Isn’t she a beauty?! She’s not in working condition, but she’s just beautiful to look at!
Singer Corporation was first established I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer. (although the first patent to design a sewing machine was obtained by English inventor Thomas Saint in 1790, and the first sewing machine was developed in 1807 by an Australian tailor, Josef Madersperger) . It was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. Singer has an interesting organized labor episode from 1911, which you can read about here. Like the United States Shoe Corporation, Singer began diversifying in the 1960s, acquiring companies involved in electronics as well as ….nuclear power plant control center simulators. Huh!
But let’s get back to business. This Singer sewing machine was manufactured on August 21, 1879, in Clydebank, Scotland. How do I know this, you may ask? Well, it appears that Singer was/is very meticulous about keeping records, even back in the late 1800s, so they still have logs with all of this information as long as you can provide a serial number. Singer sewing machines manufactured prior to 1900 were given serial numbers with numbers only; after 1900, serial numbers incorporated a single or two-letter prefix (which indicated the manufacturing location).
This specific sewing machine is an “Improved Family” machine. It was considered a breakthrough “because of its oscillating shuttle” and a high arm, although it was overshadowed the following year by a model that included an Edison electric motor.
AND, you can still buy the manual!