SINGER SEWING MACHINES


Isaac Singer started making sewing machines in 1851 and in partnership with Edward Clark formed I. M. Singer & Co producing industrial machines, the No. 1 with a square bed and the No. 2 with a rectangular bed. However it wasn't until 1857 that their first true domestic machine - the Family machine (Turtle Back) was introduced but this wasn't particularly sucessful and in 1859 the Letter A was introduced, this machine was manufactured until 1865. In 1863 the Company was reformed as the Singer Manufacturing Company.
The Company opened its first overseas factory in Glasgow, Scotland in 1867, but in 1871 moved to a larger factory at Bridgeton which produced 54,000 machines the following year. In 1884 yet another new factory was opened at Kilbowie, Clydebank on a 46 acre site. The floor area was nearly one million square feet and seven thousand workers were employed producing on average 13,000 machines a week, it was the largest sewing machine factory in the World, finally closing in 1980.

SPARES: We have limited spares for SOME of the Singer models shown below including slide plates, shuttles and bobbins. Please contact us. for availability and further details.

MANUALS: The Singer Company still produces manuals for many of these models.



Singer Needlecase
Singer Needle Case
Although we have several Singer accessory boxes this is the only needle case we have come across. The Singer emblem on the top appears to be an early version and the tartan pattern round the side of the case is labelled as McDonald, presumably this formed one of a series of such needle cases.


Singer Oil Bottle
Singer Oil Bottle

On one side it has The Singer Manufacturing Company and on the other Extra Quality Machine Oil.
It would originally have had a cork stopper.


Singer 12 1874

    New Family Serial No. 1903896   323096.
The New Family was introduced in 1863 and later become known as the Singer 12. It was produced in enormous numbers and was so sucessful it was copied by almost every other sewing machine manufacturer.
Made in 1874 at Singers Scottish Bridgeton Factory, this machine has the Scoll and Roses Decal which has some minor chipping in places. The slide-plate has a circular hole in the end to assist opening and 11 Patent dates are listed starting from Sept 10 1846 which was the famous Elias Howe Patent, through 1849, 1850, 1851, 1854 upto Oct 8 1855.
The tension adjustment is by way of a screw on the face plate.

This machine has dual serial numbers located on bed at the base of the pillar. For dating purposes it is the larger of the two numbers that is used.


Singer 12 1876

     New Family (Model 12) Serial No. 2108516  407716.
This machine was made May 27th 1876. Dave found it on a very bitter December day at a local antique fair and just had to bring it home. It is worn in the usual places and the jappanning is chipped in places. The decals are of the scroll and rose pattern but the guard and crank have the Peacock Tail decal. By this date the slide-plate no longer lists the Patent dates and is stamped with the Singer Trade Mark instead.

Singer 12 Scroll & Rose


Singer Model 12 1883

     New Family (Model 12).
Serial No. 6759107
                  1199307
Fiddle base machine dated to 1883. It is in beautiful condition, with hardly any wear to the decals and only minor chipping to the front edge. Unusually it has a bone handle. Rather than the usual bentwood case it slides into a panelled box case with a hinged door.

singer sliding into box   






Right: Photo showing the machine part in/part out of the case.


Singer Model 12

    New Family (Model 12)
Serial No. 8515701
                  2135401
Dated to October 31st 1888. Again this machine has the gold painted decals. There is a little wear to the bed, but only that of use. This machine came as a chance find at a junk shop and was the machine that really started us collecting! The Case of this machine is shown on the
Cases & Bases Page


Singer Model 12 Peacock Tail

    New Family (Model 12) Serial No. 9441791.
Dating to 1890, this machine has the wonderful 'Peacock Tail' decals which are in very good condition. When we first found this machine it had been butchered for the stand but it came complete with the top, drawer and panelled cover. After several years searching we found a Singer 12 stand on which it could be mounted. This particular stand has the Registered Design Mark for April 1879.

See also the Cases & Bases Page

Peacock Tail Decal



















Peacock Tail Decal


Singer Model 13

    New Family (Model 13) Serial No. 4643957.
Currently awaiting restoration, this machine dates to 1881. The Singer 13 was introduced c1870 and was designed as a semi industrial machine. It was copied by numerous other Companies many of whom improved the machine by increasing the amount of cotton the bobbin could hold - a basic design flaw that Singer seems to have failed to rectify.
Besides being a significantly larger machine than the Singer 12 the Singer 13 has an extra inspection plate on the bed which makes it easy to identify.


