Dr. Ramon Casas Robert created a working example of the “Grasshopper” as early as 1934 and after being forced to move to Switzerland due to the Spanish Civil War, sold his patents to the Swiss manufacturing firm, Tavaro.
The first Elna left the factory in 1940 and estimates of their total production and sales vary widely over it’s 12 year run, it was supplanted by the Supermatic in 1952.
The design is pure genius, being made of cast aluminium it only weighs 7kg / (15 pounds) and is much lighter than the comparable Bernina 121. It is a rotary hook machine which makes it extremely smooth running, and the case converts to become a sewing table.
The machine packs up very well and is extremely secure in a case that has been likened to a military shell case.
I should note that Elna never called this machine a Grasshopper, this was a name coined by the many fans of this machine.
These machines make a beautiful stitch.
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