Early Models (1851 - 1885)

The first production Singer sewing machine was known as the Model No. 1. This pioneering lockstitch machine was set up for use on its wooden packing case and a wooden pitman rod connected it to a treadle mechanism.

Singer 1

1851 - Singer No. 1

In 1856 the Singer Turtle-Back machine became the first machine to use an iron stand. A vibrating arm carried the needle to provide a much increased sewing speed. Motion was carried from the treadle to the machine by a flat leather belt.


1856 - Turtle-Back

1859 saw the introduction of the Letter ‘A’ machine. The drive was transmitted between the needle bar and shuttle shafts by a vertical shaft with bevel gearing. The arm was lengthened to provide greater space with more freedom for working.

New Family

1865 - New Family

In 1870 the Singer Medium Machine was similar to the ‘New Family’ but designed specifically for dressmakers and tailors with a longer arm to increase working space to facilitate the handling of heavier fabrics used for dresses and mantles.


1870 - Medium

The Improved New Family Machine introduced in 1879 was the beginning of a new era of sewing machine design. With an oscillating shuttle mechanism and all gears eliminated it meant quieter working with increased sewing speed and shuttle capacity. A few years later in 1895 the model was revamped and became the class 15.


1879 - Improved New Family