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

Sewing Machine Collector

Geoff and Norma Dickens' reference site on vintage toy sewing machines from the late 1800s. Browse the images alpha… [read review or visit site]

Sensibility Vintage Images

Sensibility Vintage Images

An extensive collection of photos and ephemera illustrating changing fashion styles from 1795 to 1959. Includes por… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Singer 29k 53 - Heavy Duty, Leather/industrial Patcher Sewing MachineVintage Singer Frobana - Leather/cobbler Sewing Machine - Industrial - Rare!!Vintage 1951 Singer 221 Centennial Edition Featherweight Sewing Machine AntiqueVintage 1964 Singer Featherweight Model 221k White Sewing MachineVintage Singer 45k 5 - Heavy Duty, Leather/industrial Sewing Machine Super Rare! Singer Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine & Case Sn Ak 998043Vintage Old Antique Hand Crank Singer Sewing Machine 99k Model * See Video *Vtg Singer Featherweight Portable Sewing Machine Model # 221Vintage Singer 301a Sewing Machine With Trapezoid Case Portable 1951 WorkingSinger Featherweight Model 221-1 1946 Sewing Machine,electric, Case, AccessoriesVintage 1951 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine With Carrying Case 1940 Singer Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine W Pedal Case Manual ButtonholeVintage Singer Model 301a Heavy Duty Industrial Sewing Machine W/ CaseVintage Singer Feather Weight Sewing MachineVintage 1953 Heavy Duty Singer 301a Slant Needle Sewing Machine Vintage 1951 Anniversary Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine With CaseVintage Singer 201 Sewing MachineSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine Model 221 K Mint Color, Case + Accessories Singer Sewhandy Beige Tan Original Box Vtg Childs Featherweight Sewing MachineServiced Antique 1920 Singer 66 Red Eye Treadle Sewing Machine Works See Video1955 Singer Featherweight Portable Model 221- Sewing MachineVintage 1947 Singer Featherweight Model 221-1 Black Sewing Machine Vintage 1961 Singer 500 Rocketeer Slant Needle Sewing Machine 1949 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine With Case And Accessories*** Singer Featherweight 221 Mechanical Sewing Machine ***Vintage Singer Sewing Machine, Toy, Hand Crank, Model20Vintage 1951 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine Case Attachments Working!Featherweight 1953 Singer Sewing Machine 221 And Case - ExtrasVintage 1952 Singer 221 Featherweight Singer Sewing MachineSinger Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine Case Attachments 1946 No ReserveSinger 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine 1951 Centenial Eg959267 / Case Singer Direct Drive 15-91 Sewing Machine.for Heavy Fabrics,canvas,leather,c1940Antique 1904 Singer Sewing Machine In Cabinet B115135 Singer Sewing Machine BSinger, Featherweight 221, Excellent Condition With Case, Attachments, ExtrasVintage Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine Parts Or RepairAntique Black Featherweight 221 Singer Sewing Machine #al429658 W/pedal WorksSinger Feather Weight 1940s Model 221-1 With Case, Extras, Attachments, Manual Vintage 1950's Singer 301a Tan Sewing Machine Portable+case,slant Needle* Gorgeous * Singer 20 * Child's All Metal Operating Toy Sewing Machine * 1922 *Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine With Case1953 Singer 221-1 Featherweight Sewing MachineVintage Singer Sewing Machine Model 221-1* Gorgeous * 1914 * Singer 20 * Child's All Metal Operating Toy Sewing Machine *Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Stained Glass Leaded Sign NrSinger 1950's 221 Featherweight Sewing MachineVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Bobbin HolderVintage 1955 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine Am169899 W/ Case1915 Singer Sewing Machine Original 29-4 Vintage Singer Feather Weight Sewing Machine 1956 Model 99k Good Working CondRare Singer"raf"15-87 Oscillating Shuttle Sewing Machine,floral Face Plate,1937Singer Sewing Machine Model 66, Heavy Duty, Leather,fully ServicedVintage Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine In Original Case Needs RepairSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine Model 221-1 W/ Case & Accessories Singer 160 Limited Edition Sewing Machine 1950 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine. Runs Attachments Case Foot ControlSinger 99 31 Sewing Machine 99-31 Portable Electric Sewing Machine 1950's1947 Singer 221-1 Featherweight Sewing Machine Vintage British Singer 99k Sewing Machine W/walnut CaseVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Carrying Case W /keyVintage Singer Darning Attachment- Mib + Light Bulb & Needles

Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines

Source: Google News

Just Outside Berlin, a Design and Arts Scene Thrives
New York Times (blog), February 25th

Retaining the integrity of the original barn while adding vintage but functional decorative touches, like an original Singer sewing machine from the 1920s, Löwenstein is continuing something of a family legacy; her aunt converted an old train station...Read more

Guernsey County and its surrounding areas meeting and events calendar
The Daily Jeffersonian, February 24th

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

Intimate Apparel
TheaterMania.com, February 24th

A Singer sewing machine, a quilt of patches representing Esther's life, and the upright piano add further impact to the pair of sepia-edged photographs projected on the back wall that are labeled as "unidentified black couple, c. 1905," and...Read more

Eclectic marketplaces open in Seminole Heights, Ybor
TBO.com, February 21st

Clements also rents space by the square foot to outside vendors who together can make a pretty eclectic mix that ranges from Singer sewing machine benches to rolling drink carts that Don Draper would appreciate. There is the Bayshore Interiors vendor...Read more

Objects and architecture that shape lives
Philly.com, February 20th

A Singer sewing machine from 1912 is among household items featured in the traveling "House & Home" exhibit on view at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown through March 15. A Singer sewing machine from 1912 is among household items featured in the ...Read more

Local business sews things up with Creative Stitches
Pratt Tribune, February 18th

Crockett started out on her mom's antique Singer sewing machine tailoring her own clothes to make them fit better or "modernizing" the style a bit on stuff she didn't like. “When I got into high school I started making all my little sister's clothes...Read more

Who the F Is … Arts Patron Winnaretta Singer?
SheWired, January 30th

Who she was: An heiress to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, an arts patron in Paris for five decades, and a lover of many women. What she accomplished: Winnaretta Singer (1865-1943) welcomed musicians and other artists to her Paris salon for more ...Read more

Singer sewing machine retired after hard life
Bismarck Tribune, January 12th

You know a couple has been together a long time when he buys her a household appliance for Christmas – and she's not mad. That's exactly what happened this year when my dad surprised my mom with the ultimate symbol of domestic obligation: a sewing ...Read more