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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Shoptalk: Talbot StreetIrish Times, April 24th
These shops, though, are all newcomers compared to the Singer Sewing Centre which has been at 19 Talbot Street for 145 years. Customers follow in the footsteps of their great-grandparents: from local regulars to eager young hobbyists and professional ...Read more
Treasure hunters' paradise: More than 200 garage sales in Geneva, St. CharlesKane County Chronicle, April 24th
“We had Harley clothes, tables, an oak kitchen table and chairs, two old Singer sewing machines,” Molitor said, ticking off the treasures that bargain hunters scooped up. Her two daughters, Laura Molitor and Kara Nottingham, were busy helping out, as a ...Read more
Colin and Justin: From lakeside allure to curb appealToronto Sun, April 24th
The shower room, too, is a triumph: we re-versioned an old Singer sewing machine table as a vanity: topped with live edge timber and a weighty Unikstone basin (www.unikstone.ca) it's the perfect place for guests to freshen up before settling down to...Read more
Costume dramas: what you won't see from the dress circleSydney Morning Herald, April 24th
It's almost painful to watch. Inside a windowless, concrete room, Jessica Watson is vandalising a beautiful men's coat. Her colleagues have spent days stitching the garment from scratch. It would probably sell for thousands in a high-end shop. But not...Read more
Why the first sewing machine in Texas was delivered to Padre IslandValley morning Star, April 23rd
All agreed that Isaac Singer was by far the greater promoter and the Singer Sewing machine, patent infringement aside, was the superior machine. Finally, the two sides agreed that Singer and company would manufacture and distribute the machine and ...Read more
Not your grandfather's Episcopal ChurchMinuteman News Center, April 21st
St. John's Episcopal Church in Bridgeport “is actively involved with the poor in our community.” It is the oldest Anglican congregation in Connecticut, and was once one of the churches that the principal families of Bridgeport belonged to, its Rector...Read more
Millennial seamstress shares vintage clothing line with Fort WayneNews Sentinel, April 21st
With her Singer sewing machine and her recent purchase, a serger, for a professional finish, Herndon breathes new life into old clothes. “Today's clothing is another thing that inspires me to thrift-shop. Clothing nowadays seems so disposable and...Read more
Singer Sewing & Vacuum CenterSouthern 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