The first models were hand crank - imagine! Also, they are beautifully made, just look at those scrollwork details. They sure don't make them like that anymore. It was funny how as we progressed in time the machines got less ornate then finally (in the 70s) were transitioned totally to plastic boxes. Sigh.
The old models had such inventive names like 'Sewmaster de luxe'. Singer recently came out with an anniversary machine that looks something like this one.
See that ad in the background? J&P Coats thread! I love the bird -- no ads like that for sewing supplies anymore.
Further down we saw these adorable little toy machines. The banner in the background is precious: "Sewing without Mother's help" (who would want to?!). They were probably no bigger than an iPad in footprint - pretty small!
And look at these notion holders! Oh my gosh they're cute. I guess I'd have to get past the notion of it looking like stabbing a bird in the head with scissors... but they really are quite inventive.
One last thing to share: "The Wonderful McDowell Garment Drafting Machine". The idea is that based on someone's measurements you can adjust all the bars by loosening screws keeping them in place, and then be able to cut out a pattern that will be custom fit for them. How cool.
I'm not sure how much longer this exhibit will be up in the airport, but if you come through SFO I'd recommend taking the time to look at all the neat things on display.