Monday, March 16, 2015

One Home Motor Does It All 1928

I got to thinking about sewing machines. My mother had my father convert her Singer to an electric motor driven version. He did so by buying something of a transitional product designed to make hand cranks items electric. It was the Hamilton Beach Home Motor with foot switch. I still have it today.

Here is the one I have but from 1934. Notice how it attaches to to the hand or belt turned wheel. It ran all sorts of household machines.

It cost $18.50 new, but my Dad bought one used after my mother had twin girls. In those days chicken feed and flour sack came in printed cotton so farm wives could use it to sew clothes with the free patterns inside the sack. At this time my father was working double shift as a foreman building roads in West Texas. For 16 hours a day he made $2.50 and was glad to have the work, except on blasting day when he help connect the fuses. New this cost the equivalent of three 40 hour week wages. It was not an insignificant investment.

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