Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Charles Raymond Antique Sewing Machine

Thank you for staying with me through my family vacation adventures. I know that if you're a fan of Tawny Bee on Facebook, that you stuck around because you knew I would eventually get to the antique sewing machine post.

So as to not disappoint.

Can you imagine my excitement when I saw this bit of eye candy at my in-law's cottage? :O

This is an antique treadle Raymond sewing machine. Manufactured in Guelph, Ontario.

As far as I can tell from my research, it was made post 1895 and before 1916. It is post 1895 because of the RM insignia on the top left. It said CR prior to 1895. Charles Raymond incorporated his business into the Raymond Manufacturing Company Limited (hence the RM). In 1916 the company was sold to the White Sewing Machine Company so there would have been no more "Raymond" on the machine.

Isn't it beauteous? I couldn't find any needles to attach to it, or I would have tried it out. It looks like there might be a spring that needs reattaching to make the needle move up and down. Other than that, it's well oiled and treadling along nicely.

I'm sure an appraiser could figure out more by looking at the cabinet the machine sits in. The pictures I've seen of these cabinets range a lot in the shape and size of the drawers etc.

Apparently all of these machines were hand painted with the ornate flower and company name design. And, although I didn't get a good photo of it, "Raymond" is also spelled out in the metal along both sides of cabinet legs. Fancy!

Reading the history of Charles Raymond was a serious delight for me this morning. As some of you know, I have a university degree in Canadian literature and history and Charles Raymond was a key figure not only in sewing machine manufacturing in the world, but also a fine citizen and philanthropist in Guelph, Ontario. Fascinating.

Thank you to Alex Askaroff for putting together such an informative and complete history of Charles Raymond and his sewing machines for everyone to enjoy. I suggest you go read it if you're a sewing nerd, or a Canadian history nerd like myself. Oh the intrigue! The wheeling and dealing! And the personal prohibition? hehehe


PrairiePeasant said...

Looks like you had a fabulous vacation! Are you taking the sewing machine home with you? I have an old Singer treadle, but haven't ever tried to get it going. It needs a new belt for sure, and who knows what else. Would be kind of fun to get it going....

Anonymous said...

I found a Raymond sewing machine from 1903 it's in mint condition and it is beautiful! There is wonderfully painted logo in gold and leaves carved in the middle drawer. The instruction book and parts were with it when i found it in my garage lol