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Antique Singer Sewing Machine Treadle

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    Posted 1 year ago

    (1 item)

    I need help please. I inherited this Antique Singer Sewing Machine Treadle from my late Grandmother. I can not read the Serial Number. Does anyone know what Model or Year? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Chastity

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    1. keramikos, 1 year ago
      Hi, ChazBaker1972. :-)

      So you have your grandmother's sewing machine. How cool.

      It even has a fabric band around the horizontal arm, which tells me that your grandmother probably was an active user of her machine. That fabric band was something a lot of sewers would put on their machines to give them a place to put pins for easy use.

      Being able to read the serial number on a vintage Singer sewing machine is important to pinning the age down to a specific year, but just looking at your pictures makes it clear to me that what you have is some flavor of a Singer vibrating shuttle machine.

      The tell-tale features are the trapezoidal access door, the circular needle plate, and the long dual slide plates:

      We can eliminate the VS2, because that has a fiddlebase (a curvy, violin-shaped machine bed).

      We can also probably eliminate models 127 and 128, because on those models, the bobbin winder assembly is mounted higher.

      You potentially can eliminate the model 28 by measuring the machine bed, using the chart at this website as a guide:

      Your cabinet is Singer's Cabinet Table No. 3:

      Back to the serial number: is it that you can't read any of the characters, or just that you can't read some of them?

      If you can make out the first couple of characters on the left, that could tell us whether it was made prior to 1900 or afterwards.

      Singer serial numbers without alpha character prefixes were made prior to 1900, and the ones with alpha character prefixes can usually be pinned down to specific Singer factories:

      You could try carefully cleaning the little bronze-colored cartouche that contains the serial number:


      As far as we’re concerned, the only totally safe cleaning process involves household soap and warm water on a soft cloth in small areas at a time, immediately followed by a “rinse” with a different cloth dampened in warm water before moving on to the next area, then after drying, a polish with a little sewing machine oil on another soft cloth.


      FYI, I think you could skip the polishing-with-oil step for now, but do try to keep the soap and water restricted to the serial number cartouche.

      I will be away from my desktop at intervals today, but will check in when I get time to see whether you've had any success in cleaning/reading the serial number.

      I'll give you my collection of vintage sewing machine links now before my brain forgets:

      Good luck in cleaning/reading the serial number. :-)
    2. keramikos, 1 year ago
      A few more thoughts about your machine:

      It looks like the center drawer of the cabinet might have been replaced, because it's lighter in color than the side drawers, and that beading decoration was a feature of the center drawer of a Cabinet Table No. 6:

      Your machine probably is a model 27 rather than a 28, because while some minor versions of model 28 machines reportedly came in treadle cabinets, I tend to wonder how well one would fit in a Cabinet Table No. 3, or indeed any of those in that cabinet family (Cabinet Tables 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6).

      I find it curious that there seems to be no trace of decals or other decoration on the body of the machine. Moreover, the japanning seems rough almost to the point of a Godzilla/crinkle finish (but I don't think it is a genuine Godzilla finish).

      Is it possible that somebody repainted it at some point, and in the process painted right over the serial number cartouche, rendering it unreadable?

      If that's the case, and soapy water doesn't reveal the serial number, then some kind of paint solvent applied with a cotton swab to the serial number cartouche might be in order.

      Most vintage sewing machine lovers are loath to do anything that might harm the original finish, but the finish on yours may not be original.

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