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Non-Singer Sewing Machines4 of 408Manhattan sewing machine w/ blonde Tiger striped oak cabinetIdeal antique sewing machine
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    Posted 2 months ago

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    Anyone know what kind of sewing machine this is? Couldn't find it anywhere online. I think that's the serial number but it's not a singer so I don't know where you would look it up.

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    1. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Hi, kriley742. :-)

      I think you're quite correct that your "Diamond Queen" is not a Singer, because insofar as I know, Singer never engaged in badging machines with another name.

      However, your machine does bear some resemblance to the VS1, VS2, VS3, 27, 28, 127 and 128 machines in that it has that little trapezoidal access panel on the front, and the split slide plates:

      So, potentially that "2007895" underneath the split slide plate is the serial number. Yet another place for people to look for serial numbers.

      Possibly, it's a White sewing machine. That cabinet does seem reminiscent of White, and White did make some machines badged with other names.

      Here are some White serial numbers:
    2. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Hi again, kriley742.

      I did a search of Grace Rogers Cooper's 1976 edition of "The Sewing Machine : Its Invention and Development" for "Diamond Queen," but found nothing:

      About the only reference to "Diamond" was a company called the Diamond Sewing Machine Company of Chicago, IL. It seems to have disappeared in 1888 (see page 68).



      Diamond Sewing Machine Co. Est 1883
      Factory: Kensington, Arlington Heights.
      Sigwalt Sewing Machine Co. Est 1876 -1883
      Machine Made:
      Production: 50 Machines per day 1883


      Yet more (plus a picture of the Diamond Sewing Machine Company employees):


      n 1875, John Sigwalt relocated his foundry business from Chicago to Arlington Heights. The two-story building was located on Kensington Road. In 1883, the company was sold to Diamond Sewing Machine Company. Fire destroyed the foundry in 1895.


      Is your machine a Diamond Sewing Machine Company product? I don't know.

      There were hundreds of sewing machine companies back in the 19th and early twentieth century. Most of them didn't last long, and didn't leave comprehensive records. Singer is a standout in that sense, as is White to a somewhat lesser degree.

      I am not an expert, and you might want to try some of the vintage sewing machine forums, such as the one at quiltingboard dot com, as there are many very knowledgeable vintage sewing machine enthusiasts there:

      Here are some vintage sewing machine resources:

      Good luck. :-)
    3. valentino97 valentino97, 2 months ago
      Great research from Keramikos.
    4. kriley742, 2 months ago
      Thank you keramikos for all the research. Very helpful. In case you were interested I was able to find one more thing- it's sort of weird, it's from a stock imagery site. But apparently its a pen and ink ad that is from the public domain that has a drawing of the exact cabinet! The text with the ad seems to imply that it might be Canadian? Or maybe anti-Canadian, I can't seem to tell. LOL Here's the link to the drawing.
    5. keramikos, 2 months ago
      valentino97, Thank you, but when the machine isn't a Singer, I fail quite a bit. >8-0
    6. keramikos, 2 months ago
      kriley742, You're welcome. :-)

      What a fantastic find on that Alamy image! That is definitely the same cabinet, and notice the name on the machine head: Black Diamond. And even a date: 1919.

      I didn't have any real luck on searches using various strings from that description.

      It sure would be nice to know the source publication. I wonder whether the Black Diamond Brand was a catalog outfit that commissioned the manufacture of sewing machines from a sewing machine company, and had them badged.
    7. kriley742, 2 months ago
      Keramikos, the catalog idea might be right on. I sure can't find anything either about the black diamond sewing machine company. The source would be helpful you're right. There are similar illustrations from alamy but they seem to be of all different items. I'm going to see what I can find out about black diamond catalogs and follow that idea, maybe it will lead me to more info. Thanks!
    8. keramikos, 2 months ago
      kriley742, I was able to run down a full soft copy of that catalog, thanks to Mr. Peabody and his Wayback machine:


      Hardware merchandising January-March 1919

      Publication date

      Hardware industry, Hardware, Implements, utensils, etc, Building

      Toronto :

      canadiantradejournals; thomasfisher; toronto

      Digitizing sponsor
      Algoma University, Trent University, Lakehead University, Laurentian University, Nipissing University, Ryerson University and University of Toronto Libraries

      Fisher - University of Toronto


      31, number 1-12


      Note the portable Eldredge right next to the Black Diamond. };-)

      White could have made that cabinet, because they did make cabinets for other companies:


      White had their own forests and furniture factories and was noted for the quality of their cabinets. They made lots of cabinets and cases for other manufacturers.


