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    

Rare! Antique 1940 Blue & White Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine NrVintage Red " S " Singer Featherweight Freearm Sewing Machine 222 K Jan 1961Vintage Singer 221k Featherweight Portable Sewing Machine Extras Feet Rare White1960 Singer 222k Featherweight Free Arm Sewing Machine 250 VoltsVintage 1960's Singer Featherweight 221 -k Sewing Machine & CaseAntique 1940 Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine 1970s Custom Blue & White PaintExcellent Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine 1950 Near Mint Quilting DreamNov.1934 Singer Featherweight Ad 782105 221 Sewing Machine W/case & Extras Ga81Vintage 50s Singer Featherweight Portable Folding Sewing Machine Card Work Table1953 Singer 222k Featherweight Sewing Machine +case Freearm Rare Serial Ej269891 1957 Singer Featherweight 222k Sewing Machine,case & Extras Excellent ConditionServiced 1953 Vintage Singer 301 301a Black Sewing Machine Prism Decals C VideoSinger Sewing Machine Vintage Black Tin Complete With Accessories Suit 221k/222kSinger 221-1 Feather Weight Sewing Machine Orig Case Accessories 1953-55Vintage 1956 Singer 221-featherweight Sewing Machine W/ Carrying Case & ExtrasVintage 1953 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine With Carrying CaseVintage Singer Sewing Machine 221k Featherweight WhiteVintage Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine- 3-120 Includes CaseVintage 1951 Singer Sewing Machine 201 Cenntenial Runs And SewsVintage Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Scroll Face W Case Attachments KeysSinger Featherweight Sewing MachineBeautiful 221 Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine + Tons Of Brand New Extras! Nr Vintage Singer Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine 1946Vintage 1954 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine With Case No ReserveAntique Singer 66k Lotus Hand Crank Sewing Machine 1924. 1936 Singer Sewing Machine - Model 15-91Circa 1950's Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine + Attachments ManualRare 1937 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine W/case & ExtrasAntique Singer Sewing Machine 221-1 Feather WeightVintage Singer Featherweight Model 221-1 Portable Electric Sewing Machine W CaseVintage Heavy Duty Singer 301a Sewing Machine And Case Commercial GradeServiced 1952 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Attachments Case Nice!!1957 Beautiful 222k Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine + Many Brand New Extras!Vintage Black Singer Model 301 All Original W/case Manual Recently Serviced Great Singer 221-1 Featherweight Sewing Machine,super Clean,case,attacmnts,1951Vintage Singer Sewing Machine 221k Featherweight 1964 With Case And AccessoriesVintage 1937 Singer Featherweight 221k Black Sewing Machine With CaseVtg. Mid-century 1950's Hand Operated Child's Singer Sewhandy Sewing Machine Nr Singer Cenntennial Featherweight 221-1 Sewing Machine ~ Aj935732 ~ NiceAntique/vintage Singer For The Girls Mini Sewing Machine 1926Singer Sewhandy Toy Sewing Machine Model 20 BeigeVtg Antique Cast Iron Childs Singer Miniature Sewing Machine Salesman SampleVintage 1961 Heavy Duty Singer 500 Rocketeer Sewing Machine 1946 Singer Featherweight Scroll Face 221 Sewing Machine,case & Attachments1936 Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine For Restoration Manual Accessories 1957 Singer Featherweight Portable Model 221- Sewing MachineSinger Featherweight 221k - Made In Great BritainVintage Singer Featherweight 221 Sewing Machine Drive MotorSinger Featherweight Sewing MachineVintage/antique C.1911 Singer No. G9358490 Electric Sewing Machine (working)Lime Green Singer Sewing Machine Vtg Mid Century Sew 185k Antique W/ Case DecoSinger Featherweight Electric 221-1 Vintage 1935 Sewing Machine W/case, ExtrasSinger Featherweight 221-1 Portable Electric Sewing Machine W/ Case & Lots ExtraVintage Singer Sewing Machine Toy Child's Original Sewhandy Hand Crank Mod.20Vintage Singer Folding Sewing Table Fits 301,401,403,404,500,503Vintage Singer 319w Sewing Machine W/caseAntique Singer 128k Hand Crank Sewing Machine 1926. Antique Singer 12 Hand Crank Sewing Machine Ottoman Fiddlebase 1895. 1946 Singer Featherweight Scroll Face Sewing Machine,case, Attachments & Extras Antique Vintage Child's Toy Sewing Machine For Parts Singer? & Others

Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines

Source: Google News

Vintage inspired cool on show
Stuff.co.nz, May 25th

I learnt to sew on an old foot pedal Singer sewing machine when I was about six. Now I do a combination of knitting and crocheting." Ellis has moved back to Palmerston North after nine years away in Sydney and Wellington and said this will be her first ...Read more

'Thank you for this gift'
Jamaica Observer, May 25th

THE Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) in celebrating Civil Servants week presented a Singer Sewing machine to the School of Hope in Clear Spring, Drapers, Portland. Third Vice-President of JCSA Sharon Anderson, in making the presentation ...Read more

Moving customers, including military top brass, for up to $100M a year
Washington Post, May 24th

It means expertly wrapping every last piece of furniture in a pad-wrap so that grandmother's antique Singer sewing machine or your treasured Stickley table completes the trip with its precious surface — and memories — intact. “It's prep and technique...Read more

Morris Minor is cute and yet quite an engineering masterpiece for its time.
Contra Costa Times, May 24th

When I looked under the hood, the engine appeared to be about the size of a Singer sewing machine. The owner stated the standard engine was rated at about 50 horsepower so he installed a larger 1275 cc engine rated at 60 HP from a MG (Morris Garage) ...Read more

Nostalgia: A snapshot of bustling Redhill stores in their golden period
Surrey Mirror, May 23rd

at Nos 32 and 34; Dewhurst, the butcher's, at No 36; and Greenwood & Sons, leather sellers, at No 38. Ward's, the ironmonger's traded at No 40, followed by the newsagent's, Yates, and at No 44, the Singer Sewing Machine Company. This premises was...Read more

Musaffah's underground market where anything goes
Yahoo! Maktoob News, May 23rd

“I charge from Dh1 to Dh5 for cloth repairing, depending on the work,” said Mohammed Kamal, a tailor with a Singer sewing machine on a table. There were six tailors in a row in a corner of the market. Just opposite them were several barbers giving...Read more

What's It Worth? Chinese wooden pillow, Limoges pitcher, toy sewing machine ...
OregonLive.com, May 12th

Q. This reclining figure is made of heavy, solid wood and measures 19 inches long, 9 inches wide and 13 inches high. There are no identifying marks. I bought it at a local auction. It is in fair condition, though the light colored coating has...Read more

McDonald's Should Fear Its Franchisees
Bloomberg View, May 7th

Businesses eventually adopted the franchise model as a way of outsourcing distribution. The Singer Sewing Machine Company helped pioneer the practice in the 1850s, selling the exclusive “right” to market the company's goods in a given sales territory...Read more