Antique Singer Sewing Machines: Models and where to find them

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To identify an antique sewing machine from the Singer Company, you ought to know a bunch about this manufacturer and the numerous models they have released over the years. Additionally, the model number and the year it was released go a long way in helping you categorize a machine as vintage or antique.

Established in 1851, Singer is among manufacturers with many models that will pass as antique pieces. It is intrinsic to mention that all models aged one hundred years and above fall in the antique family. The Singer Company has been in the market for one hundred and sixty-eight years, making most of their earlier models antiques.

Technological advancements in the contemporary world have enabled the transformation of Singer machines from the hand and peddle powered models to electronic ones. Other than the power source, many different aspects such as the materials used, designs, and functional additions, were improved to cater to the needs of the target market.

If you are interested in an antique Singer sewing machine, it is crucial to establish if you need it for the aesthetic value or the functionality. You must also know why sewing machines from the past century are considered good.

Antique Singer sewing machines

1. Antique Singer F947234 Sewing Machine

This antique piece from Singer was auctioned on eBay. The features it has have not been explicitly explained on the website, but the wide web has resources that make it possible to explore models made during the hand crank period.

On the listing, one image stands out to point to the era when this model was released into the market. Models designed before 1960 have small metal plates on the front showing their design number. For this piece, the image below is an indicator of when it was manufactured.

The downside of acquiring a vintage model is that the seller may not be informed of the unique features that the machine has. The condition of this machine has been marked used.

2. Singer Model 27 Sewing Machine 1903 K844557

Found on eBay as well, this model 27 Singer product is among the first designs to use the iconic vibrating shuttle.

This shuttle system was designed in the shape of a bullet, and unlike the predecessors, it made work more relaxed and the stitches accurate.

Cast iron is the primary material used to make this model. It is decorated with different shapes and designs, which allows the Singer model 27 usefulness when intended for aesthetic functions.

The cosmetic condition and value, as listed by the seller, are good, but the functional elements have not been tested.

The listing and product description by the seller point towards this being a decorative piece.

If you intend to buy such a model, it is vital to confirm with the seller if the machine can be tested to verify if it works or not.

If it is not in good working condition, it is crucial to ask if it can be refurbished. Also, any missing parts should be sought first before the purchase is made.

3. Antique 1881 Singer 12 K sewing machine

Designed in 1881, this model is among the oldest that you will find in the market. The listed price on eBay is slightly above three hundred dollars, but buyers are invited to post their rates as well.

The listing indicates that the machine has not been in use for a long time and may need servicing before it can be used.

Machines in the model 12K series from Singer were among the first lockstitch products that were reliable and easy to use.

The sewing machine pictured falls in the Model 12K series that was in the market from 1865 to 1902. During this time, modifications were made to improve earlier versions to give the consumers better.

Reviews note that the model 12K series was accommodating regarding the type of fabric that could be sewn without angles. The set sold well across different demographics as it was easy to use.

The bed is made of a unique musical instrument shape that led to the adoption of ‘fiddle base’ as the name of the masterpiece that is the antique series 12K.

Final Thoughts

Antiques are valuable, but it does not mean that it will cost you an arm and a leg. You stand better chances of spending less if you buy from an auction.

Online websites that allow selling and auctioning of antiques are an excellent place to start especially if you are looking for pieces to use as art installations in your home. If you want a functional antique, land-based stores are recommended since you can test and confirm that it is in good working condition.

Why are Antique Sewing Machines so good?

Many factors come together to help explain why machines made many years ago are considered so good. To conclusively show that these machines are great, it is essential to explore their features to know what they are made of.

Durable materials

Modern-day sewing machines are designed with multiple features to entice buyers, but the question of style and longevity are among those not taken into keen consideration by the manufacturers. This observation is common across many reviews and client testimonials on the wide web.

The quality of materials used to design sewing machines was good. Most of the parts of the antique models were made using steel or cast ion. These two, coupled with other durable materials such as the table that was designed to host the machine, ensured that they had a long life span.

Antique sewing machines at their time of manufacture were very pricey, which pushed the firm to put in work in construction. The craftsmanship put in during the building of the antique models is also a noteworthy factor as it directly impacts the life span of a given model.


Earlier models of sewing machines were made at a time where each purchase had to be worth the price. The output these machines were designed to create is a perfect lockstitch that could be used to sew together an array of fabrics.

At the time of their manufacture, antique models were designed during an era where most households made their clothes. It was expected that they would function without breaking down, and they did.

The amounts of work antique machines were subjected to demanded not only proper functionality but also precision, which they manufacturers availed. If you get an antique Singer machine in its proper working condition, do not let it go.

Additionally, the antique models from Singer make good art pieces. If you find a sewing machine that is still functional, then it is a plus. This is because you can put it to use for repairs and sewing projects within the home while also celebrating the work of art that Singer models in this collection are.

While there be many benefits of purchasing an antique Singer model, some challenges need to be addressed. The biggest of all being where to find models from many years ago on sale. One place that you are assured of getting an antique piece and at fair prices include;

  • Online stores
  • Flea markets
  • Antique stores
  • Charity stores, etc.

Once you have found a reliable shop to buy a vintage model, there are factors that you must define to help inform your decision on which piece to buy and why. Some of the things you must keep in mind include:

  • Purpose – you must decide what you need the antique model for. If you intend to use it for sewing tasks, then it is paramount to ensure that the machine is in perfect working conditions with all the removable parts intact
  • Price to pay – generally, antique pieces in any category are known to be pricey. You should set a budget for the purchase of any old model sewing machine. Try to stick to the budget by negotiating for a good deal with the seller. You may be in luck and get an antique model for less, especially at charities and auctions.
  • Model to acquire – if you are collecting antiques, then it means that you are a sewing machine enthusiast. If you are gifting someone, then you need to know which antiques they are into before buying. The different antique models also have various features as dictated by the time they were made. Explore all these aspects before buying.

The removable parts are delicate and may render an entire sewing machine useless if they are lost. This element is essential because some manufacturers stopped releasing spare parts into the market. If you are interested in an antique for display, then this will not be a problem. But if you intend to use the model you acquire for sewing projects, then you must confirm that the needle, bobbins, and shuttles, among other parts, are a must check.

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