Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Morse 600 Vintage Sewing Machine

This is a breathtaking machine.  The Morse 600 is the predecessor to the Morse Fotomatic.  The Morse machines were made in Japan.  Morse Sewing Machine Company was located in New York but they didn't make any sewing machines.  They had various companies in Japan make the machines for them.  The Morse 600 IS NOT a Singer 15 clone.  The term Singer clone gets attached to any Japanese imported sewing machine it seems like but, this one isn't a Singer clone or a Singer 15 clone.  The discussion on clone vs not is really another topic but I did want to get it out that the machine we are talking about isn't a Singer clone.  It is a machine designed for Morse Sewing Machine and no one else, it's not a knock off of a Singer.

morse 600 sewing machine

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I don't think we did too bad on this machine for $5.  One of my favorite things during garage sale season are the church sales.  All the goodies in one location, usually inside and climate controlled.  It is the perfect spot for someone like me, loves bargains but doesn't love weather.  Around here most have some sort of a deal on Saturday, like half price or $1.00 a bag.  The machine was found on half price day.  It sat for three days at an indoor garage sale for $10 and no one snapped it up.  Can you believe that?  The case it was in had seen better days though but the machine itself was perfect.  Hubby has been wanting to practice his case building skills so I had to get him it.  Right?  I had to buy it, for him, not because I swooned over how pretty it is.

I love sewing machine history from the mid fifties to mid sixties.  The lawsuits that were filed are great reading.  I haven't found the full lawsuit that involved Morse but the little bit I did find helped me to date this machine.  It 1952 Morse had a complaint filed against them for not labeling their machines with the country of origin.  Why?  Well, American consumers were more likely to buy an American made machine so Morse just omitted the fact that their machines were made in Japan.  The problem is that was a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  By 1956 the Morse 600 had a window near the stitch length guide, the start of the Fotomatic machines.  Ours is marked made in Japan so that tells me it was made right around 1954.

The machine itself is pretty straight forward.  It's a straight stitch only machine.  It uses standard 15x1 needles and class 15 bobbins.  It's super smooth to sew on.  It's an extremely quiet machine but it's fast.  I will be doing a video soon of it running and how to thread it, all the usual good stuff.  Morse was very proud of this machine though.  It says "World's Best" on it in two different places.



It does say Precision made on it but that may not be the name of the company that actually produced the machine.  Morse use multiple companies, at one point Singer got a contract with one of the companies Morse was using.  It didn't phase Morse a bit, saying the loss of that manufacture wouldn't hurt their import market.

morse 600


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Melissa Shields
Melissa Shields

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