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Townley treadle sewing machine

Townley treadle sewing machine

Old 02-04-2020, 10:08 AM
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Question Townley treadle sewing machine

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has ever heard of a Townley sewing machine. I have a machine labeled Townley on the machine itself and in the ironwork that's part of the stand. The machine is listed with three patents dated in the 1890s and has flower decals around the name and on the machine works. The machine folds into an oak case with two drawers on each side. The case is held up by an iron stand that includes the treadle. The machine works, but the leather belt had to be replaced and it should be re-timed with the new belt. I'm trying to get some information regarding this machine and its value.
Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:23 AM
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Most of the Manufacturers except Singer put "badged" names on the machines they sold. National is recorded as selling machines under 600-1,000 different names. And some companies (like Sears) contracted with several different manufactures, so the name on the machine may not be helpful in determining who made it.

If you can post a picture, that is the easiest way to identify who the manufacturer is.
If not - is it a VS or rotary machine?
Does it have a top leaf tension, if it does, that is also usually unique by manufacturer
What shape is the needle plate - round, oval, square, rectangular?
What do the slide plates look like, and if rotary, how to the move (do they have a pin and swivel?
What side does the belt go on the flywheel - towards the machine or away from the machine?

How does the presser foot attach? Top clamp, side clamp or directly to the bar with a set screw? Note - most manufactures mounted directly to the bar for older machines, and converted to top clamp later.

I have over 150 vintage machines, and one of the fun things was learning how to identify the manufacturer.



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Old 02-04-2020, 12:28 PM
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Cathy covered it well. I would like to address your timing comment. Changing a belt on one of these should not have any effect on timing

Value is probably less than you hope for. Being rare doesn't increase value on many of our machines. Oil it up and use it and enjoy it.

Welcome to the board.

GF and I have more than 150 also, Beware, it can be addictive.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
Most of the Manufacturers except Singer put "badged" names on the machines they sold. National is recorded as selling machines under 600-1,000 different names. And some companies (like Sears) contracted with several different manufactures, so the name on the machine may not be helpful in determining who made it.

If you can post a picture, that is the easiest way to identify who the manufacturer is.
If not - is it a VS or rotary machine?
Does it have a top leaf tension, if it does, that is also usually unique by manufacturer
What shape is the needle plate - round, oval, square, rectangular?
What do the slide plates look like, and if rotary, how to the move (do they have a pin and swivel?
What side does the belt go on the flywheel - towards the machine or away from the machine?

How does the presser foot attach? Top clamp, side clamp or directly to the bar with a set screw? Note - most manufactures mounted directly to the bar for older machines, and converted to top clamp later.

I have over 150 vintage machines, and one of the fun things was learning how to identify the manufacturer.

I'm trying to post three photos, but I keep getting a message that the upload has failed because there is no security certificate. Not sure what that means and why it's a problem. The photos are less than the maximum file size.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:19 PM
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The last thing I want is to become enamored with collecting these things. We are trying to sell this one (it's been in the family for more than 35 years, purchased from a good friend in Southern Illinois before we moved to Washington state. We are downsizing and wish to sell this machine, but I can't find any reference at all to this name on the web when I search for sewing machines. I have no desire to try to make a ton of money from it; just not to sell it at a ridiculously low price because I'm ignorant of it's value.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:40 PM
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Hope you can get a picture posted, I'm very curious to see what you've got.

Knowing the manufacturer would be helpful for you to sell, and there are some that are worth more than others, but for most of the badged machines, the condition and what you have that comes with it (Bobbins, attachments, documents, shuttle or bobbin case) are going to be what determines value.

I've picked up treadles from between "free" for ones that were in very poor shape, to $350 for some of the rarer Singer parlor cabinets in mint shape. Now if you have something truly rare or quite old (like pre 1875) that would be different. The only thing you can tell from the patent date is that it wasn't made before that. Wilcox & Gibbs put an early patent date on all their machines, whether they were made a few years after the patent, or 45 years later.

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Old 02-04-2020, 05:33 PM
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Im not sure why I can't seem to get a photo posted. The age of the machine seems to be sometime in the late 1890s. This one is in good shape, though definitely not under the Singer name.
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:35 PM
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OK, I got a photo to attach.
Attached Thumbnails img_7512.jpg  
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:10 PM
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Such a pretty machine. I wish I had room to collect a few, but not yet....
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:13 AM
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That machine is mostly likely made by National.

Needlebar does have a picture and reference - but only to say it's the full size version of the Expert. So from the standpoint of collectors, it is a less common National machine.


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