Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Singer style Soviet treadle sewing machine and table of the type used in Kovno ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1997.129.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Brief Narrative
    Treadle sewing machine produced in the Singer factory in Podolsk, Soviet Union (Podol’sk, Russia), which was nationalized following the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1917. The machine is mounted to a wooden table, which served as both work surface and storage container for the machine and sewing accessories. This mass produced machine was very durable and affordable. This specific machine was in use in Lithuania until the late 1990s. This type of machine would have been used by Jewish forced laborers in the Kovno (Kaunas) Ghetto in German occupied Lithuania. There were about forty workshops, including a tailoring shop to sew and repair German military uniforms. German forces occupied Kovno on June 24, 1941. Beginning in July, German mobile killing units and Lithuanian auxiliaries massacred the Jewish residents, murdering half, around 20,000 people, within six months. The remaining were confined to the Ghetto to supply forced labor for the German military. In the autumn of 1943, the SS converted the ghetto into Kauen concentration camp. In July 1944, the remaining inmates were deported and the ghetto was burned to the ground.
    manufacture:  approximately 1917-approximately 1950
    use: Lithuania
    manufacture: Podolʹsk (Moscow, Russia)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    overall : machine, front, gold paint : ГОСШВЕЙМАШИНА [SEWING MACHINE]
    overall : machine, front right, gold paint : С.С.С.Р. [U.S.S.R.]
    overall : machine, back, gold paint : ГОСШВЕЙМАШИНА [SEWING MACHINE]
    Manufacturer: ?????????????

    Physical Details

    Tools and Equipment
    Physical Description
    Black painted metal, treadle powered sewing machine stored sideways inside a brown, wooden table. The L shaped sewing machine has a horizontal arm extending from a vertical body with a flat base plate. The sewing mechanism is attached to the sewing head on the left. A small wheel is attached to the body on the right. There is an engraved disc on the right end, where the arm meets the body. There is a gold painted floral motif along the base, body, and arm. The table has 2 flat, rectangular legs with an H brace. A large, spoked wheel is attached to the right and a rectangular treadle is attached near the bottom. The table has a flat, rectangular top and a box shaped body. There are 3 rectangular drawers beneath: a shallow drawer with a keyhole flanked by 2 deep drawers with brown plastic pulls. On the right is a metal key on a chain. Two flat, hinged wooden panels are attached to the top of the table over the box. There is a keyhole in the right end.
    overall: Height: 28.500 inches (72.39 cm) | Width: 36.000 inches (91.44 cm) | Depth: 18.250 inches (46.355 cm)
    overall : metal, wood, paint, plastic

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The sewing machine and table were acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1997.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-03-06 11:36:32
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us