This from the Baby Lock website.
Baby Lock got its start when a group of engineers in Japan took a chance on a new product. It was a smaller version of an industrial overlock machine or a "baby lock". A St. Louis-based, family-owned company saw the benefit of this new machine, and brought it to the United States. This marked the introduction of the first home serger in the U.S. market.
They don't give a year, but I know it was in the mid 60's, so this photo above could be a photo of their first model. I remember the buzz about this new machine when I was in my teens which was about that time. Juki was the next company that sold sergers to the home sewer and that was in the mid-70's.
This website has the best history of the serger I've found. Sew Vac Outlet.
I don't do everything possible with a serger, but I'm in the "I couldn't live without one" camp.
Read some testimonials here.
It's the easiest way to hem chiffon, especially if it is a circular hem and it instantly makes the inside of a garment look clean and neat.
I finish my seams with a serger 90% of the time, but a serged seam can be too heavy for certain fabrics and will make an ugly shadow or impression on the outside of a garment over the seam when pressed. Just want to be honest ... as with all things it isn't perfect.
The trickiest thing, I think, is threading. At least it isn't as hard as threading an industrial serger like I show in yesterday's blog.
I'm posting a good Youtube video about the basics of a serger and how to thread one. BUT, this just for one brand. You really need to read the manual and get to know your machine. There might a Youtube video for your specific model. For my first two sergers, I asked someone at the store to thread it for me, before I left the store. Then, to change the thread, I used the tie and pull method I talked about in yesterday's blog.
I now can thread my machines from scratch, but do it as infrequently as possible.