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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Oh if Singer could Talk

Grandma and Grandpa wedding dayArtie Viola (Roseboom) and Charles Albert Mader on their wedding day. These are my grandparents, Dad's parents. Grandma was born April 2, 1897, and died Oct 7, 1982. She and Grandpa got married July 24th, 1918.

I don't know when, or where this sewing machine was purchased. But This Singer Treadle Sewing Machine has been in my family a good long while. Using the serial number, my brief research indicates the machine dates back to 1910.

serial numberMy Dad doesn't remember if his Mother purchased the machine new or from someone else. Many items have been made on this machine through the years. My Dad's older sister, Aunt Mary learned to sew on this machine and had it in her position for many years.

Grandma and Dad in 1944 when he was home on leave from The Navy (Seabees).

Aunt MaryAunt Mary, High School or shortly thereafter. Aunt Mary wasn't one to have pictures taken, so I only have a few of her. She was a tall woman, a big woman before time took it's toll. She cared for her invalid husband for many many years which also caused her to age. She lived a very simple life, and was truly very old school. She lived her whole adult life in a log cabin.

log cabinThis simple 2 bedroom log cabin seemed a perfect place for a vintage Singer Sewing Machine to call home for something like 60 years. My Uncle Al built this log cabin. Aunt Mary passed away just prior to her 92nd birthday, about this time last year, after spending the last 2 years of her life away from her beloved log cabin. Rest in peace, Aunt Mary. You are now home.

Aunt Mary & AlI don't know when this picture was taken, but Uncle Al died in 1995 so this was well before his multiple years of illness and invalidism. Mary with her white gloves on. I believe this may have been an anniversary picture. In later years, she was quite thin.

I'm sure if this machine could talk it could tell many fascinating stories about my Grandmother, My Aunt, and more. Look at the beautiful carvings on the side of the machine.

close up singer sewing machineThis vintage sewing machine is still partially threaded, see the white thread coming up from the bobbin? This is how it currently looks, as it sits in my office/craft room. It's been partially dusted; but needs to be washed. My work in progress is to clean it up with some Murphy's Oil Soap for the wood, and probably just soapy water for the metal parts. To give a little lift.

close up the treadleThe treadle portion before we moved it from Aunt Mary's log cabin. Notice the leather strap that operates the treadle....it has 1 staple in it where the cord apparently ripped from use. My Mother taught me to sew on the same type of sewing machine. She too had a staple, several...as I think back on hers. My Mother, like My Aunt and Grandmother used her machine often. I think Mom actually sewed more, as she made almost all my clothes in my growing up years. Dad traded in her Treadle Singer Sewing Machine for a newer model; so I'm thrilled to have this one in my position. Such a nice memory of my Mother, my Aunt, and my Grandmother.

sewing machine openedHere's it is in it's current home. Sorry for the poor picture here with the light. Snapped this photo quickly this morning to add to the post. The wood is cracked in a few places, there's some minimal rust on the iron works, and some wood trim missing from the top right drawer; but I think she's in pretty good shape for someone/something a 102 years old.

My work in progress here is cleaning her up as much as possible, looking through old pictures in hopes of finding some where it was photographed showing it's place in my family history.

Work continues on my feather and fan afghan. Hope you all enjoy the day. WIPW badges and links in sidebars, please join us.


  1. I loved the story of the sewing machine and all of the beautiful pictures. You're doing a wonderful job keeping such a precious piece in good shape. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you Kate, appreciate the kind words. I love family pieces.

  3. That is one beautiful sewing machine. Thank you so much for sharing the story behind it. I'm also very glad to see that you are preserving it so well!

  4. That is one beautiful sewing machine. Love the photo's and the stories along with them!

  5. Thank you Pumpkin and Susan appreciate your visits and comments.

  6. What a wonderful machine! I can remember my own grandmother having a similar type sewing machine. I often wonder what became of it. It was very heavy as I recall, but then I was very young too!

  7. You're right Sandie, it is very heavy. All that iron. Did you ever sew on your Grandmother's Treadle?

  8. No, I never used it Sandy. I'll have to ask my mom what became of it.

  9. What lovely photos of your family. Love the log cabin and sewing machine. Hope you make lots of lovely things on it.

  10. My grandmother had a Singer treadle also but traded it in for an electric machine so it was lost to posterity. How wonderful that you are preserving your family's traditions for craft through this machine. When cleaned and polished it will look wonderful. How many happy memories that machine brings to you.


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