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I have a thing for machines. Yes, I do. I don't know what you'd call it, specifically. I've been told it's an addiction. For me, it's a feeling derived from rescuing something beautifully made that speaks to you. I tell myself it satisfies my love and respect for the provenance of objects, history of product design, stories of corporate power, and the rise of industry, empowering women and changing the world. There's no one reason here.
I've been sewing since I was twelve, but I've also been tearing apart objects since I was younger than that. I was a puzzle person growing up. Playing with dolls was fun but designing and making their clothes and setting up their environments was even more exciting to me. Show me something complete, I will deconstruct it in my mind. Show me something deconstructed, I will see constructed. Solving the puzzle solved the problem. This mindset prepped me for being a maker and a fixer.
The corporate history of Singer Manufacturing Co. is extraordinary. Much like Apple Computer of the current generation, they really did change the world one product at a time. One can argue this could have been for better or worse, but that's not my point here. We are fortunate enough to have these beauties passed down from generation to generation, stored in garages and barns, once coveted objects in a home that cost several months' worth of salaries and displayed as trophy status in living rooms. They were valued, and not just due to their cost. They could do something extraordinary and we're not just talking stitches here. They were empowering pieces of machinery for women, designed to be maintained with minimal mechanical knowledge. In short, they were ultimately liberating. What company can claim that market for the liberation of women today?
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