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My Christmas Gift 
from my in-Laws:  
A Minnesota Model K Treadle

While wandering around the cozy town of Park Rapids, Minnesota, and shopping the garage sales with my husband and my mother-in-law, I spotted what I suspected was a sewing cabinet.  Now I didn't really count myself as a collector, but having caught the bug from the women (and men) on the quilting newsgroup, I started investigating the unloved sewing machines I saw under piles of junk at flea markets and garage sales.  I had already picked up the Kayser treadle at a flea market. (I overwrote the originial Kayser file, link to come!)

I wandered over, nonchalantly so the price wouldn't go up, and started looking.  The machine seemed to be in pretty good shape.  It had a shuttle with which I was unfamiliar, but it seemed complete, there was part of the manual, and many attachments.  This was the second treadle that had really piqued my interest (but I was really looking for a Singer Model 66 Redeye).  I asked how much it was.  $100.  Not unreasonable--I'd seen a Model A at a different flea market and it was marked higher but not in as good shape.  Then I looked at my car.  No way was my little Saturn going to fit that parlor cabinet, assorted bits of luggage, and my DH and I for the trip back to Rochester.  With a heavy sigh, I left the sewing machine behind.

Imagine my surprise some months later to come home from work and find my in-laws there (well, I knew they were coming) and the living room slightly rearranged.  What's this???  There was a bow and a Christmas card.  My mother-in-law knew the woman who had the sale.  She had called her right after we left town and bargained for that machine.  And some people have a hard time with their mothers-in-law! 

I have most of the manual for this machine, but it's in bad shape.  I suspect it was printed on wood-pulp paper and it's eating itself.  I'll try to get a photocopy of the text and put the poor thing in acid-free paper.  What I don't have is the front cover or the front two pages (I was hoping for a date and the threading diagram).  If you have any information about this machine, I'd love to hear it.  The back of the manual says it came from Sears & Roebuck, but I know they sold "badged" machines from several vendors.

The pictures below may help with identification.  Click the small picture to see more detail (and use the back key to get back to this page).

My Minnesota Model K

Front detail (84.4K)

Corner detail (84.5K)

Inside the cabinet (21K)

Cabinet:  The cabinet is oak. It has carving on the outer edges and a carved medallion on the front.  The pictures to the left show the front medallion and the corner carving detail.  The bottom picture of the three shows the "inside" view of the cabinet.  The object on the treadle is an eletric lamp that was clipped around the neck of the machine.

cabinet storage (47K)

Storage: Inside the cabinet door is a bent wood storage space that holds the black metal accessories tin and a spool or two of thread.
Treadle pedal (36.5K)
Treadle:  The treadle is fastened to the bottom of the cabinet on the left, and hooked to the wheel on the right.  There doesn't seem to be a good way to hook/unhook the belt.  When I was a child, my parents bought me a Singer treadle at auction for $5.  It kept me busy sewing Barbie clothes and out of Mom's hair while she sewed our school clothes.  That treadle had a lip on the wheel that helped guide the belt into the groove on the wheel.  This one has only notches in the wheel (and they pinch fingers if you're not careful--don't ask how I know!).

machine front (52K)

Front View: From the front of the machine, you can see the Minnesota name and the shells and gold decals.

The Model K logo (33K)

Logo: You can see the colors on the Model K logo fairly clearly in this picture.

Tension spring and thread guide (56K)

Shuttle and bobbin (89K)

Bobbin winder (94K)

More details:  The top picture shows the tension mechanism and (barely) the curlique thread guide.

The next picture shows a close-up of the presser foot and slide plate. If you look closely, you can see the slide plate markings that coorelate thread size and type to needle size

Next is a close-up of the shuttle and bobbin.

Finally, the bottom picture is a view of the bobbin winder.  Oops, I should have moved the belt out of the way before taking the picture!


  • Back of the machine:  Taken from the top while the machine is in the cabinet.  Fairly plain.  Large black circular disk covering the workings and the lever that raises the presser foot. 

  • Accessories (30K)

    What are they? (25K)

    What's this?  (15K)

    Accessories:  The accessories came in a black metal box (no hinge).  Some of them are Greist.  I noticed the ruffler is twisted and broken (I think I have another).  The bottom pictures are oddities.  There's an Eureka vaccum cleaner company screwdriver (upper right), and the rest I'm not sure of.  The gizmo on the right has an opening that is square.  Some sort of wrench?  Below that (bottom right) is another mystery object (maybe an underbraider?).  Bottom left of the same picture is a small, threaded object that looks like a key, but to what, I wonder?

    The bottom picture is something that was in the accessories box.  I don't know what it is, to you?


    This page was last updated on March 3, 2000. All images and text copyright Judy Fearn 2000.

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