The No Treadle Sewing Machine

My second great grandfather, George W. Fritz, was born in Iowa. After he died, he was buried in a cemetery in his hometown of Blakesburg. I don’t know whether he lived in Washington or Iowa when he died.

Other than George having married Birdie Fowler, and their having two kids while in Washington, I had no information on George’s life. They lived in Iowa in 1885 (1885 Iowa State Census), and their kids were born in Washington in 1892 (Hazel Fritz) and 1984 (Howard Fritz). George passed away in 1898, and Birdie was back in Iowa in 1900 (1900 US Federal Census).

As it turns out, while in Washington, George started a company selling sewing machines.

The following appeared in the Morning Olympian (Olympia, Washington) on Friday, February 8, 1895:

New Incorporations

Following articles of incorporations have been filed with the secretary of state:

No-Treadle Sewing Machine company, of Tacoma; capital stock, $2,500, in 25 shares of 100 each; incorporators, Geo. W. Fritz, B. L. Fritz and F. Fowler; to deal in sewing machines and real estate.

The Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) had something similar on Monday, February 11, 1895:

Washington Incorporations

For which articles were files last week at Olympia.

No-Treadle Sewing Machine Company; Tacoma; capital, $2500; 25 shares of $100 each: incorporators, George Fritz, B. L. Fritz, F. Fowler; to deal in sewing and other machinery.

The names had me stumped at first, but I’ve figured them out. Geo. W. Fritz is obviously George W. Fritz. B. L. Fritz must be George’s wife, Birdie. Her mother’s maiden name was Lane, so it’s possible Birdie’s middle name is Lane. This is the first time I’ve seen a middle initial for her. Finally, F. Fowler would be Birdie’s younger sister, Faye. This article is from 1895, three years before Faye would marry (taking on a new last name) in 1898.

I’ve spotted five different newspaper advertisements for the company’s “No Treadle Sewing Machine”. They all appeared in the Tacoma Daily News (Tacoma, Washington), on the dates shown beneath the transcripts below. (These are the dates I’ve seen the ad, although it likely also appeared on dates I do not have listed.)

See the no treadle sewing machine before buying another. No work—it runs itself, 1022 Tacoma avenue.

  • Saturday, January 19, 1895
  • Monday, January 21, 1895
  • Tuesday, January 22, 1895
  • Wednesday, January 23, 1895
  • Thursday, January 24, 1895

Your health is the first thing to consider when selecting a sewing machine. See the No Treadle, 1022 tacoma av.

  • Tuesday, January 29, 1895
  • Saturday, February 9, 1895
  • Friday, February 15, 1895

The No Teadle Sewing Machine
The Ladies’ Friend
No Treadle
Do not endanger your life!
Do not ruin your health!
Do not make yourself hard work!
Prices as low as all standard machines!
It will not pay you to take chances!
See the “No Treadle” before buying!
G. W. Fritz, Manager.
1020 Tacoma Avenue

  • Monday, March 4, 1895

The No Treadle Sewing Machine.
The Ladies’ Friend.
Your Health
Is the first thing to consider when selecting a sewing machine.
Runs Itself. East to Learn. No Belts.
Simple, Durable, Reliable, Practical.
Needles and supplies of all kinds of sewing machines.
Country Agents Wanted.
Office 1020 Tacoma Avenue.

  • Saturday, March 23, 1895


The ad text is the same as the prior, only with a font change to improve the look of the ad.

  • Monday, March 25, 1895
  • Tuesday, March 26, 1895
  • Wednesday, March 27, 1895
  • Thursday, March 28, 1895
  • Friday, March 29, 1895
  • Saturday, March 30, 1895
  • Tuesday, April 2, 1895
  • Friday, April 5, 1895
  • Tuesday, April 9, 1895
  • Wednesday, April 10, 1895
  • Thursday, April 11, 1895
  • Friday, April 12, 1895
  • Saturday, April 13, 1895
  • Monday, April 15, 1895
  • Tuesday, April 16, 1895
  • Wednesday, April 17, 1895
  • Thursday, April 18, 1895
  • Friday, April 19, 1895
  • Monday, April 22, 1895
  • Tuesday, April 23, 1895
  • Wednesday, April 24, 1895

I haven’t found any later ads.

3 thoughts on “The No Treadle Sewing Machine

  1. That one has me wondering, too. I do notice one article stated “and real estate” while the other stated “and other machinery”. Was the first an error, or did George actually do some real estate on the side? Just one more thing to investigate one day!

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