Two years ago, covid pandemic, we ventured out – to the antique store. Cautious! Precautions! What did we see? What do we collect? Old cameras – a few. Spinning wheels – ha! Sewing machines – a few, done! Blue willow china – more please. Christmas carolers – oy, expensive! Santa – where you find one. Ornaments – ok, but of course. Beer steins – at the right price. When is enough enough? I guess it is the lure of the bargain, finding something of value for less. It’s like a lottery. Sometimes you win. Or, maybe you never do. All I can say is that I am happy to be in the game. Yeah, yeah, I take pictures in the antique store. Of course! It’s free to look!
Cameras? Colleen reads spinning and weaving – looms and spinning wheels. She follows new products and pines for that next new… wheel. Me? Cameras. I read the reviews and follow the innovations that make things easier/better to get the “shot.” Lately, there have been a host of new equipment releases. Nothing is shattering or a game changer. Ha ha, no wheels, no cameras. There’s nothing new to note. That is there is no camera pining around here for me. Colleen and I both recall having our very own Gilbert microscopes when we were younger. Telephone? We had one when an operator answered when you picked up the receiver in the days when our phone number was four digits. Singer sewing machine? Typewriter? Today – I live near the beach, have eight cats, and attend opening receptions at the museum. I don’t have a new camera. But, the ones I have do quite nicely. Looking back and now, I believe Colleen and I have very nice memories past and present. I am especially happy to say she is my present wife.
Open till sold
Hiawatha has been there for a long time. We’ve never been inside. The store is going out of business. Nice sign. It might be a nice time to remind you that I shoot Singers.
I get the machine and the serial number. The serial numbers identify where and when the machine was manufactured. Nice again – but generally useless information.
We have been seeking a pencil pine for Xmas. Artificial please, and please make it a low $$. Instead we found an alternative when and where we were not looking. White pine, done well, and a brother. We couldn’t resist. I guess you had to be there to appreciate that a long (very) search had come to a (sort of) end.
Singer sewing machines are marked with a serial number. And there is a web site that tells you what, how, and where the serial numbers originate. 1871 is the earliest machine. This one is 1892. If there are no prefix numbers, it’s old. I have (own) some old ones. But this one is the oldest I recall running across. It was in an antique store in Kentucky. The car was already loaded. Alas, no room for another thing. I guess that’s good. We don’t have room in the house either. And, then there was the ½ price Victrola. That wouldn’t fit either. I guess it’s all good.
Kodak? Yup, old in my time. No Kodak film anymore… I loved that movie…”Barefoot in the Park” – Redford, Fonda – when they were young. You can tell a Singer by its serial number – around 1921 – that’s nearly 100 years old. Nice
How many do I need? None. I started with the quest for a key. I had not opened the ancient machine in decades. What was the rush? None. Then in one day I acquired two more sewing machines. These were well built…and heavy! Another? Nope! But low and behold…in an antique shop… a machine was waiting. It’s different yet again…and much the same. And the price …$22. Whoa! A real bargain! Darn! That machine pretty much climbed into the back of the car all by itself.
Years ago in Seattle we bought a Singer sewing machine – an antique? It cost an arm to ship it to the east coast. It had a wooden cover that locked down. My mother used this machine when I was a kid (not the exact same machine, silly). So, it was okay with me to spend the considerable sum at that time. I’ve been looking at machines off and on since that time. They are all expensive (relatively).
Of course, we lost the key. The machine sat locked and unavailable for decades. Yes, decades! Then, I chanced upon a beat up machine in the basement of an old dingy store. The price was right! Gotcha! Into the car and onward. The very next stop (on the same day!) – oh my! There was a nearly mint sewing machine. …with a key! Aha! Does it fit mine? Who can know. It’s not a complicated key. I took pictures of the key. Oh well! The price was not out of reach. I tested this machine. It ran off a knee switch. Yup, never heard of such a thing. The second ran on electricity and used a foot switch (like mama’s) The first one was a hand crank! Wow, all different and of different ages but of similar design and appearance. What to say? …got three of them. The best news of the day… the key fit. So I got two for the price of that darn key. Yay! Now go make a copy of the key, dummy.