1751 Kenmore Zigzag Sewing Machine

I enjoy going to the occasional garage sale.  I’ll usually spend less than five to ten dollars, and take home a small trove of what only I would call treasure.  I feel I’ve had a good day when I get home and don’t go:  “why did I buy that?” I keep going because every once in a while I’ll find something like the lateral file that I bought at an estate sale for $5.

Yesterday, Jack called after he got to the golf course to remind me that Gleneagle was having its community day for garage sales.  I made sure I had lots of ones and fives in my wallet and headed out.  I hit several places and my most exciting find was a working electric pencil sharpener for $2.  (The seller plugged it in and demonstrated using a pencil.)

As I pulled up to yet another house, I thought “that looks like a Kenmore.”  I had a hand-me-down Kenmore portable (actually luggable) that I finally passed on to a friend years after I bought a lightweight electronic machine. I still missed the power of that all metal machine. I’d occasionally looked at Craiglist for an older all-mechanical machine in a cabinet, but they always wanted at least $50 for them.

There was a sticker saying “make an offer.”  I turned the hand wheel and it had that soft, smooth heavy feel I remembered, moving the needle up and down.  The manual and accessories were featured right with the machine, which was spotless.  I asked the seller if she would take $25 for it, and she accepted. (This was the second year she tried to sell it.)  Fortunately I had unloaded the station wagon before leaving the house, and the cabinet and machine fit in easily.

I had it threaded and was testing it within an hour of Jack carrying it into the house.  (It is similar enough to my old machine that I could have done it from memory, but I used the manual, just in case.)  I held my breath when I pressed on the pedal, and was happy when I head the quiet power of the motor.  It sewed a straight balanced seam which looks great.

According to a site I found, the model 1751 was made 1971 to 1972.  I am very pleased with my new acquisition.