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Thread: Need help from all ya Vintage Treadle people!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Ok, so DH got me a vintage treadle for Mothers Day, of which I am just ecstatic about!!! LoL!
    I have been searching the net for over 4 hours trying to find out something about this one and am getting nowhere. :(
    I hope someone out there can help me out, even just a point in the right direction would be good at this point.. my head hurts!!
    It is a "New Automatic" treadle. It has not been adapted to use a motor and is missing a belt, as far as I can tell. It came with 4 bobbins, the long thin ones, and the shuttle is intact and had a bobbin still in it. From what I have been able to find, these machines were only manufactured under the name New Automatic from 1885 to 1897 in Rockford, IL. Then they moved to California and became The Free Sewing Machine Company. It did come with an instruction book(Looks like a reprint maybe, is too new looking for those years IMHO) that has this on the inside cover:
    Sewing Machine Factory
    Rockford, Illinois
    The serial number(?) on the back plate has C338438 stamped on it but under the flap on the side of the head, on the shaft that moves the needle(needle shaft?) it has stamped on it: PATAPPLFOR and C227 below it. I am assuming(prolly wrong) that it means Patent Applied For..? I think the C227 is maybe a model number..? That is all the printing or writing I have found on it anywhere. The decals are green, with maybe orange and gold or yellow. Is hard to tell as they are in bad shape. I really want to know just how old she is and where to get more info on her in order to get her running. The seller said the little old lady used it up until a year or 2 before she passed, there were 3 other various machines there as well. I have found all kinds of "goodies" in the drawers from over the years, flyers and advertisements, buttons, various trimmings, lots of old needles, a pin for a democratic candidate from ??, and even several pesos! LoL

    All closed up(my helper standing by)
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    opened up and looking ready
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    she's a little rough right now.
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    the serial plate??
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  2. #2
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I have no idea about the machine but she is a beauty!! I like the squareness of the cabinet drawers. And your helper is so cute!!! I have a helper who also has blond hair and blue eyes. Though some days, his help is not very helpful! LOL

  3. #3
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    Oh, I hear ya there Sherri!! Today is one of those very days with him. But, in his defense, he is sick right now. LoL! I love the whole look of it too, it is going in the dining room, right in front of the picture window.

  4. #4
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I love your machine

  5. #5
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    Thanks CraftyBear!
    I have been looking it over, yet again heehee!, and noticed that on the slide plate it has 3 lists. One says Number of Cotton, middle one says Size of Needle, and the 3rd one says Number of Silk. It was covered with some very thick tape, that's why I didn't notice it before. It is also missing a screw that holds on the side plate over the needle bar too. Hmm, where do ya guys find all your replacement doo-hickeys and whatnots anyways?

  6. #6
    Super Member Bonbonary's Avatar
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    http://www.ismacs.net/free/fly3.html
    http://www.ismacs.net/free/manuals/f..._ce_manual.pdf

    I found these sites. Not sure if they are exactly what you are looking for, but maybe it's a start. From the manual, it looks like C227 may be a part number (see page 22). These Rockford machines seem to have a similar cabinet and possibly similar treadle. But, I can't see the treadle design very clearly in your photo. Hope this is of help in getting you started on your search. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Bonbonary, checking them now.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Nice looking treadle you have there. How nice of hubby to get it for you! I suggest heading over to the VSMS area of our Quilting Board and post your query and pics in that thread. There are so many knowledgeable and friendly folks over there just ready to lend a hand. Just reply to the first post in this 1000 + page thread and I'm sure you'll soon learn some things about your new sewing machine.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-43881-1023.htm

    Best of luck to you,

  9. #9
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    After following Bonnie's links, I took a few more pics. That manual is similar but must be from later..? or earlier..? I took a better pic of the bottom of machine, is this the treadle part that wasn't clear earlier, or am I totally off on what ya was talking about? LoL, being new to this whole treadle thing is really showing right now, eh?

    The Instruction Book it came with
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    inside cover page
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    better pic of treadle(?) part
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  10. #10
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    Well, got her a good initial cleaning. Love the fact that ya can tear so much of it apart and really get in there. Still needs more thoroughly cleaned but, had to give a once over so I could play with her, ya know. ;-)
    We all decided on a name for her too, Black Betty. I love that song and somehow, it seems to fit. LoL! I got her all put back together and since it doesn't have the treadle belt, handcranked a few seams to see how she does. Tension all outta whack from cleaning so had to adjust, and adjust some more. But, the results are fabulous!! Now to find some leather laces to make a belt and some new needles, then I am off and running with her. Even got the initiation project ready to go. Having too much fun! :-)

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