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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Sewing Machine Collector

Sewing Machine Collector

Geoff and Norma Dickens' reference site on vintage toy sewing machines from the late 1800s. Browse the images alpha… [read review or visit site]

Sensibility Vintage Images

Sensibility Vintage Images

An extensive collection of photos and ephemera illustrating changing fashion styles from 1795 to 1959. Includes por… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1964 Vintage Singer 221k White Featherweight Sewing Machine W/ Case & ExtrasVintage ~ Singer Portable Sewing Machine 221-1 ~ Electric FeatherweightOld Vintage Antique Hand Crank Singer Sewing Machine Model 12k 1890 *see Video*Singer Featherweight 221k White Sewing Maching Plus AccessoriesVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine With CaseSinger 301a In Case Nice Vintage Sewing Machine 301 ASinger Featherweight Striated Face Sewing Machine 221 W/ Foot Pedal, 221 Zig ZagVintage Featherweight Singer Port. Electric Sewing Machine Mod. 221Vintage 1961 Singer 500 Rocketeer Slant Needle Sewing MachineVintage Antique Singer No 20 1922 Sewhandy Child's Working Toy Sewing MachineVintage Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine 221 S/n Am140428 W/case & Manual 335Vintage Featherweight Singer Electric Sewing Machine Mod. 221 Vintage 1952 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine, Case, Manual, AccesoriesVintage Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine & Case Manual Extras Vintage Singer 301a Sewing Machine With CaseSinger 221.1 Featherweight Sewing Machine - Cleaned & Oiled AccessoriesSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine Case Extras 221k Great Britain Simanco MotorSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine Folding TableAntique Fancy Singer Treadle Sewing Machine DrawersVtg Singer Simanco Featherweight Sewing Machine 221 W Case - Works PerfectlyVintage/antique "featherlite" Singer Sewing Machine / 720-812Gorgeous 221 Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine + Many Brand New Extras In Box!Singer 221 Featherweight Portable Sewing Machine - 1949Vintage 1955 Singer Feather Weight Model 221 Sewing Machine Am176826Antique Childs Singer No. 20 Toy Sewing Machine Featherweight Vintage Singer No.20 Sew Handy Childs Sewing Machine In Original Box NiceVintage 1952 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Case Accessories Excellent! Light Green, 1964, 221k Singer Featherweight, Sewing Machine W/caseVintage Singer Sewing Machine 29-1 Leather Cobbler Cast Iron Treadle Stand Nice!Old Vintage Antique Hand Crank & Electric Singer Sewing Machine 99k See VideoVintage White Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Vintage Singer 221-1 Featherweight Sewing Machine - Portable W/case And AccessorVintage White Singer 221k Featherweight Sewing Machine Clean With Rare Case Vintage Singer Featherweight Model 221k & Original Case, White ColorSinger Featherweight 221 Centennial ModelVintage Singer 301a Sewing Machine With Foot Pedal & Power Cord & Dust Cover.Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Case & More Blue Badge Centennial ~Vintage, Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine, Model 221, With Case Nice Vintage 1950's 15-91 Direct Drive Singer Sewing Machine In Bentwood CaseSinger Featherweight 221 Scroll Face Sewing Machine With Case & Accessories 19461951 Centennial Edition Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine 221 With CaseAntique Vintage 1930's Featherweight 221-1 Singer Sewing Machine CaseVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Carrying Case With TrayVintage Singer 221k Sewing Machine White + Nice Carrying CaseRare Strong Serviced Heavy Duty Vintage 1934 Singer 201 Sewing Machine # 1721Vintage Antique Singer Portable Elect Sewing Machine 221-1,w/book & Case1955 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine W/case & Accessories Beautiful!Singer Featherweight 221, 1950 Model, Accessories & Case, Wonderful MachineSinger 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine In Case Model 221 Cat 3-120 678-3aVintage Antique Mini Singer Sewing Machine Handcrank 7x7" Advertising Tool ChildSinger Featherweight 221 K7 / Case / Manual - VintageVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Carrying Case - For RepairSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine 1951 Case Extras 3-120 678-3a Feather WeightVtg Singer Simanco Featherweight Sewing Machine 221 W Case - Works PerfectlySinger 1960 Red S 222k Featherweight Sewing Machine W/ Peddle, Case, AccessoriesVintage Working 1948 Singer Ah575762 Portable Electric Sewing Machine 221-1Vintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Carrying CaseVintage Tweed Full Size Portable Singer Sewing Machine Case 66 15-91 201Singer Featherweight 221 W/ Case And AttachmentsSinger Featherweight Sewing Machine. Red "s"

Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines

Source: Google News

Putney's Hidden Gems
PutneySW15.com, August 22nd

Putney Bridge is currently closed for essential repairs but Putney Town Centre is open for business and would welcome you to come and discover the beauty of Putney, the great range of retail shops, fine restaurants and pubs, relaxing cafes, excellent ...Read more

Road near Kimberley marred by illegal dumping
Cranbrook Daily Townsman, August 21st

The garbage included old computer keyboards, a Singer sewing machine, books and other debris. This type of behaviour affects everybody in the area, since it can damage our environment and it costs money to clean up the site. Anyone found dumping ...Read more

Antiques: Singer sewing machine was child's play
Ottawa 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

Focused on Franchise Law - August 2014
JD Supra (press release), August 20th

Since the start of franchising (in approximately 1850 with Singer sewing machines), courts have respected the premise that franchise operators were not employees of the franchisor and, correspondingly, that employees of the franchise operators were not ...Read more

Prynce Hopkins
Santa Barbara Independent, August 18th

This house at 1900 Garden Street was home for many years to Prynce Hopkins. His father, Charles, had the house built in 1897 as a summer home for the family. Charles was from San Francisco and was a major stockholder in the Singer Sewing Machine ...Read more

Fifty Years Ago
Northwest Georgia News, August 17th

Because of her outstanding leadership in helping other 4-H'ers with their projects and because she and her daughter taught a class of Cloverleaf 4-H members the “Know Your Singer Sewing Machine” course, Mrs. Faver was selected to receive the 1964 ...Read more

The Controversy Around the Singer Sewing Machine Patent
Apparel 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

Vintage ad boosts fund gets a boost from vintage Singer ad
The Sun Daily, July 29th

PETALING JAYA: A reader of theSun has generously donated RM5,000 from the sale of a 68-year-old Singer sewing machine advertisement (pix), to theSun-Mercy Malaysia Bosnia Flood Disaster Relief Fund. The reader who declined to be identified, made ...Read more