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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
 
2 Attachment(s)
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

Hi,

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:

http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...f/sil10-37.pdf

Enjoy, you have a great piece of family history.

Jon

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

1 Attachment(s)
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?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]552713[/ATTACH]

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

Cathy,

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

4 Attachment(s)
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]

Macybaby 06-27-2016 08:13 AM

Great!

We have "sister" machines.

Mine came with the manual - if you need one I have it posted here


http://www.victoriansweatshop.com/po...pid=1291975517

Sauki1 06-27-2016 03:49 PM

Cathy, that's so generous, thank you! Any helpful tips you can provide? I'm busy cleaning and buffing! The silver portions are really cruddy.

Sauki1 06-27-2016 06:25 PM

I tried to access the manual and it just keeps saying I can't :(

Cari-in-Oly 06-27-2016 07:02 PM

Have you joined the forum? I just tried the link and it worked for me.

Cari

Sauki1 06-28-2016 03:19 AM

I did. I registered and verified thru my email and it still won't let me see it. Odd.

Sauki1 06-28-2016 03:20 AM

Actually, what it says is I don't have permission to perform this action.

Macybaby 06-28-2016 05:57 AM

Hmm- you may want to contact the admin of that site. I thought it would work fine when I posted the link or I would not have done so.

OurWorkbench 06-28-2016 11:14 AM


Originally Posted by Sauki1 (Post 7588518)
Actually, what it says is I don't have permission to perform this action.

I just tried from work before signing in and it opened to a sign-in page. I opened a new window to sign in and refreshed the link, but it still took me to a sign-in page. In other words, I had to sign in twice to open the manual.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Macybaby 06-28-2016 12:16 PM

Turns out you do have to be a member to be able to download the manuals. I've got Moderator status specifically so I can upload my entire manual collection. About half way through my "other than Singer" group, so it's going slowly. My DH is doing the scanning.

The owner of that site feels copies of non-copywrited manuals should be free - and I'm onboard with that. I like having the originals as part of my collection.

Macybaby 06-29-2016 04:36 AM

Angie,

you mentioned needing a belt the right size. Treadle belts are leather with a staple to join the ends, so you buy one that is longer than needed and cut it to fit your machine/treadle base setup. They come if a few different diameters, but I've not found if that makes a big difference in performance, or it's just a personal preference.

Sauki1 06-29-2016 02:20 PM

Ahhh ok, I wasn't sure. I should have been more specific, diameter was what I was referring to in my post. Funny enough, the woman I bought it from said, "Oh yeah, my Aunt even bought a new belt for it." She then proceeded to reach into one of the drawers and pulled out a pair of 72" leather boot laces....Who said Necessity wasn't the Mother of invention, huh? :D

Spearfish 05-01-2020 04:08 AM

I have recently acquired a Minnesota A. I am hoping to find a few missing parts and get it running. Does anyone know of a parts shop or reproduction manufacturer that deals in Minnesota A machines? It uses shuttles and the serial number is: D3615397.
Thank you in advance. 💜
Kathleen

jlhmnj 05-01-2020 07:01 AM

Davis made New Minnesota A model A10 made in 1910. Lots of these were made so parts should not be difficult. Uses regular 15x1 needles. Davis made these for Sears mail order catalog.


Jon

MeMawMaw 08-20-2020 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by jlhmnj (Post 7497839)
Hi,

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:

http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...f/sil10-37.pdf

Enjoy, you have a great piece of family history.

Jon

hello jlhmnj, I have a question about a Davis sewing trendle that I have: mine is called "Unique" and I purchased it about 20 years ago in an antique shop......it works fine, I had to get a new leather cable and that is it!!! I would like to know about the shuttle: is it a universal shuttle and bobbin for all the Davis machines, or does the Unique machine need a particular shuttle and bobbin???
do you know what year this machine was made and any particulars about it???
thanks, MeMawMaw

jlhmnj 08-20-2020 05:52 PM

MeMawMaw,

I have little information on Unique. It was a popular brand name for Davis. Based on the serial number I received earlier I believe it to be a Davis model H made sometime around 1905. A photo would be good to double check. Davis used 2 different shuttles and bobbins for their Underfeed models (Unique). The one is full sized and the other is 3/4 sized. Unique is full sized so the shuttle and bobbin are larger. The full and 3/4 sized bobbins and shuttles will not interchange.

