with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Singer Sewing Machines

Having come to an interest in sewing lately in life, I was thrilled with the 1948 Singer Sewing Machine left in my apartment in Tel Aviv. It did only one thing, straight stitch, but it did it extremely well. Loved that thing.

When my friend, Ruth, moved into her new apartment in Tel Aviv, she gave me her old Singer sewing machine. I did a little research and found that the perfect condition gold labeled Singer was an original 1929 sewing machine in absolutely incredible condition. Works like a charm. It has been converted, and not very well, to electric, but that is all fixable.

Brent’s mother, Lynda Kay, bought an old sewing machine at a garage sale years ago. The woman told her the sewing machine belonged to her grandmother. It came with the cabinet and was never converted to electricity, still with the wheel and pedal. I told her I would look it up every time I’ve come to visit, but things get crazy. So I did.

It was made in 1908 and now Singer has much more interesting information on their web site for researching their history and their sewing machines. According to their history page, this machine was made in Clydebank, Scotland, in the factory originally called the Kilbowie Scotland factory. When it was opened in 1883, it was the largest sewing machine factory in the world and hosted the largest clock tower in the world, almost 200 feet high. At one time it employed more than 12,000 workers. Wow.

To look up the serial number of a Singer Sewing Machine, check the area below the thread tension panel on the main right support side. Some machines may list the serial number on the bottom side, but it is usually visible on the machine’s topside. Then visit their Singer Sewing Machine Serial Numbers page and choose one of three choices: numbers only, single letter prefix, or double letter prefix. The link will take you to the appropriate page for finding the general information for your sewing machine. The letter prefixes tell you what factory the sewing machine was made in.

Then hop back to the history page to look up more information about the company and its history related to your machine.

Fascinating stuff.

Tulsa, Oklahoma


  • Denny Custer
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 15:14 | Permalink

    My wife and I will be in Glasgow/Clydebank in May, 2007. I would like to find the site of the old Kilbowie (Singer) Sewing Maching Company. Not sure if any buildings remain, or what if anything might be there. My grandmother worked there in the 1890-1900 era.

    Thanks for any light you can shed. Can I be emailed directly?

    Denny Custer

  • Posted December 21, 2006 at 18:23 | Permalink

    I have no more information on Singer Sewing Machines than that mentioned in the article. Best to visit the site I’ve listed for historical information and contact Singer and their historical society directly. Good luck and have fun!

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