Monday, November 2, 2009

1910 Bernard Stoewer treadle manufactured in Germany

I named this machine Bernice. As you can see at 100 years of age she is still quite a looker.  I washed the cabinet with Murphy's oil soap, then applied one coat of Swedish oil as the wood was very dry and starting to crack.
The sewing machine itself had all of her parts but needed some heavy duty cleaning, oiling and a new treadle belt to get her sewing again.  Her gold lion decals are stunning.  The machine sews in reverse when the lever is up and forward when the lever is down. This lever also controls the stitch length.
  
With a flashlight shinning directly on the black panel on the front of the harp the words "The Phoenix" are legible.  On the back of the harp the faded words "Made in Germany" are printed.
 
The bobbin has a tiny hole which fits on top of a little nipple in the bobbin winder.
It sews wonderful precise stitches, uses standard needles and low-shank feet.  There were no accessories or manual when I bought it.  The threading path is identical to the Singer 127, the only real difference between the Singer 127 and the Bernard Stoewer "The Phoenix" is the hole in the bobbin and the stitch lever instead of screw which controls the stitch length and reverse (bonus).
The serial number is 1097147.
Please visit Colorado Lady's blog for more vintage treasures.

28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful piece of history! The deep rich wood and gold and black - really nice.

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  2. That's a lovely looking machine. Its amazing how a bit of oil can transform a vintage piece.

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  3. Gosh, that's amazing! My mom had an old machine with case and I wish I still had it. It was an old old singer.

    Happy VTT!
    Tracy

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  4. This sewing machine is just gorgeous...from the machine herself to the cabinet and even the treadle! I am so green with envy!

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  5. That gold decorations on the machine are just beautiful. You did a marvelous job.

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  6. What a beauty Bernice is!!! Love her, I so wish I had one of these. Happy VTT!

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  7. Wow, it's a piece of art, such incredible detail in the design. I love it!

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  8. What a treasure, it is in beautiful condition.

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  9. Bernice is lovely!That coat of wax worked so well...the wood is in great shape!

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  10. This sewing machine is lovely! The lion on it is so detailed. Thanks for sharing! Happy VTT!

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  11. Hi, i recently purchased a vintage machine its a treadle to and its painting details are exactly like this machines .. it is a mercury which was made by the Goodrich sewing
    machine company in Chicago, Illinois.
    They basically made copies of other companies their machines and sold them under different names to get away with it i guess.. my treadle has a part missing so it will be a challenge to get that as its the belt tension part at the back of the machine .. love the pics would have been cool to add mine to show you ( oh and my hubbies names bernard so that made me laugh)

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  12. since viewing your site i have discovered on the back of my vintage machine a made in Germany imprinted.. so now i'm thinking its a Bernhard Stoewer too i'm not sure the year and i'm missing the belt tension part so happy to find your site as it has helped so much thanks

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  13. Hello,
    Thanks for posting comments on my blog. It sounds like your treadle is the same as mine, a very unique treasure and that makes you the only person in North America I know who has a Bernard Stoewer. There is a guy in France who also has one. They are very rare. If you have the serial number we can get the manufactured date from Needlebar, mine was manufactured in April of 1910. You said you are missing the tension belt, did you mean the treadle belt? Also do you have a reverse? Do you have the bobbin casing (looks like a shell casing) and long rod bobbins? What condition is the cabinet in? Do you have a manual or accessories? Getting a treadle belt is really easy they can be purchased on ebay as well as sewing machine stores. I would really love to see some photos.

    My machine had the words "The Phoenix" on the front of the harp, you can see the words by shinning a strong light on it. "Made in Germany" is imprinted on the back also so faint it can only be read with a bright light.

