Each day this month we’ve featured a different American Brand that advertised in mid-century women’s magazines and still exists today. Today is July 29 2022 and we are nearing the end of our list. We began with Aunt Jemima on July 1 and went alphabetically through the list.
We’ve covered mainstays such as AT&T, Coca Cola, Ford, and Kraft foods in addition to smaller companies such as Jantzen and Maidenform. Each of the brands chosen play an important part in American culture then and now. Today we are featuring Singer sewing machines. This brand can easily be considered a niche brand used mainly by hobbyists in the 21st century. However, in the mid-century, sewing was a bigger part of American culture. Women would have been taught to sew by a mother or home economics teacher. Homemakers likely sewed clothing for herself, her home, and her children. Fabric was affordable and easily sourced at neighborhood fabric stores. Things, of course, are different today. Sewing skills are less common, and yardage is almost impossible to find locally. Sewing today is typically adopted by creative types who like the versatility and personality achieved with sewing or quilting. I personally, am a sewing enthusiast and have great memories of sewing when I was growing up in the mid-century. My love affair with sewing machines continues today.
The full page color ad you see below was targeted to the young married woman who was likely limited on space and funds. Singer’s entry-level model called The Spartan sold for $69.50. The portable Young Budget model shown in the ad sold for $119.50.
The mid-century machine owner would have gone to her local Singer Sewing Center to buy the machine and take classes. Here’s a closeup showing the logo.
Let’s look at their line of sewing machines that were featured in mid-century magazine ads.
Since Singer was such a popular mid-century brand, most of the models listed are available today for resale. The all metal case and components make them popular among 21 century sewers. However, the most sought after Singer is the Featherweight model. There are folks who have made careers specializing in collecting, servicing, and selling these models. Here’s a screenprint showing a current posting on eBay with a price tag of almost $2,000.
Singer sewing machines are still sold today at retail outlets such as Joanne’s, Walmart, and Amazon. Here’s a listing for a popular Singer model on Amazon.
Here are a few more ads.
Wanna see something cool? If you look at the small print towards the bottom of the page, it gives us an address of the Singer Sewing Center illustration shown as 282 third avenue Chula Vista, CA. Thanks to the wonderful Google Street view technology, we can easily see what the storefront looks like today.