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 ...
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.
Interviews & Articles
I work for a sewing machine distribution company that was started by my late father. We mainly distribute industrial sewing machin… [more]
I think I started collecting vintage aprons seriously probably in 1991, my first year of college. I was an absolute junkie for vin… [more]
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Sewing Machine Collector
Sensibility Vintage Images
Clubs & Associations: Sewing
Discussion Forums: Sewing
Other Great Reference Sites: Sewing
Top eBay Auctions
Recent News: Singer Sewing Machines
Source: Google News
Edwin JenningsPaducah Sun, May 19th
He was a Singer sewing machine dealer and had served as fire chief for the Calloway County Rescue Squad. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Hall Jennings; three daughters, Renee Thurman of Dexter, and Shawnee Hill and Cory Jennings, both of Murray;...Read more
Looking Back - May 19, 2013The Albany Herald, May 17th
Located at 224 Broad Avenue, the Singer Sewing Center had a limited number of brand new electric portable machines for $69.50 with terms available. ABC Kindergarten at 1004 First Avenue was accepting registration for fall term. Monthly tuition was set...Read more
Rajat Gupta's Lust for ZerosNew York Times, May 17th
The son of a Singer Sewing Company executive, Rajaratnam, who is 55, did not have much in common with the “twice blessed” generation. He attended the same English boarding school as P. G. Wodehouse. At Wharton, he struck some students as rich and...Read more
Towamencin woman transforms cherished articles of clothing into memory quiltsMontgomery Newspapers, May 16th
email@example.com. Molly Fisher is seen through an old refurbished Singer Sewing Machice that belonged to her mother as she works on one of her Memory Quilts by Molly at her home in Towamencin May 8. Photo by Mark C. Psoras...Read more
Time machine to an odd future: Bennington Museum shows SteampunkNorth Adams Transcript, May 15th
"I've always wanted to repurpose a Singer sewing machine -- they are beautiful and functional but have become obsolete with modern technology," he said. "By giving them a new life [here], they still are beautiful, functional, and now have a new purpose...Read more
Easton businesses honored for their longevityLehighvalleylive.com, May 15th
Also, Angelo's Restaurant, 40 years; EPA Title Co., 40; Lewis & Walters, 42; Utopia, 44; Industrial Communications, 47; White Singer Sewing, 50 years; Leo's Barber Shop, 52; Monarch Furniture, 61; New York Tailors, 61; Joe's Market and Deli, 62...Read more
Collection of historic Singer sewing machines to go on public display after ...Scottish Daily Record, May 12th
Collection of historic Singer sewing machines to go on public display after being kept in storage for 30 years. 12 May 2013 14:45. WEST Dumbartonshire Council have secured accreditation from Museum Galleries Scotland for the collection, a major step...Read more
Bunker Hill Capital acquires Dyno Holdco, licensee of the Singer sewing brandBoston.com, May 8th
Bunker Hill Capital, a Boston based private equity firm, said Wednesday that it has acquired Dyno Holdco LLC, the exclusive licensee of the Singer brand for sewing accessories and one of the largest producers and marketers of holiday decorative home...Read more