A treadle [from OE tredan = to tread] is a part of a machine which is operated by the foot to produce reciprocating or rotary motion in a machine such as a weaving loom (reciprocating) or grinder (rotary). Treadles can also be used to power water pumps (treadle pump)


On a railway, a treadle or treatle is a device that detects the passing of a train, a bit like a track circuit and might be used to put a signal to 'stop'.

Sewing machines

Many of the early sewing machines were operated by a treadle mechanism linked to the machine by a leather belt.

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