Many years ago, my mom became the caretaker for my grandmother's treadle sewing machine. She invested in refinishing the cabinet, and as a piece of furniture, it makes a beautiful show piece. Somewhere along the way, my mom decided that it would become mine and it could go ahead and move to my house.
Recently, I became more interested in this machine. We had always said that it would work great if it just had a belt installed. I wanted to know if a belt really was all that it needed. We had a new belt, and Duane installed it fairly easily. Then it sat for a little while longer, because it was going to take some effort to figure out how to wind a bobbin and thread the machine.
A few YouTube videos later, the bobbin was wound, and the machine was successfully threaded. It was time to sew. One of the things I was worried about is how I would look using this machine. My hand-eye coordination isn't the greatest, so I had this fear of my head bobbing like a chicken while my feet went up and down on the treadle. No, I did not record myself sewing on it, and I'm fairly certain that it wasn't an overly embarrassing experience.
I love the contrast of the old machine with the modern thread. This machine deserves all the tender loving care it can get, and Aurifil thread will help keep it going long and strong.
With the excitement of being able to sew on this machine, I decided to see if I could find out more about its history. A quick search for the serial number shows that this machine was manufactured in 1911. Wow, 102 years old and still sewing strong. They just don't make them like they used to.
My grandmother was born in 1915. She and her husband raised a family of three daughters in McDonough, Georgia. They were a farming family, which meant it was often a challenge just to meet basic day to day needs. This machine was purchased as a used machine from a newly married couple in the community that had fallen on hard times and needed money more than they needed this sewing machine. My grandmother told me that she remembers how sad the new bride was when they picked up the machine from her home.
My mom told me that she used this machine often growing up and that she could make it go a hundred miles an hour. I can't wait to see her give it a try next time she visits.