Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Famous" Buttonhole Worker mentioned in Singer books

The "Famous" Buttonhole Worker

Singer did not produce these buttonhole workers, but depicted them in their books of how to use their attachments. I have the 1924 edition of Machine Sewing and pages of instructions are given by Singer of how to attach, adjust, and make buttonholes with this attachment.

During this time, Singer had not yet manufactured a buttonholer. My quest is to find the date they first produced them. Any readers with that information - please share! share! share!

The "Famous" was in direct competition with Greist versions of buttonholers - though Greist was not quite as cumbersome!

The "Famous" is such a part of our sewing history.
Always interesting to learn.


Anonymous said...

I have just obtained a Famous Buttonhole Worker in the original box from a thrift store.I don't sew but found it an interesting machine so for $2.98 I bought it. The box cover reads "Fiftieth Aniversary". Inside is a note on green paper with green being the color to show support for the WW II rationing effort. The note reads:"NOTICE- The wooden handled knife has been temporarily discontinued by reason of our inability to purchase wooden handles. The manufacturer of the handles cannot presently obtain material because of the lumber needed for veteran housing construction." That would mean this model is from 1945-46 so subtracting the 50 years for the anniversay would place the first models about 1895-96. Hugh Deal

Charlene - The Sew Box said...

That is absolutely amazing! I never realized they were actually that old in design. What a piece of history you actually have. Thanks for sharing with us.


Anonymous said...

Hi there, I just bought one identical to the one shown in the pictures above and in a Fiftieth anniversary box. No green paper, just instructions and an inspection slip. Are these really that old? Someone told me it goes to a white rotary mahine. I have a series 77 here I can try it on. I love finding parts / extras for my vintage machines. Janet

Soul Deep said...

Hi I just got a "Famous Buttonhole Worker" and it is in a very old box. The box is cardboard with a Kraft paper layer and the logo is in blue. On the side of the box, it is printed very lightly: SINGER "CC". There is an instruction leaflet which has a photo of every little part on the machine, called out with numbers and then descriptions of each part! The leaflet is called: OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS. It's very old, but there is no date. It says PRINTED IN U.S.A. and AUTHORIZED "FAMOUS" DEALER. There's a faint pencil mark on the bottom of the box: $12.50, which is obviously a garage sale mark. I got it for free. Did anyone ever find dates for these?

Charlene - The Sew Box said...

Hello and aren't these fascinating gadgets?!! It appears yours was sold in the Singer stores with the marking of 'Singer' on it - not all of them were of course. If you click on comments to reveal all of them, read the first post by Hugh Deal. He was able to place the first models at about 1895 - 96. Pretty old!

Enjoy it!

Lyz said...

I just bought an old sewing table and found two "Famous" Buttonhole Workers Models C and G with assorted parts and the boxes are in excellent condition (some wear on corners but no tears). There's no rust on either one, but they have been used. Both come with instruction sheets, foot plates, various screws and one has a wood-handled chisel knife (for cutting the buttonhole in the fabric?). If anyone is interested in having them, or perhaps knows someplace that would accept them as a donation, please let me know.


Charlene - The Sew Box said...

Hope they find a new home Lyz! Wonderful of you to donate them to someone who can use them.


luckygirl said...

Inherited a Famous Buttonhole worker in the original blue box. 4 page pamphlet of operating instructions. In great shape, can be used with proper machine. It is marked Lenox mfg. co from Catasaugua, Pa. Sandra

Anonymous said...

Now that is a buttonhole attachment that is really Steampunk worthy!

lyzcollins said...

@RileyG You're right, they are quite SteamPunk! Thanks!