Singer sewing machine was first to zigzag

 
By Anne McCollam
Posted4/10/2016 6:00 AM
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  • Singer was the first to introduce the "Zigzag" machine and the first electronic machine.

    Singer was the first to introduce the "Zigzag" machine and the first electronic machine.

  • In the Great Depression, movie theatres gave away premiums, such as dishes, to encourage attendance.

    In the Great Depression, movie theatres gave away premiums, such as dishes, to encourage attendance.

Q. Enclosed is a photo of a Singer treadle sewing machine with cabinet that belonged to my grandmother. It is their model 66 and was manufactured Aug. 25, 1920. She spent many hours sewing for herself and her family. It is in excellent working order and has the original manual and accessories. The cabinet was refinished years ago to reveal a beautiful tiger stripe grain. The machine folds down into a storage area and the extension leaf closes over the top. Can you tell me anything else about our sewing machine and its value?

A. Singer Sewing Machine Co. was founded by Isaac Singer in 1851. By 1863, the need for a plant to accommodate the demand for mass production was evident. Singer built its first large plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1867, seeing a huge market developing for sewing machines in the United Kingdom, it expanded production to Scotland. There was a plant at one time in South Bend, Indiana. Singer Sewing Machine continued a path of innovation. They were the first to introduce the "Zigzag" machine and the first electronic machine.

Your 1920 Singer sewing machine would probably be worth $299 to $325.

Q. This mark is on a set of dishes that I bought at an antiques and collectibles shop in the 1970s. I was newly married and didn't have much money. I liked the set and it was the right price. It is a service for eight and is in mint condition. Each dish is decorated with a scene of two women and a man playing a musical instrument. They are in a garden and all are wearing 18th century-style clothes. The rims of all the dishes are trimmed in gold. The shopkeeper told me the movie theaters often would give a dish away for each movie ticket a person bought during the Great Depression.

What can you tell me about my dishes?

A. Limoges China Co. made your dinnerware. They were founded in Sebring, Ohio, in 1900, and produced high quality china to compete with fine porcelain made in Limoges, France. One of the French manufacturers objected to the company using the name "Limoges." It was thought the Ohio company was implying there was a connection to French porcelain. The name was changed to the American Limoges China Company.

In the early 1900s, there were some movies theaters that offered premiums to encourage attendance.

Your set was made sometime between 1930 and 1940. It would probably be worth $174 to $275.

• Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

© 2016, Creators Syndicate

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