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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Twenty one things you might not know about the buildings of LeicesterLeicester Mercury, October 25th
Africa is represented by an ostrich, Australia , a kangaroo, Burma, an elephant. It used to be the Midlands head office of Singer sewing machines. 4, Municipal Library – built to reflect the growing number of people in Leicester able to read and write...Read more
Aunt Jemima and LeRoy at HalloweenNevada Herald, October 23rd
Since my mother was teaching, I suspect my grandmother was likely involved in the planning for our attire, and for certain she would have worked with the material on her Singer sewing machine. Regardless of the origin of the inspiration for our...Read more
FOOD MONSTER: The Duke William, Bailgate, LincolnLincolnshire Echo, October 23rd
Old books adorn shelves, Singer sewing machine tables are dotted around and the original deeds now hang proudly on the wall. Soon our food was set down and even on looks alone we were keen to agree with the staff, we had made the right choice...Read more
Onalaska museum exhibit highlights sewingLa 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
A Family Affair – Sicily in BrooklynBrooklyn Daily Eagle, October 23rd
A patron approaches Buffa, who rests in front of an antique Singer sewing machine, and prattles about the heirloom. “We have this sewing machine! I can't believe I'm seeing all this stuff,” he says. Before Frank can interject, the patron continues, “I...Read more
Guernsey County and its surrounding areas meeting and events calendarThe 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
Quilting with fleece on upcoming showClovis 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 machinesWYFF 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