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CHAT Look at my new project!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343

    Look at my new project!

    Just got a treadle machine yesterday free from one of my husband's clients. It is an Improved Edridge Rotary and the serial number says it was manufactured in 1881! I am so excited to get this machine going. The cabinet is not in bad shape and it seems that the mechanics are working. It needs a belt and I have to find bobbins and needles that will fit it. It even came with a box of toys with an instruction book for using the attachments! Unfortunately there is no user/maintenance manual on the machine but I hope to find one. I have been researching this machine and any help you could point me toward would be appreciated. As you can probably surmise there isn't much information on this machine. Almost all information on the internet is for Singer. The Eldridge machines became National and Janome.
    Here are some pictures:
    Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Between Holy & Crap
    Posts
    111,783
    My mother had one of those when I was little. It was beautiful. She used to make us kids lots of things on it. I loved it. Then she bought a new electric sewing machine and hardly ever sewed anymore, and gave away the old treadle machine. I wish I had it. Hers was a Singer.

    Lucky you !!

    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    10,550
    Maybe this helps?

    Improved Eldredge Rotary Manual

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JSMkdfZGZMQ1JR

    ,sourced from here....

    http://silkmothsewing.blogspot.com/2...g-machine.html

    It's a gorgeous device. You're lucky!
    "You don't change the way people think by changing what they say. You change the way people think with HEADLESS CHARRED BODIES FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. BLOOD! FLAMES! HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION!"
    ~~ Alastair J. R. Young

    "Bring me tools and beer!!!" ~~ Homer Simpson

    "If a dream is all that I got, then I wish you in a fairy tale where you are still in love with me." ~~ Cold

    "All weather is now manufactured. Period."
    ~~Scott Stevens

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    Thank you so much NBCsurvivor!!! That user manual was just what I needed. I have threaded many machines but this one had me a bit stumped. This info should help me find bobbins and needles to fit. Thank You!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    14,063
    My wife's grandmother left her one exactly like that. We lost a drawer on top and never could find it...
    יְשׁוּעָה
    I am in competition with no one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I am simply trying harder to be a better person than I was yesterday.
    TRUTH

  6. #6
    That's wonderful! I love those old machines (although I'll admit, I prefer my Bernina for everyday sewing, not to mention my serger!). But I can only imagine how a woman felt, maybe the mother of several small children, who had been sewing everything needed by hand for years, when they finally saved up enough money for a treadle machine! I doubt many of us have ever purchased anything as labor saving and life changing as that, in our modern, mechanized, "convenient" world.

    I have a nice Singer treadle, but rarely use it- the muscle spasms I end up with at night after a couple hours (due to massive damage in my left foot- unfortunately, it's not something I can "exercise out of" or get used to by using it more often) just aren't fun. I'm really hoping I'll never have to go back to using it full time. But I keep it oiled and polished, and have a couple spare belts vacuum packed and safely tucked away. It's really amazing how many gadgets and "fancy" parts some of these ancient machines had, given how new the technology was...

    Summerthyme

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    10,550
    Yes Ma'am!

    The blogger had a link for bobbins, I think here... http://sewingandvac.com/resultspart....in&pagesize=25

    What I know about sewing could, well, fill a thimble but I hope this helps or atleast gets you closer to where you wanted to be.
    "You don't change the way people think by changing what they say. You change the way people think with HEADLESS CHARRED BODIES FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. BLOOD! FLAMES! HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION!"
    ~~ Alastair J. R. Young

    "Bring me tools and beer!!!" ~~ Homer Simpson

    "If a dream is all that I got, then I wish you in a fairy tale where you are still in love with me." ~~ Cold

    "All weather is now manufactured. Period."
    ~~Scott Stevens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    Thanks so much for the info. I still have my moms New Home machine that I learned to sew on when I was 5 years old. I made my own doll clothes. It always had such a beautiful straight stitch. Mom decided she wanted a zig-zag machine and bought a Kenmore which never had a nice stitch and always broke thread, needles and was just a pain in the ass. Mom had taken the New home out of its cabinet and put the Kenmore POS in it so my machine is in the ugly Kenmore portable case that she had to modify to make the prongs fit. She always did the maintenance on that machine like even replacing the brushes in the little motor. Just funny the things you remember. I have newer machines now like the Singer regular machine and Elan serger but I still remember Mom holding that motor away from the wheel letting the smoke from the oil billow out before she started sewing. Me and my sister always had matching dresses except mine were blue and hers were red.

  9. #9
    I've made a few simple pillows and other things on one just like that as a youth, mother collected a few of the old treadle sewing machines. I would help get them going, usually fixing or making a new leather drive belt. We always had old reins and various tack to get leather.

    Eventually went on to making boat tops for a boat factory then on to working on auto upholstery to help get me through college years.


