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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Proud to have a piece of the flagWaterloo Chronicle, July 2nd
In 1964, armed with a beige Singer sewing machine, Joan O'Malley sewed the first red maple leaf flag ever flown. Fifty years later, O'Malley will be spending July 1, Canada Day, at Parliament Hill with her family. The official version of Canada's new...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
Home Range: Delight in the detailTimes LIVE, July 1st
His label, Tempracha, began nine years ago in Umlazi, when he sat down at the second-hand Singer sewing machine his mother had bought for him and made a tote bag. "After that I took my old Levis apart and made a new pair from the pattern." Impeccable ...Read more
CURATOR'S CORNER: Sooke fashion dressed up in Sooke Region Museum ...Sooke News Mirror, July 1st
Additionally, there will be a sewing corner that features an early 1900s Singer sewing table and various fabric samples, projects and tools. This year the photo-op station will be bigger than ever. It will feature an array of costume pieces that...Read more
DIY Projects to Upgrade Your Summer Backyard BashABC News, June 30th
An old singer sewing table base. We see these all the time at flea markets then you changed it out and instead of the wood top or machine have an old wagon. Exactly so we took the red wagon, bottom part of the sewing machine and take steel wool and...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
Gainesville woman transforms ties into pursesOnline Athens, June 6th
All of the small purses, no matter the fabric or size, are fashioned on a small Singer sewing machine Whitt has had since she was 13 years old. "I wasn't planning on sewing much, so I got rid of my big fancy one," she said. "I had this one at our home...Read more