Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Gimbels Sewing Machine

Update: Ever since I wrote this post, I've gotten many emails from people with similar machines, but no manual. So, for all of you out there who have a similar machine, but are in need of a manual to show you the ropes, I have made copies of the original manual. I'm selling them right here just to cover the printing and shipping costs, as I'd like to share the sewing love.


A few months ago, I came upon this vintage gem in perfect working order, with a tag that aptly read "The hot rod of sewing machines," at a shop in my neighborhood called Kill Devil Hill. My friend actually spotted it first, but after a little debate, I emerged victorious, as she already had a good machine.


I haven't found much information about the background of Gimbels though. If anyone knows anything more about the company, I could be curious to know! Wikipedia has this entry about Gimbels, an iconic American department store, open from 1887-1987, so perhaps there is a connection there. My machine has the model number 3346 printed on it, and my guess is that it was made in the 1950s. The sewing machine is made from all metal components and is incredibly heavy. The manual is still intact, and details the special zig-zag features.

I have finally made a special spot for this machine in my new apartment, and I look forward to many sewing adventures!http://www.etsy.com/listing/82349036/gimbels-sewing-machine-manual

7 comments:

fibercontent said...

This machine looks a LOT like a Singer from the 40s...at least from the picture. My mom had one, probably still does. I wonder if it's possible that Gimbels department store ever put its label on a Singer.

The bright teal is so beautiful and I can't wait to see where it's living in Tiny Palace.

KnitKnit said...

It's a beauty - love it!

fibercontent said...

So, here is a cool ad from the Pittsburgh Press from 1964. Apparently Gimbels did have their own brand of sewing machines...

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19640122&id=dEcqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=D08EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5873,2034520

Carole Ann said...

Wow, so beautiful - it has so much character. Love the color!

Warren said...

I have the same machine as you, same color. Mine sits in it's own desk like stand, they could almost be twins. When I had to replace the drive belt last year, I found out a little history about the machine. It is a 1950's model and Gimbel's did not make it, they only sold it with their name attached. The machine was made by Singer for the Gimbel's department stores. Intersting for me because I grew up in Philadelphia where Gimbels had a store for many years.

Kenneth said...

I have the same machine as you, same color. Mine sits in it's own desk like stand, they could almost be twins. When I had to replace the drive belt last year, I found out a little history about the machine. It is a 1950's model and Gimbel's did not make it, they only sold it with their name attached. The machine was made by Singer for the Gimbel's department stores. Intersting for me because I grew up in Philadelphia where Gimbels had a store for many years.

Kenneth said...

I have the same machine as you, same color. Mine sits in it's own desk like stand, they could almost be twins. When I had to replace the drive belt last year, I found out a little history about the machine. It is a 1950's model and Gimbel's did not make it, they only sold it with their name attached. The machine was made by Singer for the Gimbel's department stores. Intersting for me because I grew up in Philadelphia where Gimbels had a store for many years.