Thursday, February 9, 2012

Post(Card)-A-Day 9: Of Sewing Machines and Typewriters

The famous Elna Grasshopper.

A Helvetia portable sewing machine, Swiss-made.

A rather ornate older model spotted at the Aarberg market - anyone know what it is?


  1. That oldest machine looks really fascinating.

  2. Blooming 'eck! Thanks for showing this!!, but this blog is dangerous reading! I now find myself wanting an Elna Grasshopper!! How did that happen?? Wonderful industrial design though and I really like how they reduced the wings of the 'adler' into mere lines. Super stylish!

    But I have to be realistic - I can't collects typewriters, desk-bound pencil sharpeners aaand sewing-machines. (By the way, and feel free to call me self-indulgent, I have my sights set on a 1960 Tippa; will report back.)

    1. Your enthusiasm is infectious :) Do give the Elna Grasshopper a try and let me know how it goes, perhaps you'll inspire me to bring one home soon!

      As for the '60s Tippa, I don't know if I would recommend it highly for typing, but the script typeface on this one makes me forgive all shortcomings. It is very small and portable, on par with a '50s Hermes Baby, so there is that too.

  3. Funny, what sewing machines are to you is exactly what vintage mod TVs are to me. I hope to score at least one but my typewriter wishlist stands in the way. ( :

    The ornate sewing machine in the last pic reminds me of a serpent. Unusual and beautiful.

    1. A bit more research indicates that the ornate sewing machine is a Jones Hand, and this model dates from 1890, most probably. And you will be pleased to learn that it is referred to as a "serpentine", "swan neck" or "cat back" design. Very graceful, and of course highly collectable!

  4. Just the other day I noticed that. It's amazing the amount of sewing machines that appear in online auctions here in Portugal. I even found one in which the seller was offering in the same set a typewriter and a sewing machine.

    And that Jone Hand it's just amazing. Beautiful design.

  5. Happily, I do not sew and am not inclined to become addicted to these machines (thank goodness).

    Having said that, those are very nice machines. The Helvetia is sleek and curvy. I saw a Bolex paillard 18-5 movie projector today with similar curves.

    The Jones Hand is amazing! My first thought was that it reminded me of the Chinese Year of the Dragon.


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