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My new "Red Eye"- send help!

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    Posted 3 months ago

    (1 item)

    So, this all started with a trip to a second hand store for a pair of shoes and I just so happened to walk by the glass display corner where they tend to hoard their more expensive items. I spotted this lovely little thing sitting on the floor and immediately asked the girl working to counter to see it. She was covered in a thick layer of dust (except where their price sticker was slapped) but that didn't stop me from instantly falling in love. I bought her for the sickenly low price of $99. Sadly, she came "as is" without a box or treadle case but I have a treadle already lined up and I'm over the moon.

    I have cleaned her up some since then with the intention to take her in for service but when researching her serial number (G2357693) to get a year for her I was stumped at every turn. I checked the online database and her serial number doesn't exist. I'm hoping someone here can help. Any and all information is welcome. Thank you!

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    1. keramikos, 3 months ago
      Hi, KateDavenport. :-)

      Beautiful find.

      The serial number on your machine (G2357693) is indeed covered by the Singer G serial number table at the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society (ISMACS) website.

      I suspect that your problem might have been that you were explicitly looking for the number "2357693," but the serial numbers in the tables are expressed as ranges of numbers, so unless your particular serial number happened to be the first or last of that range, you wouldn't see it. Here are the pertinent ranges:

      G- 2345901 2395900 66 50000 October 3 1912

      G- 2524001 2574000 66 50000 December 18 1912

      What that first line of information I excerpted translates to:

      A block of 50,000 consecutive serial numbers (2345901 through 2395900) was allotted by the central office to one of the Singer factories on October 3, 1912, and all were destined to be stamped into the beds of model 66 machine heads.

      The reason I excerpted a second line of information is that it's the next chronological block of serial numbers that pertains to model 66 machine heads.

      A lot of people get the idea that a given allotment date is the day their particular machine rolled off of the assembly line, and that probably isn't true.

      It is, however, a fairly safe assumption (yeah, I know) to make that your machine came off the line some time between October 3, 1912, and December 18, 1912. That is, assuming that there weren't any strikes, assembly line equipment breakdowns, etc. WWI hadn't yet started in 1912, so that shouldn't have been a factor.

      Anyway, about the model 66:

      Your decal set is the famous Red Eye, which was only ever applied to model 66 machine heads in U.S. factories:

      Your face plate looks like 66K (Simanco 32667):

      Your machine was made at the Elizabethport factory:

      Here is a manual:

      And here is my collection of vintage sewing machine links in case I forgot anything:

      But it's a lot to sift through, so if you have any more questions, just ask them here.

      But before I forget: if this is no longer an Unsolved Mystery, could you please change its status to "Solved Mystery?" I am forever forgetting to ask people to do that, and we have a veritable boneyard of Unsolved Mystery posts. Some of them are legitimate unsolved mysteries, but some of them just never got changed to solved.

      Also, if you're wondering why some of your pictures are oddly oriented, it's because Collectors Weekly Show & Tell software doesn't play nicely with all makes and models of digital cameras, especially ones installed in smart phones and tablets.

      Usually all it takes to fix the orientation is to edit your pictures on your device, shorten the long sides of the rectangular image just a skosh, then edit your post, replacing the original images with the edited ones.
    2. fortapache fortapache, 3 months ago
      Beautiful graphic on that machine. Somewhere there is a treadle cabinet with no machine or one that needs replacement.
    3. KateDavenport KateDavenport, 3 months ago
      Keramikos: That was more than I ever thought I would learn about my new machine. Thank you so so much! I can't express how much I appreciate this. I made sure to change the post to solved. I'll give it my best try to reorient the photos but I might just mess it up more as is the usual course for me when dealing with electronics.

      Fortapache: I called all my local antique stores and there is one five minutes from my house that I'm going to look at tomorrow. Someone turned it into a decorative side table though so I don't know if it will still work the way I want. The next nearest cabinet is about an hour away and has a locked up (non-working) machine in it. I'll most likely go get that one if the one near me isn't what I'm looking for.
    4. keramikos, 3 months ago
      KateDavenport., You're welcome. :-)

      I wouldn't worry too much about the orientation of the images in your post at this point.

      When somebody first creates a post looking for information, badly oriented photos can be frustrating for others trying to help, especially people of a certain age who tend to have stiff necks, and sometimes stiff dispositions to match. };-)

      At this point, the orientation of images two through four is mostly esthetics. The first one is fine, and that's the one that's seen from the main CW S&T stories page.

      On the subject of cabinets: you might want to take note of the bed dimensions on your machine, and check the bed holes in any cabinets you're considering.

      The bed dimensions vary a bit, depending on the age:


      bed size 14 3/4" (later 14 5/8") long x 7" wide


      Not all vintage sewing machine heads and cabinets are compatible. Even when they aren't, they can usually be made compatible, but then you'd be looking at carpentry skills.

      Here is a gallery of cabinets in which Singer model 66 machines were originally installed:
    5. keramikos, 3 months ago
      KateDavenport, I only just now noticed another feature of your machine. My bad, I'm sorry for not noticing and mentioning it earlier.

      The presser foot on your machine is back-clamping. That's a historical relic of the model 66 evolution.

      It was a feature of Wheeler & Wilson sewing machines. Singer bought out W&W in the early 20th century, and incorporated some of the W&W machine features into their own models.

      It probably doesn't matter much, unless you have plans to do some sophisticated sewing with your machine that would require you to use special purpose attachments on your machine, in which case you'd need either to convert your machine to side-clamping (not recommended for the faint of heart, mechanically-speaking):

      Or acquire back-clamping special purpose attachments, e.g.:
    6. keramikos, 3 months ago
      Hi again, KateDavenport. :-)

      Since it sounds like you're trying to install your sewing machine head into a cabinet, here is a manual for the 66-1 (a back-clamping presser foot model 66 installed in a treadle cabinet:

      There are quite a few purveyors of replacement treadle belts out there, but this one seems to be reputable:

      Here is some expert advice for replacing and adjusting one:

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