The vintage Elna oil cans

Picture of vintage Elna sewing machine oilcansIn case you’re not familiar with them, that’s a picture of the two oilcans which were originally supplied with Grasshoppers, alongside a standard spool of Gütermann thread.  And just in case the size comparison is meaningless because you’re not a Gütermann user, I’d better say that they stand 12.5cm tall to the top of those screw-on caps.  Or, if you prefer, 5 inches.

As you can see, one is black and the other is green.  And this is where life gets complicated, because one is for oil and the other is for kerosene.  That’s what it says in the Parts List.  It doesn’t say which is which though, so maybe that was left up to the purchaser.

The green one in that picture has definitely had sewing machine oil in it.  What the black one had in it, I have no idea.  I can’t unscrew the top because whatever was in it has gummed it firmly in place, but I can take the cap off the nozzle and take a sniff.  It smells remarkably like eucalyptus oil, but it can’t be.  OK, maybe it could, but it shouldn’t.

Whatever, we are now on the verge of getting into the vexed question of what to lubricate the shuttle race of a Grasshopper with, and that’s a topic which undoubtedly warrants a post all of its own.

I’ll do it next week.

Meanwhile, if you happen to have a pair of these oil cans for sale, or indeed if you’re after a pair, do let me know and I’ll put something appropriate on the for sale and wanted page.

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