rag dolls and woollies

rag dolls and woollies

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The new baby

Will you look at This!!??  I look into the room several times a day just to check on It..

I am fortunate that few people in Israel value the stuff I like. So far I've found a loom, a spinning wheel and now this Beautiful Treadle Machine for a song! When I called the phone number on the ad for the machine, the fellow said, "you know, the cabinet is not in good shape."

That's ok, I said, I don't care about the cabinet.

There was a pause. "What do you want this for?" he said, half wonderingly to himself.

The Machine, I told him -- "but you realize it is not electric...." he continued in confusion.  When we met later that day to clinch the deal, he studied me off and on. People just don't get us....

I dragged my friend Dina with me. She has a lot more toys (as my husband calls it) than I do, including TWO Berninas, one treadle machine for sewing and another treadle machine for sewing leather (also a spinning wheel, loom, soap and candle making equipment) -- when I first met her, I just wandered around her house in amazement. She has every book I ever wanted, too.

So I dragged her along and she obligingly crawled around the Machine, looked underneath it, rotated the wheel, squeaked the treadle (it squeaked then), examined the bobbin case....you know, kicked the tires on the thing. "It's good," she said.

And boy is it ever! It is so calming. You don't even need to use it to calm down. You can just sit next to it and feel its solid presence....it's quiet power....it's self-assurance.  I wouldn't presume to name it because it knows its own name (and I may never know what it is).

And it has lions. Two actually, one here and another on the base. Aren't they Fabulous??

Lions belong in Jerusalem. You know, "lion of Judah." And Jerusalem is known as the city of gold because of the colors of the buildings at sunset. And there they are -- Golden Lions.

What's not to like?

And finally after three days of saying he didn't want to, the hubby sat down to it. I had told him that sewing on it would be an experience like no other.  He had been unmoved by this comment. But last night, after I made a few more pushy remarks, and got a little (just a little) obnoxious about it, he sat down at it and he did it. And let out this cute little cry of delight! He's made a lot of noises in the past, but never one like this. "It is so effortless!" he gushed.

We all know Real Men aren't supposed to be cute, but the truth is the truth. It was cute. I made him tell me about it twice more just to enjoy his reaction again. He is obliging that way.

So the best I can figure, this machine was made by the Standard Sewing Machine Company for a smaller company named Phillips. The serial number would fit Standard's numbers for 1905. Ain't that somethin'? Later in 1934, Singer took them over (it seems Singer took everybody over) and Standard was no more. But they had been there since the 1880s in Ohio, turning out machines in more than 600 different names for smaller dealers. I don't think I'll ever know when it traveled overseas to Israel.

But now, this year in Jerusalem, it'll be back to work for the first time in many, many years!


  1. What a beauty. Love the post and pic.

  2. Beautiful machine. I love the blog!!

  3. Your post reminded me of when Mottel the Tailor in Fiddler on the roof got his "new arrival" of a sewing machine where the town thought it was a baby!! your machine even looks similar to that one!

  4. So how much did it cost? Is it wrong to ask that?

  5. I love your blog Aunt Paula!!! It's a beautiful machine that brings back so many memories - my grandfather had one that was very similar. Love you and miss you!!!

  6. Paula, I love this post! My father, back in the early 1950s, worked as a Singer repairman, traveling around to people's homes. He considered the treadle machines very sound and worth keeping in working order.