Friday, May 20, 2011

Craigslist Treasure

Last Friday morning, I was looking through the Craigslist ads for ‘Sewing Machine’. I wasn’t looking for anything specific, just looking to see if someone was selling a very special machine at an incredible price. (I don’t like to miss things like that!) I looked in all the areas around me in Iowa. Imagine my surprise when I saw this!

            this that 005

I used to have a ‘Parlor Cabinet’ JUST LIKE THIS years and years ago (like back in 1978 or so). I don’t even remember where I got the cabinet, but I had a modern Singer machine in it. One day, the plastic gears went out of my Singer, I bought a new machine, and gave the old machine and cabinet to someone I used to know, and I have never seen another cabinet like this since. The wood is solid tiger oak, with veneer on the doors. The design of this cabinet is exact to the last one I had. The doors have a curve to them.

                         this that 006

This time around, the cabinet has a machine in it. A Brunswick (Louie thinks it is pretty neat, since Brunswick is a billiard name, but we have no proof there is any connection). There is very little on the internet to tell me much about this, except that Brunswick was a brand of machine sold by Montgomery Ward before the stores started buying machines and putting their own name on them. The machine was made sometime in the LATE 1800’s. I can find nothing specific about the cabinet, except Google tells me the style of cabinet is ‘Parlor Cabinet’. I also have no idea who made the cabinet, as it is not Brunswick specific.

               this that 002

Our friends Amy @ A Quilting Sheep and her husband Russ went with us to pick it up. Russ helped Louie carry it upstairs and outside to the van. Amy and Russ live in the same town and directed us there. We all had fun looking at other treasures he had in his basement.

The man we bought this from turns 90 in October. He told me he remembers when his mother sewed on it. He also said that years later, his brother was cleaning out his mother’s house and asked if he wanted ‘Mom’s old sewing machine’, because if he didn’t, ‘it was going to the dump’. Thank God, he didn’t let it go to the dump! He said it has been in his basement ever since, and no one has sewn on it. Notice the ‘rag’ his mother pinned around the arm of the machine to stick pins into.

               this that 004

The other cabinet I had did not have this wonderful ornate treadle plate. I really wish I could come up with a manufacturing date, but late 1800’s will just have to do for now. Look at the curved cubby shelves. Too neat! (It does have an OLD odor, that will have to be addressed, but I can do that!)

                this that 003

I have part of the original manual, which includes a list of  all the parts to the machine, and the cost to replace each part. The machine bed is $3.00 and the arm is $3.00. The accessory box (complete…I guess that means with all the attachments inside) is 60cents. Most other parts are 10cents and 25cents. Some are $1.00.


I ordered a new treadle belt for it last night, and when it comes, I will oil it all up, and make it sew. I also downloaded a pdf file of a copy of the manual. The downloaded manual is older than the manual I have, because the price of the bed on the downloaded manual is $2.50, and the accessory box—complete, is 50cents.

                       brunswick 003

How much did we pay?????  $70.

Thanks for letting me share. In a day or two, I’ll post pictures of another machine that came into my house last weekend, via eBay. It is getting some restorative work to it right now. You won’t believe it.

Be blessed,





Suzan said...

Ok - you just killed me! That is an amazing find. I find absolutely nothing on Craig's List...ever. I am so envious of this fabulous machine and the cabinet is just gorgeous!

Mildred said...

What a fabulous find Michelle. The tiger oak and the curved front are so nice. That's sweet about the rag she had on there to put pins in. This is really a treasure and I know you are thrilled. Enjoy!

Amelia said...

Such a beautiful piece of history. With your love of sewing machines it has found a good home. Good luck on the research part of finding out more about these machines.

Val said...

Wow. You always get the most wonderful things at the most wonderful deals! I LOVE that cabinet and sewing machine! i can't wait to see the other one! I am finally getting back to normal (if I can be normal ha!) and starting to visit blogs again. I have missed my favorite blogs and you are one at the top of my list!!!

Jules said...

Oh my, that is beautiful!!! I have one nearly just like that in my kitchen. I will need to open it up and see if it too is a Brunswick.

I just love the cabinet! Your fancy foot pedal is darling. :) Nice find!

Regina said...

This is lovely! My boss just gave me an older Singer that belonged to his mother - not as old as this one, but once I get it unloaded from the van I may be tapping into your font of resources to help with dating it and finding out more about it. Now to figure out where to put it!!! :-)

shelly said...

Sweet!!!! I love it when deals like that fall into your lap :)

StitchinByTheLake said...

Michelle it's simply gorgeous! What a wonderful find...and I'm curious about how you're going to get the odor out. I once had a Featherweight case that I tried everything on and was never successful. blessings, marlene

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

What I like the best is how you will treasure it and care for it. It's a piece of history that is being preserved.

You may want to get the man's name and his birthdate and the name of his mother to keep with your machine.

Pokey said...

What a gem, Michelle! It is truly a treasure!

quiltfool said...

This machine collecting thing is fun, huh? I love your parlor cabinet. I've seen a few around here, but they're so expensive, I can't even imagine having one. Secretly, I bought two machines last weekend; the 237 you saw and a kenmore that is incredibly unusual. I'll show it when it comes in. Take care and keep collecting. We have to keep them out of the dump. Lane

Candace said...

What a beauty and a bargain.

Tammy said...

That cabinet is so unique and in fantastic shape for only $70. Great find and an excellent buy. Have you tried Needle Bar for information on the Brunswick sewing machine?


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