A List of Singer Sewing Machines With Prices, Descriptions and Other Information in Relation to Them, Form 7818, January 14, 1908, Supersedes Form 7718, The Singer Manufacturing Company, 6" x 9.25", 272 pages, black/white engravings, limp leather binding stamped in gilt: Singer Sewing Machines Elizabethport. This leather bound catalog was issued to Singerâ€™s selling agents (not to the general public) and is consequently scarce. This was a working company document: descriptions of new models or modifications to the lines were printed on thin tissue paper and painstakingly glued in by hand. Other changes (eg: substitutions for discontinued models, price changes, etc) were neatly written in ink or pencil and add to its historical value. Tipped in at the rear of this copy is a 1911 letter listing the allowances granted for turning in old machines when replacing them with new ones.
Singer sewing machines were used for manufacturing a wide variety of goods from saddles and corsets to footballs, shoes, tents, etc. They developed general classes of machines which were suitable for specific uses which were further subdivided depending on the various options desired. Black/white illustrations depict at least one model from each class with numerous additional engravings of machines with specific optional features. For example, Class 24 machines were high speed machines that were largely used in the manufacture of thin fabrics (such as aprons, curtains, shoe linings, umbrellas, etc) and suitable for ruffling, tucking, gathering and plaiting. It denotes the maximum speed, tension, stitch length and other special features for 31 models of the 24 class, 12 of which are illustrated. Also included are sections listing the machine recommendations for specific uses (eg: Class 7 machines were best for sword cases) along with charts of needles that were best adapted for the various machines. Some machines were used solely to create the fancy ribbon trims for hats; another was designed to sew 12 rows of parallel stitches at one time. The wide array of machine sizes, forms and features offered make this a fascinating reference. Even though the machines were intended for commercial use most were still featured the decorative gilt scrolls typically found on antique home sewing machines. Some of the machines are so odd looking I would never have guessed what they were used for. Please see my other items for more original Singer catalogs, including another 1908 catalog offering the Wheeler & Wilson line of sewing machines acquired by Singer in 1905.
Condition: Only Fair condition with heavy wear to leather binding that is dry and crumbling at the edges and with spine nearly detached (could possibly detach in transit). There is some cockling to interior pages and minor interior soil as expected for a working document. All interior writing is significant and pertinent - no extraneous scribbling or underlining. No musty or tobacco odor. Contents are complete, legible and quite useful for reference.