Remember treadle sewing machines

SELMA – A treadle sewing machine is the first model I remember.

A treadle sewing machine took time to learn. You had to turn the big wheel on the right to get the sewing started, and then with your feet, you moved the treadle back and forth in a rocking motion.

When the treadle sewing machine was not in use, the machine folded down into the cabinet, and the side panel folded over the top, like a desk.

I remember writing my first name for the first time while sitting at the sewing machine.

Thomas Saint, an English man, invented and patented a sewing machine in 1790. Charles Weisenthal, a German, had already invented a sewing machine 35 years earlier, but did not patent it.

Isaac Singer and Elias Howe, from the United States, greatly improved the sewing machine. The sewing machine took one hour to do the same work that it took 14 1/2 hours to do by hand.

Later my parents purchased an electric sewing machine. That’s the one I learned to sew with. My mother made shirts, dresses, pajamas, sewed quilt pieces together and made over dresses that a neighbor handed down to me.

The electric sewing machine was invented in 1889. By the early 1900’s sewing machines were popular. Today, probably every American home had a sewing machine.

If you have new ideas for a sewing machine, send them to your favorite sewing machine company. Maybe they can use a new idea.

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