      As to the head, a lot of companies made Singer model 27 'clones,' including Eldredge and Domestic, but I haven't found one yet that looks exactly like yours.
    9. kriley742, 2 months ago
      That's amazing you found that!
    10. keramikos, 2 months ago
      kriley742, Hey, I was only able to find it, because you found that Alamy image. :-)

      I don't know if we'll ever be able to run down an exact twin of your machine, but we're closer now.

    11. keramikos, 2 months ago
      This Eldredge portable has the trapezoidal access panel, the circular needle plate, the split slide plates, a similar stitch length mechanism --- and a number underneath front split slide plate (looks like 3086522):


      Vintage Eldredge E Sewing Machine Type A P/R ONLY


      Sure, it's a motorized portable with different decals, and the Eldredge name, but it looks mighty similar to me.

      Here's a treadle Improved Eldridge B (serial number 1311592):
    12. keramikos, 2 months ago
      A manual for the Improved Eldredge B, courtesy of the magicians at quiltingboard dot com (although, curiously, the tension disc assembly seems to be mounted from the faceplate side like a Singer model 15):
    13. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Here's a manual for an Eldredge E, National Exp. B T with a forward-facing tension disc assembly (but it's not free):
    14. keramikos, 2 months ago
      A'ight. One more:


      WORKING Vintage National Eldredge B Shuttle Treadle Sewing Machine Accessories


      This is a listing for a WORKING Vintage Eldredge B Treadle Sewing Machine with long shuttle bobbin case.

      The metal discs on the machine say "Made by National Sewing Machine Co, Belveder IL USA.

      The bobbin case slide door says Patented Nov 30, 1886.

      When pulling the slide door off, serial # 1249478


      Per the magicians at quiltingboard dot com (because finding patents in the USPTO databases can really be miserable with only a patent date, as opposed to a patent number):


      Super Member

      Join Date: Mar 2015
      Location: Denver, CO
      Posts: 2,355

      Welcome, LenaDale.

      How fun. I found at least two patents for that date associated with Eldredge - 353588 and 353542.


      I forgot to provide this link earlier:

      So, being that National was well known for making sewing machines for any company willing to pony up the money, I'd say it's quite likely that National made yours. Exactly how old it is, I don't know, but it seems likely that it can't be any older than 1886.
    15. keramikos, 2 months ago
      And last but not least, a near twin cabinet (the actual treadle seems to be missing), described as a "Vintage National Sewing Machine in Beautiful Tiger Oak Cabinet w/ Iron Base" at the original listing, from which the picture is gone, but a copy is preserved at a Pinterest pin:

      Here's one with the treadle intact, but the drawer pulls are different:


      This classic Auto-Lift National cabinet is without it's head. Someone had previously fit a full size singer head into it.You can see by the pic how the machine hinges and opening were done. Although crude, it's certainly possible to clean it up and put in what ever head you'd like. The chain attached to the lid pulls the machine up as it opens. The front skirt would also fold back as the lid is opened, but the cable/bracket is missing and will need to be improvised (very simple). The casters are in place and turn freely. It treadles just fine and still has the oil pan for under the machine.

    16. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Whoops, there is still a thumbnail picture at the proxibid site (scroll down):
    17. keramikos, 2 months ago
      kriley742, Dunno about you, but I think I've taken this about as far as I can.

      I feel pretty comfortable in saying that your machine is a National/Eldredge product.

      Exactly how old it is, is still an open question, but per needlebar dot org, it's a fairly early one, because of the location of the serial number underneath the front slide plate.

      There's no database or table of National/Eldredge serial numbers the way there is for Singer (there are some links out there that try to lure people in by claiming they have one, but 'caveat emptor').

      Here's a chart of National/Eldredge vibrating shuttle machines if you want to try to figure out which one yours resembles the most:

      Many of them can be dismissed quickly as candidates, because of that very visible top leaf tension doodad, or the lack of the trapezoidal access panel.

