What is the age of my Singer sewing machine? (History, Value, Models) Update 05/2022

The company and the sewing machine that bears its name are both well-known. You can now learn about its past.

What is the age of my Singer sewing machine? The first Singer sewing machine rolled off the assembly line in 1851, and if you’re lucky enough to acquire one, your machine will be 170 years old. You can pretty nearly date your antique Singer sewing machine by its model number since pre-1950 models were in sequential sequence. There were perhaps 200 of them.

Continue reading our post to learn everything there is to know about the Singer sewing machine firm and its history. Although it does not cover recent years, the early history of the company is equally as fascinating as any other.

Singer Sewing Machine History

Issac Merritt Singer was born in 1811 in Schaghiticoke, New York, and he must have led a peaceful life because many of his accomplishments are unknown until he improved on current sewing machine models.

How Old Is My Singer Sewing Machine? (Value, Models, History)

He was 39 years old when he upgraded, and in 11 days and $40, he went from being unknown to becoming a household name in the near future. Everything Mr. Singer touched in the sewing industry turned to gold for him, as if he had the Midas touch.

He and his partner Edward C. Clark founded the I.M. Singer & Company sewing machine company in 1851, and it became the country’s largest sewing machine maker within two years. It was the world’s largest manufacturing enterprise by 1860.

In 1853, the company produced only 810 sewing machines, but by 1876, it had produced over 250,000. Then, in 1863, Mr. Singer established an office and factory in Glasgow, Scotland, and within ten years, they had to construct a new manufacturing facility and engage 2,000 workers to assist in the production of the machines. The demand has outstripped supply.

When both World Wars broke out, Singer & Company halted sewing machine production and switched to armaments production to aid the war effort. During those times, no new or old Singer machine models were manufactured.

The only blemish on Singer’s record was a patent dispute with Elias Howe in 1851. Mr. Singer lost that case, but he has worked hard to keep the corporation out of legal difficulty whenever possible since then.

Singer restarted sewing machine production in 1946, and six years later, the Slant o Matic was released. The first sewing machine to feature a zig-zag stitch.

Singer Sewing Machine Inventor

The sewing machine was not invented by Mr. Isaac Singer. That owes its origins to a distant continent and another 100 to 200 years. Mr. Singer created new design functions that improved the sewing machine’s performance.

Mr. Singer’s journey began when he examined a sewing machine made by Orson C. Phelps of Boston, who was operating under a license issued by John A. Lerow. Mr. Singer made a few design improvements after witnessing the Lerow and Blodgett sewing machine in action since it had problems.

The first modification was to the shuttle’s operation. It rotated at the time, so he altered it to move back and forth. He then switched to a straight needle that moved up and down instead of a curved needle that moved horizontally.

Finally, he switched from a hand crank to a treadle pedal, and those seemingly insignificant alterations turned out to be life-changing. Mr. Singer is credited with inventing the practical sewing machine, while not being the inventor of the sewing machine.

What is your antique Singer sewing machine worth? | What is it worth?

Old Singer Sewing Machine Models

Singer was always looking for ways to improve and innovate. That may be seen in his Featherweight sewing machine, which has been in production for nearly 40 years. It’s one of the better vintage Singer models available. The Singer corporation has a wonderful feature in that their new models are labeled numerically. This makes it simple to identify the manufacture year.

We are unable to include all of the models here, but you can find a thorough list by following this link. That website offers six distinct lists with as much information as they could find about each Singer Corporation sewing machine model.

Singer’s first sewing machines were bulky and slow. At the time, it didn’t distinguish him from the competitors, so he kept working on them, attempting to make them lighter without sacrificing durability. His hard labor paid off in the form of the Model A.

Look over that list to see what the company has accomplished in its many years of operation.

What Model is My Vintage Singer Sewing Machine?

There are various places to look for the model number for your Singer sewing machine. Since 1990, the model number has been located at the handwheel, near the on/off button, or near the electrical cord area.

Look on the front panel beneath the Singer name for sewing machines built before 1990 and between 1970 and 1980. The model number is either on the front panel or below the stitch length dial for machines manufactured in the 1960s.

Model numbers are stamped on a small plate on the front panel at the base of all machines built before 1960. Look in those places for your old Singer sewing machine model.

