Monday, August 27, 2007

1886 Treadle Sewing Machine



I made a purchase this weekend : an antique treadle sewing machine in a 5-drawer cabinet. Nostalgia got the best of me. I've been thinking about Great Gramma's old machine that was around when I was a kid, but has since disappeared. That machine was the neatest thing to me as a kid :
* The treasures in the drawers (including Juicy Fruit Gum)
* Various and very strange feet
* The Treadle, moving parts
* The machine appearing and disappearing into the cabinet--like MAGIC

I'm not the only one fascinated with the mechanisms of this machinery : Oliver has also taken an interest in helping me oil and polish it. He also thinks it's pretty cool to open the lid and see that machine appear and retreat--not to mention working the treadle!

Sue Breier (The It's-a-Wrap Lady) is in my Quilt Guild. She just bought a Featherwight. She happened to mention to me that one of the local antique stores had an old treadle machine ... So I went to take a look, went home and slept on it, tried to figure out where I'd put it in our packed house. I went back the next day to purchase it. Sometimes, you just have to ask yourself, "Would I feel bad about letting this get away?" Yes, I decided ... I wanted to have a treadle in my life again.

I don't expect to actually use this old machine. I've got it too good with the modern sewing machines with auto tension, etc. I suspect, I'd be pretty frustrated with this puppy as a working sewing machine (Yeah--ask me about it when the lights go out!) It does need a drive belt, but other than that, the parts seem to be in decent working order, running smoothly. Maybe I'll try a small project--just to say that I did it!

At first, I thought it might be a Singer (They were everywhere, right?), but I need to do a little more research on the make and model. Although it had most of a manual, it was missing a few pages. Though it has beautiful decals, there doesn't seem to be a manuafacturer on it where the "Singer" always sits across the top ... Is this a copy of the Singer VS#2?

Nice decals around the base ... This is the view from the top

It's a beauty! Anybody know what I've got?
Here's what I know so far (testament to watching Antiques Road Show and History Detectives on PBS) :
National Sewing Company used to make generic machines that anyone could slap a brand onto (Sears, Montgomery Ward, etc.) That might explain why there is a noticeable LACK of a label or decal across the top.

The removable bobbin plate cover says "Patented November 30, 1886" but it doesn't say by who ...
Under the bobbin plate is what may be a serial number : 1287755
It seems to be a vibrating shuttle #2 type of machine. It has a long bobbin.

If you know anything about this machine, please leave a comment ...

5 comments:

crzzycindy said...

I have one from the same year and mine is a singer. I am pretty sure yours is too. Mine belonged to my great grandmother and I do use it. I remember my granny making cloths and quilts with this machine. I had a one my grandfather gave me that had a box wood lid that fit over the machine. I owed my stepfather fifty dollars and he took it to hold till I paid. I got the money and when I went to get the only thing my grandfather ever gave me it was gone. He had taken it to a friends house and she sold it. I have never gotten over it and I still want it back. My stepfather has since passed and he was paid back. When my Aunt gave me her moms I was so thrilled and yet still want the other one too. It is somewhere in Ohio and I hope whom ever bought it they love it as much as I did. I sew with mine still and I have new machines. I use them all. I also have the original book with my 1886. Aren't they just the greatest machines, keeps your legs moving and is good for circulation.
Cynthia

jessica said...

i have one with the same patent Nov 30 1886 but mines a Montgomery ward i found at a yard sale

Elizabeth said...

The flowers and gold medallion look like an "Eldridge" treadle machine, though the foot pedal even from 1886's are usually marked "Eldridge". Look up the Eldridge "B" sewing machine and compare.

Quilter Emily said...

It is a badged national.
I have several of them.

Michael Rossman said...

Hello;
I recently purchased one with the same Pat. date of Nov. 30, 1886.

I beleive the serial number is M044125 but on the side of the machine it reads "Duplex". There is no markings on top of the machine.

My base has seven drawers, 3 on each side and one in the middle. The foot peddle has no markings on it.

Does anyone know what the proper model and manufacture is?

Thank you;