Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My newest acquisition - A D9

I know what you're thinking. Isn't a D9 a Caterpillar bulldozer? Well, yes it is, and I'm sure if you did an online search, the first photo to pop up would be a very large shiny yellow bulldozer. But I digress. This isn't a heavy equipment blog. Although Heavy Equipment Nut does have a nice ring to it. But I digress even further.

The D9 that is the subject of this blog is a Wheeler & Wilson from the early 20th century. There is a fair amount of information online regarding the W&W D9. One fact that I read is that it was about 1905 when W&W was bought out by Singer, so any W&W D9s were most likely produced prior to that date.

Here is mine:


This sewing machine has certainly been used, which is the way I like to see them. Their worn-ness takes my mind back to simpler times, such as is shown in a photo I have of my grandmother in 1937 sitting behind an old sewing machine doing some mending or sewing (quite possibly on my dad's trousers!).


 The pillar has a W with a 9 below it, so some have taken that to mean it is a W9. What was explained online though was that it is actually two Ws superimposed on top of each other, the initials of Wheeler & Wilson. Makes sense to me, and I'm sticking to it.

It is quite a plain machine. I read somewhere online that W&W didn't decorate the bed with decals because it would just wear off. And apparently back in the day, W&Ws were quite expensive.

This is a treadle machine, so there's no provision for installing a motor. I may mount this in a wood base and try and hook up a hand crank. Wouldn't that be cool!

There's just one small thing to remember, the hand wheel goes the opposite direction on a D9 than most every other sewing machine. It turns away from you, not towards you, when sewing.

Fortunately this machine came with everything it needs to operate properly (I hope!), such as the very oddball bobbin case and bobbin. I've heard that these bobbins have recently been referred to as Bagel Bobbins, due to their being shaped somewhat like..... wait for it............... a bagel. Oh, and it came with a needle, an oddball size needle. I've heard that you can grind down a 15x1 needle to make it work though.

 The medallion proudly declares these machines were made in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA.

One of the plates lists patent dates, the oldest being May 1, 1883 and the most recent being August 2, 1892. This serial number is 2584269.

It will be fun to clean this sewing machine up and see what it looks like under all the grime.

1 comment:

  1. my husband found a box at a garage sale with Wheeler and Wilson Sewing machines carved into the top. Very intricate carving and it had a push button closure. The inside was clean and had red velvet inside. I just vacuumed it and now it holds my sewing machine needles.

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