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The Empire Scroll Saw

The "Empire" was the first large saw offered by Seneca Falls Mfg Co., introduced in 1884. The "Victor", introduced two years later, used the same "walking motion" foot pedals and 24" flywheel. These two machines, unlike most of the other treadle scroll saws of that era, were designed for heavy work in furniture factories and pattern maker's shops. Much heavier than the Barnes machines, these were the ultimate foot power machines of the late 19th century.

This example is in excellent working condition. It appears all original, except for one of the wood connecting rods between pedal and flywheel crank, which is an old replacement. The 32" wood saw frame provides constant blade tension - an advantage over the coil spring tension of the Victor, and both machines have a 24" throat. The drive belt is a twisted leather round belt, which is working quite well, however, the original belt would have been a 1/2" V-belt. One of the earliest uses of the V-belt was for this machine. The upper blade holder can be set for two different blade lengths - 8" and 5". A choice of two different strokes is also provided. The compression blade holders with wingnuts allow the use of segments of your favorite band saw blades.

Larger image

Patent dates on the front legs. June 12, 1877 and Jan 13, 1885

Lettering on the frame.

closeup of left side.

another side view.

the tilting table and lower blade holder.
The ball and socket mount allows the table to tilt in any direction.

cutting a barn swallow nest cup from a 2x8 The maximum table tilt of around 10 degrees wasn't adequate for this purpose. However, the table locks securely in any position, as one would expect, with its monster clamp.

cutting a ratchet gear and pawl for a prototype weight motor

cutting heavy stock for a rope hook from 2 1/2" thick oak. I cut several inches on the Empire and then resorted to a power saw to finish the job. This piece was 22" long- about as long as would be comfortable to hold while treadling.

rear view.

original connecting rod on left side.

connecting rod on right side - an old replacement.

A comparison of the size of the Empire with a typical "boy's saw" mounted on a Millers Falls lathe

Top view of same

Price: sold
Buyer must pick up or arrange transportation. This item can be safely stored until your next trip to Maryland.

Items reserved by email will be held 10 days and shipped upon receipt of your check. Please wait to mail your check or send Paypal payment until you receive email confirmation of your reservation.

Contact: Richard Van Vleck - Email:

© 2007, American Artifacts, Taneytown, Maryland.