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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From bachelor pad to couple's home, how this parade-friendly New Orleans ...The New Orleans Advocate, January 30th
Upstairs, one of two intended guest rooms has been made into an office and workspace where Whitney turns out Carnival costumes on her vintage Singer sewing machine and Brett operates the renovating business at a nearby desk. “Somehow, we have ...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
Belk: The pleasure of working with woodOpelika Auburn News, January 29th
Across the room, under the window is my Grandmother Adams' treadle Singer sewing machine. When my daddy was a little boy, his mama's health was bad, so he sat in a straight-back chair opposite her and pumped the peddle up and down while she sewed ...Read more
'The Golden Toad,' from the Talking Band, Opens at La MaMaNew York Times, January 29th
Ava has secured a job as a guide on the bus tour, which turns out to be a musical one, with two fine vocalists (Dara Orland and Melanie Herrera) traipsing through to deliver songs about the Singer sewing machine factory, how the Holland Tunnel got its...Read more
Quilted vintage linens now on display at Hjemkomst CenterDL-Online, January 29th
Vintage linens from the collection of Barb Nicholson are on display at the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County, located inside Moorhead's Hjemkomst Center, from now through April 4. Nicholson turns original, vintage linens with blemishes, age...Read more
Singer Island SerenadeOrlando Magazine, January 23rd
If you ever used a Singer sewing machine, then the name Singer Island should ring a bell. This finger of land—actually a peninsula running parallel with the mainland in Palm Beach County—is where Paris Singer, the son of sewing machine inventor Isaac ...Read more
Revving up the old Singer proves productiveSunday Star Times, January 18th
He was an absolute whizz on the antique Singer sewing machine. Te Kawa said he had researched the history of Christmas decorations, and they were supposed to be representative of the flora and fauna of the forest. So this was his way of putting a New ...Read more
Singer sewing machine retired after hard lifeBismarck 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