I am sure you have heard somebody refer to an old machine as a boat anchor. One time I was at a huge yard sale/flea market. This man was selling an old machine that was missing the needle plate and the boat shuttle and it was very rusted. It was UGLY! I figured if he was willing to sell it for $5 or $10 it could be cleaned up with a lot of work but then I would still need to buy the missing parts. When I asked the price he said $100!!! I told him there was no way he would get that much money for it. He insisted that an antique dealer would pay that much for it because it was old. That thing had been sitting in his garage for at least two years and I am sure a lot longer then that! It is probably still sitting there!
I was reading on Treadleon.net and one of the ladies shared a neat story that I wanted to share with you. Have you ever wondered where the term boat anchor came from? I thought it was used in jest.
Cyndi of M & M Quilting(long arm quilting), in Midland, VA shared this neat story:
"My little vintage machine collection has been attracting more attention than usual lately ... possibly because I've got a new acquisition (more of a project machine than I expected when I picked it up) opened up in my quilting studio and it invites a mini-tour. So a customer was talking about the old machines, and mentioned that many years ago she was stationed in the Solomon Islands, and when they had sewing machines that wouldn't work right, the guys would LITERALLY use them as anchors for small boats!!! I never would have guessed that the term actually had some history behind it! She said that after a while, a nurse wrote up a set of sewing machine maintenance instructions and copied them on a mimeograph machine, and distributed them around the different islands to stop the practice. Wonder how many sewing machine heads are sitting at the bottom of the South Pacific???"
What a sad end to a sewing machine! Remember that the majority of these old machines can be fixed, unlike these new fancy machines. The picture above was actually used on a boat in Fiji.
Have you heard anything about these old machines being used as boat anchors?