I spent some time on the internet researching the machine I saw Friday in the thrift shop outside Paris...this one.
I know nothing about vintage machines...but this looked like it was in good condition (along with a beautiful wooden case) for about $140 U.S. Here's what I discovered.
From my photo, I was able to see the serial number and find out the model is a 15-91, gear driven (no belt) workhorse that was manufactured starting in 1935. It was called a farm wife's best friend in one article I read. It can sew very heavy fabrics and fine ones too. This one was made in Bonnieres, France. This model was manufactured into the 1950s but I don't know the exact year this machine was made. I found out from Christelle, France used 110V up until 1955 which is why the machine has the familiar plug. But I also read online that most often these machines require rewiring since wires only last so long.
This machine was produced in great quantities so they are fairly common and this price is not a "deal." Like everything, the value is based on what a person is willing to pay! My current plan is to try and look at it again, if it is still available, when Christelle and I are on another adventure. She has a little collection of vintage machines and knows better than me what to look for so I would like her to come along to check it out a little further.
The machine weighs 29 pounds so I will need to get a trolley to drag it back to my apartment.
Here's an update on Christelle's Featherweight. Once plugged in the machine won't stop running! It might need a new foot pedal. The good news is there is a quilt shop in Paris that has a machine tech who is there on Tuesdays. I visited and blogged about this shop last year, Ines. And, as luck would have it, the thrift shop with the Singer 15-91, is open on Tuesdays. You can see...another Christelle and Debbie adventure is about to begin.