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Désirée Bacle

Rue du Bac 46, Paris

Bacle was a Parisian distributor of machines from 1867.

Picture courtesy of Rijnko Fekkes

Models sold by him include: Voyageuse, L'Express, La Politype, Etinalle, L'Etincelle, La Famille, L'Industrielle, L'Intermediaire, La Préferée, La Séduisante, L'Universelle, La Voyageuse, Willcox & Gibbs, Löwe, Saxonia B, Familia B, Semper, Mars, Liegera, Amica B, New Brunswick, Elsa (VS), New National, New International (New Home- System), Renania, Regina Margherita, Principessa Jolanda, Humboldt (Rhenania - System)

Bacle patented his "Magic Pedal" treadle mechanism on 14th November 1888 (French patent #194105)

Bacle Advertisements

Courtesy of José Clipet

Treadle machine with Magic Pedal mechanism

Courtesy of Jean-Paul Berger

Forum Discussion Topic

"Magic Pedal" Treadle Mechanism

Translated by David Stirling

Magic Pedal. Exposition Universelle Internationale. Paris, 1889.

Mr. Désiré Baclé, of Paris, is exhibiting a simple and elegant device called the “Magic Pedal”. It uses the principle of a device presented by Mr. Bourdin in 1878, and perfected by this exhibiter in the details of its construction. Its principal function is to reduce the serious drawbacks, for the workers, of prolonged sewing machine use, and the dangers to their health that often arise.

These disorders are a consequence of the sudden movements that go with normal pedals, where, because of the positive linkage between the parts, the speed is linked directly to the speed of the machine. The designers have replaced the crank and connecting rod by a power transmission mechanism which, in itself, is a very interesting device.

On the main flywheel axle AA (fig.280), to which the power is to be transmitted, are mounted two drums CC’ that are fixed to two toothed discs DD’ that turn inside a pulley B that is fixed on the axle. On the diagram, for clarity, the discs are shown separated from the pulley. Around their edges the discs DD’ have notches that contain rubber balls. When the disc rotates the balls jam between the pulley rim and the long sides of the notches so driving the pulley, but when the disc rotation reverses the pulley remains free. It is a coupling with no neutral points and to which the rubber connection gives a special softness.

The drawing shows the system used for a sewing machine. The two pedals EE’ pull alternately on the two ends of a cord which winds round the drums CC’ and thus transfers movement to them. The operation of the system is clear: The worker presses successively on the two pedals to provide the motive power; but it is not necessary that the movement of the pedals be synchronised with the revolutions of the main axle. The flywheel maintains the power when the feet are not moving.

This ingenious coupling mechanism that we describe is not entirely new. The same principle was applied notably in one of the oldest gas machines that was exhibited in 1867 by Messrs Otto and Langden. It promises to be useful in other applications.

View as pdf document

Engravings courtesy of Rijnko Fekkes

Belting and Mechanism Engraving (pdf)