Sunday, July 14, 2013

Why the Mystery Singer is not an Improved Family.

1896 Improved Family 
1890 Special Variant Singer AKA Mystery Singer

They look so similar, don't they?  In the manual there is a drawing of an I.F. with the same decals as on the S.V.  or Paff as I have named it.

I bought the machine from a very nice gentleman.  He has a passion for treadles and has restored many.  He and his wife are off on new adventures now.   They are, thus, divesting.  I named this machine Paff.  It is a combination of their two names.  I don't name many machines.  Because this one is unique, I named it. 

If you have been following, Rain commented on a previous post stating that likely this is a Special Variant.  I could call it that.  I like Paff better. 

There are differences even though the beds look the same.  They are the same size.  I measured.  They have the same tension assembly. (See previous post). 

Flower (the I.F.) does not have thumb screws on the needle bar.  Her BW is different and, the most important distinction, while she is an oscillating shuttle, her bobbin case is part of the race and is not removable
IMPROVED FAMILY
Paff 
The underside of the IF looks less hefty to me.  Now I know that the two views aren't the same, but I think you can see what I mean.

Oh, and that crud that I removed?  Well, me thinks it was an oil wick.  I wondered about it when I was removing it.  It sure was stuck to that screw.  I think it was wicking oil to the roller.  It wasn't wicking anything in the shape it was in.  If I were to get really brave, I coud take this whole mess apart and replace it.  Yeah, like I am ever going to do that. 

I did some reading on line last night (Thank you Peg).  I found out that Singer did have shops that would outfit machines to certain specs.  I bet that's what happened here.  The cut out for the knee lifter looks as if it were meant to be there, not cut out as an afterthought. 

Paff needs more work (and it looks like Flower needs a good cleaning, too).  But it is so much cleaner now.
 I am using a 130/705H (15X1) needle.  I wish it threaded right to left.  The roller foot does lift up but now that it is so clean it wants to flop back down again.  Gets in the way when I am threading the needle.

I hope to get it installed in its stand soon.  I won't be putting another machine in that stand ever, so I think I will just use a leather belt for this machine.  I must look for a nice one.  The ones I have are rather red colored.  I'd prefer something more authentic to the time. 

15 comments:

  1. So nice you had Ms Flowers for comparison. Paff is really starting to look great. I've really enjoyed following your's and everyone else's detective work on this project and so looking forward to checking Paff and Flowers out when I visit for TOGA.

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  2. You are the bravest woman I have ever met.

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    1. Nah. I think I will just oil those rollers periodically.

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  3. This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing it! I wonder if Paff could be a kind of industrial machine? That odd wheel to the left of the needle is cool.

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    1. That is the working theory. Likely for light leather work.

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  4. cool!! love the differences you showed, love it all, thanks for showing it, I am learning!!

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  5. Crudded and uncrudded are like night and day.
    That part number or serial number on the race just cries out for attention doesn't it? Wonder if there were 2620 others like it.

    And we all know you will eventually replace that wick.
    If it came from a glove factory do you think they made their own belts from scrap? What would be considered "more authentic to the time"?

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    1. I think I will look that part number up. Wonder if it is somewhere on the WEB.

      And when you come for the TOGA, WE will replace that wick. Won't that be fun? If it really was a wick.

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  6. Oh phooey, I can't edit my comment till you post it. I just looked at the photos again, and I do not believe it was a wick. It was just crud. To be a wick there would have to be a source hole for the wick to receive oil from and unless it comes from the underside (away from us in the photo) it was just a lot of crap stuck to the screw.

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  7. So it's not an "Improved Manufacturing"? It looks like the ismacs.net pic except not as wide:
    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/model-list/images0-99/imp_manuf_pkn.jpg

    Maybe they took decals and parts from an IM and put them on an IF?

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    1. Who knows? Maybe it is? The manual that I have for my I.F. has drawings of I.F. with same decals. I don't think, except with the Singer 66 Red Head, that decals were "exclusive."

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    2. Or it could be the smaller version of an Improved Manufacturing?

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  8. From a member on Treadle On:

    Patents for Singers CB (Central Bobbin) which is the familiar bobbin in the removable case were issued if my memory is correct in 1887.
    From about that time the 15-11 was built as a fiddlebed until it was replaced by the rectangular bed 15-30 in the early 1890's. I have a
    15-11 fiddlebed dating to 1888. The 15-11 normally has conventional 4-motion feed dogs though rather than the wheel feed of this one.
    The wheel feed with roller presser & the bobbin winder location are the only differences I see here from the 15-11. It may have been considered
    a special Version of the 15-11 or may have been given its own model number, hard to say. Certainly an interesting machine.
    Miller/TN

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  9. This is better than any mystery novel or movie. I can't wait to see what new developments turn up!

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  10. I just picked up a treadle machine that appears very similar to your Improved Family machine. According to singer's website serial number lookup it was produced in 1892. I thought, based on a quick internet search, that it might be a model 15, but missing it's bobbin housing. However, looking inside the bobbin "area" looks very similar to your photograph. Do you know if there are manuals or parts for these machines? Mine is missing it's belt, the bobbin housing if there is one, and I don't know if there are any needles. Here's a brief video tour of the machine. http://youtu.be/kAB4ttWKk7o

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