When it comes to Singer, even avid sewing-machine collectors tend not to mince their words. “They were not great innovators,” says Harry Berzack, who owns about 500 sewing machines of various makes and models. But one thing everyone agrees on was Singer’s unprecedented ability to get its machines into the hands of customers. “They were unbelievable marketers,” Berzack says.
That may be why collectors of antique and vintage sewing machines have so much fun collecting Singers—there are a lot of models to choose from. One of the earliest was the Turtleback from 1856, which was only in production for a few years but paved the way for Singer’s New Family machine, which was introduced in the 1860s before being renamed the Singer Model 12. The machine came in hand-crank and treadle versions, and featured decorative gold details on its jet-black body.
An Improved Family machine followed in 1879. This machine is considered a breakthrough because of its oscillating shuttle, but the next year an even more significant development occurred—Singer put an Edison electric motor in one of its machines, a foreshadowing of things to come.
By 1890, Singer had a staggering 80 percent of the world sewing-machine market, and by 1891, that early Edison prototype was being offered to the public. Other models from this era (there were 40 at the turn of the century) include the Singer 48 K, which was manufactured at the company’s plant in Kilbowie, Scotland (the factory would be renamed Clydebank).
The Singer 66 is also of this vintage. It was introduced in 1900 (its portable cousin, the 99, arrived around 1920) and remained in production until the 1950s, which makes this probably the most ubiquitous Singer model available. Another Singer machine that’s popular with collectors (as well as seamstresses and tailors, for that matter) is the Featherweight, which was introduced in 1933 at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Sewing Machine Collector
Sensibility Vintage Images
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines
Source: Google News
Mum sewed her love and care into my Liberty print frockThe Guardian, November 27th
My mother was a whizz on her trusty Singer sewing machine and made my frock before we went on holiday to New York. It had puffed sleeves and a pocket – a perfect combination of frippery and practicality that reflected my mother's philosophy on fashion ...Read more
Saskatoon knitting circle looks to help create 25000 toques for refugeesSaskatoon StarPhoenix, November 27th
Bonnie Zink in her sewing room with her vintage 1958 Singer sewing machine she calls Cinnamon, one of eight machines she owns. Taken on Nov. 27, 2015 in Saskatoon. Share Adjust Comment Print. A movement aimed at supplying winter clothes to Syrian ...Read more
Portville family shares their story for Diabetes Awareness MonthOlean Times Herald, November 26th
One example is a library table recycled from an old Singer sewing machine base. Stives recently began fashioning holiday art pieces from mannequins, artificial Christmas trees, trim and sometimes lights. Two of the pieces are on display at One on One...Read more
Renovation, expansion project underway at Housatonic Community CollegeNew Haven Register, November 25th
The expansion will add 46,000 square feet to Lafayette Hall, which was the former Hi Ho Mall before the college moved there in 1997 from a former Singer sewing machine factory on Barnum Avenue on the city's East Side. The addition will create a new ...Read more
Black Friday 2015 sales: Walmart & Amazon deals for Cyber Monday to start earlyExaminer.com, November 25th
As for the Amazon sales deals to look for, the retailer plans to have $200 off a Lenovo laptop, 50 percent off a select Elliptical machine, 60 percent off a Singer sewing machine, and 60 percent off a Ginormous Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel, among...Read more
Toys 'R' Us, Amazon and Walmart race to start Cyber MondayCNNMoney, November 25th
Amazon is offering discounts for a wide variety of products including electronics ($200 off Lenovo laptop,) toys (60% off Ginormous Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel,) home (60% off Singer sewing machine) and sports (50% off Elliptical machine.) Walmart...Read more
1951 Singer sewing machine instrumental in The DressmakerInquirer.net, November 4th
Tilly arrives to her hometown alone and armed with a luggage and a Singer sewing machine, she begins to make space for her belongings and reconcile with her mother, ultimately, stitching the events from the townsfolk responsible on accusing her of...Read more
The Dressmaker: Why a film about a seamstress is so revolutionarySydney Morning Herald, November 1st
From the opening, as Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) arrives back in her dusty hometown of Dungatar brandishing her Singer sewing machine like a lethal weapon, it wears its Western influences on its immaculately tailored sleeves (indeed, Moorhouse has ...Read more