The theme for my birthday this year seems to have been “Everything Old is New Again.” My mother, knowing my new passion for sewing and quilting, gave me this lovely antique silver thimble:
It is made of Chester silver and dates from 1923. My mother bought it this summer when we were in England for my sister’s wedding and she visited Chester with my sister’s new in-laws.
On Saturday, t! and I went to our local flea market to look for a few things, and found this gorgeous treadle sewing machine for $75. It is a “New Williams” machine, built by the Williams Manufacturing Co., in Montreal, sometime around 1906. The factory building it was made in is still standing on the corner of Bourget & St. Jacques streets, in St. Henri.
It is in absolutely excellent condition, it looks for all the world like it was well used, and then taken out of someone’s grandmother’s front room one day in the mid 1950s, carried up to a dry attic, and left there undisturbed for 50 years.
The amazing thing about it, though, and one of the big reasons I bought it, is that in the cabinet drawers were all the original attachments (in the box they came in), a glass vial containing 6 original needles, an old plastic pill bottle containing needles and pins, and two original bobbins (the scrap of cloth they are sitting on was pinned to the arm of the machine to serve as a pincushion):
and the original instruction manual (which I plan to scan to digital format so that I can make a less fragile print-out to refer to as I’m learning):
Oh, and it also has its leather drive belt. All it needs is a thorough (careful) cleaning, and for me to read the manual to learn how to thread it, and then I’ll be able to start sewing with it!
Post edited (on August 25th, 2011) to add: I’ve had so many requests for the PDF of the scan of the instruction booklet, that I have put it up on a separate page of the blog, here: Downloads. Enjoy!