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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 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.

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)

Slide plate and presser foot (55K)

Shuttle and bobbin

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 ofthe presser food and slide plate. If you look closely , you can see the slide plate markings that coorelate thread size 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

Back of the machine:  Taken from the top while the machine is in the cabinet (note the toes on the top of the picture and the hair at the bottom). There are marks that remind me of what happens when a bread bag makes contact with a hot toaster. I tried rubbing it gently with a moistened finger, but it didn't come off. I'll leave it until I research more--I'd like to find a safe way to remove the marks without marring the finish. The large silver disk is engraved with the same kind of design that surrounds the decal. The words near the bottom are: 
  • Keyser Fabrik 
  • A G 
  • Kaiserslautern 

tools

Tools:  This is the black metal box (no hinge) that contains a rolled hem foot, quilt guide, and a couple others I haven't quite identified. There's part of the manual, in German, and the slickest little oiler!

manual

Manual:  Alas, it's in German (I don't know whether it's old or new, but I'm going to find out) and not all there. There are diagrams to show how to wind the bobbin and use one or two of the accessory feet.

machine head

Head:  I don't know how well you can see it--the end has the same engraving as is found elsewhere on the machine and that is replicated in the gold work. The threading is a little odd compared with what I'm used to, but I was able to get it to work and adjusted the thread tension to get nice, even stitches.

 
 
 

This page was last updated on May 10, 1999.

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