How do I Identify a Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Examining the model number is one important technique to do so. There were only intended to be 200 versions created before to 1950, and they were all numbered in order. Additionally, the location of the model number will indicate if the machine was manufactured prior to 1960 or after 1960.

The next step is to determine whether the machine is electric or manual. Before 1950, all machinery were operated by hand. If none of the above choices work, check the serial number. Prior to 1900, any number without a letter in front was created.

The machine was built between 1900 and 1935, as indicated by a single letter in front of the number. It was created after 1935 if the number has a double letter in front of it.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number

Time, unfortunately, takes its toll. The logs for the years 1850 to 1870 were destroyed, along with the serial numbers for those years. However, as previously stated, there is no letter in front of the numerals that indicates it was produced before 1900.

The list of serial numbers from 1851 to 1950 can be seen at this page. Just keep in mind that the numbers aren’t in date sequence, which means that certain serial numbers are out of place and don’t follow a straight line.

Another extensive serial number list can be found here, which will assist you date your computer to the year it was manufactured. Singer withdrew part of its material off its website, prompting the creation of this list.

Singer Sewing Machine History Timeline

It’s possible that the original Singer sewing machine was solely identified by a number. We couldn’t find a name for it in the records we looked through. Singer sewing machines began to be given names in 1956, and one of them was the Turtle back. The Model A debuted in 1859, whereas the Grasshopper debuted in 1858.

A household sewing machine was introduced in 1865, but the name has evaded historical records. The Model 13 was introduced in 1870, followed by the Singer 15k in 1879. One of the most copied sewing machines in the world was the Model 15.

The type 99, the second most imitated Singer machine, was introduced in 1911, followed by the 221 and 222 Featherweights in 1933 and shortly thereafter. The 201, which is considered one of the best models ever built by the business, was upgraded in 1939.

Determining the Age of an Old Sewing Machine? | ThriftyFun

Singer took use of new technologies, etc., that emerged following the war and manufactured thousands of models.

Where Was my Antique Singer Sewing Machine Made?

Mr. Singer opened his first plant in New York City in 1853. The first factory outside of America was established in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1863 or 67, depending on which history you accept. The firm established a cabinet manufacture in South Bend, Indiana, in 1868.

Singer established factories at Bridgton, England, Elizabethport, New Jersey, Cairo, Illinois, Montreal, Quebec, Kilbowie, Scotland, and Floridsdorf, Austria, all in the nineteenth century. Russia was chosen as the next industrial location in 1902, while operations in Prussia and St. John’s, Quebec, opened in 1904.

Then there was Bridgeport, Connecticut, and two more in France and Italy, which led to World War 2. Singer’s last factory, which opened in 1950, was in Anderson, South Carolina.

Does Singer Still Make Sewing Machines?

Technically, the answer is yes. Despite being a subsidiary of Ares Management’s SVP worldwide organization, the company exists and produces its own sewing machines. Unfortunately, many Singer sewing machines are manufactured outside of the United States, as no domestic sewing machine manufacturer exists.

Singer, like Pfaff and Viking, has its own management structure, allowing it to manufacture machines in the Singer heritage with some independence and freedom. However, when it comes to creating their own sewing machines, that’s about it.

Are Old Singer Sewing Machines Worth Any Money?

Some are, while others are not. The antique Turtleback, Featherweight, and toy sewing machines manufactured between 1941 and 1947 appear to fetch a good price. A few hand crank machines are available at around $200 each on eBay, and a centenary sewing machine is available for $300.

A Singer 301 would set you back $489, while a Model 66 will set you back less than $200. Other Singer sewing machine models are for sale on eBay to give you an idea of how much money you may anticipate to obtain if you sell your old Singer sewing machine.

Old Singer Sewing Machine Value

One item to consider while determining the worth of your ancient Singer sewing machine. The company produced millions of them, and many of them are still in use today. Due to those issues, you may not be able to acquire a high price or value for your computer.

Condition, operating or not, and location all play vital parts in evaluating the value of your ancient or vintage sewing machine. The older the machine, particularly if it is pre-1900, the higher the value.

Finding Old Singer Sewing Machine for Sale

This will not be a difficult task to complete. Because Singer was so successful and produced so many machines, you can find them almost anywhere. We mean all across the world when we say everywhere. The Singer was in plentiful supply thanks to the several factories located across the globe.

