Wakulla County Historical Society

"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable." Thomas Jefferson

Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Donated by Mike Kinsey

The Treadle Sewing Machine made women's life much easier

The Singer Treadle Sewing Machine
By Cathy Frank

The invention of the sewing machine during the mid-nineteenth century changed women’s lives. Godey’s Lady’s Book praised the sewing machine as “the queen of inventions,” noting that “it will do all the drudgeries of sewing, thus leaving time for the perfecting of the beautiful in woman’s handiwork.”

Although the sewing machine never replaced hand quilting, women took advantage of this new technology to apply bindings or assemble blocks and backings. The quilts displayed in our museum range from entirely handmade to combinations of machine and hand stitching to completely machine-made, showing how progress has affected the art of patchwork.

Elias Howe, Jr., and Isaac Merritt Singer: Although Elias Howe, Jr., is generally credited with patenting the first practical sewing machine in 1846, many inventors sought to improve on his basic design, leading to patent disputes. Howe’s rival, Isaac Merritt Singer, received a patent in 1851 for an improved sewing machine, but Howe sued Singer for patent infringement. Singer continued to improve on his own model, adding a foot treadle for hands-free operation and a carrying case that doubled as a stand. Singer eventually settled the suit with Howe in 1854.

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2 thoughts on “Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Donated by Mike Kinsey

  1. Cindy Mayes on said:

    Would like to know a price range on this type machine. I have one and I’m considering selling but I don’t know what to ask for.

    • We have not had an appraisal on our machine. I found the following information that will be helpful to you. Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Types
      There are different types and brands of antique treadle sewing machines. The first and most successful commercially industrialized machine was created by Isaac Singer, and these early machines are the ones that are worth the most money today. Later on other companies began to copy the Singer treadle machine, causing the sewing machine industry to explode, however the only antique machines that carry a monetary value are Singer and Howe. Singer machines are the only ones that are easily found in America. Howe machines are often found, but in such poor shape that they have no value.

      Identification
      Identifying the value of antique treadle machines can be extremely complicated. You must first learn to identify the types of antique machines. Singer machines of all types, were always manufactured in metal. The machines were all well made and extremely durable. Singer machines were almost always black with gold lettering or designs on them. Singer machines always move up and down, whereas other machines’ needles would move side to side.

      Determining Value
      Determining the value takes a lot of research and practice. It is best to always check antique shops, magazines, or online websites to determine if the machine is of value. The best rule of thumb is to always check for serial numbers, brand names, color, and designs on the machine. Gather this information, and then do a general search to determine the monetary value.

      Considerations
      Treadle machines, in order for them to be of any value, need to be of authentic type. It has to have the right appearance, the correct needle function (straight up and down), correct color, lettering, and serial numbers. Condition of machine isn’t as important as the brand, and years of the machine. Parts are easily found for all Singer treadle machine regardless of age, which increases the monetary value.

      Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_4710263_values-antique-treadle-sewing-machines.html

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