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The Everlasting Sewing Machine

Kathy Werner - Columnist
Posted 3/11/21

Back in 1975, my Grandpa Kohler decided to buy my sisters and me sewing machines. We each got a Kenmore Model 1947 from Sears, complete with fancy zigzag stitches and buttonhole attachments.

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The Everlasting Sewing Machine

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Back in 1975, my Grandpa Kohler decided to buy my sisters and me sewing machines. We each got a Kenmore Model 1947 from Sears, complete with fancy zigzag stitches and buttonhole attachments.

Made in Japan, this model is made of steel and is not something you'd want to tote around, although I have been doing so since I got it.

But guess what? These sewing machines are still sewing 46 years later. Oh yes, dear friends, these machines were manufactured back in the days when things were built to last, and though it doesn't have all the fancy computerized stitches and embroidery options, it still works perfectly.

Granted, I did have to take it to my local sewing machine repairman. I figured that it was worth getting it serviced before I broke down and bought a new-fangled machine.

When I walked in with it, the repairman's eyes lit up. He loves old Kenmores, he said, because they were built to last. He was certain he would be able to bring it up to speed in no time. Which he did.

When my sister Laurie heard that I got my Kenmore working again, she brought hers down to take to the same repairman. Her machine had frozen, but he soon set it to rights. A phone call to sister Mary revealed that, yes, she was still using her Kenmore and it was running beautifully. Sister Billie also had the Kenmore.

Among them, these Kenmores have sewn curtains, hemmed pants, assembled clothing including housecoats, dresses, skirts and jackets. They have mended clothing and patched bedspreads. And most recently my machine has sewn Halloween costumes for a very special little girl who dressed as a suffragette and the Statue of Liberty in recent years.

I found an old 1976 Sears Spring and Summer catalog (remember those?) online selling a model similar to ours that sold for $277, so Grandpa must have spent nearly $1,200 to outfit his granddaughters with sewing machines.

I'd say that since those machines have been running for a total of 184 years, his was a wise investment. I figure that it cost us about $6.50 a year for those machines, with no end in sight. Thanks, Grandpa.

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