Vintage Friday — Minnesota-L Treadle Sewing Machine

24 06 2011

I grew up with parents who bought antiques and my dad collects pre 1915 cars.   So I imagine that is where I developed the appreciation for vintage/antique items.  I started sewing when I was 4 and think I started using the sewing machine at about 10.  I’ve had a love affair with sewing machines ever since.  I tend to be drawn to vintage items that relate to textiles in some way.  You will notice I’m using the term vintage rather than antique.  In the not so far past, if one looked up the word “antique” the definition included that an item was at least 100 years old.  When I looked it up today it has dropped to 50 years old.  I refuse to believe I am nearing antique status, and items in antique stores that were new when I was a child are not antiques to me.  I collect what appeals to me, not necessarily what has great monetary value.  In fact, I have a very low price limit when it comes to buying sewing machines, etc.

I think I have enough textile related vintage items around the house to keep this thread going for many Fridays.  To kick it off, I thought I’d show you the first treadle machine I acquired.

In 1990 on the way from Oregon to Virginia to visit us, my parents found this Minnesota L sewing machine in a parlor cabinet and brought it to me as a gift.

The Minnesota sewing machine was a knock off machine, made for the Sears Roebuck catalog.  According to the Minnesota L was made by the Standard Sewing Machine Company of Cleveland, Ohio.    I have been unable to pinpoint the specific dates the Model L was manufactured, but it appears it was probably after 1919 and before WWII.

The machine uses a shuttle rather than the standard bobbin case of today.  The shuttle and several extra bobbins were with the machine (I always check to see if there is a bobbin case/shuttle before purchasing a machine) as well as some spare needles.

Until I was taking these pictures, I don’t think it registered that the greek key design in the cabinet is also in the decals on the machine.


I love my modern “plastic” sewing machines, but I don’t spend money to collect vintage machines made of plastic.  I like those heavy old metal machines that require just a little bit of oil and a new treadle belt  to keep going forever!




8 responses

26 06 2011

Enjoyed seeing this open and the details.

11 08 2011
Susan Jobe

I found one just like it wed. Paid $10.00 for it. Now I need some spools to go with it. I enjoyed seeing yours. Susan

12 10 2014

I have one similar to this. I have an interested party but don’t know what there worth. Can you help?

5 09 2015

I have no idea of their value. My parents bought mine for me around 25 years ago. Sorry

27 04 2015
Darlene Law Montanari

I have one just like yours with all the accessories and original belts thread and buttons number on the machine is 1158504N I was wondering what I should sell it for ? do you have any ideas

5 09 2015

I don’t have a clue what it would sell for. Sorry

9 08 2015

Are either of the above ladies available for questions on this cabinet?

5 09 2015

I own the machine, not sure I can tell you much more than what is in the blog post.

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