Singer 15-91

This vintage Singer sewing machine was covered in dust when I got her from a local estate sale. The outside of the machine and case were clean but the inside of the machine and case were still coated in probably a decade of dirt. The bobbin case, the upper tension area and the hand wheel had a few crusty-rusty areas. And a container of pearl-headed straight pins had spilled in the drawer and due to the flipping of the machine to get it into the car, pins were scattered through the cabinet.

I’ve adjusted the bobbin tension so that the machine gives a good stitch. Oiled and greased it after a good cleaning – one of the two grease wells was completely dry and the other contained a dark grease. Ugh. Cleaned both as well as the gears behind the circular cover plate and then greased them. Had to really work to get the hand wheel to come loose so I could clean up a lot of grease and oil that had become a shellack-like substance. Another ugh. Adjusted the bobbin winder. Gave the machine a good wipedown with sewing machine oil and the cabinet a good polishing.

The Singer 15 was first released in 1895. For an excellent historical background of this style, check out this post by Spool of Thought. The machine I’ve been working on was commissioned on February 20, 1951 and the cabinet is a model 40. The wood looks like a maple with a brown mission finish. The sewing bench that comes with it lifts up to give access to storage.

This is a highly sought-after Centennial machine, celebrating the success of the Singer brand 1851 – 1951. While this link leads to an article about the Featherweight Centennials, the history applies to all 1951 machines. I think this is my first Centennial and I hope to get it into the hands of someone who will happily use it and preserve it for the next century anniversary.

Machine comes with the original manual, all of the attachments, several bobbins and maybe a few straight pins. The needle is new. I’ll include a small bottle of sewing machine oil as the machine needs to be oiled before each daily use. If you let it set a month or so, just oil it fresh and sew on!





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