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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Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines

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Ed Thrall and the Story of His Most Contentious Dance Hall
WNPR News, September 30th

A Singer sewing machine in the entrance of Thrall's Hall. Credit Chion Wolf. Door from a speakeasy at the Garde Hotel, Hartford. Credit Chion Wolf. Thrall collected a counter from Spinella's Spaghetti Factory; a spiral staircase from the foyer of...Read more

Wanda Dyson
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette, September 28th

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Pamela Jane Dyson; her parents; and five brothers and sisters. Mrs. Dyson graduated from Urbana High School in 1936 and then Parkland College. She was an instructor for Singer Sewing Center and a bookkeeper ...Read more

Vintage serves a new purpose for former teacher
Worcester Telegram, September 28th

"I don't know the whole story of it, but it came from the Singer Sewing Machine factory on Kneeland Street in Boston," she said. "Another unique piece we had was a 10-and-a-half foot marble-top table from a textile mill in Rhode Island. We had it at...Read more

Pasadena resident staying on creative side at age 100
The Pasadena Star-News, September 28th

I also worked for a Singer sewing store when I was younger.” Brown's granddaughter, Debbie Smith, says amazing is what comes to mind when she thinks about her grandmother. “I brag about her all the time,” said Smith. “When she was 97 years old, she ...Read more

Hard times
Newton Kansan, September 27th

Cuellar worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for a short period before joining the Singer Sewing Machine Co. He started out as a salesman and technician, opening his store in Newton in 1967, then moving it downtown in 1971. Prior to his death in 2012...Read more

Graham Norton Show returns: 10 classic hilarious moments
Digital Spy UK, September 26th

whimpered a horrified Farrell. "I'll show you later," retorted Osbourne, as she closed in on Farrell as though he was small prey. Jo Brand quipped: "I also had my vagina tightened too. I did it myself with my Singer sewing machine." Osbourne later...Read more

Women looking at women at Kish Gallery exhibit
Baltimore Sun, September 24th

The room contains a comfortable-looking bed, and also an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine reinforcing the quietly domestic tone. A reflective man is the subject of "Adrift," in which this austerely dressed, bearded fellow lies prone in a small boat...Read more

Pittock Mansion beyond the ropes: The sewing room (Photos)
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com, September 7th

A doorway behind the room's treadle Singer sewing machine is an entry to the mansion's balcony. Henry and Georgiana lived to enjoy the luxuries of their new home for only a few years. Georgiana died in June 1918 and Henry died in January of 1919...Read more