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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Marshfield boutique opens on Webster StreetWicked Local Marshfield, October 13th
There's an antique Singer sewing machine not far from a wall hanging of small handbags and rack of cashmere scarves. Handmade bird feeders hang inches away from vintage toy puppets. Other than a few display tables and cases, everything in the shop is ...Read more
Blount County Thefts for Oct. 13, 2015The Daily Times, October 12th
Asbury Drive, Maryville, reported at 4:39 p.m. Oct. 9 that while she was mowing a relative's yard on Marshall Street, Maryville, she noticed the back window of the residence was broken and a keyboard, printer, Mongoose bicycle, and Singer sewing...Read more
Noa Sorrell Inspires With Debut CollectionHuffington Post, October 12th
There's nothing better than being there to experience someones dreams come true. The sheer joy and nervous buzz that emanates from the person as their vision becomes a reality is absolutely unmatched. This is exactly what I felt from Noa Sorrell when I ...Read more
Community sewn together by YvonneTulsa World, October 9th
The color threads still remain, but this is not your mother's Singer sewing machine by any stretch. The computerized sewing machines stretch from the back to almost the front desk. “She has been a staple in our community,” said Debra Wimpee, who had...Read more
Meet Noa Sorrell: The 11-Year-Old Who Showed At LA Fashion WeekHarpersBAZAAR.com (blog), October 8th
With the help of her Singer sewing machine and lessons from her late grandmother, a talented seamstress, Noa began drawing, designing and sewing clothes in bright colors that cheered her up. What started out as a hobby to pass time during her ...Read more
Manolo Blahnik, Jaeger and Singer sewing machines? This isn't your typical ...WalesOnline, October 8th
Ty Hafan open their third Emporium-style charity shop, selling hidden gems and unique items. The final touches have been put to the shop in Cardiff's Royal Arcade which opened Friday. 'A treasure trove'. The shop is a treasure trove, starting with...Read more
Eye of the needle: Margie Greve's sewing-inspired artAlmanac Weekly, September 19th
A patternmaker at Vogue Patterns for many years, Greve knows the machine well – she once took apart her Singer sewing machine to see how it fit together and was made – which is portrayed not so much as a material device but as a dynamic force, its...Read more
How Singer Won the Sewing Machine WarSmithsonian, July 14th
The Singer sewing machine revolutionized the way the world created and repaired its fabric, and transformed not only the textile industry, but also global business itself. But a closer look at the Singer patent model, which is on display as part of the...Read more