Manuscripts and Archives Department PO Box 3630 Wilmington, Delaware, 19807 302-658-2400 email@example.com
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit
Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum & Library
Singer Manufacturing Company Records
0.5 linear feet
Scope and Content
This collection helps to document the history of Singer Manufacturing Company during the period 1860 through 1880. After success in forming one of the first U.S. patent pools the Singer Company was ready to capitalize and built several new factories. Since the demand for family sewing machines had increased substantially, Singer made it economically possible to buy the new and improved machines by offering installment payment plans.
The materials in this collection do not cover the patent pool. However, the 650 documents show the growth of the Singer Manufacturing Company and its numerous sales agents. The handwritten requests for employment, offers of ideas for sewing machine attachments, orders for machines and sewing supplies, as well as complaints are included in this archive. The New York Needle Company, Matteawan Hat Works, and many Singer agents’ orders can also be found. An interesting 1865 letter from Havana requesting items gives tips for shipping silk back to Havana without drawing the attention of C.H. (customs house) inspectors.
This archive has been divided into four series. Series I. Correspondence (1865-1878) contains incoming and outgoing correspondence that covers orders, complaints, requests for employment; legal communications from various attorneys, adjusters and insurance brokers, including a County Treasurer's office. There is also a letter from Singer Manufacturing Company’s Silk Factory and Case Factory. Series II. Agents/Dealers (1870-1872) is arranged alphabetically by agent name and are mainly orders. Series III. Advertisements/Notices (1870) include information of a Sheriff Sale of McLean sewing machines and attachments. Series IV. Singer Offices (1870-1876) which have been arranged alphabetically by state, are largely orders.