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
Sensibility Vintage Images
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines
Source: Google News
July 7, Classified AdsWeekly News Journal, July 6th
Occasional Chairs – Air Conditioner – Antique Glassware – Multiple Chests - Entertainment Cabinet – End Tables - TV – Roll Away Bed – Mirror – Small Freezer – Singer Sewing Machine – Bi-fold Doors – Picnic Table – Vacuum Cleaner – Pictures – Wheel ...Read more
Stephen Wise Baltimore at Lexington Market aims to add color and fun to men's ...Baltimore Sun, July 6th
At Stephen Wise Baltimore, in a block facing one of the main market buildings, mannequins dressed in jackets with bold designs and floral shirts share window space with an old Singer sewing machine. Antique dressers and tables, which will display...Read more
The fabric of societyThegardenisland.com, July 6th
Originally known as Singer's Sewing Center, the company was purchased by Miller and kept that name while located in Ben Franklin Crafts in Lihue. After moving, it became Discount Fabric Warehouse. The store is offering sales and discounts to celebrate...Read more
Could Shanghai Tower be an economic bellwether?Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 4th
When the Singer Sewing Machine Co. announced plans to build the world's first skyscraper in February 1906, the United States was in the final stages of an economic expansion that was about to go bust in the financial panic of 1907. Two decades later...Read more
Sewing class symbolizes what holds a community togetherCharleston Post Courier, July 4th
There are faint memories that bounce around my head involving the sound of a sewing machine. My grandmother could work that pedal and make that Singer sing. It was a melody that had its own cadence and tone. The sound was unmistakable and the ...Read more
Memories of summers long agoPamplin Media Group, July 2nd
The lady in the fourth house had an old Singer sewing machine. She would usually be making dresses or shirts for her family. Once, she surprised me with a dress she'd made for one of my dolls. There was only one house that didn't welcome this rather ...Read more
Help! With right parts, Singer can be repairedFlorida Today, June 20th
Dear Help! I own a Singer sewing machine, approximately 90 years old, that has been working perfectly, but recently it developed a problem. The pulley does not work properly. I'm looking for information about someone who is able to work on this type of ...Read more
Serial entrepreneur strikes againTBO.com, June 10th
With her 25-year old Singer sewing machine, this one-woman show now has varied products for children and adults and can provide sharfs with a customers' favorite sports logo. “I think they are really fun,” VanDevender said. “What makes me the happiest...Read more