|My Dear Husband created this sign to announce his retirement policy.|
This beauty is a Singer Model 15 treadle. Collectors call the decals on this machine "Sphinx" or "Memphis". I can't say exactly how old this machine is, but I don't think she was heavily used, as her decals are in beautiful condition. Yes, I know it is possible to assign a date to Singer machines based on their serial number. However, those numbers are only a guide to the general timeframe a machine was manufactured, and should only be used as a guide. Besides, the machine is at the camp and I'm at home - I don't have the serial number written down anywhere.
The most distinctive characteristic of the Model 15 is the placement of the tension adjustment knob on the back of the machine. If you find a machine with this type of tension adjustment, chances are it is a Model 15 or a Japanese copy of a Model 15. Between Singer's manufacture and all the Japanese clones that appeared after WWII, the Model 15 was in production for a long time. If you are looking for a reliable straight-stitch machine without investing an arm and a leg, you won't go wrong with a Model 15 or a clone.
Using a treadle sewing machine is pretty simple. It might take a little practice to get the hang of it, but the treadle motion quickly becomes second nature. The added exercise is a nice plus, too. Living on the Gulf Coast - where power failures can happen with even a mild thunderstorm - it's also very convenient to have an electricity-free sewing machine!
The Age of the Interwebs has made it easy to find antique and vintage sewing machine resources. If you are interested in using a people-powered sewing machine, I recommend the Treadle On website as a great starting point. It's a down-to-earth website loaded with practical information presented in a straightforward, but fond and often humorous way. Treadle On!