Tuesday, 9 October 2012
A Machine (and a Clock) with a Story
This Singer 28K belongs to my friend Mary. It still has its original base and case. A while back I gave it a thorough clean up and oiling. It sews perfectly.
The decals have worn away with all the use the machine has had in its long life. They are the original decals - this machine has never been re-japanned.
The metal will never again shine like new, but that adds to the machine's character. It was manufactured in 1893. Mary's father bought it for her mother for thirty shillings in 1933 when they got married.
In 1940, when Mary was a baby, the family had a narrow escape. They were living in Ashtead in Surrey in a house that her parents had bought new in the late 1930s. During an air raid a bomb landed behind the house and blew a huge crater in the back garden. All the windows were blown in and most of the contents were wrecked by flying glass and debris. Fortunately the family were not in the house at the time.
When Mary's father went through the house afterwards most items were damaged beyond repair, but he was able to retrieve the sewing machine and a clock, and not much else. The clock had been a wedding present.
The house had to be shored up at the back because there was an enormous crack in the back wall. Mary remembers the wooden buttresses remaining in place for some years before the house was finally repaired.
The machine was passed on to Mary when she married. She was an army nurse married to a soldier, so the machine travelled with them... Germany, Greece, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Northern Ireland.
If machines could talk...!