Zig zag sewing machine with pattern cams.
Circa 1959- 1961
Flatbed version. (Also, can be found as a freearm 388F)
Anker-Phoenix A.G. Bielefeld
According to the Fiddlebase website the Anker history in the 1950s and 60s was….
In 1958 a subsidiary company was formed called Anker Nähmaschinen A.G.
In 1959 Anker-Nähmaschinen AG merged with Phoenix-Nähmaschinen A.G.
How it came to me and condition.
I found this machine advertised locally and left it for a few weeks. For a small cost and right in the Melbourne suburbs, I thought it would be snapped up quickly. After two weeks and still on the market, I decided it best come home with me for safe keeping. I really do have enough machines, but I had not seen this model before. The cams where worth the asking price easily, so it was a no brainer. I already have a few Anker machines and Phoenix machines and they are all amazing machines, so this machine which is a combination of those two factories did not disappoint. It is a heavy strong beast. It does however have a few Nylon “plastic” parts, including a gear, but from what I can see, nothing is cracked. This machine was produced right at the end of the “golden” age of sewing machines. More plastic was being added and soon after electronic components would be added.
More information can be found at Phoenix – Naehmaschinenverzeichnis, otherwise there is still very little about this machine online. The German forums have some information, such as Nähmaschinentechnik-Forum (naehmaschinentechnik-forum.de). There was also a Anker Automatic “383” FFZ-A BR released which is the same as the Phoenix 383, you can see a freearm version of that on the Anker – Naehmaschinenverzeichnis page. These two machines are very similar in appearance to the 388 with the large central cam selection dial. It is possible there are Anker 388 machines out there, but I am not certain.
Impressions and its cams.
Unfortunately, it did not come with a manual, but I have since located a PDF copy online, which you can download from here for free. The dials are quite complicated, but I have figured out how to remove the cams. 5 cams in total and they are big and robust. I’ve not seen any others like these. They are forward mounted which is a great improvement on the Phoenix 283 which has them mounted from the back and when you have a motor attached it can be tricky to change cams. It has a lift of lid, in some ways similar to the Anker Deluxe.
The motor and pedal that came with the machine are unknown to me, but they do look original, I have removed them, rather than rewire. I attached a temporary motor and was able to get a few stitches working. Everything is turning smoothly and there is no corrosion. In time I hope to add a Wernard motor and pedal. I had read that the paint work on these machines is not as good as some of the older machines and that is true of this machine. It has obviously been used well and shows signs of that use.
I am very grateful to the contributors at the FB group Sewing Machine Service and Owners Manuals | Facebook for helping me locate a copy of this manual.
The instruction manual, in German, for this machine can be downloaded for free from my google drive, you can download it from this link.
The instruction manual for this machine in English can be found here for free download.
Images of the manual as well as other images found online.
This machine is now no longer in my collection, it has gone to someone who will be able to use and cherish it.