Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Singer Model 12 Hand Crank Sewing Machine - c1886

The Singer New Family Model 12 hand crank sewing machine, c1886
serial number 7,132,396

I acquired from Hexham, Northumberland, UK
photographs by Paul

The very popular Singer New Family Model 12 sewing machines were produced for 40 years from 1865 at the close of the American Civil War, until one last batch of 100 machines were manufactured in 1902.  

Isaac Merrit Singer 1811-1875
painted by Edward Harrison May 1869


We are celebrating Isaac Singer's 207th birthday at our Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour and Craft Show October Sat/Sun 27-28, 2018 (10a-5p).  We'll have all the old sewing machines on display--some of them for sale.  

You will enjoy the beautiful homegrown pickles and jellies, homemade bakery and treats, goat milk based lotions, soaps, balms, silver and gemstone handcrafted jewelry, loomed rugs, handmade chocolates--as in yummy chocolate turtles anyone?  Also, vintage patterned aprons, as well as queen size quilts and beaded purses, and much more--all available at our craft show. 

Great food by the Scandinavia Library Group, and tour of my 1893 Queen Anne Victorian home, and sewing studio.  Your $2 pp admission fee at the door goes directly to The Humane Society of Waupaca County.    Come in for a spell!  Plenty of Parking.

Here's a good read about the history of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, 

Truth or Myth?  The Singer New Family Model 12 had black hand wheels to resist a metal luxury tax?  

At the top: Three Pillars--back to front:
1) presser bar tension,  2) needle bar, 3) upper thread tension

The Singer Model 12 is a Transverse Shuttle; its shuttle moves left to right.  Open left throat plate slide to access the boat shuttle.

Condition of the machine is excellent.  You don't see them often.  Very collectible.

Back side of the machine.  More details photos to show you later.

The gold acanthus leaf decals.


  1. Hello Linda, Another beauty! You seem to get a number of American machines from England. Is there a reason for this, or just coincidence? I imagine the trans-Atlantic shipping is quite high!

    1. I buy some of my sewing machines from England because they are portable hand crank sewing machines, have been stored properly for decades, and are easier to restore and return to sewing condition. You know Jim, you are asking a really good question, that could result in a full post rather than a paragraph to explain why. In short, it is not a coincidence that I buy sewing machines from England. And yes, shipping fees are about $100 US per machine. Some people collect and restore cars to drive them. I collect and restore old sewing machines to sew on them. Like the saying goes, "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat". I tell you, the majority of sewing machines I've collected are restoration successes that I am very proud to talk about and show you details in photographs. Perhaps I should devote some journaling to talk about and show photos of sewing machines I collected that were and still remain "little troublemakers". They cause me such frustration to repair, find parts, and make whole again. I rely on the knowledge and kindness of friends (sewing machine restoration experts) from forums like, Victorian Sweatshop Forum to help me learn and solve restoration problems.