Jon

CarolynTemple 09-02-2020 09:34 AM

Where to find serial number information on Minnesota A
 
I have looked everywhere to find a list or database like the Singer database that tells you when a machine was made, etc. Any idea on my next step? I have a Minnesota Model A with a serial number of D 226 2712. Does the D indicate a Davis- made machine? It has the thread spindle in the middle of the arm... something I've not seen before.

OurWorkbench 09-02-2020 03:43 PM


Originally Posted by CarolynTemple (Post 8414902)
I have looked everywhere to find a list or database like the Singer database that tells you when a machine was made, etc. Any idea on my next step? I have a Minnesota Model A with a serial number of D 226 2712. Does the D indicate a Davis- made machine? It has the thread spindle in the middle of the arm... something I've not seen before.

Picture, please!? There were several different versions called "Minnesota A" including was a Minnesota A without an A.

According to http://ismacs.net/sears/sears.html

"For instance, there were five major versions of the Minnesota Model A" (emphasis by me)

Additionally, from my understanding there weren't any company records like Singer had during that time. There are some that have studied and collected info (Bill of Sale or advertisements) about some of them so that they can give an approximate time frame.

We like pictures. In order to post pictures on Quilting Board, you will probably need to reduce or compress the picture to a file size that is smaller than 2MB. How to post images can be found at https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...020-01-17-.pdf
Don't forget to scroll over to the far right to find and click on the "Upload" button.

I have found that only the big red "Reply" button works to give me the paper clip icon to work for adding pictures.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
Not affiliated with off-site link(s)


CarolynTemple 09-02-2020 04:31 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by OurWorkbench (Post 8414961)
Picture, please!? There were several different versions called "Minnesota A" including was a Minnesota A without an A.

According to http://ismacs.net/sears/sears.html

"For instance, there were five major versions of the Minnesota Model A" (emphasis by me)

Additionally, from my understanding there weren't any company records like Singer had during that time. There are some that have studied and collected info (Bill of Sale or advertisements) about some of them so that they can give an approximate time frame.

We like pictures. In order to post pictures on Quilting Board, you will probably need to reduce or compress the picture to a file size that is smaller than 2MB. How to post images can be found at https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...020-01-17-.pdf
Don't forget to scroll over to the far right to find and click on the "Upload" button.

I have found that only the big red "Reply" button works to give me the paper clip icon to work for adding pictures.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
Not affiliated with off-site link(s)

I can not find a big red reply button. I've had to resize my photos and only have a phone so it's taken me a bit to figure it out. My apologies. It is rather rusted and I'm still working on loosening screws, etc., but I did get the needle out. It's a Davis 10- 30-80. It came with several attachments, manual, and a wooden tube of Boye needles.

OurWorkbench 09-02-2020 06:53 PM

That is a beautiful parlor cabinet. I'm glad you able to post pictures from your phone.

I guess I need to rephrase my notes on how to post pictures.. The big red "Reply" button is if you want to reply and post pictures, if you do not "Quote." There is a Quick Reply, like I'm doing now. I don't have the "paper clip icon" to post pictures.

I'm guessing that your machine is close to the same time frame as the opening poster on this thread, maybe between 1907 and 1910. The biggest difference that I can see is that the tension does not have the spoon shaped tension release. It appears from the numbers you gave that you have the correct needles for your machine..

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

CarolynTemple 09-03-2020 04:28 AM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by OurWorkbench (Post 8415006)
That is a beautiful parlor cabinet. I'm glad you able to post pictures from your phone.

I guess I need to rephrase my notes on how to post pictures.. The big red "Reply" button is if you want to reply and post pictures, if you do not "Quote." There is a Quick Reply, like I'm doing now. I don't have the "paper clip icon" to post pictures.

I'm guessing that your machine is close to the same time frame as the opening poster on this thread, maybe between 1907 and 1910. The biggest difference that I can see is that the tension does not have the spoon shaped tension release. It appears from the numbers you gave that you have the correct needles for your machine..

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Thank you. The thread tension is different than my other machines. It has fewer parts so I'm hoping it's actually all there. I've included photos. At the time of this photo, the second disc was still stuck to the machine. 6 hours of waiting and oiling before it released. Although everything internally sends to move smoothly, none of the dials/ knobs/ screws do. I still haven't found the seam between the face plate and the head. I know it's there because the manual tells how to remove it and oil.

