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Singer Manufacturing Company records
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Singer Manufacturing Company records

Accession 2526

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Marsha C. Mills, 2012

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

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Singer Manufacturing Company records (Accession 2526), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Singer Manufacturing Company records
Dates: 1860-1878
Accession Number: 2526
Creator: Singer Manufacturing Company
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: 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.
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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.

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Correspondence, 1860-1880
Box Folder
1 1 Incoming, 1860-1866
Box Folder
1 2 Incoming, 1867-1878
Box Folder
1 3 Incoming, New York Needle Co., 1877-1878
Box Folder
1 4 Legal, 1865-1866
Box Folder
1 5 Outgoing, 1865-1869
Box Folder
1 6 Singer Manufacturing Company's Silk & Case factories, 1871, 1873
II. Agents/Dealers, 1870-1872
Box Folder
2 1 A - O, 1870-1872
Box Folder
2 2 Russel Crego & Son, 1870-1872
Box Folder
2 3 Shaffer, Umpleby & Weeling; W.J. Bradley & Co., 1870-1871
III. Advertisements/Notices, undated, 1870
Box Folder
2 4 Advertisements/Notices, 1870, undated
IV. Singer Offices, 1870-1876
Box Folder
2 5 Illinois, 1872
Box Folder
2 6 Indiana, 1871-1875
Box Folder
2 7 Maryland, 1871
Box Folder
2 8 Massachusetts, 1871
Box Folder
2 9 Missouri, 1870, 1872
Box Folder
2 10 New Jersey, 1876
Box Folder
2 11 New York, 1870-1876
Box Folder
2 12 Ohio, 1871
Box Folder
2 13 Pennsylvania, 1870-1876
Box Folder
2 14 Wisconsin, 1876