How to Determine the Age of a Singer Sewing Machine

By Caroline Baldwin
Many repairs can be made to vintage machines if you can identify the model.

Originally named, I.M. Singer Co., Singer Sewing Co. began production of sewing machines in 1851. Isaac Merrit Singer and Edward Clark sought to revolutionize the sewing industry with their innovative design in sewing technology. The company was renamed in 1865 to Singer Manufacturing Company and in 1963, it was given its current moniker. The company made its products with the intention that generations of sewers would enjoy sewing on the machines. Singers from the 1800s are still being re-sold and serviced today.

Identify the maker's mark on the machine. Verify that the machine says Singer in some form. On the modern machines, the name is listed on the front left of the machine. On the vintage machines, the name was painted on the machine and may be hard to read due to age and condition.

Locate the serial number on the machine. SingerCo.com has a page on its "Customer Support" section that shows where to look for most serial numbers. Usually the serial numbers are located on the side of the machine with the hand wheel. All Singers can be identified by the serial number. More modern machines can also be dated by the model number.

Write down the longer number on the machine if there are two series of numbers. Check the number with the list on SingerCo.com or call Singer's Consumer Affairs number at 800-474-6437 for assistance. The Singer Co. is proud of its heritage and is quite helpful in identifying a Singer machine.

Check online serial number listings along with photos to date your machine. Certain websites have publications or extensive lists of serial numbers that will help you identify your machine, the date and location of manufacture.

Tip

You can also check online auction and antique sales sites for machines that resemble the one you are trying to date. This can provide a good starting place for dating the machine.

About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.