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What Does the Original Match Game Show Have to Do with Sewing Machines?

There are hundreds of old Match Game episodes available on YouTube, and they bring back such a nostalgic whimsy for me.

Rather than listen to the radio at times, I stream these old game shows while I'm working on vintage machines.

Imagine my surprise when one of my favorite topics helped a contestant win $2,500.

Wait for it... wait for it...

In 1974, that prize money had the buying power of $12,800! To think that those two little words might have led to a new car, a down payment for a house - so many possibilities in that bygone decade.

Also in 1974, if that winning contestant took her cash to buy a new sewing machine, desiring the peace of mind and driving power of a new all-metal, heirloom quality sewing machine, she would have had to seek existing stock from pre-1970 models. I've heard that inventory of Featherweights did indeed still exist into the 1970s, but I have no verification of that. She would have easily afforded a new model with narrow nylon gears that would become brittle with time, and that machine would likely be insignificant if not complete junk today. Hopefully she would have bought a pre-70 used machine and handed it down to a daughter or granddaughter.

One of the most interesting vintage machines in my opinion is a 1970 model and one of the last of an era: the Kenmore 158-1030. If you find one today, it's a very light, practical alternative to the Featherweight for travel - and it has a zigzag feature and dropping feed dogs. Have a look:

But back to Match Game... there is a new version on television, and host Alec Baldwin does a good job capturing the tone of the original show. But for me, today's celebrities will never quite live up to the zaniness of the stars of original Match Game - just as modern machines will never live up to the profound lasting power of pre-1970s all-metal machines, even with all their bells and whistles.

Note: In the first paragraph above, I linked to the 1974 episodes. You can find a playlist of each year by searching YouTube for "Match Game 74 episodes," "Match Game 75 episodes," etc.

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