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1920's Graybar sewing machine

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Posted 6 years ago


(1 item)

I was given this machine by my grandfather. It was my grandmothers first sewing machine, it still works even! It was made in the 1920's and means a great amount to me. I would like to find out what it is worth in today's day and age.


  1. madrang2, 6 years ago
    How much is this sewing machine worth?
  2. Bernadette Bernadette, 6 years ago
    Is that desk the cabinet? It's lovely. The picture of the machine has a lot of reflection on it and is hard to make out, but could be a National.
    Graybar was a company associated with Western Electric, that purchased machines to sell - therefore one Graybar might be a different make to another. Western Electric was known to use Free/National/New Home. The company was in existence from 1926 to 1941.
  3. Bernadette Bernadette, 6 years ago
  4. sewernut, 4 years ago
    Hi! I actually have one of these cabinets and it has an Eldredge electric two spool sewing machine in it. It is all original. The cabinet is awesome as the complete top opens out back and has a gate leg that supports it. This makes a fantastic huge area for quilting projects. The table closed is extraordinary as the design is gorgeous and fits in all decor. I believe Western bought Eldredge and they used the same cabinet. Then came National which made Graybar. I hope I have the history correct. I love that cabinet!
  5. Bernadette Bernadette, 4 years ago
    The history of National and the involvement of electrical companies is a little complicated, I'll do a short summary. National Sewing Machine Co came out of the amalgamation of the Eldredge and June sewing machine companies.

    A telephone and electrical company started by Enos Barton and Elisha Gray in 1869, became Western Electric in 1872 when Western Union bought in to the company. There was a patent case between Alexander Graham Bell and Western Union, settled in 1879. After Western Union got out of Western Electric, American Bell (AT&T) aquired the major share of the company in 1881.

    As home appliances became popular, around 1915, Western Electric started branding (not making) appliances such as washing machines, and sewing machines, which they sourced from leading manufacturers. In 1925 Western Electric separated their telephone and electrical arms, and renamed their electrical supply branch 'Graybar' in honour of founders Barton and Gray, while their telegraphic branch continued as Western Electric. In 1929 the employees of the new 'Graybar' then bought out their company from Western Electric. After surviving the stock market crash in 1929, and the great depression, Graybar recovered and became prosperous. In 1941, Graybar aquired the remainder of Western Electric. The names Graybar and Western Electric appeared on appliances. Sewing machine companies often named their 'new-fangled' electric machines after the companies they bought their electrical components and motors from. There is an association, for example, between Westinghouse and Free.

    Sewing machines with the name Graybar or Western Electric are often products of the National Sewing Machine Co - remember these are badged machines, Graybar/WE never made machines themselves.
  6. Bernadette Bernadette, 4 years ago
    Barnabas Eldredge was the founder of Eldredge Sewing Machine company which merged with June Sewing Machine company to become National, and his name continued to be used on several of the National models, including the two spool.
  7. sewernut, 4 years ago
    Now you all know why I excelled in sewing and NOT history! But I love the Eldredge two spool sewing machine in that gorgeous cabinet! Thanks for all the news.
  8. Bernadette Bernadette, 4 years ago
    The information is important to the dating of those Nationals badged by Graybar and Western Electric - with no official date source the best that we can do is narrow it down. The Graybar would have been made some time after 1926, and probably before 1941, when the machines were labelled with Western Electric again. Pre-Graybar machines may also be called Western Electric just to confuse the issue

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