Singer No.2 Treadle

    Model V.S. 2 Serial No. 10356980.
The Singer Vibrating Shuttle 2 was introduced in 1887 and was an improved version of the V.S. 1 which had been introduced just 2 years earlier. The fiddle bed version of the V.S. 2 was gradually phased out with production ending in 1891 by which time an improved V.S 2 with a rectangular bed (later known as the Model 27) had been introduced.
Another lucky find this fiddle based treadle dates to April 7th 1891 came complete with a manual and an original box, full of attachments.
The machine has a bentwood case and a single drawer. The treadle frame does not have the Singer name on the cross brace as on later models. See Cases & Bases Page


 Singer Model No.3

 Singer Model No.3

  Model V.S. 3 Serial No. 8613295.
The Singer Vibrating Shuttle 3 was introduced c1886 and was later redesignated the Model 28. Production continued until c1910 when an improved version - the Model 128 was introduced.
Dated to December 2nd 1889 this machine has been converted from a treadle to a handcrank. It has delicate 'rose & cornflower' decals which are a little faded. Badged Singer SMC N.Y. It comes with a coffin style lid with an elaborate full lengh decal depicting leaves and acorns and a central Singer Badge logo. See a close up on the Cases & Bases Page


singer v.s.3

    Model V.S. 3 Serial No. 9661890.
Manufactured in 1890 this machine has the same attractive decal as the above machine but less faded. There is no accessory compartment in the base but it is mounted inside the bentwood case instead. Beneath the base there are three fittings to mount the machine onto a treadle table. The patent date 1886 appears on the front slide plate.


singer v.s.3

    Model V.S. 3 Serial No. 10741452.
This machine dates to 1891 and although worn the 'Peacock Tail' style decals are still beautiful. Again there is no accessory compartment in the base and the patent is stamped on the slide plate. This machine has a double spool attachment.


Singer model 27 Treadle

     Model 27 Serial No. P192004.
Around 1900 the V.S. 2 was redesignated the Model 27 with production continuing until c1910.
The original head for this treadle had very worn decals, luckily we were given this one which had the same sphinx decals as the original and so combined the two. The head dates to 1900 and the five drawer treadle base with plain cross brace dates to 1895.
See Cases & Bases Page


Singer model 15?

  Model 15 Serial No. J476338
Introduced in 1879, early versions of the Model 15 had a fiddle bed, in 1895 a mechanically and cosmetically improved version was introduced.
This machine has the Sphinx decals and dates to 1904. Suprisingly for this date the coffin lid has the hasp type catch without a lock and the accessory compartment is in the lid, Singer 12 style. Note the low set bobbin winder.


Singer model 66K

  Model 66K Serial No. F861731.
Dated July-December 1918, when we bought this machine the case was locked so we were pleased to find the Lotus decals in perfect condition and the metal work still bright. The side compartment contained the manual, a full range of attachments and spare spools. It only needed a modicum of cleaning and a drop of oil.


Singer 128K

   Model 128K Serial No. F9703524.
The decals on this machine are almost complete, although the metal parts are slightly tarnished. This machine dates to 1920 and is an updated version of the Singer 28, with shuttle eject mechanism, high mounted bobbin winder and accessory compartment in the base. Once cleaned and threaded up it sewed very well first time. The machine came with a small bentwood case.


Singer 99K

   Model 99K Serial No. Y8532609.
Dated July 12 1932 this machine was manufactured in Clydebank Scotland. This is Lin's every day machine inherited from her Grandmother and has its original attachments and manual. Regularly used for School play costumes, toys and repairs. To date Lin has not been taken by the Quilting bug as she designs and teaches Rubber stamping.


Singer 128

   Model 128 Serial No. EA630687.
Manufactured at Clydebank, Scotland in 1937. It is in very good condition and has the 'La Vincendora' decals with a grape and vine leaf motif pressed face plate. It has the improved shuttle mechanism with the eject lever.


Singer Featheweight
  Featherweight 222K Serial No. EP543209.
This machine was made in Kilbowie in the Autumn of 1959. Purchased by a sewing teacher in Edinburgh it remained in the same family until it came into our possession.
Made only at Singers Kilbowie plant the 222K was introduced in the mid 1950's and should have been the worthy successor to the Featherweight 221 but so successful was the earlier machine that production overlapped by a number of years.


The 222K is a "free arm" machine the casing detaches revealing the arm thus making it a truly versitile machine. The main castings are Aluminium and without all it's paraphernalia weighs about 12 lbs.
This machine came complete with case, foot controller, original tray, attachments, manual & bobbins.

For further information about the history of the Singer Featherweight go to Sew - Sales

Featherweight freearm


Singer 221 Featheweight
    Featherweight 221K Serial No. EY847067.
The 221 was introduced in America in 1933 but it was not put into production at Kilbowie, Scotland until 1947.
It was extremely successful and excellent sales meant it was produced in large numbers but as sales declined in the early 1950's the Singer Company in Great Britain introduced the pale turquoise (white) 221K in 1955, it was only made at Kilbowie and was not sold by Singer in the USA.
It was slightly lighter than the Black 221, having a shorter extension table, an internal toothed rubber belt linking the top and bottom gears and the later models had a full width foot controller.


This machine was made in Kilbowie probably in 1967 and came in a two tone blue carrying case unfortunately without its manual or accessories.
The machine is generally in good condition except where the foot controller which is permanently wired to the machine has caused a couple of minor chips. Attached to the front right of the base was a 'Singer Quality Tested' label with the numbers 45. 13. 6 this has been carefully removed and kept.
Featherweight and Case


This webpage was created by Lin & David BestŠ2002/03/04
Acknowledgements to the Singer Dating service

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