    Now my daughter is learning sewing, her grandma is a wealth of knowledge but I look forward to seeing her shock when daddy rips out a reinforced French seam perfectly straight and full speed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    America, The Beautiful
    Posts
    21,770
    Enjoy your 'new' machine! I learned to sew on a Singer treadle.
    Qui tacet consentire videtur

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    5,602
    That is beautiful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    pa
    Posts
    292
    Nice

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343

    10

    The old gal still sews after 136 years. I got the bobbins for it (thank you NBCsurvivor) but finding needles has been more than a challenge. They don't make the 20x1 anymore and the only ones on E-bay are $10 per needle! I am using the newer 15x1 needle but it is short so I have to move it down quite a bit and because of that it skips a stitch every once in a while. It doesn't skip at all If I use the slightly rusted original needle that came with it. I am having so much fun learning how to use it and bring it back to life. It does take some work and I have to use some muscles that I am not used to using. I can run it if I go fast but the challenge is going slow so I can control the fabric and learning to start and stop the wheel without using my hand on the wheel to keep it from going backwards. That is harder than you would think. Been shinning her up and this summer I will start on the cabinet. Here are some pics. On the left you can see the ruffle I made with the ruffle attachment. All of the attachments were there except for a braid attachment and I found a zipper foot I had that also works with it. I am very happy with the machine and having a lot of fun.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Hill Country Texas
    Posts
    14,550
    I gave away one just like that about ten years ago as I did not know what to do with it. Wish I'd kept it
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    Still trying to attach pics. Upload of attachment fails.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    48,431
    Quote Originally Posted by ShyGirl View Post
    Still trying to attach pics. Upload of attachment fails.
    Don't push too hard. There are a couple board glitches Dennis is working on. Pics is one of them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    48,431
    GORGEOUS Machine, by the way.

    Before you do a lot of sewing, have a machine tech in your area internally clean and time it for you. Ask him to show you how to time it so you know for later.
    Mookie War Creed
    "I am the Sword of my Family and Shield of my Nation. If sent, I will crush everything you have built, burn all that you love, and kill every one of you."


    Welcome to dar al harab -dar al kufre.


    Make sure that the hill you choose to die on is one someone else will be able to (or want to) climb to drop flowers on your grave. Make it worth SOMETHING.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
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    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    GORGEOUS Machine, by the way.

    Before you do a lot of sewing, have a machine tech in your area internally clean and time it for you. Ask him to show you how to time it so you know for later.
    Not to dis you or anything but I probably know more about the timing of sewing machines than any "tech". This machine has a beautiful stitch. The difficult part is getting needles for it. The machine is timed perfectly which is pretty amazing with respect to it's age. If I can post the pictures you would see that the top and bobbin stitch is beautiful but because of having to use the wrong needle it skips every maybe 50 stitches or so. That is not bad timing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    Had to post the pictures the hard way. I uploaded them to one of my sites.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    10,690
    I am absolutely green with envy! Congratulations. Have fun!
    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    48,431
    Quote Originally Posted by ShyGirl View Post
    Not to dis you or anything but I probably know more about the timing of sewing machines than any "tech". This machine has a beautiful stitch. The difficult part is getting needles for it. The machine is timed perfectly which is pretty amazing with respect to it's age. If I can post the pictures you would see that the top and bobbin stitch is beautiful but because of having to use the wrong needle it skips every maybe 50 stitches or so. That is not bad timing.
    No dis involved.
    I'm a professional gear mumbler.
    Mookie War Creed
    "I am the Sword of my Family and Shield of my Nation. If sent, I will crush everything you have built, burn all that you love, and kill every one of you."


    Welcome to dar al harab -dar al kufre.


    Make sure that the hill you choose to die on is one someone else will be able to (or want to) climb to drop flowers on your grave. Make it worth SOMETHING.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    11,204
    Beautiful machine.

    Prices probably high, I really don't know. Needles, bobbins and some parts.

    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/eldredge-sewing-machine

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ShyGirl View Post
    The old gal still sews after 136 years.
    Gosh, for a second there, I thought you were talking about the lady who gave it to you!

    Have fun. My gran sewed everything on her treadle machine. At one point she upgraded to an electric one and gave the treadle to my newly married cousin. Cousin hated the treadle and grandma hated the electric, so they traded back again and were happy.

  25. #25
    Lovely

    My Grandmother's resides at Mom's these days, but it's mine, all mine I say. LOL
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    263
    What a beautiful machine. Things now are so utilitarian and it wouldn't take much to make them beautiful. Enjoy!!

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    State of Jefferson - On the Darkside where the cookies are...
    Posts
    5,061
    How cool is that! WOW what a score!! CONGRATS!!
    We have done so much, with so little, for so long....We can now do anything, with nothing, forever.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    19,159
    Great find! My MIL had a treadle machine, and my wife made her wedding dress and her bride's maids dresses on it. I'm not sure what happened to it after my MIL died. I had forgotten about it until I saw your pics. But it was a good machine.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
    -Ronald Reagan

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,195
    I need a new sewing machine. I wouldn't be able to use a treadle, but I don't even know where to start with choosing a new one. My last one was a Brother machine, and I don't think I EVER got a nice, balanced stitch out of it. I remember always having to adjust something or other, and it wasn't a cheap machine.

