Yesterday on Instagram I shared a picture of my Mother’s Day gift from the hubby and boys. It was a quick shot, but with everyone is still fast asleep, I can share a few more pictures of my new beauty and the history behind her. Here she is!
This is a Singer 20 Hand Crank Toy Sewing Machine! And by toy, they meant it was originally designed for kids who wanted to learn to sew. In the later years of production it was called the “Sew Handy”.
I was able to find a little information from a site called: ISMACS International , which stands for the International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society. If you own any type of antique sewing machine there is a good chance you can find more information about it on this site. When I got my Featherweight last year this site helped me date it and locate the production area. Plus, I’m a huge history buff so it was really fun to read about other *old* sewing machines!
Originally this machine came packaged in a cute cardboard-like box with instruction sheet, table attachment clamp and seam guide. Mine came with only the seam guide, so I will keep an eye out on Ebay for a clamp. The markings are simple as you see above, but no ID numbers like older models. When stitching, it produces a simple chainstitch. My model needs a good cleaning but I will post some shots of the stitches in the future.
Two simple screws hold the plate on and the needle is so tiny! The needle is a short size 24×1 needle. It has a flat shank fitted to the right and I will have to thread it from left to right. And from the looks of mine I believe the needle hasn’t been moved in some time So I’ll leave it alone for now.
From what I’ve researched so far, the Model 20 started production in the 1910’s and went through a few changes until they stopped being produced in the 1970’s. I’m still trying to locate the specific production location, but a few sites mention Elizabeth, New Jersey. After looking at my 20 I noticed there were no serial numbers to ID production date like in many other early Singers. What DID help date it were the small numbers 1-6 stamped on the machine to show the user how to thread the machine. (see above) Cute!! Singer started stamping the numbers on the 20’s after 1926.
Another way to help date the model is the number of spokes on the crank. Four spoke machines are said to be the oldest. After WWI, they had 7 or 8. Mine has 7 spokes. I think it’s safe to say that my Model 20 was probably produced sometime in the late 20’s to early 30’s.
If you are interested in seeing more Model 20’s and the changes during it’s lifespan the links below are full of great information.
Links to more info on the Model 20:
* Smithsonian collection – Lots of manuals and fun stuff!
Thanks for visiting and reading today! Have a great Wednesday.