Wartheim Class 12What I've been able to find out so far:
Purchased from another collector...
...this German built Class 12 is in aged...
...but overall great condition!
This is a "Transverse Shuttle" type machine.
The previous owner imported the handcrank from England.
Underside shows how the shuttle moves in a straight line longitudinally.
The crank handle needed to have its hole re-tapped.
This photo, courtesy of The Needlebar, shows a better preserved version with a slightly different bobbin winder.
The "Boat" style shuttle on its side.
Ejects automatically when the slide plate is pulled!
Top view, boat shuttle. Simple but effective!
I had been wanting a class 12 for some time, so when this one was made available to me at a very attractive price from a fellow collector, I jumped on it! Class 12s are quite rare in North America, and thus are usually very expensive. They're "common as dirt" in Great Britain and Europe, and usually quite affordable, but of course shipping one here raises the price! My main collecting interests lie with electric machines newer than this one - but I was drawn to it because of its beauty. Anything much older starts getting into what I call the "primitive" variety of Sewing Machine: very expensive, definitely cool, but not my interest.
This machine was originally treadled, which in itself is uncommon - handcranks are far more common in Europe with few treadles, its vice-versa here in the US. The previous owner had found an original hand crank in England, and had affixed it to this machine.
This is technically a "High Arm" Class 12 (there is a "Low Arm" as well), and was built sometime between 1895 and 1910 according to the guy I bought it from - who knows far more about these machines than I do! It uses, of course, "Class 12" needles (12x1) - these machines were made by Singer and a number of European companies of which "Wartheim" was German. The longitudinally moving "Transverse" shuttle fell out of favor relatively quickly, replaced by the "Vibrating" shuttle (See the Reversew Rex and the Expert B.T. for two examples of that style.). There was also a "Reciprocating" shuttle where the shuttle moved in a straight line like it does on this machine, but athwart the machine like a "Vibrating" shuttle does.
As can be seen from the above pictures, the shuttle ejects automatically when the slide plate is retracted. In addition, the slide plate closes itself when the machine starts moving - typical German attention to detail. The slide plates are quite thick, and made of a very good grade of steel.
Cleanup is still not complete on this machine, the upper thread tension assembly is stuck. However, the machine turns over very smoothly and very quietly. More to come...