast! The most muscular looking Singer I have ever seen. No pic, stupidly.
When I returned to the hotel after Day 2 the DH was surprised that I had not bought a machine. I did see an adorable chainstitch treadle. The treadle pedal looked like two footprints. I couldn't face trying to get a treadle home with us.
The DH asked me how old my oldest machine is (1921). He then told me that I "needed" to buy a machine from the 1880's. After more than 20 years of marriage he still manages to astonish me at times. I do talk to him incessantly about sewing machines. He talks to me incessantly about sports. I always assumed that we were both paying an equal amount of attention to one another. Does this mean that now I will have to start following his discussions of college football coaching strategies?
On Day 3, sitting on the floor along the wall, I found this sad looking little machine. Tag was marked "National (?) $5". It has the leaf tension and bullet shuttle that I associate with machines in the 1880's and is almost certainly older than my next oldest machine. The price was definitely right.
I wish I could convey how hilarious this is, Mr. Football having any kind of opinion about sewing machines. Totally out of the blue. Are you reading this, honey?
It is rusty, not only on the chrome (?) parts but on the body and the rust extends under the paint. It was, of course, frozen solid. The chrome on the bobbin slide plates appears to have bubbled up off the underlying metal.
Instead of the liquid-wrench-and-a-hairdryer trick, I sprayed it and set this puppy out in the North Carolina summer sun. It "only" got up to 96 degrees F today, but that was enough to do the trick. Had to tap the slide plates gently with a hammer, but I have it stripped down now. The mechanism is still frozen, and tomorrow I will clean off all the drippy Liquid Wrench and miscellaneous gunk and take a closer look at what might be stuck.
A quick swipe with sewing machine oil reveals the remnants of some lovely decals. In most places the decals are completely gone, with only an outline of glue to show where they once were.
The most amazing thing about this machine: it weighs in at a mere 16.5 pounds. For a cast iron machine, that's almost "featherweight".
If I am ever able to identify it, it will probably be from this access port cover on the front above the stitch length lever. If you recognize it, please leave a comment!