Aside from eBay, you can find Singer sewing machines in antique stores, vintage sewing machine shops, fabric outlets (local), garage and estate sales, auction houses, and thrift stores. Then go through the classified ads in your local paper, Craigslist, and other similar sites to find an old machine quickly.

How to determine the value of your old sewing machine - Catawiki

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Table

You might be able to find some still for sale depending on what materials were utilized to create these tables. According to our findings, eBay, Etsy, and Pinterest all appear to have some for you to consider.

Then look in antique shops and other places where you may expect to find ancient sewing machine tables. We can’t comment on the pricing because it will vary depending on the condition, rarity, age, and other factors. The easiest technique to find an old table is to conduct a thorough internet search using specified parameters to ensure a comprehensive list.

How Old is My Singer Sewing Machine Table?

A serial number is unlikely to be found on the various sewing machine tables. Furniture does not usually have serial numbers, hence it is often determined by who built it rather than by numbers. But it doesn’t rule out the possibility of determining the year or age of your Singer sewing machine table.

The company had its own furniture factory, and the tables were usually built in the same year as the sewing machine they were paired with. If you use the serial number on your system, you can check the lists linked above for the year that serial number was used to determine the age of the table.

Your local antique shops are another place to look. They have books that tell them when a particular table was built, and they can look it up for you and give you an estimate of its age.

Finding an Old Singer Sewing Machine Manual

This link contains manuals for more recent machines, however you can use the model finder to see whether any older machines are listed. If not, simply inquire with the company. If they don’t, this website would be the next place to look. Their inventory includes over a thousand industrial machines.

Our normal manual website is next, and they, too, appear to be overflowing with Singer manuals. The 1965 337 models, as well as many other ancient Singer sewing machines, have one on eBay. You might try this website for our Australian readers, and the list appears to indicate that vintage manuals are available.

If you prefer not to shop on the internet, we recommend visiting antique shops to check what they have in stock. You can also see if any vintage sewing machine sales or repair companies have any. You won’t run out because millions of computers were created, which meant millions of manuals were generated as well.

Are Vintage Singer Sewing Machines Good?

The model 15 and 99 were among the most imitated sewing machines ever built, thus this goes without saying. Furthermore, Mr. Singer’s improvements to the sewing machine industry made the machines extremely popular. The proprietors were unconcerned.

Certain historic models, such as the Featherweights 221 and 222, as well as the 201 from 1939, stand out among their peers. Singer’s success was due to his ability to think like an innovator and identify where sewing machines of the day needed to be improved. These improvements enable Singer to make high-quality machines that continue to stitch after more than a century.

Which Old Singer Sewing Machine is Best?

It’s the equivalent of asking which Rolls Royce was or is the best. There are simply too many good models to declare definitively which is the best overall. Different technology were utilized in different decades, making comparisons difficult.

What was or is the finest in 1960, 1990, or 2020 would not compare to what was or is the best in 1880. While the machines serve the same goal, they differ in terms of technology and features. Some have claimed that the 1939 201 was the best car the firm had ever made, and this may be true. When it comes down to it, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Can an Old Singer Sewing Machine Sew Leather?

Some Singer models were capable of sewing leather. If the company made industrial machines, such models should be capable of doing the work. It’s a different story with residential models. That’s because they were made to stitch light, easy-to-work-with textiles rather than tougher materials like vinyl or leather.

The old model 66 and 301k were rumored to be capable of stitching leather up to a specific thickness. The later machine could handle up to 6mm of leather, whilst the former could only handle light leather.

Other machines, such as the 15k RAF and the 111W150, can sew heavier fabrics, such as leather. We can’t name any more ancient Singers because of space constraints.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Dimensions

Singer has their own standard size for machine construction. Some older models had a width of 12 to 14 1/2 inches, a height of 6 1/2 to 7 inches, and a distance between the pillar and the needle of 6 1/2 to 8 inches.

There were a few variances in size between each machine, but they were all relatively near in size. Of course, the first sewing machines were much larger, but as technology evolved, the sewing machine shrank.

There are several toy Singers that are far smaller than those measurements.

Final Thoughts

In order to tell Singer’s story effectively, more than one article is required. The 1800s, as well as the years between 1900 and 1950, cover far too much ground. When it was founded and controlled by two individuals, the company was revolutionary. The modern corporation may not be that fortunate.

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