Some of you may have noticed that I have an affection for vintage sewing machines, and that I particularly like the green machines.
Just to recap the rest of the Green Herd, here’s the Arrow and here are the Singer 185, the Elna Supermatic (actually there are two Elna Supermatics, but only one is green) and the Hugin. Recently, we saw another green machine (I forget what kind) and Mr. Math was prepared to lug it home. Nope. It didn’t make my little heart go pit-a-pat. I told him that there was only one more green machine I wanted – a Grasshopper.
Hip hop. Guess what turned up?
This is an Elna #1, commonly called an Elna Grasshopper. It is the first design produced by Elna, beginning in 1940. This particular machine dates from 1950 and was made/wired for the Canadian market from the outset. It has a knee control, which is folded down in this shot. The entire top plate is actually just sitting in place in this shot, because I have taken it off to clean inside the arm. (Dustbunnies love it in there.) It’s a straight stitch machine and this one sews beautifully. The green and black box to the back left is the attachments box, and this one came with all its special feet. It also has an aluminum plate, and I can’t figure out what the heck that’s for. As is typical of many Elna models, the hard carrying case unfolds to create a table that fits around the free arm of the machine to make a larger sewing surface.
Here’s some more about Grasshoppers. There are pix on this site of the case, the case being used as a table, and the nifty way the accessories box fits along side the machine in the case.
This just might mean that the Green Herd is complete…
P.S. Here’s the mysterious aluminum plate that came in the attachments box. It says “Swiss made” like all of the Elna attachments so, so it must belong. It looks so useful, but I can’t figure out what it’s for.
I have one of those, rather the daughter does now. It was my mother’s. If you take a picture of the aluminum plate, I might know what it is. The daughter had the machine fully lubed and cleaned up and was disappointed at how slow it still sews (she’s a regular race car driver on a Singer). How fast does yours go?
Hi Gina – I added a picture of the mystery plate to the post. Do you know what it is?
This machine runs really well, not slow at all. I do have a Featherweight, though, that runs slow – the SMG said it just hadn’t been used enough and that the more I used it, the better it would run. I pieced a quilt top with it right after that, and there was a huge improvement in its speed by completion. So, maybe your daughter just needs to get sewing!
I think that if you flip it over, it sits on top of the attachments and the grooved out part is where you nestle the bobbins. I’m going down to LA for a brief visit tomorrow, and if I remember I’ll take a look at the attachment box there. Mebee I’ll rescue the machine if she doesn’t think she’s going to use it anymore. She bought a new fast Brother with all sorts of fancy computerized stitches.
Hey, you’re right! How cool is that?
I just knew it had to be useful. Thanks for solving the mystery. 🙂
And good luck on the rescue…
Oscar and I both share an interest in older sewing machines. Our featherweight is actually originally his (but he shares) I can foresee lots of fun spent together at estate sales seeking out pieces for a future collection once we get into a larger living space :-}