Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beauty from the Basement: A Vintage Singer Unearthed

My parents have spent the week cleaning their flooded basement (they live in Massachusetts, hit by torrential rains recently)... and look what turned up! Isn't she pretty? I love the paint job. My mother can't remember how it got there or where it came from. We asked my Bobie (grandmother) but she said it wasn't hers--she did her sewing on a newer model.

Whether she works or not, I think she'll be going on display in mom's sewing room!

I do love my computerized Viking (and will miss her dearly when's she at the shop), but she just can't compete on aesthetics or durability.

On a much, much more sobering note... I can't help thinking of some vintage Singers we saw on our roadtrip in Southwest France last year. On our way from Limoges to Perigueux, we stopped for a few hours at the Centre de la Mémoire at the Village Martyr, Oradour-sur-Glane.

642 residents of the village were massacred by a German SS company on June 10, 1944, and the site was preserved and left standing as a quiet memorial to this horror, open to visitors. The roofs and shutters have rotted away, everything wood or cloth is gone, and all that's left in the houses and yards are rusting cars, bicycles, bedframes, stoves... and sewing machines.

Rusted Singer sewing machine, Oradour sur Glane, Village Martyr, Centre de la Memoire


  1. Thanks for posting this. I grew up in Switzerland and as a family we'd been to that site, although my memory of it is gone (only pictures).

    I have a rockin Singer 99 that sews like a dream! You might be surprised how well that beauty you unearthed keeps up. The power in those machines is amazing.

  2. When we bought our house I found one of those in the attic... and promptly gave it away because "I don't sew!" Now I keep looking for one at garage sales and on Craigslist (though really I'm wanting a 500a, the Rocketeer with "slant-o-matic." Machines used to be so beautiful, though I love my Bernina, I want one for a back-up!

  3. Wow - very powerful image of the rusted machine...


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