      Here's an excerpt from Grace Rogers Cooper's 1976 edition of "The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development" about the National Sewing Machine Company:


      National Sewing Machine Company. This company was formed in 1890 as the result of a consolidation of two older companies, the June Manufacturing Company and the Eldredge Sewing Machine Company both of which had been organized in 1879 after the expiration of the Sewing Machine Combination. Both companies had moved their factories from Chicago to Belvidere, Illinois, in 1886. The National Sewing Ma-chine Company sold most of their machines through department stores and mail-order houses; Marshall Field's department store in Chicago began to sell National (Eldridge-built) machines in 1888, John Wanamaker's of Philadelphia purchased its first machine in 1892, and R. H. Macy's in New York in 1897. Eldridge-built machines were first sold to the Montgomery Ward company in 1889 and National continued to furnish them sewing machines. National produced its first electrical machines in 1917, which were sold through the Western Electric Company; their first so-called "period style" consoles were also introduced in 1917. On September 1, 1953, the Na-tional Sewing Machine Company was merged with the Free Sewing Machine Company as a wholly owned subsidiary.

    18. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Whoops, I just found a table of National serial numbers. Unfortunately, I don't think it applies to your machine, because these all pertain to a model called the "Two Spool," made circa 1914-1930:

      Also, if your machine is an Eldredge B, per justanswer dot com:


      I have a Eldredge "B" sewing machine with ser#527135 patent date Nov. 30, 1886.


      The company, based in Illinois, was affiliated with National Sewing Machine Company and it is unclear which company produced the Model B series, but they were made well into the late 1930s era.


      In looking at all those Eldredge machines at needlebar dot org, I'd say that the machine that look the most like yours is the one labeled "Improved Faultless" (what an oxymoronic name, huh?).

      The needlebar folks didn't seem quite to know what actual Eldredge model this was based on, noting only that it similar to the Expert, but full sized (apparently the Expert was a three quarters size machine), and angular.

      I found a free manual for the National Expert B.T. courtesy of Zorba the Veiled Male:

      It does look similar, except that as noted by needlebar dot com, the body is more rounded, it's motorized, has a lamp, the bobbin winder is mounted higher, and the spool pin seems mounted a bit closer to the balance wheel.
    19. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Here's a later version of the National Expert BT:


      It's a compact portable machine that I'm thinking dates from the late 1940s, although there was not a lot of information that I could find about this particular model.

      It's the Expert BT model from National, nee' Eldredge, and looks at first glance to be a Singer 128 clone, although mechanically it's more akin to its Eldredge and National forebears. It's got the "Gojira" crinkle finish in brown, with a matching stamped metal portable base.


      It probably is a newer version, because of that crinkle finish brown paint job, but that description of it looking like a Singer 128 caught my eye.

      My sense of it is that if your machine is indeed some model of Eldredge, it's probably an ancestor of the Eldredge Expert BT (that manual was dated 1939) because of it being full size, just as the Singer models 27 and 28 were full size, and the later Singer models 127 and 128 were three quarter size versions thereof (with higher mounted bobbin winders).
    20. keramikos, 2 months ago

      National Sewing Machine Company
      Belvidere, Illinois, USA
      Names used on Sewing Machines



    21. keramikos, 2 months ago
      kriley742, I found an interesting PDF document at ISMACS:

      In it, close to six thousand vintage sewing machine models are listed in alphabetical order first by model name, and then by manufacturer name.

      I do see two models called Black Diamond, but both are listed as having been made by the Standard Sewing Machine Company. There are also numerous models called just plain Diamond made by various companies (including National).

      Here is an 1895 catalog for the Standard Sewing Machine Company (unfortunately, no machines that resemble the Singer 27/28 family are in it):

      I suppose that information in the ISMACS PDF about the Black Diamond models being Standard Sewing Machine Company (as opposed to National Sewing Machine Company) products could be a mistake.

      There are also several entries for models called Expert, but National isn't listed as the manufacturer, although one has an A.K.A. of Eldredge F.S., and another Singer H.A.

      I suppose it could be worthwhile to contact ISMACS about this. The page where I found the PDF link states that information about "errors and omissions will be gratefully received;" however, it looks like the last time that PDF was updated was April 2010.

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