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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Vintage Venues: Building had varied usesMarshfield News-Herald, August 27th
From 1966 to 1983, it was the Singer Sewing Machine Co., except for 1981, when it was B & D Sewing. From 1983 until between 1990 and 1994, it was Glasrock Home Health Care. From 1994 until about 2003, it was the Marshfield Muscle and Fitness Club; ...Read more
Edward S.F NewsumCecil Whig, August 26th
A hard worker throughout his life, Edward went to school evenings studying accounting and received his degree. He worked during his life at Singer Sewing Machine Co., several department stores and lastly at Guyana National Trading Corp. until he retired...Read more
Tufting manufacturer leaves Dalton for Scenic CityChattanooga Times Free Press, August 25th
Van De Wiele has been planning the move for nearly a year following its acquisition of Cobble, a former part of the Singer sewing machine company, in 2013. "We took a little time to look at what we had, and how best to move forward, and this was the ...Read more
12 Stunning Entrance HallsArchitectural Digest (blog), August 25th
Obercreek Entrance Hall. The entry way to the Hudson River Valley home of investor Alex Reese and his wife, architect Alison Spear. Photo: Joshua McHugh. Daisy Fellowes, a Singer sewing-machine heiress, magazine editor, and woman of daredevil chic, ...Read more
Students to show off their sewingspectator.southcoasttoday, August 24th
Cantin is selling raffle tickets in her store, located at 1160 County St. in Somerset, and on the day of the show for the items. Some of the items will include an antique Singer sewing machine and gift certificates to her store. "I know there will be a...Read more
Ways to use glitter featured on showClovis News Journal, August 23rd
She is with Singer Sewing Co. in Lavergne, Tennessee. Sheri McKillop is the executive vice president with Unique Solutions, and she'll talk about the different types of darts in garments, show how to correctly sew a dart, how to secure the threads, and...Read more
Antiques: Singer sewing machine was child's playOttawa Citizen, August 20th
Antiques: Singer sewing machine was child's play. John D. Sewell mug photo John Sewell More from John Sewell. Published on: August 20, 2014 Last Updated: August 20, 2014 10:15 AM EDT. The Singer Sewhandy Model 20 was a child-sized sewing ...Read more
The Controversy Around the Singer Sewing Machine PatentApparel News, August 12th
Way back when, there was big competition to come up with the best sewing machine. Kind of like coming up with the best mobile phone or app. There were plenty of sewing machines around, but Isaac Singer was the first to build a commercially successful, ...Read more