Singer Manufacturing Company records
Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library
PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
Finding aid prepared by Marsha C. Mills, 2012, 1860-1878
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-05T15:06-0500
Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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.