I currently have four sewing machines. For the last 10 years or so, I've been using a very basic model, no bells or whistles, one of the ones you buy at a big box store for around $100. It's a Euro-Pro and I've only had it fixed once. (And for years, I was using it nearly everyday.)
The first machine I learned to sew on was my Grandma's Singer. It's probably from the eighties and sits under my sewing table as a back-up. A couple years ago a friend gave me a vintage New Home machine that is nestled in a small cabinet. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
The fourth, the one I want to share here today, is a Singer from the '50s. It originally belonged to my Grandmother's cousin, who we called Tante Emmy, who had helped my Grandparents when they first came to America. She handed it down to my Mother who then gave it to me. I was a child when Tante Emmy passed away, so I have many memories of this machine cabinet shuffling around different rooms in our home over the years, holding TVs, house plants, various knickknacks and picture frames. For a brief while, it was my desk. I remember scraping bits of the finish off the top with my nails and the smell when I opened the drawers. In the top drawer, a collection of attachments and a built-in bobbin holder amused me and then there was a bag of oh-so-eighties teddy bear fabric and a couple patterns in the bottom drawer, leftover from outfits my Mom had made for my twin and I as toddlers.
The last time I tried using this machine was years ago and, while it started up and ran, it didn't catch the bottom thread. Someday, I'd love to experiment and experience using it to actually make things, but for now, it's sentimental worth and beauty is enough.
PS: I've been inspired to sew again lately and am spending a bit of time in my studio working on a few projects.