Sewing4Everyone prides itself on its collection of antique sewing machines and the pre-owned sewing machine. One of those we have is an untouched Singer 99k, still with its original paperwork and dated back to the outbreak of World War Two.
The Singer 99k was introduced in 1911 and production continued until the 1950s. It was created in response to the demand for lighter, more portable machines that didn’t need a special table. In the 1920s, Singer introduced the possibility of an electric motor for the machine, making it the first portable electric sewing machine.
The 99k in our warehouse has to have a brilliant story behind it, seeing as the owner never got to use it… We don’t know, but we thought we’d try to imagine what happened to the owner of this beautiful pre-owned machine…
The Story Behind a Pre-Owned Sewing Machine
“This is the Singer 99k.” One of Mrs Gray’s talents was her ability to speak through a mouthful of pins. She patted the box. “I expect we’ll be busy over the next few months.”
Rose sipped her tea. Mrs Gray never needed much in the way of response. You just had to nod here and there. There was something she had to tell her employer, though, and she dreaded saying the words.
“I reckon there’ll be a rush on people getting married, don’t you?”
Rose found herself blushing. She lived in hope of marriage herself, though George had made no mention of it. They’d been courting for five months now and she thought that plenty of time for a young man to make up his mind. The outbreak of war would surely force his hand?
“People might not have time for wedding dresses, though,” Mrs Gray mused, and Rose’s heart sank. She’d set her mind on a beautiful organza, peach-coloured dress. Never mind that her seamstresses’ wages would barely cover the material costs. Or that George was yet to propose.
“We must give them beauty and hope in sad times!”
Mrs Gray stared at her. Responses from Rose were rarely that passionate, but she nodded, slowly.
“Yes, we must. I’ve had enough of black-out curtains, I can tell you.”
“I’ve signed up for work at the factory.” More unexpected words from Rose. The factory did more important work, she reckoned. And the pay was much better.
Mrs Gray made herself another tea. “I don’t know if we really will be busy. If this goes on, they’ll probably start rationing clothes as well as food. I’m too old for another war.”
She shooed Rose out, locking the door to Mrs Gray’s Finest Dresses.
“Come to me before you get married. I’ll make you a dress. No charge.”
Rose beamed at her, the vision of the organza dress appearing once more in front of her eyes. George would indeed propose some two weeks later. And a week after that, he’d be killed – an early casualty of a devastating war.
Want your own, amazing pre-owned sewing machine? Sewing4Everyone has a great collection of refurbished and second hand sewing machines.