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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New York Magazine, July 25th

“Mary Stevens Memorial Hospital,” owned by local landowner “Cyrus Stevens,” sounded dangerously like Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, established by Cooperstown's Stephen Clark Sr. — philanthropist, heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, and ...Read more

Estate Sale Roundup: July 24-27: Gas up the jalopy, it's your turn to drive.
Austin Chronicle, July 24th

Antiques include a writing desk; set of four Windsor chairs; bedroom set with full-size headboard, vanity, and mirror; five-drawer chest; twin-size bed; several petite secretaries; several Lane cedar chests (one unusual mid-century style); Singer...Read more

At the Dallas Costume Shoppe, the Clothes Aren't the Only Vintage Goods
Dallas Observer (blog), July 22nd

In front of a weathered old Singer sewing machine, in the middle of one of the oldest costumes shops in the South, 83-year-old Fortunato Mata sits surrounded by costumes from nearly every period and place in time. The Dallas Costume Shoppe has been ...Read more

'Intimate Apparel' at Eclipe Theatre lays bare a woman's difficult relationship
Chicago Sun-Times, July 22nd

Kevin Hagan's handsome set, complete with vintage Singer sewing machine and richly carved upright piano, along with Rachel Lambert's vintage costumes (and sensational corset design), add to the production's allure. So do the two projected ...Read more

Guernsey County and its surrounding areas meeting and events calendar
The Daily Jeffersonian, July 22nd

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

How to repair a vintage sewing machine
Washington Post, July 16th

Question: I have two Singer sewing machines, a 301A and a 401A. These machines were made in the '50s and '60s, are all metal and driven by gear, not belt. In my opinion, they are worth their weight in gold (or at least silver) as opposed to the newer, ...Read more

Seamstress stitches together five-decades-long career
ThisWeekNews, July 8th

JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS Mary Anders, 75, of Grove City, prepares to set her thread in an old Singer sewing maching while working July 2, at Caskey's Dry Cleaning Company in German Village. Anders has worked at the company since age 17...Read more

Service your Singer sewing machine for charity
The Sun Daily, July 3rd

PETALING JAYA: Besides the host of items being offered at special prices, Singer Malaysia Sdn Bhd will contribute proceeds from the servicing of sewing machines this weekend to the theSun-Mercy Malaysia Bosnia Flood Disaster Relief Fund. Singer's ...Read more