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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Merced woman quilts to make others' lives better
Merced Sun-Star, April 19th

Last year was a big year for Eisenhart, who averaged more than one quilt a week. Using her 1930s-era Singer sewing machine, she finished 56 quilts in 2014. Rather than hoard all that fabric, or just wrap it around her friends and family, she uses her...Read more

Anna Clyne, a Composer Who Creates With Images
New York Times, April 17th

When Anna Clyne was working on her first big orchestral piece, she invited one of her composition teachers, Julia Wolfe, to look at her drafts. But when Ms. Wolfe arrived at Ms. Clyne's studio in Chicago, where she had just begun a residency with the...Read more

From the Archives: Meridian Mall
Lansing State Journal, April 17th

Mother-To-Be Maternity, Neumode Hosiery, Nobil Shoes, Nu-Vision Optical, Paraphernalia, Paris Boutique, Radio Shack, Recordland, Regis Beauty Salon, Schensul's Cafeteria, Shoeland, Sibley Shoes, Singer Sewing, Small's Men's Shop, The Style Shop, ...Read more

Hartsville's Smith finds a passion wrapped in bow ties
SCNow, April 17th

“My mom introduced me to the wonders of a Singer sewing machine when I was in the third grade.” The first thing she made was a hot pink, knit jumper with a scoop neck, meant to be worn with a blouse. Smith said she came home every day wanting her ...Read more

Falls Quilt Guild exhibits centuries-old craft at 'Art in Pieces' quilt show
Great Falls Tribune, April 16th

When the Singer Sewing Machine Co. brought out an installment plan for purchasing a sewing machine, interest in quilting soared because some or all of the stitching could be done by machine. During the frontier days women made "crazy quilts" of...Read more

Keeping them in stitches at Keep Me In Stitches
TBO.com, April 15th

CARROLLWOOD — Cars, televisions and the way we listen to music aren't the only items from childhood that have continued to evolve. Remember mom's clunky, noisy Singer sewing machine? That is a thing of the past. That evolution is evident at Keep Me ...Read more

Singer Sewing & Vacuum Center
Southern Pines Pilot, March 30th

Singer Sewing and Vacuum Center has been providing quality friendly service for all of your sewing and vacuum needs for over 30 years. Our years of experience in the business have taught our family some very important lessons. We are proud to bring you ...Read more

Singer Tavern: more drinks less sewing
The Handbook, March 23rd

It may look like an east end boozer on the outside but the interior was originally conceived to house the HQ of the famous Singer Sewing Machine Company. The machines are long gone but there's still some cool old school signage adorning the bare brick ...Read more