Then I spotted IT under a table. A Lotus!! There are so many old Singers availible round here in central Scotland that really, you've got to be selective but I've always had a hankering for a Lotus.
Anyway, no sliding bobbin cover plate, no top of case, bit worn on the base, electrics looked a bit ropey. I prepared myself to haggle a bit. I don't like haggling but I do like a bargain! However I didn't have to, the junkyard owner asked for £10 straight off. What's that...about $17? Oh yes, I'll have it, thanks.
Then he asked me if I was interested in a treadle machine that was on the lorry atm. The thought of my Hubby's face if I turned up with two sewing machines? Anyway, the car was full. I'll go back and look at it on Monday.......
So. I now have my old Lotus. it's a 66k, there is a manual with it and I did check the archive pictures to make sure. The serial no is F7629593 which gives me a date of 1917 and I'm assuming it comes from Kilbowie given we're only 30-40 miles away from it. It's 94 years old, which means it was made seven years before my late mum was born. My gran probably used a machine like this and she was born in 1890! I'm absolutely amazed that you can go out and buy a piece of living history like this for £10, honestly. You'd think it should be in a museum. But given that it came from a batch of 75,000 66ks made in 1917, it's not exactly rare. There were more 66ks made than any other sewing machine ever, though the lotus details were discontinued in the late 20's, apparently.
The big decal on the bed is very worn and scratched which is a pity and there's some rubbing on the front edge but the rest of the decals are good. The metal end plate (no idea of name) has a matching Lotus engraving. I never knew this existed before this weekend. It's absolutely lovely.
The sliding plate to cover the bobbin race is missing but I know a UK spares shop where I can buy one from. It came with the darning plate, a old pack of Singer needles, a tube of Singer motor grease and a pile of evil plastic bobbins. No other accessories. It has a back clamp foot and I've been reading that this means it was one of the first versions of the 66k made.
It's been electrified..the motor is a BUK one,, the same as my 99k, so I'm wildly guessing at late 50's for that? I'm assuming that it was originally a hand crank because there's no slots in the wooden base for a treadle belt. The base, btw, is very, very scruffy. No top.
Anyway, I am thrilled. I know 66ks are extremely common and you're probably all laughing at my enthusiasm for a machine you've probably all seen hundreds of times but still, it's one I wanted and I'm happy to have it. Don't much care for peeling old electrics though so I was thinking of turning it back to hand crank or treadle. I do like treadles given that my first ever sewing machine was a treadle.