Having limited display area, I kept very few treadle machines in my collection, but how could I pass up this one?
Yes, it’s the fabled Boudoir produced in the 1850s by Daniel Harris, who was both inventor and manufacturer.
The Smithsonian dates the machine to 1858. Two patents were issued the year earlier. It’s one of the few machines produced outside New England, being made in Chicago.
The Smithsonian has an example on page 82 – check here: https://tinyurl.com/y75x5z6n
This was the machine that introduced historian and manufacturer William Newton Wilson of England into the sewing-machine business. He brought the machines in from the USA and sold them in the UK before introducing his own range of models.
There is one hand-crank machine in the London Sewing Machine Museum, but this is the only treadle I know that has survived.
Check out the fold-out oak cover and the minimalist treadle arrangement.
I found a great contemporary advertisement for the machine on the Web, check here: https://tinyurl.com/y74kqyt9
Also a reference to the machine having been shown at the International Exhibition of 1862, check here (figure 9): https://tinyurl.com/yb2gelr5
The machine could be dismantled and safely shipped, but the cost would be heavy.
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