"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boat Anchors

Image Source

  • Boat Anchor - Sewing machine a little past recovery (http://www.treadleon.net/glossary.html)

    • 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?



      Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

      Hmmm interesting story. I have seen them used as planters, the treadle bottoms used in gardens, and so many people using them to make tables.

      Kathy Felsted Usher said...

      I would not have thought of an anchor but I suppose if you are a fisherman in need of an anchor you would use whatever was around. Isn't it funny how people think their old stuff is worth so much more than it is? The opposite too. When I was working the church rummage sale, where everything was dirt cheap, people would try to talk you down on price. I'm not sure many things were more than a couple of dollars to begin with, maybe $5 if it was really something special. I got an entire box of fabric for $2.50!

      Kathleen said...

      Well, for the boat anchor part, maybe desperate times called for desperate measures? As far as $100 for rust and missing parts, yeah, that guy still owns that machine!

      donna said...

      People do say that about different things that are heavy, but I never heard that about an old sewing machine. I just bought one at a garage sale for $17.00. SQUEEAL!

      Quilter Kathy said...

      I have heard Bonnie Hunter use that term for old machines that were not able to be used and were completely seized up or missing vital parts. They are heavy, so I guess they would be good for an anchor :)

      "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8