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Anker RZ


circa 1954

Anker-Werke A.G. Bielefeld

Straight stitch and Zig Zag, circa 1954 (the first of 3 Anker RZ machines in my collection)

I had been told by fellow collectors that this is an amazing machine, so when I found one at auction, I just knew I had to bid. With a low opening bid even the auctioneer undervalued this machine. There was one other bidder, but I still got this machine for a song.

Got it home and it was even more pristine than I had imagined. Its case had preserved it well over the last approx. 70 years.

The manual to this machine can be found here. This machine takes the semi-industrial round shank needle, the DBX1 needle system, you can find more information on needles on my VSM Needles page.

Every time I am looking for information on European machines that I find here in Australia, I check out this website, Naehmaschinenverzeichnis – Naehmaschinenverzeichnis it has a wealth of knowledge on so many machines. According to the review on this Anker it gets a 10 out of 10 rating due to its complete metal construction and workings.

Anker RZ deluxe with cams is a different machine all together and can be seen on the Anker RZ deluxe page.

Black Anker RZ (the 2nd Anker in my collection)

I found a second Anker RZ in a cow shed, for its story and pictures scroll right to the bottom of this page.

Green Anker RZ (the 3rd Anker in my collection)

To see more images of this Anker scroll down this page. This Anker came with a very interesting book on dismantling and assembling this machine. You can find a free copy of this pdf here. On my google drive.

Newspaper advertisement October 1954.

Anker RZ

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 – 1954), Sunday 10 October 1954, page 6

To see the entire ad, go to the National Archives

Newspaper advertisment July 1954

So it is available in green, black and grey. Would this be the RZ or an earlier straight stitch model?

Brisbane Telegraph (Qld. : 1948 – 1954), Monday 26 July 1954, page 26

26 Jul 1954 – Advertising – Trove (

Newspaper advertisement October 1954

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Thursday 7 October 1954, page 17

07 Oct 1954 – Advertising – Trove (

From another Australian collectors page, which at the time of writing this (June 2022) seems to be shutting down as no images were available, however the instruction book to the Black Anker RZ is available now on my drive here.

Anker Werke AG was one of several sewing machine manufacturers based at Bielefeld in Germany and their products were of exceptional quality. Strange is the fact that the designator ‘RZ’ was used for at least two seemingly unrelated models. Rudolf owns two very similar machines, a black one with Serial number 1591555 I and a green version Serial number 1682408 P. The former still has its original warranty certificate dated 17 January 1953. It was sold new at “Amsterdamsche Naaimachinehandel Lewenstein’ in Holland, which explains why the instructions booklet is in Dutch.

The only difference, apart from the colour, is that on the earlier machine, the needle position can be shifted from centre to right only, whereas in the later model it shifts to the left as well. This feature, together with the presser foot as a guide, makes for perfectly positioned seams.

SEWING MACHINES @, copyright © 2014 Rudolf Ramseyer

Anker RZ

My cow shed find

My second black machine.

In May 2022 I saw a sewing machine advertised on Facebook Marketplace. Only 2 pictures and like many advertisements only the back and side. They were asking $400. The machine looked rusty, but I could tell it was an Anker RZ. I watched the listing for over 2 months and slowly the price came down. When the seller was asking $50 I decided to give it a go and rescue the machine. These were the photos on the listing.

I drove into the country to collect the machine and it literally was in a dairy farm milking shed. I stepped past the large stainless steel vat of milk to retrieve the Anker. The black and white Friesian cows were all over the countryside. Unfortunately the machine was not as clean as the milk vat. The skeletons of two previous tenants (mice) were still in the base and the whole thing smells of stale milk and cow dung. Not sure if I will be able to save the base and case, it will go in the “future projects pile”. Some parts are rusted and will need a bit of cleaning, but all are superficial and replaceable or repairable. The machine is not seized and in time I hope it will sew nicely again, I did a test sew just by hand turning and everything seems to be working, true testament to these all metal solid machines. The Wernard motor needed rewiring and seems to be as strong as ever. Serial number 1690910, so a newer machine than my original Anker RZ.

I managed to clean this machine as best as I could. Unfortunately the corrosion in some areas is very bad. The lever to lower the feed dogs is rusted shut and that is beyond my skill level to fix. The machine does sew a good stitch, but I have not given it a proper run. It looks like this machine will be delegated to the “parts” pile. Such a pity, such a beautiful design.

Anker RZ green

Another beautiful machine, runs smoothly and has a perfect stitch. Straight and zig-zag.

This machine came with an interesting manual. Dismantling and reassembling the Anker-RZ Universal Zig-Zag Sewing Machine.