Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

Singer Toy Sewing Machine

This cast iron, black Singer Toy Sewing Machine is the original 1910 "Singer 20" model. It is also known as the "Sewhandy", due to the four spokes on the hand-wheel that are used to move the needle and thread.

In 1910, these sewing machines were sold for $3.00 and were popular toys for children. Advertisements for these machines targeted children above the age of four years old. They were made to spark children’s interest in sewing machines so that when they got older, they would hopefully wish you buy a "real" Singer machine. By 1914, these machines went from four to eight spokes on the hand-wheel.

This particular model, however, is missing a "seam cloth fabric guide", which would otherwise be located on the "sewing plate".

There are three total labels on the machine. The back of the machine features the makers mark, rendered in gold and shows a circle around the signature Singer "S", with two needles in an X formation in front of it, and a spool of thread beneath. Within the gold circle are the words “THE SINGER MANFG. CO., TRADE MARK.” Beneath the words “TRADE MARK”, there is a leaf-covered branch with a bow in the middle, adding to the logo’s design. On the side of the machines arm, the word “SINGER” is written in gold lettering. On the front, “SINGER” is seen again in gold lettering, towards the lower part of the machine

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