Dating vintage sewing machine
Serial numbers on Singer sewing machines manufactured prior to 1900 are numbers only.
After 1900, the machine serial numbers have a single or two-letter prefix. A - Podolsk, Russia B - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA C - Wittenberge, (Prussia) Germany D - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA E - Podolsk, Russia F - Clydebank, Scotland G - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA H - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA J - Clydebank, Scotland K - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA L - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA M - Clydebank, Scotland N - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA P - Clydebank, Scotland R - Clydebank, Scotland S - Clydebank, Scotland S*- Podolsk, Russia (*100 "S" machines made in Podolsk) T - Podolsk, Russia V - Clydebank, Scotland W - Bridgeport, Connecticut USA X - Clydebank, Scotland Y - Clydebank, Scotland AA to AT - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA BA to BY - Elizabeth, New Jersey USA CA to CY - Bogota, Colombia DA to DY - Karachi, Pakistan EA to EY - Clydebank, Scotland FA to FY - Clydebank, Scotland GA to GY - Clydebank, Scotland HA to HY - Istanbul, Turkey JA to JE - St.
There is a lot of controversy over why there were two lots of numbers.
The most likely answer is that the larger number was the total number of machines produced by Singers when they only had a few factories and could keep up with and control the production output from Britain and America.
The company cleverly managed their production from all factories to coincide with the serial number flow.
Very early Singers from the 1850's up until the start of prefix letters in 1900 had two serial numbers.
Check inside any drawers and on the underside of the cabinet for this information.
Alex has spent a lifetime in the sewing industry and is considered one of the foremost experts of pioneering machines and their inventors.
He has written extensively for trade magazines, radio, television, books and publications world wide.
Familiarize yourself with furniture styles to get a better handle on dating vintage sewing cabinets. This can help you determine which treadle sewing machine cabinet is authentic versus a reproduction, or allow you to estimate a date.
Fiberboard construction places any sewing cabinet in the 1960s at the earliest, while chrome and plywood were common in the 1950s.