At dusk, after another unbearably sultry day, in a not so remote carpark, a car pulls in next to one that has been waiting a short while. Drivers get out, an exchange of greetings and then a rusty yellow tin is handed over.The tin is labelled ‘State Express Cigarettes’ and inside the lid a Royal Warrant.A quick bit of research reveals that this was granted by King George VI in 1946 – so the tin is late 40’s early 50’s. But what about the contents.
The mending fabric is probably the same age as the tin but the rest is much older and explains the rendezvous. I have been given a Frister and Rossmann hand crank sewing machine by a fellow quilter who is down sizing. She bought the machine at an end of summer sale by a dealer in Anglesea quite a few years ago. When it was passed on to me she forgot to include the tin of attachments. She thought to catch up just before a committee meeting.
There are a number of clues on the machine itself as to its age.
The name and address of the London Agent and ‘Trade Mark Berlin’ point to pre WWI. Notice that the all important shuttle is still in place. But the best information comes from the serial number which is alongside the stitch length regulator. They give the year of manufacture, 1907.
So for more that 100 years, a complete set of attachments has stayed with the machine, despite the original box being broken. Even the instruction book, minus cover and with interesting stitching holding the pages together is there. The somewhat rusty braiding foot that was not in the tin, was sitting inside the machine housing. My guess is the tool with the loop is for threading ribbon and elastic.
I think all the machine needs to get working again is a good clean and oiling of all the gears and levers.