The Free Sewing Machine

Treadle number five came home this weekend. I wasn’t in the market for another one, but I am so happy that I went ahead and picked this up. I believe the machine is from 1920. This must have been a high end machine in its day. It is in excellent shape, although it really needed oil. The more that I oil it, the smoother it sews. And it sews nicely and winds a bobbin as well as I’ve ever seen.


First, I’ve heard that some people have passed on buying this machine because it did not take standard needles. It does take a Universal needle and mine came with a tube of Boye #16s, if that’s any help.

First up, the part that gets noticed, the case. This one is in very nice shape.

The machine is in nice shape too. There is a little silvering in spots on the decals and a little wear.

But this machine is different from the Singers of the same era. Here are some of the nice features on this machine. It has a machine lift. When you open the lid, the machine rises up into place. It’s very easy to take the belt off to oil the underside. Just lift the lid enough that the machine starts to lower. You can flip the belt off. In fact, it’s hard to get it loose on the lower wheel. The front piece lifts up out of the way too.

When the lid is closed, the drawers lock automatically. You can see the rod that locks them into place in these two pictures.

The bobbin winder folds up into a recessed area on the head.

This is the stitch regulator:

And when you have the belt off, there is a release button that allows you to tilt the head back.

There is a release for the shuttle as well:

And here is the underside. There is a short You Tube video that shows this in motion. These are not the only ball bearings on the machine. There are bearing on the treadle pieces as well. When this machine is oiled, it is a smooth running machine.

Nice drawer pulls

Brand name on the treadle:

This machine winds a bobbin perfectly

Nice stitches even with the old needle.

I did take off a rat’s nest of thread that was wrapped around the hand wheel.

Attachments look unused:

And this card was tucked into the attachment box:

Unfortunately, after hemming a skirt, the leather belt broke. I have ordered a new one and it will be worth the wait. I am very impressed with this machine and very happy that I picked it up. If you find one for a reasonable price, please buy it. I will do some minor work on this at some point, mostly to preserve the finish on the base and the machine. Oh, one last thing, this is probably the only treadle you will see with brown irons. The manufacturer thought they looked better with the wood than the black irons.

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