Almost 150 years old and STILL working

DSCN0014While looking through items at our local monthly flea market, I came across this beauty!

It is a New Home treadle sewing machine with a vibrating shuttle mechanism in the bobbin. – It took very little cleaning up, a little oil and some oil on the wood made it look almost like new.

So I did a little internet research and found out that the price on this machine in 1883 was $50.00, a real investment for the home sewer then and it was so pretty, it could be kept in a public space.  The Victorian era was a time of new inventions, and this was one of them.  I really admire the workmanship of this era.  Things were just made to last back then – no planned obsolescence! I can just imagine the lucky owner who clearly took care of this machine, undoubtedly using it often.

DSCN0015While I am so happy that the machine is in good working order, I’m a little sad that the decals on the machine are worn away.  I just love the gold filigree on the old machines – such a fancy touch.   In addition to obvious use, this machine was also well cared for – only a few water spots – but that can be expected over time, so I’m o.k. with that.


I decided to try it out with some thread that was already in the bobbin which was loaded in the shuttle, and added some thread of my own to the top.  The wheel turned smoothly by hand, and worked well with the treadle.  I attached a new leather belt, which is stretching a bit, so I’ll have to figure out how to shorten it and move the staple.  I plan to do a quilt on this over the next few months and will keep you all posted.

If you have any suggestions or experience with people powered sewing machines, let me know!

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