Kuranda Library was lucky to host an interactive display of antique Singer sewing machines during the months of March and April. The selection of rare and more common sewing machines included an 1887 model 12, Singer’s first domestic sewing machine, an 1887 Singer 24 industrial sewing machine, as well as a variety of toy, hand crank, treadles and knee operated electric sewing machines.
Staff encouraged visitors to come in and try using the different machines, while explaining the history behind each machine and what made that particular machine unusual. The staff in turn, heard many different and interesting stories from our customers about their memories, or memories of their mothers and grandmothers using similar machines to sew clothes and wedding dresses in the past. Children were also fascinated with using the machines and learning how they worked. A few children were creative, making simple bags and using the machines to ‘sew’ their names. The local kindergarten group visited and were excited to ‘use their muscles’ to operate the machines rather than using a power cord to plug them into electricity.
Through advertising in the local papers, Facebook and word of mouth, people came from far and wide with a total of four hundred and eighty-six people coming to the library purely to interact with the display. Considering that Kuranda Library is a small library, in a small village, these numbers were quite amazing! It was wonderful way to encourage people to come and discover the library and what we have to offer.
It was wonderful to be able to host such a popular and nostalgic display, which showed a little glimpse of the past.