The NeedleBar

MEMBERS' SURVEY RESULTS


The Standard Rotary

(Standard Sewing Machine Company)

Compiled by Gina Bisco


Thank you to Alan Quinn and the Needlebar Group for making the survey possible, as well as for their ongoing sewing machine research that so greatly benefits all of us with an interest in these old machines.


Summary of Results

One of the most fascinating aspects of Standard Rotary sewing machines made by the Standard Sewing Machine Co. is that some of them will take an attachment called a chainstitch spider which installs in place of the bobbin case and (used along with a special chainstitch needle plate) converts the machine from straight stitch to single thread chainstitch. The spider that came with my Standard Rotary serial number 770155 worked well in that machine and one with a later serial number, but it would not fit it into any of my machines with a lower serial number.

In doing this survey, I was hoping to find out whether there was a version of the chainstitch spider that would fit the earlier Standard Rotary machines. The earliest serial number for a machine in the survey that was confirmed to have a spider is 727368. Whether there is a version of the spider that will fit Standard Rotary machines with a serial number lower than 700000 remains to be discovered.

(Update August 2009. Machine #545,868 accepts and is able to use a solid center pin chainstitch spider. The use of the spider may depend on the type of hook mechanism and bobbin case the machine has. Further details in the NeedleBar Picture Library )

The earliest machine in the survey has serial number 62565. Machines with serial numbers lower than 174193 have the serial number on the flip-up plate (Photo 1). Machines with serial numbers above 182514 have the serial number on the stitch length plate (Photo 2). This serial number division also signifies a general change from the springless felt and grooved disk tension assembly (Photo 3) to the tension assembly with a spring and and a takeup spring with one free end (Photo 4). Two machines earlier than 174193 are reported as having the J tension assembly; perhaps the tension assembly was replaced with a later version sometime during their working lives.
 


Photo 1. Serial number on edge of flip-up plate.

Photo 2. Serial number on stitch length plate.
 


 


Photo 3. Tension assembly made up of grooved disk and felt pads, no spring ("I" in the table of survey results).

Photo 4. Tension assembly with spring and takeup spring having one free end ("J" in the table of survey results).

 

Another major division in the serial numbers occurs between 1065155 which is the latest reported "slim" machine (5) and 1247790 which is the earliest reported "stout" machine (6). This change in shape corresponds with another change in the tension assembly to one including a takeup spring with no free end (7).
 
 


Photo 5. "Slim"

Photo 6. "Stout"

 

Photo 7. Tension assembly with spring and the takeup spring has no free end--found only on "stout" shape ("K" in the table of survey results).

In addition, the shape change signifies a change in the shuttle race from a hollow pin to a solid pin. Therefore, stout machines require a spider with a hollow pin, and slim machines of approximate serial number 700,000 and above require a spider with a solid pin.
 

Photo 8. Front and back of spider with solid pin, which fits "slim" machines having serial numbers above about 700,000.


Photo 9. Front and back of spider with hollow pin, which fits "stout" machines at least between 1247790 and 1362800, and possibly above.

The 4 feed dog variants (Photos 10, 11, 12, 12) do not seem to be perfectly correlated with any particular serial number sets except that versions 1 and 2 are found only on "slim" machines and version 4 is found only on "stout" machines.  Note the slight difference in configuration between versions 3 and 4: on version 3, the leg of the L-shaped feed extends only to the front edge of the needle hole; on version 4, the leg extends well beyond the front edge of the needle hole.


Photo 10. Feed dogs version 1.
 

Photo 11. Feed dogs version 2.

Photo 12. Feed dogs version 3.

Photo 13. Feed dogs version 4.

The two known variants of the common leafy vine decal, "multi" (Photo 14) and "brown/gold" (Photo 15), are both found on quite early "slim" machines as well as much later "stout" machines.

One person reported a confirmed Standard Rotary machine with completely different decals, a gold art deco pattern with the famous winged bobbin decal on the bed. A few others reported decals that were not the basic leafy vine decal, but of those, none were confirmed as being Standard Rotary machines made by the Standard Sewing Machine Co.
 

Photo 14. Leafy vine decal variant "multi".
Photo 15. Leafy vine decal variant "brown and gold"


One of the difficulties of this survey was that there was a very nice number of responses (over 100), but unfortunately the majority did not actually have rotary machines of the target group, i.e. those made by the Standard Sewing Machine Co.

I apologize for not realizing that there would be confusion about that, and I am very grateful for all responses, even those which I could not use.


Table of Responses

 serial
number
  serial number
location
  machine shape
feed dog
type
  tension type
spider type
  decals type
62565
flip-up plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I none x
 81384
flip-up plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I none x
 88001
flip-up plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I none x
 108027
flip-up plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I none x
 130272
flip-up plate slim version 1  grooved disk - I none none
 135806
flip-up plate slim  x x x x
 142353
flip-up plate slim version 2 springone free end - J ? x
 161178
flip-up plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 174193
flip-up plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 182514
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooved disk - I none x
 184101
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 215268
stitch length plate  slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none multi
 233010
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J none two tone gold and brown
 263387
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 272939
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 322027
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none x
 346266
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooveddisk - I none none
 366812
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooved disk- I none x
 445470
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooved disk - I ? x
 491040
stitch length plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I x none
 650517
stitch length plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I none x
 656116
stitch length plate slim version 2  grooved disk - I ? x
 677467
stitch length plate slim version 2 grooved disk - I unknown x
 727368
stitch length plate slim version 2 spring one free end - J solid center pin multi
 748403
stitch length plate slim version 2 spring one free end - J solid center pin x
 770155
stitch length plate slim version 2  spring one free end - J solid center pin multi
 797932
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J none x
 798905
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J solid center pin x
 842677
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J none x
 920615
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J none x
 936040
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J solid center pin x
 987030
stitch length plate slim version 2 springone free end - J none x
1065155
stitch length plate slim version 3 spring one free end - J solid center pin multi
1247790
stitch length plate stout version 4 spring closed loop - K hollow pin two tone gold and brown
1315331
stitch length plate stout version 3 spring closed loop - K x x
1318297
stitch length plate vertical stout version 4 spring closed loop - K none x
1362800
stitch length plate stout version 4 spring closed loop - K hollow center pin multi
1422994
stitch length plate stout version 3 spring closed loop - K none x
1581188
stitch length plate

other (see

below)

version 4 spring closed loop - K  none not leafy vine
(Decals other: 
Gold only and 
an "art deco" 
type pattern. 
The bed has a
winged bobbin decal)

(Other shape:  "It is a 'stout' shape but the  area of the faceplate is  of a rounder shape")

x = no answer given

? = answer needing to be checked


Gina Bisco 2003. All Rights Reserved
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