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Treadle or Hand Crank Machine Help!?!

Treadle or Hand Crank Machine Help!?!

Old 06-22-2020, 01:26 PM
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Default Treadle or Hand Crank Machine Help!?!

I inherited a 1920 Model 15 Singer machine with gingerbread decals from my grandmother. It was converted in the 1950s I believe to run on electric. I am looking into restoring it but I have no idea if it was a hand crank or treadle machine. Any help would be much appreciated!!!

Serial number: G8434580
Attached Thumbnails 20200622_162306.jpg   20200622_171804.jpg   20200622_162333.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaCakes View Post
I inherited a 1920 Model 15 Singer machine with gingerbread decals from my grandmother. It was converted in the 1950s I believe to run on electric. I am looking into restoring it but I have no idea if it was a hand crank or treadle machine. Any help would be much appreciated!!!

Serial number: G8434580
More than likely, it was born just the way you see it. If it had a handcrank or was a treadle, it would have a large spoked handwheel. Of course, it could have been replaced, but that's not likely.
If you wanted a hand crank or treadle, it would be easy to do. All you would need is the spoked hand wheel and treadle or hand crank.
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Last edited by bkay; 06-22-2020 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:58 PM
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I'll agree with bkay.
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:07 AM
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KonaCakes View Post
....but I have no idea if it was a hand crank or treadle machine. Any help would be much appreciated!!!...

Welcome Kona. Did you get just the head or was it in a case or cabinet? That might give some clue. I have perused some of the Singer catalogs from the early 1900s at the Smithsonian institute. The 1908 doesn't list a hand crank 15. The 1912 does list a hand crank as being a 15-50. By 1924 there is a 15-62 that says it is a 15-30 with a B.U. motor. My guess would be a treadle, unless you can find documentation for this particular machine. Indeed, the treadle or hand crank would need a spoked hand wheel.


This is my favorite decal set. Be careful with cleaning it up. There is a sticky here - https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...v-t167789.html


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Last edited by OurWorkbench; 06-23-2020 at 05:59 AM. Reason: correct quote
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:16 AM
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Technically I only got the head of the Machine. After asking some family my grandmother apparently got the machine from a family friend who had it converted to run with a speedmaster motor and light and made a table for it. I don't know why they would not have just used the original cabinet if it had been a treadle, maybe for space?
It does not have a spoked wheel but rather what I was a retrofitted wheel to match the motor.

I looked up the serial number in the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society and that says its a model 15 from Nov 3rd 1920 whether it was a treadle or hand crank is not mentioned.

I tried using this:
http://needlebar.org/main/15chart/index.html to compare the model 15s but I really don't know enough about the bobbin section for that to be of any real use.


Thank you so much for all your replies!


I uploaded photos of the bobbin area if anyone is willing and knows about that sort of thing. Thank you all again!
Attached Thumbnails 20200622_171730.jpg   20200622_171642.jpg  

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-23-2020 at 05:05 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:51 AM
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Yes, that would be a 15-30. The needlebar site is a good start, but I disagree strongly with their saying that the 15s made in Kilbowie use the same numbering system. I haven't compared all of them, but I know that the 15K30 is not the same as a 15-30. You don't have to worry about that as yours was made in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Probably, the cabinet was exchanged for something smaller, when it was electrified.

Your decals look better than mine -

tiffanyinuse.jpg

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Old 06-23-2020, 11:14 AM
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I have seen Singer machines converted to electrical and given the smaller solid cast hand wheel in the process. Pre 1930 hand cranks and treadles were more common than I though, from around 1920 electrical setups became more common, but not until after 1930 it seem to have become the new standard. Threadle and hand crank were still relatively common up until early 1950s, even if most by far went for electrical. The Singer lamp was often fitted on treadle 66 models. I have seen early 1920s 66 machines in original state, electrical motor and library cabinet. I have noticed hand cranks often was fitted with Singer motor and light pretty early on, especially in the UK and Scandinavian countries. It seems like it was a standard or even planned "upgrade" available in Singer shops.

Last edited by Mickey2; 06-23-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:05 AM
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One thing to know - the base machine was exactly the same regardless of the power source, so there is no good way to tell what it was originally.

However hand cranks were rather rare in the US, and much more common in the UK. On early machines, Singer had a casting for treadles that did not include a "boss" for the hand crank to mount on, but converted to having it all on machines before yours was made. I have a treadle from 1905 that I wanted o convert to hand crank, but it has no boss!

When Singer started putting motors on machines, they simply used the same mounting boss as used to mount hand cranks. Makes it rather simple to covert them back - aftermarket parts are easy to get and affordable. Genuine singer hand cranks can be around $100, and if you want to match the decal with that on the machine, it can get harder to find them.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:08 PM
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Konacakes, I think they are talking about the bobbin winder, not the bobbin case. The bobbin winder would have been on the side where the hand wheel is. Assuming it was a treadle, it would have had a bobbin winder that used the larger hand wheel to wind the thread.The people who converted it would have changed the winder to fit the smaller hand wheel.
I can't find the comment about the bobbin, but I'm pretty sure that they were talking about the bobbin winder, not the bobbin case.
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