Its a 1960 Singer Sewing Machine Buttonholer. All of the parts and the instruction manual are contained in the space ship shaped plastic case.
The story of where he got it is interesting. We have been driving by an old building down the road that was leaning precariously for years, kind of like the leaning tower of Pisa. Recently the building finally fell. When the area was cleared, this Singer buttonholer was found in the rubble of that building.
I got a chuckle when I read the first page of the instruction book!
"This attachment is intended for use on SINGER Family Sewing Machines and makes straight and keyhole buttonholes in a great variety of fabrics without any special skill on the part of the operator. The buttonholes are produced automatically in a fraction of the time required for hand work."
That's exactly what I need! A sewing gadget that requires NO SPECIAL SKILL ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR! LOL
My Grandmother's antique treadle machine is not a Singer. Also, I think the buttonholer would be too modern to work on it, even if it were a Singer.
My vintage 70s Singer machine would be too modern for the buttonholer and I already have the one that fits it. I've never used it, however. I just never took the time to learn to use it.
But you never know. With my love of collecting things, I may acquire a Singer Sewing machine that this buttonholer will fit. For now though, its an interesting piece of vintage sewing machine history and conversation piece.