Whatever the reason was, visitors to the Hanseatic city of Stralsund on the Baltic Sea can still notice that a shop that sold sewing machines once stood at the corner of Papenstraße and Filterstraße.
The spelling Maschiene, instead of the correct Maschine, is interesting. The word was borrowed in the 17th century from the French, machine, and Germanised with the addition of a 's' before the 'c'. By then it referred to engines used during a military siege. But where does the additional 'e' come from? One possibility is that, in parts of what would become Germany, it was inserted so the spelling corresponded to the correct pronounciation (with a long 'i'). Another, more fanciful explanation is that the word lost its purely military sense and became widely used when steam locomotives (Dampfmaschinen) appeared. As these machines go on rails (Schienen), some people erroneously combined the two into Maschienen.
Finally, this was not the only ghost sign there. Traces of an earlier one can still be seen but it is impossible to decipher it.
Location: Papenstraße, Stralsund, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern / Picture taken in May 2009