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

Source: Google News

Westmount school's science fair spotlights excellence
The Suburban Newspaper, February 10th

Amanda Balazic and Annie Cross had a lot to say about Isaac Singer's invention and the Singer Sewing machine meant for women, but Cassandra Cappucio and Michaela Hirsch deserved a lot of attention for their clear, concise and disturbing statistical ...Read more

Restoring furniture suite becomes family affair
Sanford Herald (registration), February 10th

According to Hart, The Sanford Furniture Company had operated in downtown Sanford since the late 1930s before being sold to Singer Sewing Machine in 1966. “Most people around Sanford had relatives that worked there, so that's why I saved the bedroom ...Read more

MMH volunteers award $500 scholarships
Weekly News Journal, February 9th

Idaho Antique's – Pedestal Oak Table – 6 Oak Chairs – Oak Dresser With Mirror –Painted Wardrobe – Oak Rocker - Singer Sewing Machine – 2 Oak Dresser's – Record Player - Primitives – Desk - Movie Projector – Fishing Equipment - Pedestal Sink – Old ...Read more

Adams Center man instrumental in Social Security reform
WatertownDailyTimes.com, February 6th

As he has done for so many decades, he still uses an old black Singer sewing machine that he acquired from a former Adams factory that closed in 1970. On a recent morning, Mr. Smith started working on a channel-back chair. The fabric from the World War ...Read more

Singer Sewing Machines
The Voice Observer (blog), February 4th

Michael Good Rothwell still keeps her mother's 1950 Singer Featherweight, one of the machines on which she learned to sew as a girl. Some of Victoria Rothwell's fondest childhood memories are of sitting beside her grandmother in front of a Singer...Read more

The Voice Observer (blog), February 4th

Patented-antiques.com sells patented antique sewing machines,Toy Sewing Machines, vintage Singer Featherweight 221 222 sewing machines. for determining the desirability of any early sewing machine (pre-1900) is its serial number. Singer sewing ...Read more

The Sewing Room: New live performance venue in Perth basement 'needs support'
WA today, February 1st

"We're creating the world's first chandelier made out of 20 vintage Singer sewing machines," he said. "We've collected 15 so far, but if anyone has a contender, please let us know." The Sewing Room needs to demonstrate to liquor licensing that it would...Read more

St Asaph club's appeal for vintage sewing machines to help villagers in Malawi
Denbighshire Free Press, January 20th

Tom Yuille, of St Asaph Rotary Club, is helping to collect Singer sewing machines for villagers in Malawi; from St Asaph, the machines are being sent on to a Tools for Self Reliance group in Edinburgh where they are refurbished and then transported to ...Read more