This is a machine I found earlier this year which now forms part of our little collection. Elsie’s particularly fond of this one because not only is it really pretty and it sews beautifully now I’ve tickled its tappets, but it also came with the original sales receipts still in the Singer envelope. The lovely old tin full of attachments is original, as is everything else except for the can of oil, which is the right age and type but is actually Singer household oil rather than sewing machine oil. Check out the “Our own machines” page for more pictures of it.
So, Mrs Fallshaw left the Singer shop in Barking with this on Christmas Eve 1938, and hopefully she didn’t have to carry it too far to the bus stop. She paid £5 15s 0d for her shiny new machine, which if the currency was decimal then would have been £5.75. What that equates to at today’s prices depends on which website you refer to, but as far as I can tell it’s something over £600. Definitely at least two weeks’ wages for Mr Fallshaw if he was getting the 1938 national average wage.
That was the last Christmas Eve before the start of World War 2, and although the Singer shop didn’t survive the bombing, the Fallshaw’s house did. Here’s the Google picture of it nowadays, which leaves me wondering what they’d make of the replacement of the bay window and the disappearance of their front garden …
I suppose that before long our Mrs Fallshaw would have been running up the blackout curtains or blinds on this machine, and no doubt during the war years it would have done her proud for repairs and alterations. Maybe even dressmaking too, if she could get some material. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see what’s been sewn on this machine over the years?