Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Elgin Treadle

Isn't she lovely?  This is Eleanor, my first treadle machine and I think she's just the dictionary-definition of elegant!  (Ellie was just too informal!)  Not that a lady tells her age, but the latest patent date on her needle cover is 1913.  The Egyptian-Art Deco style of her decoration reminds me of the 1920s, so that's where I'm placing her birthday. 

Eleanor is a vibrating shuttle machine so she uses those long bobbins.  The bobbin winder works just great--although I'm not the best at getting the bobbin case threaded.   

Another view of Eleanor.  See that wooden enlaid piece right in front of her?  It's a ruler.  Neat, huh?

I think this is her original cabinet and Eleanor came with a big box of accessories (that I haven't tried yet), the instruction manual, and a copy of the original guarantee.  She uses regular SM needles with the flat side to the right and threads from left to right. 

Eleanor's so quiet when she stitches and the motion of the treadle somehow very relaxing. I can imagine doing it for several hours and not getting tired.  It is a good workout for my legs--an added bonus.

To get the treadle going, you need to pull the hand wheel toward you--hard--and start treadling.  There's no reverse on this machine but if you don't pull the hand wheel hard enough she will start stitching backwards!  The stitches are nice, too, perfectly balanced. 

I'm making a doll body on Eleanor now; here are two of the pieces.


  1. Eleanor is beautiful!! Elly - another forces brat ;))

  2. Eleanor is a beautiful machine! Do you have a picture of the treadle irons? Thanks,

  3. I would like to see pics of treadle irons as well...I have a 1932 Elgin ...missing arm and large treadle wheel underneath...:( if anyone could help me locate these parts...even a manual for this machine would be super helpful...I'm so anxious to start sewing on it !!! Thank you !!!

  4. hello! I have an Elgin treadle machine that looks like this one in your pictures! the decals are identical! I cant find any information about it though. I got it from a neighbor of my grandmother's in western OK many years ago. I have kept it for 30 plus years! It still works too!
    the serial number on mine is C288496 have you found any online information resource?