Thursday, June 24, 2010

Identify A Treadle Iron

An antique sewing machine with a cast iron treadle stand.

Sewing machine treadles on antique sewing machines were usually made from cast iron. A treadle is basically a pedal connected to a push rod that turns a flywheel when depressed. Cast iron is very resilient and, unless the iron has become rusted due to neglect, the treadle should still be in relatively good shape. Vintage treadles are now valuable collectibles on the antiques market, and owing to their unique design, are not too difficult to identify. Some modern treadles have been designed in imitation of antique treadles, so if you are looking for an authentic antique, you will want to inspect the treadle iron closely. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Look on the treadle for the manufacturer's name. The majority of sewing machine manufacturers emblazoned the company name somewhere on the treadle. This is not a conclusive method, however, as replicas will feature a company name on the treadle design as well.

2. Cross-reference a manufacturer name on a treadle by consulting the International Sewing Machine Collector's Society website. The site has an archive of thousands of manufacturer names dating back to the late 1800's.

3. Look at the finish on the cast iron. Different sewing machine companies would finish their treadles differently. Peugeot finished their treadles with a rough black paint while some early White treadle models were finished in bronze.

Tags: cast iron, antique sewing, cast iron treadle, company name, iron treadle, manufacturer name