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.
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Vintage inspired cool on showStuff.co.nz, May 25th
I learnt to sew on an old foot pedal Singer sewing machine when I was about six. Now I do a combination of knitting and crocheting." Ellis has moved back to Palmerston North after nine years away in Sydney and Wellington and said this will be her first ...Read more
'Thank you for this gift'Jamaica Observer, May 25th
THE Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) in celebrating Civil Servants week presented a Singer Sewing machine to the School of Hope in Clear Spring, Drapers, Portland. Third Vice-President of JCSA Sharon Anderson, in making the presentation ...Read more
Moving customers, including military top brass, for up to $100M a yearWashington Post, May 24th
It means expertly wrapping every last piece of furniture in a pad-wrap so that grandmother's antique Singer sewing machine or your treasured Stickley table completes the trip with its precious surface — and memories — intact. “It's prep and technique...Read more
Morris Minor is cute and yet quite an engineering masterpiece for its time.Contra Costa Times, May 24th
When I looked under the hood, the engine appeared to be about the size of a Singer sewing machine. The owner stated the standard engine was rated at about 50 horsepower so he installed a larger 1275 cc engine rated at 60 HP from a MG (Morris Garage) ...Read more
Nostalgia: A snapshot of bustling Redhill stores in their golden periodSurrey Mirror, May 23rd
at Nos 32 and 34; Dewhurst, the butcher's, at No 36; and Greenwood & Sons, leather sellers, at No 38. Ward's, the ironmonger's traded at No 40, followed by the newsagent's, Yates, and at No 44, the Singer Sewing Machine Company. This premises was...Read more
Musaffah's underground market where anything goesYahoo! Maktoob News, May 23rd
“I charge from Dh1 to Dh5 for cloth repairing, depending on the work,” said Mohammed Kamal, a tailor with a Singer sewing machine on a table. There were six tailors in a row in a corner of the market. Just opposite them were several barbers giving...Read more
What's It Worth? Chinese wooden pillow, Limoges pitcher, toy sewing machine ...OregonLive.com, May 12th
Q. This reclining figure is made of heavy, solid wood and measures 19 inches long, 9 inches wide and 13 inches high. There are no identifying marks. I bought it at a local auction. It is in fair condition, though the light colored coating has...Read more
McDonald's Should Fear Its FranchiseesBloomberg View, May 7th
Businesses eventually adopted the franchise model as a way of outsourcing distribution. The Singer Sewing Machine Company helped pioneer the practice in the 1850s, selling the exclusive “right” to market the company's goods in a given sales territory...Read more