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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Timbuk2: 25 years of sewin' bags in San Francisco
Cult of Mac, October 22nd

SAN FRANCISCO — Twenty-five years ago, a bike messenger sat in his garage and used an old-school Singer sewing machine to stitch his mark on the world. That bike messenger was Rob Honeycutt, and the bags he made in 1989 were called Scumbags...Read more

LeBron James wears elegant Allen Edmonds shoes: Made in America is the ...
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com (blog), October 22nd

We use Singer sewing machines and the finishing work is done with a finishing wheel. We use a huge palette of colors. There are mixtures and waxes. There's a recipe of finishing that leads to beautiful highs and lows in the colors. You have a Shaker...Read more

Guernsey County and its surrounding areas meeting and events calendar
The Daily Jeffersonian, October 21st

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

Photos: A walk through the Rivoli Theatre
Nooga.com, October 21st

We also saw a Singer sewing machine, several organs (the musical instrument, not the body part) and a suitcase filled with interesting items. A special courtesy to photographer Ray Soldano, who contributed photos to this project. His work can be seen here...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

H. BRUCE WILLIAMSON
Sumter Item, October 18th

Born in Gallivants Ferry, he was a son of the late Hursel Bailey and Frances Airvee Collins Williamson. Mr. Williamson was a member of Crosswell Baptist Church. He was a past master of Dutch Fork Masonic Lodge No. 402. Known as "The SINGER Sewing ...Read more

New set of threads
Salisbury Post, October 17th

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, in Salisbury, N.C.; JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Jean Morgan threads the needle on the worn Singer sewing machine. The Haven Lutheran quilters come to the church on Harrison Street in Salisbury once a week for several ...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