    I'm sure you'll get lots of enjoyment from your "new" machine.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Purdy area, Western WA
    Posts
    27,217
    I bought a treadle machine for about $50 in '99 for Y2K but gave it to my daughter in about 2005 as she was trying to raise money for kid's school trip or something like that.

    Incidentally, many of the older zig-zag sewing machines (Like Kenmore)can be made to fit and work (without electricity!) in a treadle cabinet!! ( First, They must have exposed drive wheel on right.)
    Proverbs 18:13 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

    13 He that answereth before that he heareth, showeth himself to be a fool; and worthy of shame.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Michiganistan
    Posts
    636
    This link has a chart or needle numbers for different brands.
    http://ismacs.net/needle_and_shank/n...lat-shank.html
    look under singer for 20x1
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet"

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Farvana
    Posts
    12,466
    That's so beautiful! Great score.
    The Operative: “The path to peace is paved with corpses. It’s always been so.”

    Malcolm Reynolds: “So me and mine got to lie down and die so you can live in your better world?”

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by Knighttemplar View Post
    This link has a chart or needle numbers for different brands.
    http://ismacs.net/needle_and_shank/n...lat-shank.html
    look under singer for 20x1
    I also have that chart. The problem is that they don't make the 20x1 anymore and the only ones I have found are on EBay and are $10 Per Needle! I have searched all over the internet and even asked a website client of mine who runs an industrial sewing shop. He gave me the name of the place where he gets his supplies but they did not have the needles and did not have any idea where I might find some. Thanks for the try. If you can find actual needles at a more reasonable price I would appreciate it. Even the bobbins cost me $1.85 each but I can live with that. A needle for $10 will never get used. Plus those needles aren't even new so who knows what kind of shape they are in. That makes a real difference when you are sewing. I have a lady at Etsy (Treadle Lady) who is sending me some needles that are suppose to work as replacements for the 20x1 but they are round shank and do not have the flat side on the shank.

  34. #34
    Good for you! What a great blast from the past. Definitely a treasure.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
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    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by bev View Post
    I need a new sewing machine. I wouldn't be able to use a treadle, but I don't even know where to start with choosing a new one. My last one was a Brother machine, and I don't think I EVER got a nice, balanced stitch out of it. I remember always having to adjust something or other, and it wasn't a cheap machine.

    I'm sure you'll get lots of enjoyment from your "new" machine.
    Most of the new home machines are really junk and do not hold up. They are made with nylon gears and such. Also many of them (because of the cheap parts) will not hold a nice stitch and you have to keep adjusting them. I guarantee they won't be sewing when they are 136 years old. It's like many other things today. Buy fairly cheap and be ready to throw it away and buy another when it breaks down. I have a newer Singer with a bunch of fancy stitches (that I never use) on it and I wouldn't trade this treadle for two more of those machines. It depends on the amount and kind of sewing you do but I would not invest in a $2000 fancy machine unless it was industrial quality.

  36. #36
    If I were looking for a "new" machine these days, I'd probably look for an older (30 years or so) Bernina or Pfaff. I have a Bernina 930 (one of the earliest "computerized" machines) and it's been an absolute warhorse. My Mom bought it new, sometime in the 1970's (IIRC). It sewed draperies (she used to make custom made draperies for the "rich folks" in town), wedding gowns, tons of other stuff... and then she gave it to me. I sewed all the clothes for four kids from newborns up to bridesmaid's dresses, dozens of quilts, calf and horse blankets, dog beds... everything from silk to canvas. It isn't *quite* heavy enough for sewing canvas and multiple layers of heavy duck, but it handles everything else beautifully. I'm currently using it to make a few dozen cloth diapers for the newest expected grandbaby.

    I also have a Pfaff 130, from the 1950's, that was my Mom's first good machine. It does pretty much everything the Bernina does (including a bunch of fancy stitches) and it could be easily converted to a treadle machine. The main reason I use the Bernina for pretty much everything is that it has a knee pedal for raising and lowering the presser foot- when sewing quilts, especially, it saves me tons of time and aggravation.

    Summerthyme
    Last edited by summerthyme; 03-21-2017 at 10:12 AM.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343
    I agree with Summerthyme. You just don't get quality, endurance and performance with today's machines. Many times you can go to a sewing machine center and pick up an older, quality machine that has been cleaned, refirbushed and is as good as new for a very reasonable price. Most times you don't even use all the fancy stitches or computer interfaces that you get with the brand new machines. What you really need is a really nice straight stitch and a nice zig-zag stitch that can keep making those nice stitches without constant adjustments.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Michiganistan
    Posts
    636
    It looks like an Organ size 20 might work or a metric 125, could not find the length listed for these. You may have to buy a few of what is available and measure them. I see you are close by, I can grind the flats or take some off the shank if needed. There is a repair guy on M66 by M44 in Sheridan. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet"

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,195
    Thank you, ShyGirl and Summer!

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    2,343

    This is a picture of the needle that I need. I will research the Organ needles. From the ISMACS needle chart at http://ismacs.net/needle_and_shank/n...lat-shank.html I don't see an Organ needle that is listed as a replacement. My machine is 11th down on the list "Eldridge Rotary". Thank you for your time researching this.

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