To me they are not Sewing Machines, they're Machines that Sew.
Soon after I began making shoes I realized that I had to learn to sew leather.
The next question then was what type of machine.
As a result I have another hobby... Vintage sewing machines.
February 5, 2012
Kenmore 117.841 (1958)
After seeing and reading about the Kenmores that were made in Germany I went for one that came up on CL; I got all the cams and the manual with it too (made in 1958). After a lot of cleaning she looks pretty good. "The "Kenmore 84" was, according to White, a product of American and Germany ingenuity. It was a zig-zag sewing machine which sold for the rather large sum of $239.95 in 1956" ISMACS
"You are probably aware that the first digits in the Sears model # tell you who made it, and that 117 is the Sears source # for White. That being said, White did not make yours. You are correct about the time line, and this machine was made at a time when White was realizing that they could not survive without a ZZ machine, and could not afford to develop one. They also knew that if they could not offer a ZZ machine to Sears, they were going to lose the Sears contract to Japan, which eventually happened anyway. So White contracted with Gritzner-Kayser in Germany to manufacture a machine for them, and the same machine as a Kenmore, but cosmetically different."
The Kenmore badge drops down to access the cams. Like the Selecto-Matic of the same era it has a sort of pre war Locomotive style of engineering and general approach to detail that fast went away in the following decades. I think it's quiet and starts up more smoothly than most, the motor runs well at low speed too. Like the Necchi BU it has a fine thread adjustment on the upper thread tension knob; I like it better than the course adjustment style.
This is one serious dog of a Chrysler, got the paint scheme but the
homely mushy curves are old looking even for the 50's. This is where the
sewing machines got a little ahead of cars; the rectilinear styling
didn't come along in cars till the 70's.