I have heard of the chain-stitch sewing machines that were used during the Civil War, and seen pictures of the stitching they made. What I'm wondering is, were straight-stitching machines also used in any capacity? Did they even exist? I have an old White "vibrating shuttle" treadle machine that was my great-grandmother's. It was made some time between the late 1880's to the late 1890's; the patent dates go from 1872-1881. I know it will handle heavier fabrics that many modern machines won't. It looks well worn, but still functions perfectly.