A neighbour let me play with an antique manual (not a treadle) singer sewing machine that was in a pitiful neglected state when he came across it. It was covered in cobwebs, full of dirt and dust, but I knew that Singers usually work if all the parts are there. The wheel turned, just about; the bobbin winder was stuck solid with grim, on the positive side the long bobbin was in the bobbin shuttle. I'd not used a long bobbin before so this was an interesting challenge.
I looked on the Singer site to find out the date of the serial number. No. 12321485, and came up with the year 1894. Not that original as about 562,000 had been manufactured that year. I found a diagram there about how to thread a long bobbin. I also went on you tube and found how to oil and clean a vintage long bobbin machine by Lizzie Lenard, She has a very helpful blog for vintage quilters too.
I must say I found a pastry brush, and inter-dental toothbrushes, and metal polish most useful for the cleaning task. It was only when polishing the metal badge on the front of the machine that I realised that the emblem was a bobbin shuttle. 'Pearl' now positively gleams, works well if simply; a wonderful piece of nineteenth century engineering.
,A few years ago I remember reading a blog where the blogger called her singer sewing machine Pearl, made me smile at the time. As this one has now found a new lease of life and is singing again, I will dedicate this one to that blogger (sorry I don't know her name or her blog any more), and my fondness for Elkie Brooks!
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