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  14. I read your first comment again. you said you are missing the belt tension part at the back of the machine. Are you missing the black wooden pitman? The website treadle on provides instructions on how to build one here
    http://www.treadleon.net//sewingmachineshop/hybridpitman/hybridpitman.html

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  15. I also bought a Bernard Stoewer and it is beautiful. I have only one bobbin (with the hole) and wondered if you know of any source for these? I could break off (I think) the rod that holds the spindle in the bobbin winder so it would fit standard bobbins but I hate to do that. I use my machine a lot (off grid) so I would sure like some more bobbins, any ideas? lorraine.lamb@va.gov

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  16. Hello Lorraine,
    I bought long rod bobbins from the Brandon Sewing Centre that fit the Singer model 127. Then my husband ] drilled the hole out to fit the nipple on the bobbin winder for my Bernard Stoewer. If you take your original bobbin with you the guy at the sewing machine store could probably drill the little hole for you.

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  17. Hi Tammy,

    I have just inherited my great grandmother's Stoewer. I hardly knew anything about these vintage machines until I found your blog, so thank you for sharing information and for sharing your lovely pics!

    My machine has the words "Central Bobbin" written on the front of the harp and the serial number 1425704 imprinted on the back.

    I just wanted to share this with someone who is also interested in old treasures =)

    Regards,
    Anna-Karin Mattsson (Sweden)

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  18. Hello Anna-Karin
    From your serial number I believe your Stoewer was manufactured in 1914. Is yours also a treadle machine?

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  19. Hello again,

    Thanks for the information! Yes it is a treadle machine. The actual machine looks a lot like your Bernice but she doesn't have a cabinet and Bernice seems to be in better shape than my Frida (I've named her after my great grandmother, of course:-)).

    The so called "platform" (I'm sure there is a better word for it in English) under the machine has a broken corner and the wooden hood - or is it called flaps?- is cracked.

    Still, I think she looks great and I'm glad to have a piece of history in my living room. And I have the manual to the machine, which is quite fun too.

    Regards,
    Anna-Karin Mattsson

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  20. We have just accquired a hand crank machine with the same decals. I think it may be a slightly smaller machine than a treadle. The serila number is 1169807. It needs some TLC but I think it will sew without too much work.

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  21. taylamist@yahoo.com.auSeptember 3, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Hi Tammy,
    Can you help me, my hand crank turns smoothly, but doesn't pick up the bobbin thread to complete the stich. I have replaced the needle but I'm concerned abiut the shuttle the spring piece is a little bent out as if someone has grabbed it to pull the shuttle out. Do you know of any that will fit. Sorry to troulble you but info is very scarce on these. PS I'm in Australia.

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  22. the bernard stoewer,just seen one on ebay uk,,listed as a singer,great decals

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  23. Hi Tammy, Can you help. I have a 1909 Bernard Stoewer treadle machine. I was given the machine and had to change the belt. How do I know what tension the belt should be. When I treadle the belt goes round but the needle does not go up and down. When I turn the balance wheel the needle goes up and down. The belt does not appear to be slipping. I really want to use my machine. Thank you

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    1. If the treadle belt is too tight it won't turn the needle bar.. if it is too loose it will slip and again not turn the needle bar. should fit slightly snug but not tight. please visit this website for treadle sewing machine information http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/treadles/installingtreadlebelt.html

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    2. Hi Tammy, thank you for your reply, I had found the site you suggested before. Before I could see the belt slipping, so I cut a little more off, it is not slipping now, but there is still play in the belt. The treadle moves freely without effort. Should I cut a little more off the belt. Thank you.

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    3. If the belt is not slipping and turning the needle bar up and down is tight enough. There can be some play in the belt. Once the needle moves up and down easily the belt is correct length. Over time the leather belt stretches when used lots and needs to be shortened again. Hope this helps you out. Happy treadling.

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  24. Hi Tammy, Can you help please. I have a 1909 Stower tradle machine, When I was given the machine it needed some TLC and a new belt, so I did not know if it worked. I have changed the belt, but how tight should it be? At first the belt was slipping, now when I treadle the belt turns but the needle does not move, when I turn the balance wheel (small wheel at the top) the needle moves, does the belt need to be tighter. Thank you.

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