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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.

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.

There is also a Forest Green Anker RZ out there with gold decals, but I do not own that machine. If you see one, it is rather striking in colour.

Free PDF sewing machine manuals, parts lists and dismantling guides.

On my google drive you can find free sewing machine manuals for download as PDF. Below are listed a couple of the Anker links, but if you go to my drive you will find more there under Anker RZ.

Anker RZ Instruction book can be found here for free download.

Anker RZ Parts list can be found here for free download. (in German)

Anker RZ Dismantling and reassembling Manual can be found here for free download.

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 (

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.