How Much Is A 1920 Singer Sewing Machine Worth

When it comes to nostalgic antique sewing machines, the 1920 Singer Sewing Machine is a popular item. Overviewed by many as one of the most recognizable and aesthetically beautiful, this machine has a long history of use and production. While the exact cost of a 1920 Singer machine can vary drastically, especially if the product is a rare antique, the classic machine can be purchased for a reasonable price at most auction and vintage sales. By understanding the rarity, components and condition of the machine, it may be possible to accurately purchase a machine that is right for the buyer.

Built between 1919 and 1922 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the standard Singer treadle was the first model to be made with the modern bent-wood cases. A combination of black, white and oak was used to create the aesthetically pleasing design. The majority of models found today have pedal mechanisms which make them more convenient than the majority of vintage machines. The base model of this 1920 machine features a cylinder arm bed, black paint, and a split handwheel, alongside other features.

In terms of cost, the most sought after and valuable models of the Singer treadle can double or even triple the regular 1920 machine cost. As a general rule, the less thorough the condition, the lower the cost. For example, a model with a missing bobbin or broken tension dial won’t be worth as much as the pristine model. Similarly, if the machine is covered in rust or dirt, the cost should be much lower than for a well-preserved machine.

In terms of identifying the kind of machine one is looking for, the Singer logo is the most important sign of authenticity. Sewists pay extra attention to the serial number, which is hidden in discreet places, is dependant on the year of production and may take a few estimates. Singer serial numbers generally contain at least seven digits, though many models feature longer numbers, usually between eight to nine digits, depending on the year of production.

For those who are looking for a vintage machine with some of the modern developments, the 1919-1922 Singer is certainly one worth considering. Specific elements including its strong construction and solid build can ensure that the machine lasts for years. Some of the more ambitious vintage sewists may even attempt the repair of old machines that are beyond repair. This can be a great option for those who are looking for a unique piece of history.

Collector’s Pieces

As collectables, the 1920 Singer treadle machines are incredibly popular, especially among those who traditionally traded in gold. Not only can the items be bought and sold at auctions, but they can also be gifted or simply enjoyed as artworks. Some of the more desired models can reach a higher value than others, depending on how distinctive their design is. As a result, those who are interested in collector machines should consider obtaining a model with a unique finish or an uncommon mechanical design.

When evaluating the overall worth of a 1920 Singer, it’s important to note that machines such as the black-painted Singer treadle are some of the most valuable of all. In terms of rarity, this type of machine was available to the public for only a few years and only a limited number were made. Moreover, some of the machines from this collection feature intricate ornamental designs or gold elements, adding to their overall value. This means that they are quite collectible, and even one of the lesser-known makes and models could sell for quite a bit of money.

Aside from rarity, the condition in which the machine is in should be taken into account. The presence of certain components can drastically increase its worth, such as needles, bobbin cases, threading points, foot pedals and handles. Additionally, the nature of the case, accessories and fabric pieces accompanying the machine should also be taken into account, no matter if they are damaged or restored.

Modern Improvements

Despite their vintage appeal, there are quite a few improvements that can be made to the later models of the 1920 Singer machine. The addition of modern tools and accessories, such as motorized enhancements, needle and bobbin guards, carrying cases and upgraded tension settings, can offer a much greater efficiency when sewing. Moreover, these extra features may add to the historicity of the machine, as even a slight change can make a huge difference in the overall performance, making the product a much better investment. Alternatively, if the individual wants to invest in a classic-style machine, they may want to look into buying a model from the early 1900s, which can still be found in a variety of online vintage stores.

For those who are looking for a machine to use for their everyday sewing needs, the later models of the 1920 Singer may be the best option. The post-1920 Singer models feature sophisticated and advanced technology, making them a great option for a task-based sewing machine. Innovations such as stitch blocks, automated tension and drop feed systems provide sewers with a much smoother and easier experience. Similarly, the addition of a fully-inclined screw and a side-gear provide an enhanced working area.

Maintenance and Preservation

For those who are looking to keep their 1920 Singer in mint condition, there are quite a few maintenance methods worth considering. Regular cleaning with a machine oil and air pressure helps ensure the proper performance of the machine, as well as keeping its parts aligned. Sewists should also pay attention to areas that are prone to rust and corrosion, such as the bed and foot pedal, and seek to prevent damage to these areas. Regularly lubricating the machine helps ensure that the machine runs as well as the day it was purchased.

Additionally, those who own a model from the 1920 Singer line should also pay attention to how the fabric is torn out of the machine. It should be done in a careful manner, as too much force or too aggressive handling can cause tension to be lost, leading to a less than desirable sewing performance. Keeping the fabric tension properly adjusted can help ensure an optimal performance.

Sewing Machines of Tomorrow

As technology continues to advance, many companies are now producing updated versions of the 1920 Singer. These new machines tend to come with features such as modern stitches, automatic threading, needle guard and other advanced features. Although these more modern machines come with a higher price tag, they tend to be more reliable than their older counterparts. Therefore, those who are looking to buy a vintage machine should consider not only the initial cost but also the cost of maintenance and repair that comes with it.

For individuals who are looking for a true vintage experience, the 1920 Singer may still be the best option. Known for its strong construction and long-lasting quality, the ability to rework old Singer machines can be a rewarding experience. Furthermore, the admiration and appreciation some have for the classic style can make owning a machine such as this a rewarding experience.

Electronic vs Manual Sewing Machines

The debate between electronic and manual sewing machines is one that will likely continue to rage on. While electronic sewing machines offer the convenience of having a computerized model that can handle more complicated tasks, manual machines are still appreciated and used by many. Manual machines, such as the 1920 Singer, tend to be easier to maneuver and require less maintenance than those found in the electronic category.

Aside from the convenience of operation, many manual sewing machines such as the Singer offer a level of reliability and nostalgia that is hard to replicate. As a result, these models are popular with vintage and antique curators, as well as those who want a piece of history to call their own. Furthermore, the 1920 Singer is often considered to be a collector’s item, making them highly sought-after and marketable.

Where to Find Original Parts

Those who own one of the 1920 Singer models may find it difficult to find original parts. As machines from this era become more rare, finding original parts and replacement parts becomes a challenge. Fortunately, many independent vendors and antique sellers still offer quality parts and supplies. Both online and in-store resources provide many options for purchasing parts, as there are a variety of vendors that specialize in finding and restoring vintage materials.

In addition to independent vendors and antique stores, there are a few distinct sources that specialize in vintage Singer parts. These stores have access to parts such as wheels, handles, screws and more which can help bring an older machine up to working condition. Furthermore, many of these vendors will offer restoration and repair cases, allowing purchasers to feel more secure in their purchase.

The Value of Vintage Sewing Machines

Although the exact cost of a 1920 Singer machine can vary drastically, the ability to own and restore a piece of history such as this makes it an appealing option for many antique enthusiasts. With a solid build that often remains in excellent condition, the 1920 Singer is still a sought-after machine. Not only can the machine be bought and sold, but it can also be shared, restored and enjoyed. As a result, those interested in purchasing this type of machine should consider not only the initial cost of the machine, but also the value in being able to own such a unique piece of history.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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