The Singer model 66 K. I have two of these machines, one powered by hand, and one by foot.
This model was first produced in Britain in 1907, and continued to be produced in the UK until 1940. At this point, the Singer factory was retooled for the making of ammunitions to support the war effort. After the war the assembly line for the 66 was not reinstated, and the model 66 was never made again.
It is a heavy duty domestic machine, and one of the first to use the rotary hook bobbin, a very efficient and smooth running mechanism which is still used today.
This lovely treadle machine was probably the first machine I ever used. It was built in 1929 and belonged to my Grandmother. I am proud to be its custodian for now. I can remember as a young child learning how to get the treadle going, to turn the flywheel on the machine in the right direction. Like riding a bike, once learnt never forgotten, and I still love to sit down to work with it.
In 1911 the Singer Manufacturing Company published a book, ‘Instructions for Art Embroidery’. This demonstrated how the domestic sewing machine could be used for all sorts of beautiful creative results. All examples in the book were made with a treadle machine by embroideress Dorothy Benson.
I had a go at using the treadle to do some free motion embroidery. It works (a bit), the machine stitches quite well, even though I can’t drop the feed dog. I set the stitch length to zero, and use my normal embroidery foot. I definitely need a bit of practice with all the hand, foot, eye(and brain) coordination!