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Thread: Need help from all ya Vintage Treadle people!

  1. #1
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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! :-)

  11. #11
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    it's beautiful. congrats.

  12. #12
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    I have a New Automatic treadle machine that belonged to my grandmother. My husband serviced it for me a couple of years ago and I have just now undertaken to learn to use it. (I found this post as I sought info and joined the Quilting Board in order to participate, even though the conversation is now a year old.) The last patent pending date on my machine is 1913. I don't know how my grandmother obtained the machine, but she used it until the '50s. (A farmer's wife, she never had electricity in her home.) I can tell she used it a lot. I have a manual and a box of attachments that I think is out of this world. Yesterday I threaded the machine for the first time and struggled until the realized that I had to pull the thread firmly between the tension discs. Now I'm off and treadling (I hope!).

  13. #13
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    Good luck to you! Don't have a treadle--always wanted one--think they're cool, but no room for one and anymore I'm too lazy to peddle, and too spoiled with new-machine features. Have fun with yours!

  14. #14
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    Your machine looks to be in very good shape. The cabinet looks new. Hope you get her up and running without too much trouble. Your DH is good to you!! And your "helper" is a doll.
    Sue

  15. #15
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    You can use a couple different things for a treadle belt until you get one. A pair of panty hose (legs only) stretched and tied will sometimes work. If they will run a fan belt in a car... You can also use clear aquarium tubing 1/4 inch diameter and a nylon connector that can be bought in the plumbing dept at lowe's. This one I know for a fact works because I've seen it done. You'll need 6 feet of hose. trim it to fit.

  16. #16
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    They are so much fun. I have a treadle I'm sewing on now. She just sews such a beautiful stitch. Enjoy.
    sew1

  17. #17
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    Go to EBay, search for, ... ... Leather Belt Singer Treadle Sewing Machine 76"
    $3.75 postage $4.56 from NgoSew Salem OR, US. A New Belt. For You
    notes: Thread the belt around the bottom wheel up through the holes in the
    table top, around the machine drive wheel, pull until tight, mark the belt
    with a pen, the end with the wire clip we need to keep, that's the joiner
    Unthread/Remove the belt, cut off the excess belt leather at the mark a
    very sharp knife is good, as square as possible, but the two ends and mark
    the belt where we need hole for the wire joiner, to keep the ends buted
    together, a needle needs to be pushed through cut end, size a little larger
    or thicker than the joiner, put a little Vaseline on the joiner, Re thread the belt
    onto the machine, then push the joiner through the new hole, clinch the joiner wire
    onto the belt, Job Done, ... ... Sew something

    All the best from Downunder

  18. #18
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    Oh my, I just found this information. I am desperately seeking a manual/instruction book for my New Automatic treadle. is there any way to get a copy of your booklet? I am more than willing to pay for it. The serial # on mine is C 90308, but I doubt that t matters since they were only made for 5 or so years : )

    America Plum

  19. #19
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    Anyone living in an Amish community like Lancaster, Pa., Indiana, etc., the stores carry the belts.

  20. #20
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    I got my leather treadle belts on eBay for $3.95 and free shipping. Love the panty hose idea. You never know when you might need it in a pinch.

  21. #21
    Member sophiebernina's Avatar
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    Hello, your machine is beautiful. If you put this post in the Vintage and Antique Machine Enthusiasts section of this forum there are a lot of people there who I am sure can help you.

  22. #22
    Super Member nunnyJo's Avatar
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    she is soo pretty

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