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Does anyone out there know anything about an antique sewing machine from the 1860's called a Winselmann. It is also called a coffin top. It was made in Germany, but none were ever sold outside of that country. Thanks any answers will be appreciated.
By julielouise from Kamloops, British Columbia
Hang on-having trouble keying in a link between wiping the drool off the keyboard:) Oh that is an absolutely gorgeous machine!
Historical note, the cover is also known as a casket lid top. Gruesome, no?
OK, done drooling for now, lol! Try these links to find out more about your beautiful piece of sewing history:
Careful now, those links are the starting point of the most fascinating obsession! I have nine vintage and one genuine antique-all sewing merrily along except the antique.
The machines (Singers and one Jones) are easy finds at jumble and boot sales, charity shops, and all over the 'Net, but I have never seen a coffin top Winselmann in person. A number of pioneer women brought their machines to North America with them, yours must be one of those. They are rarer of course to find in Canada and the US, most machines there (as here in the UK) are Singers and Jones.
From the looks of the Winselmann in your photograph, it is in amazing condition! I would have to see the machine under the coffin top to be sure, but the parts that can be seen look 'mint', and that's usually the most neglected area of an antique or vintage sewing machine. So it's fairly safe to believe the machine is more than likely in equal condition-ready to sew on right now, that belt looks brand new! It's just gorgeous-hang off, wiping up more drool...
If you own it, could you post a picture of the machine without the coffin top? You really might be able to sew with this lovely and gracious lady depending on the type of bobbin and needles it uses-a picture of the machine is how anyone would identify the machine, advise on value, and sew-ability as regards parts availability. If the parts are hard to find, it's an amazingly beautiful antique for display (I have an 1898 hand crank coffin top Singer Vibrating Shuttle 28 on display in my workroom, but I don't use it to sew because the bullet bobbins are a little more expensive and hard to find)
Parts are usually easy to find for this age machine, it's the bobbins and needles that might prove harder to find. The user manuals are usually easy to find as well-unless you've got one that is accompanied by it's manual and attachments-the 'mother lode' find in the antique and vintage sewing machine world surpassed only by the original sales receipt and other user historical artifacts like a drawer full of sewing notions and hand written notes:)
Nuts, more drool! Sorry, can you tell I am a real affectionado?
I have a 1867 approximate, Winselmann treadle coffin top sewing machine that was made in Germany. I am not sure if it was ever imported to Canada. There is no info available on the internet for this machine.
By julie from Canada
I've never heard of this machine but then I am a vintage and antique Singer user. I've found a lot of fantastic information on mine at ISMACS and treadleon, and I know they have information on other brands of these wonderful machines. Use the search features, and contact info-they do accept questions on machines:
I've also found a lot of good information on this site:
Be warned, lol, researching a vintage or antique sewing machine becomes an addiction very quickly!
I have an almost exact twin to this machine and have no idea as to it's value.
I think this is Herman Koehler from late 1890, I have one which was my grandmothers, seem to be identical except mine is handdriven
Thanx for the info. But unfortunitly none have much on Winselmann machines.
Thanks for your input.
I have a Winselmann almost identical as Julie's, posted above.
The decals on mine are not quite as good.
I bought this machine at swap meet over 50 years ago. I kept it all these years mainly because of the inlayed mother of pearl.
Can you tell me where I might find more information on this machine.?
What a beautiful Winselmann!
I have almost the same machine, but your decals are in better shape.
I have been searching about two days trying to find anything when I stumbled on this site.
I'll kept searching and will post here if I find something.
Not a lot about Winselmann but it tell how they were established etc. Extremely interesting site, plenty of information but beware it doesn't start you getting addicted to other machines!
I have a Winselmann 1 hand sewing machine 1868. It is in excellent condition.
This one is from 1910 and they are asking $321.50. www.ebay.com/
That's interesting because according to this Winselmann did not really become a company until after 1868 "Gustav Winselmann & Herman Köhler started manufacturing sewing machines in Altenberg, Germany in 1877 having seperated from L.O. Dietrich.
In 1892 Winselmann formed his own company and by 1913 had produced a one million sewing machines of various types. In 1902 the company became a limited liability company (GmbH) and used the brand name Titan which appears on many of its machines. The firm closed at the end of the Second World War."
The other special thing about these machines is they were manufactured to be smaller (3/4 less) than ther machines
Perhaps someone from this site can help you figure out a value. ismacs.net/
I haven't used the site myself to ask a question. I like it to read about the machines I see in my travels.
I am curious to hear what you find out as I am interested in learning more about non-us made machines.
Please share what you learn and a photo!! Thanks!!
I have an antique Kohler Winselmann sewing machine and would like to learn more about it. The whole machine is solid cast iron. The machine base has hinges connecting it to the top part. The upper part can be tilted back; perhaps to be able to work on the internal mechanism.
I have found one picture of the machine online, but I cannot find anything else. Most of the machines I see manufactured by them seem to be much more technologically advanced. I am very curious about when the machine was manufactured, and anything anyone can tell me.
There isn't a lot of info out there (especially in the US) on Kohler-Winselmann machines, but this site does have some info:
Click around on the top navigation bar too, for the German rooms and for Kohler.
I am a vintage and antique Singer user. I've found a lot of fantastic information on mine at ISMACS and Treadleon-they have information on other brands of wonderful antique and vintage machines. Use the search features, and contact info-they do accept questions on machines:
I've also found a lot of good information on this site:
Be warned, lol, researching a vintage or antique sewing machine becomes an addiction very quickly! Try the search term:
kohler-winselmann sewing machines uk
Your machine was likely brought to the US by a pioneer family (it looks to be in the 1850s to 1870s manufacturing range era), or by a war bride of either of the two world wars. These machines were treasured, valued companions by families and new brides on immigrating to the US.
I have several pre-WWI Singers that were in use right up to as recently as last year; I have several that are in use right now in my sewing school. When I lived in the US I often found Singer, Howe, and the very occasional K-W machines that had been brought to the US by brides in the later years of the 19th century from all over Europe and the UK.
Here in the UK, nearly every family has at least one hand crank or treadle dating back to the late 19th century, and most of those were wedding gifts to a newly married couple just starting out in life.
Thank you so much for the information!
Old machines are certainly an addiction!
After really searching I have found a bit of info. about my Winselmann and have done a preservation restoration on the old gal.
I think she takes a 13x1 needle and I'm still searching. I managed to sew her off with a needle but the shank is a smidge too thick, but she still sewed.
As I posted before the machine is very similar to the one Julie posted above.
Will continue to post as I find out more, if any one is interested.
Someone asked about value. I would guess my machine would fetch between $ 300 to 400. Beauty and price is in the eye of the beholder. I think my machine is priceless because of the joy and satisfaction she provides!!