Old Singer Machines

Old singer machines, its history, determining date by its serial numbers, valuation, manuals, and the featherweight model.

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Old Singer Machines…History


The old Singer machines, the oldest in particular, saw light back in 1851. Issac Merritt Singer, the originator of the Singer sewing machine, actually just made major improvements to an earlier sewing machine, the Lerow and Blodgett machine. He altered the existing machine by making the shuttle move to and fro in a straight line instead of having it going around in a circle, and having a straight needle working up and down instead of the original’s needle bar pushing a curved needle horizontally. And while all other machines of this type utilized a hand crank to generate power, he used a treadle which is similar to a spinning wheel. If you want to know more about its history, click on old singer machines: history.

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Vintage Singer Machine Serial Numbers

The Singer company have probably lost most of their oldest records as they can only provide a list of serial numbers of antique singer sewing machines manufactured after 1870. They however say that while newer singer machines have single or double letter prefixed serial numbers, vintage singer machines released prior to 1900 have all numbers only. Thus, you can check out how old your singer machines are by checking out its serial number and searching it against these tables: All Numbers, One Letter Prefix, Two Letter Prefix.

Old Singer Machine Value

vintage singer machines

According to one website I chanced upon sometime ago, the ‘blue book value’ on old singer machines is normally around $25.00. But if you do have a really old one, we don’t talk about book values anymore. These types of antique singer sewing machine or vintage singer machines are bound for the auction block and may fetch something we cannot yet foresee especially if true collectors who fancy these equipments are around.

Antique Singer Sewing Machines Manual

Here’s a series of scanned files from an antique singer sewing machine manual dated 1901. I bet any true blue collector would pay for these manuals as much as the old single machine itself.

Singer Featherweight Sewing Machines

There’s something about the singer featherweight sewing machine that made it earn the name ‘the perfect portable’. These have become very popular among fabric artisans and quilters with the singer featherweight model 221 and 222 being specifically choosen by collectors. Below is a picture of a 1948 Black Singer Featherweight 221.

More About Old Singer Machines

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1956 Commercials Of Old Singer Machines

Antique Singer Sewing Machine Carving

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11 thoughts on “Old Singer Machines”

  1. These are collectors’ items and thus old singer machines’ values do not even consider book values. The prices most often are way way above brand new models’ prices. Like most items that go under the auctioneer’s block, their prices can go crazy high. I still don’t understand why these people let go of so much money just to acquire these ‘useless’ things. Maybe, when I get rich soon, I’ll understand why. 🙂
    Jasmine @ wireless internet for laptops´s latest blog post ..Wireless Internet For Laptops

  2. Jasmine, what do you consider crazy money? I have a sewing machine over 50 years old what’s to little to ask for?

  3. hello there! I currently own a very very old SINGER sewing machine (about 100 years old ) inherited from my great-grandfather. Me and my family have kept it for 8 years now, but since we want to move out, I became interested to find a collector who can estimate its value. I would surely appreciate any help given! 🙂

    1. Hi Cristine,

      You could try checking out ISMACS (International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society). They have this free ISMACS Digest “for the discussion and sale of sewing machines by ISMACS members and non-members, alike. There are sewing machine experts and novice collectors on the digest. Your questions should be welcomed there.

  4. Jasmine, you must not appreciate the meaning or value of antiques. I am not rich, but love to keep these things. It’s history. I bet you wouldn’t think it’s “useless” if you had one to sell. LOL

    1. I think Jasmine’s interests just happen to not fall along these lines. I’m sure she has a hobby or something that we don’t have any interest in and would thus also call a ‘waste of time’. It takes an old singer machines collector to understand another old singer machines collector.

  5. I’m wanting to find the years of the following singer machines.
    Model 301, Model 99 Model 229. Please no scams.

    1. Perhaps you could also check out the links I’ve given in my reply to Cristine’s comment above, Denese.

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