Graybar Sewing Machines
Graybar Sewing Machines are vintage sewing machines produced by the American Graybar Electric Company from the 1920s-40s.
Background and Description
The Graybar Electric Company was created in 1925 as an offshoot of Western Electric, in order to reorganise the company so that it could be sold. Three years later, Graybar’s employees bought out the rest of the company.
The 1930s saw Graybar developing certain products for sale, in particular the Graybar Sewing Machine. This, among other products, influenced the huge expansion of Graybar from then onwards.
There were various types of Graybar sewing machine produced, including the Rotary Portable with built-in motor, the Cabinet type machines, the Two Spool Portable which revolutionised sewing machines by using two spools instead of one spool and a bobbin, and the Console type machines. These generally came with walnut veneer cabinets with locking covers, and were considered beautiful pieces of furniture as well as useful household appliances.
Graybar sewing machines have the Graybar logo on the side.
Collecting Graybar Sewing Machines
These machines were built to last and many remain fully functional, with the foot pedals and power cords still present.
Many machines were produced by the National Sewing Machine Company, and sold as Graybars. It may require some detective work to ascertain whether a machine is a Graybar made and sold by Graybar, or a National Sewing Machine Company made Graybar. These generally have a NSMCO plate attached.
The machines are more valuable if they retain their original wood veneer carrying cases or cabinets. Accessories such as instruction manuals are also considered collectible.
The older the machine, generally, the more valuable. Those among the first produced are extremely sought-after.
They generally sell for anything between $50 to a $300 on auction sites such as eBay.