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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Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines

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Guernsey County and its surrounding areas meeting and events calendar
The Daily Jeffersonian, October 28th

Call 439-6681 for information. Sewing group, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Guernsey County Senior Citizens Center, Cambridge. The center has a Singer sewing machine with electric pedal and many accessories. Bring ideas and projects. For information, call 439-6681...Read more

Home-based businesses find niche in Grove
Grandlakenews, October 27th

Foster uses a 54-year-old Singer sewing machine for the alteration projects. “My mom bought the sewing machine for me when I was in school and taking home economics,” Foster said. Foster said she bought a new sewing machine about five years ago and ...Read more

South Sudan's armies gear up as fighting season approaches
The Guardian, October 27th

The petrol station in the main market no longer operates; an enterprising man with an antique Singer sewing machine has set up shop on the forecourt. Not far away, two boys, seeming only just into their teenage years, stand guard outside a building now ...Read more

Greenwich Ghost Tour documented; Val Mode mural; BEN Column, Oct. 26 ...
The Star-Ledger, October 26th

"So the photo of the girl behind the Singer sewing machine is my mom (Ruth Crowe) at age 17. "You will see her in one of the photos at age 84 with Cesar, and me with Cesar. "Cesar is a muralist from Philadelphia, and if you have seen any of the murals...Read more

Long Beach event Dia de los Verdes promotes a green community
Long Beach Press Telegram, October 25th

Amy Tanaka of Mixed Media Arts strings marigolds for an archway at Dia de los Verdes, a celebration of living sustainably through art, music, movement, food, community and ceremony in Long Beach's Via Carmelitos farm. Photos by Brittany Murray — Staff ...Read more

Onalaska museum exhibit highlights sewing
La Crosse Tribune, October 23rd

the Singer, was invented in 1851, and was known as the first “practical” sewing machine. The exhibit features a treadle Singer Sewing Machine donated to the museum from the Mabel Anderson estate. Copyright 2014 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved...Read more

Quilting with fleece on upcoming show
Clovis News Journal, October 18th

Vivian Lavinskas is the manager of Consumer Affairs for Singer Sewing Co., and she will explain about flatlock stitching which is usually sewn using a 3-thread serger. However, you can easily reproduce this popular effect using the blindhem and other ...Read more

Police: Women caught on camera stealing sewing machines
WYFF Greenville, October 3rd

GREENVILLE, S.C. —Greenville police are looking for two women they say stole several Singer sewing machines from Jo-Ann's Fabrics on Woods Crossing Road. More News. View Large. Photos. Police said on Aug. 11 and then on Aug. 20 the women made ...Read more