While I wait for things to release, I'm going to be looking for more needles. These things are huge!

OurWorkbench 09-03-2020 06:21 AM

I'm thinking that you probably are missing the tension release piece. I just found another machine like yours, that I forgot about at https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...e-t312134.html

Are you sure that the manual says to take the face plate off? The manuals that I've seen say just to oil on each side of the needle bar and the holes on the top of the machine. I have heard that it is extremely fussy to remove the face plate off Davis machines and get back together. I'm not sure if that is only the Davis Vertical Feed or it is all Davis machines that is boxy, like yours.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

CarolynTemple 09-04-2020 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by OurWorkbench (Post 8415067)
I'm thinking that you probably are missing the tension release piece. I just found another machine like yours, that I forgot about at https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...e-t312134.html

Are you sure that the manual says to take the face plate off? The manuals that I've seen say just to oil on each side of the needle bar and the holes on the top of the machine. I have heard that it is extremely fussy to remove the face plate off Davis machines and get back together. I'm not sure if that is only the Davis Vertical Feed or it is all Davis machines that is boxy, like yours.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

you're right! I got a 15-91 the same day. The hubby was reading the 15-91 manual aloud while I was investigating the Minnesota. Mixed messages! So the only thing we're doing to the Minnesota is cleaning what we know we can/ should and leaving the rest for now. I'm not looking for a show room model. I just want it to work properly. I don't mind all the history marks. They add so much character!

OurWorkbench 09-04-2020 07:21 PM

Whew, had me worried, there for a second. I agree, just to get it working as originally intended. I don't have a Davis or Minnesota, but do have several long shuttle machines. Some have the spoon shaped tension release and some that have a pin in the center of the tension assembly that pushes the tension discs apart a bit when the presser foot is raised.

Have fun with your "new" machines.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Ruthannegreenwood 09-17-2020 06:25 PM

Help to identify Vintage Minnesota
 
2 Attachment(s)
Can anyone help me identify my Minnesota treadle. It does not have a model letter Would love to know the age and type to get a manual for it

OurWorkbench 09-17-2020 06:49 PM


Originally Posted by Ruthannegreenwood (Post 8418813)
Can anyone help me identify my Minnesota treadle. It does not have a model letter Would love to know the age and type to get a manual for it

That sure looks like it has the same body style and serial number as the opening poster.

I did not read all the way through the thread, but Jon replied in post #2


Originally Posted by jlhmnj (Post 7497839)
Hi,

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:

http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...f/sil10-37.pdf

Enjoy, you have a great piece of family history.

Jon

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

tltbirds 11-04-2020 08:42 AM

Looking for extra info on this Minnesota A
 
Hi here is my Minnesota A. Number D116831. I have owned it about a year. I will up date with a picture of the cabinet.
I would like to know the age and any other information. I think I have located a manual. I have not cleaned it up yet. I did oil, adjust the tension and install a new belt. It does sew!
Thanking you in advance.
Can someone help on how to upload pictures?

OurWorkbench 11-04-2020 09:16 AM

We like pictures. In order to post pictures on Quilting Board, you will probably need to reduce or compress the picture to a file size that is smaller than 2MB. How to post images can be found at https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...020-01-17-.pdf
Don't forget to scroll over to the far right to find and click on the "Upload" button.

I have found that only the big red "Reply" button or "Quote" work to give me the paper clip icon to work for adding pictures.
https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...p-location.jpg

Some additional info regarding reducing images at post #4 and images for the scroll and upload button can be found at #5 of https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...d-t312607.html

Actually, this morning I had some trouble posting some pictures that were under 2MB and had to reduce them to less than 1MB in size.

Hopefully, if you can get some pictures posted, Jon will be along to correctly ID your Minnesota A and what kind of needles you will need for it.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

tltbirds 11-04-2020 09:45 AM

Pictures of D1168131
 
3 Attachment(s)
Here are the pictures.

jlhmnj 11-04-2020 10:13 AM

Hi, A number is missing from the serial.

Jon

leonf 11-04-2020 11:28 AM

There is an ad for this machine in a repro copy of a Sears catalog. forgot what the year was.


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