Toy Sewing Machines (TSM’s)
Although this site is primarily dedicated to all things to do with ‘Singer’ sewing machines, we have made an exception in the toy category. We have done this because many of the early models by the other makers featured, were either direct copies of the Singer 20, or at the very least their design certainly borrowed heavily from that of the Singer 20. Although the later Vulcan toy machines are nothing like the Singer 20, they have been included just because I think they are cute, and I suspect they remind many of us of our younger years.
All of these toy sewing machines are simple, single thread chain stitch machines. Singer originally marketed their machines as children’s machines, but later they were promoted as adult light portable machines as well as toys for children.
Although in the immediate post WW2 years there were many makers of toy sewing machines, the main ones in the UK, apart from Singer, were Essex, Grain and Vulcan. However by the late 1950’s they found they were not able to compete with low cost imports from Japan, and so they all withdrew from making toy sewing machines in favour of concentrating on their other products.
Basic Model Differences
|Essex Mk2||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||15x1|
|Federation||Cast Iron||Cast Iron||15x1|
|Genero Stitch Mistress||Aluminium||Aluminium||15x1|
|Grain Mk1||Cast Iron||Aluminium||15x1|
|Grain Mk2||Die Cast Aluminium||Aluminium||15x1|
|Lead, All, All-Lead||Cast Iron||Cast Iron||15x1|
|Little Betty W4||Tinplate||Aluminium||88x1|
|Singer 20||Cast Iron||Cast Iron||24x1|
|Singer 20-10||Die Cast Alum.||Cast Iron||24x1|
|Singer Sewhandy 40K||Die Cast Alum.||24x3|
|Singer Sewhandy 50D||Die Cast Alum.||24x3|
|Vulcan Mk1||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||13x1|
|Vulcan Featherweight||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||15x1|
|Vulcan Dumpy||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||15x1|
|Vulcan Minor, Junior, Senior||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||206x13|
|Vulcan Countess||Die Cast Alum.||Aluminium||206x13|
NOTE - For a more comprehensive list of Toy Sewing Machines (TSM’s) and their needles, please visit the TSM Needle page.