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-   -   Need help identifying Sears Minnesota treadle sewing machine (https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/need-help-identifying-sears-minnesota-treadle-sewing-machine-t276831.html)

*Rhubarb* 03-18-2016 10:16 AM

Need help identifying Sears Minnesota treadle sewing machine
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I need help trying to identify the specific model of my Sears Minnesota treadle sewing machine. I would also like to get an idea of the manufacture date.

It does work, needs a good cleaning/oiling, and I would estimate it hasn't been used in about 25 years. It was my grandmother's, and I inherited it almost 10 years ago.

I also need to learn what type of needles it takes and where is the best place to find them. I would really love to get this tuned up and finally start using it.

jlhmnj 03-18-2016 08:41 PM


You have an early Davis Minnesota A before they put the A in Minnesota. This is a Davis Model E, Underfeed. Davis was located in Dayton, Ohio at this time and this machine was made for Sears mail order. The A was the top of the line Sears model and would have sold for roughly $18.

Davis needles, bobbins, and shuttles are unique to Davis. The original needles were called Davis long. One popular needle brand name was "Boye" with the number 10 on the cap. The needles are close to 2" long with a flat on one side. Always best to verify dimensions on Boye tubes as sometimes the contents get mixed up. Ebay is a good place to find them.

The serial number 973011 dates to late 1901 or early 1902. Davis dating records do not exist and this estimate is from original warranty certificates. Davis started making machines for Sears right around 1900 and on a much more limited scale until the late Teens or early Twenties. Davis went belly up in 1924 due to bankruptcy.

Link to similar owners manual:


Enjoy, you have a great piece of family history.


Karamarie 03-19-2016 04:52 AM

She's (or he) a beauty. You're fortunate to have a family heirloom. Would make a nice decoration/conversation piece in your home.

*Rhubarb* 03-19-2016 11:59 AM

Jon, thank you for taking the time to respond. I didn't know if I would hear back anything, and you have given me a ton of information to go on!

Karamarie, I am also in MN. This sewing machine has been a conversation piece in my home since my grandma died, almost 10 years ago. Now it is finally time to get it working again.

Sauki1 06-23-2016 04:14 PM

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Thank you for posting this as well. I'm considering purchasing a Minnesota as well. It is being sold as a 1929 Minnesota treadle machine. I have included a picture. Can anyone tell me anything about it?


Freaky_Quilts_Dragon 06-23-2016 07:53 PM

Yes to everything Jon just wrote. A machine named just "Minnesota" isn't common, the lettered Minnesota ones seemed to have been more popular. I have one just like it, only a little younger, and she makes a nice stitch. And mine isn't in as good of shape as yours. You're lucky to have a nice herloom Rhubarb.

Sauki1, I think you have a Minnesota made by National. After Davis went belly up, National bought up all their production stock, equipment, etc. So your machine might take Davis parts, or it might take National parts. Does it have a needle, bobbin, or shuttle with it?

Macybaby 06-24-2016 07:41 AM

That last machine is probably not a National. Sears stopped buying from Davis long before National bought them out. Many, many companies sold to Sears with the badge of Minnesota on them. National may be one of the few that did not, as they had been supplying machines to Wards for a very, very long time.

After Davis, Sears used Domestic quite a bit, and White acquired Domestic and then started producing machines for Sears. The big change was when Sears started setting requirements for the machines, so those sold by Sears are not the same machine as the company made and sold elsewhere. (something Sears continues to do today)

This looks a lot like the one I have that was made by White, however it is very different than most whites, and takes a Singer style shuttle and needles (a requirement by Sears).
For a while, Sears had control of a company called King - and it could be that too.

This is the one made by White for Sears (though much later). It takes the same shuttle, needle and feet (side clamp) as Singer. However to keep so it would fit in other Sears cabinets, the belt is on the outside of the flywheel.

Sauki1 06-24-2016 02:52 PM


Thank you for your insight on this machine. I'm going to see it tomorrow and see if I would like to purchase it. I've found out that it was a 1930's wedding present for the mother of the person selling it and that the person selling it learned to sew on it in 1965. It sounds as if it has been in this family all it's life.

Singer has an exhaustive bit of information on their machines online. How would I be able to determine some of the things you were commenting on in your post? I'm new to the Minnesota machines.

Macybaby 06-24-2016 05:29 PM

If it has side clamp attachments, then most likely it's going to use the same needles and shuttle as Singer. Side clamp is like "normal" with the screw on the side to hold the presser foot on.

The "singer" shuttle is also very short compared to most, and is the only one with a "waist" so if the shuttle is there, it's easy to tell if that is what it takes. If it takes that size shuttle, then it would most likely take the "singer" size needle (which is what most domestic machines use today).

in this picture, the Singer size shuttle is the one on the far right.

Sauki1 06-26-2016 08:18 AM

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We have a winner! Cathy you were correct. It is a Minnesota E. I purchased it yesterday. I have taken pics of it, the shuttle, bobbin and serial number. I'm not able to decipher the serial number. It looks as if it starts with a 2. Howver, from what I've seen the Minnesota machines begin with their model i.e. A, B, D, E.... I'm starting the process of cleaning it. Any tips on cleaning the badging? Spool winder? It appears that this machine may have been in a smoking environment. There is much tacky rust colored substance on the silver portions. I've tried SMO and it does help a bit but it doesn't seem to really penetrate it. The belt needs to be replaced before I can even think about using it. Hopefully the pics come thru clearly. [ATTACH=CONFIG]552897[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]552898[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]552899[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]552900[/ATTACH]

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