Saturday, August 2, 2014

A "New" Hand Crank Sewing Machine

I would like to introduce you to Sweet Nell.
She is a Frister & Rossmann hand crank sewing machine 
manufactured in Germany in 1905.
There is quite the history lesson behind her.
You will find no badge or makers symbol.

She has beautiful Egyptian decals
even though some of them have seen better days.
She stitches like a dream.
So the story goes,
as stated above she was manufactured in Germany in 1905.
She then took a little trip to a distributor in London, England.
At some point between when she was manufactured
and the time she was sold in England,
there began a war (WWI)
at which time her badge was removed.
No decent Englishman was going to buy a product
that was made in Germany.
This made tracking down her history a little more challenging.
Once I figured out what brand she was,
it all kinda fell together.
A backwards F and forward R within the scroll-work.
I got her last weekend at an estate sale.
I now wish I could ask the owner (now deceased)
where she got it.
Was it from her family?
Did she pick it up at a tag sale or second hand shop?
She had 8? machines there.
This machine was made in Germany,
sold in England,
and somehow through travels that span 109 years and
will forever more remain a secret,
now resides at her new home in Oregon, USA.
This is just one of the reasons I love old relics.
I can hardly wait to stitch something other than scraps with her.

Until Next Time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. great buy, we used to have a treadle one, Dad got rid of it when I was living in Australia for a while I was so disappointed as it was great to stitch on

    1. I have my great grandmother's treadle. My mom had it, and it was all dusty and dry. I cleaned it up, put a new belt on it, and gave it some oil. It runs very happily now:) I love how quiet they are.

  2. What a beautiful machine, if she could only tell you all of her story. I just love the old sewing machines, having three of my own all from the 19somethings, unfortunately none that old.

    Take Care & Happy Stitchin'
    Hugs, Sandy

  3. What a beautiful machine! I love the history behind it... so mysterious too :)

    P.S. I got your email and will respond hopefully sometimes today :)

  4. What a gorgeous machine! I love the care and detail that was putting into all the antique pieces.
    Would that they'd do the same today. Found you through Jes, enjoyed reading some of your earlier post as well.
    New follower,

  5. How neat that you were able to trace down its story/history!

  6. What a magnificent find. You have one great sewing machine with history there. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  7. Tracking down the history was fun??? well challenging at least. I too love the craftsmanship that went into what are now antiques. If only we could expect that quality and integrity today. I had been hunting for one (within my price range) for some time and so far am very pleased.
    I'm glad to see others appreciate "old stuff."

  8. Hi there! I featured this post this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :) I just really appreciated the history you shared~~

  9. Oh Glory, Sweet Nell is a beauty. You have quite a treasure on your hands. I love the story behind her rovings, too. We should start a vintage sewing machine society and share stories with other owners.

    1. What a hoot that would be. If only these oldies could tell their tale. I would be like a little kid big eyed while listening to nothing else.