Saturday, March 20, 2010

Treadle Machine Excitement.

Here are some dodgy pictures of the Singer treadle machine I picked up for $85 at a Bazaar (my favourite store in the world) a month ago. Both sets of grandparents gave me a bit of money for my 18th birthday almost a year and a half ago, so they're pretty happy I've finally spent it (the easel in the background is something else I bought with the money).

They dated it between 1908 - 1910, although I think it's about 20 years younger than that. I'm actually having tremendous trouble dating my machine, because old Singers are not stamped with their model number. The only thing to work from is the serial number and the manual. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a manual and the serial number only reveals the date of manufacture, not the model:

Here's a shortened version of the steps I've gone through during the uni holidays:
- Researched serial number. EA numbers aren't to be found anywhere. Excited that I may have a rare machine.
- Excited no more. Finally found a Singer site that said they were made in Clydebank, Scotland in 1935. Seems likely, as the cabinet has thistles all over it. Start to feel a little ill. The last highschool I went to was called Scots and it's emblem was a thistle.
- Checked out this site. Am thinking it is a 15-30 model. Have now forgotten the cabinet reminds me of highschool.
- Scanned a few (I mean a million) other sites. Yes, it looks very much like a 15-30.
- Looked at a 15-30 manual. The diagrams match the machine exactly. Feeling quite pleased with myself.
- Found manufacturing dates of the 15-30. They were not manufactured after 1933. *#&%!... Back to square one.
- Repeat these steps a gagillion times.
- Find an amazing site filled with old machine diagrams. One looks like mine!
- Move back to college. Forgot to write the amazing site's address down.
- So far spent 2.5hrs searching for amazing site. Cannot find amazing site. Starting to think I should study.
- Open chemistry book.
- Chemistry is boring. Close chemistry book, and resume searching for amazing site again.

There is still hope, as I have had some success with the cabinet on the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society site! Here it is - Cabinet Table No. 6 for 15-30s, 66-1s, 115-1s & 127-3s, complete with thistle embossing and 7 drawers! Maybe it is a 15-30 after all...or maybe it's been placed in a different cabinet.

My treadle stand is a bit prettier though :) The 7th drawer is a little tilting thing you can see here. Pretty cute!

Structurally, I believe the cabinet is in pretty good condition. A few little things to fix up - as you can probably see, the tilting draw has a join that needs mending. The silky oak veneer top is in pretty atrocious condition; it looks like it has spent some time in the weather! Some people have very shiny, varnished versions of this cabinet. Ultra-shiny furniture isn't really my thing - I like the simpleness of my cabinet. The machine itself is beautiful, thankfully. I haven't gotten it to sew properly yet (a few tensioning issues), but it does move the fabric through as I turn the wheel and it hasn't made any bad sounds since I oiled it. The decals are a little worn and the paint is chipped in a few places, but I think this gives it a bit of character.

Easter isn't too far away, so I can't wait to get back home and polish it up! I'll need to order a treadle belt, and a new bobbin winder ring (the perished black rubber ring that sits parallel to the wheel).

Have a look at these wonderfully bizarre attachments that came with the machine...

They've been much easier to date than the machine itself! There are two feet on the top right - not sure what they're for yet, because they aren't labeled. Now I can't quite remember which is which, but I know I have a tucker, an adjustable hemmer and a binder. The biggest gadget in the middle and the bracket-looking thing on the bottom left are unlabeled as well. I have a feeling the bracket is not actually for the machine...

Wow, long post. But I'm so excited! I'm pretty confident I can get it working, and it'll make a beautiful piece of furniture as well. If anyone knows anything about treadle machines, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you :)

On a completely unrelated note, I drew 3 pigs last night. A quick search revealed to me that several other people had called their pigs 'Beardy' like I had. Astonishingly, only one of these pigs actually has a beard.

1 comment:

  1. I have an old sewing machine like yours, I'll have to check my model number and ask my Dad what year it is from.