Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.


January 27, 2010

The treasure



Something special has come to live at my place.



Her shiny surfaces gleam; gold decals, glint.

She smells pleasingly of machine oil. Her body is heavy and cool to touch.



She is functional, beautiful and has great sentimental value.



I remember her from my childhood; and my mother from hers.



Her serial number - EB409975 - reveals she was manufactured in 1937 at Singer's Killbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland.

The hand-written note from my mum to me explains she was a gift from my grandad to my nan in 1938.



The simple lockstitch functionality belies her history. My nan - who was a wonderful seamstress - used this Singer 99K to sew everything from fairytale wedding dresses, delicate lingerie and couture-finished garments through to car seat covers and upholstery.

The machine has been in mum's possession since I was a child; used to make plenty of curtains and running repairs. I have always loved the smell of the machine oil, the curiosity of the knee press and the prettiness of the gold decals.

I hope I can continue to write her history.

21 comments:

  1. Oh wow! That is beautiful! So well kept for something so old and useful.

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  2. This is beautiful, you're so lucky to have one of them!

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  3. Yes, a treasure and most important with history! And you keep it in very good condition. I wish our was in same condition. Our has a history too and you can read it here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/92287635@N00/4159671919/

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  4. Cool!

    AND the site of that factory is about 10mins from where I live!!

    I have an old Singer too, mine was built in 1893 and is a hand-crank model. Sadly not a family heirloom, my Mum got it from a friend in the 70s. But I did first learn to sew on that machine and they are beautiful.

    I hope it enjoys many more generations of usefulness in your family.

    Cheers,
    AJ

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  5. WOW, just gorgeous! I was admiring it on flickr earlier, what a fantastic heirloom to have. :-)

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  6. Congratulations! I know how special it is to carry on using an "heirloom" tool. My sewing machine is my Aunty Ruby's old Singer Featherweight, and I love it. Mine is in the black box, though - you've got the lovely wooden case - a bonus! :)

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  7. I thought you were going to say that you found it in the hard rubbish!
    How exciting to have a real family heirloom.... what a treasure indeed.

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  8. 2 years older then mine :) there are such gorgeous looking machines and to have one thats been passed down, makes it really special

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  9. She is gorgeous and an absolute treasure. The old stuff was made to last not like the stuff we get these days. My Nan's old Singer is waiting patiently in my front entry way for the day when I get around to oiling it and using it. It still runs, just needs a little love!

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  10. What a magnificent treasure!!

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  11. First I thought you were going to say you'd been extremely lucky with the hard rubbish search!! That's incredibly beautiful! It's so nice to have family heirlooms and to know their history. You're very lucky!

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  12. What a special piece! You are very lucky to have had women who came before you who created such special history, and cared for the machine so well, too! I think I'd be a bit scared to use it, but hopefully being slightly (OK, significantly!) more competent at sewing than me, you wont be easily frightened! x

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  13. stunning! and how touching to have such a lovely piece in your family :)

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  14. Oh, you've made me come over quite sentimental teary.

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  15. Oooooh.... I grew up with one of those. I have no idea what my mother did with it but I have such fond memories. I can still remember the smell of it - old sewing machine oil and wood smell.... ahhhhhh....

    A treasure, indeed.

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  16. you lucky girl!!! Even if you told us you'd been looking for a machine like this to buy I'd be mighty impressed - but to now be the caretaker of this amazing piece of family history takes my breath away. I'm so very jealous!!!

    Lx

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  17. Oh god there is drool on my keyboard. I just bought one second hand online, it it currently being minded by my Aunt as the cross country freight charges were astronomical. Cannot wait to bring it home next time I am down there!

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  18. You are so right Liesl - it is a true treasure. How wonderful to have such a beautiful machine AND to know its history AND that its history is part of your history.

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  19. I didn't know you could look up the serial number, thanks for the tip, I just looked mine up, it's EE616866 so it was made in the same factory as yours but in 1948.

    Mine's a knee operated one like yours but I bought it from a garage sale when I was 19. I don't think I've actually used it since then. But I just got it out, figured out how to thread it, and it still works :)

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