Philadelphia Singer

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Historical note: after the end of the Sewing Machine Combination many sewing machine companies developed, often copying the style of particular manufacturers, such as Willcox & Gibbs, Wheeler & Wilson, Singer, Thomas and so on, such types of machines were produced in America and in Europe. These were known as, for example, Singer system machines, often advertised as being improved models.

This type of machine and marketing went on for many years until Singer was able to protect its interests. The well documented Chicago Singer was produced from about 1882 to 1890. During this time of innovation and marketing expansion many of the major companies produced machines for other smaller companies, often for a short time, as well as some of the smaller engineering companies producing machines. One example was the New High Arm Pennsylvania Singer from Philadelphia, which was manufactured by the Reliance Manufacturing Company.

"Singer" machines made by other companies

New Philadelphia Singer

Serial #19414

Courtesy of Bill Grewe and Alice

On the pillar of the machine the round inspection plate reads inner circle "Apr. 15.79 July 1.79" outer circle "PATENTED Mar. 22.81. Jan 16. 83.

The most likely inventor for July 1, 1879 is Jasper W Corey (#216942), Jasper W Corey for March 22, 1881 (#239031) and possibly Joseph D Hughes of June Manufacturing for January 16, 1883 (#270672).

The August 1885 patent is that of Daniel W Corey (#323916). See the ad for Corey's patent bobbin, the proprietors were June Manufacturing.

The exact patent date on the underbraider is from Johnston, May 11 1886. This is the Allen Johnston from Iowa, as in Johnston Ruffler. On the right is what he called a 'bed plate separator' that "can be used for shirring with any of the ruffling attachments shown, the ordinary separator being detached from the ruffler-frame."

The High Arm Philadelphia Improved 3


Serial #1902388

Courtesy of Crystal

The head resembles the Florence New Crown A, but has different tension, bobbin winder and pressure foot lifter.

The High Arm Philadelphia Singer

Serial Number and position:

Courtesy of Pete

Topic, with links to previous discussions on Philadelphia Singers and C A Wood

The machine is similar to, but not identical to the Improved New Goodrich No. 2 and the Improved New Goodrich (see NeedleBar's Picture Library). This model's stitch length regulator is on the pillar, rather than on the bed of the machine, and it has a distinctive lever to the upper tension leaf, the bed to the right is curved (features of a version of National's Eldredge B). The take up is positioned high on the faceplate. It has a square throat plate, running to the edge of the bed.

In the center of the wheel are two patent dates. April 15, 1879 and Jan 16, 1883 (see above). It is likely they refer to clutches in the fly wheel eg Warren L Fish (214246 and/or 214289) and fly wheel: Joseph D Hughes for June Manufacturing (270672) respectively.

The style of front inspection plate (arm post escutcheon or medallion) matches National machines.

A picture of the underneath and the measurements of the bed (L-R and front-back) would be useful.

The machine is in what is commonly referred to as an 'Eastlake' treadle cabinet, popular towards the end of the 19th century. The drawer pulls were also a popular feature and replacements could be bought adapted to fit any sewing machine, the screw being left long and set nut running on thread close enough to fit any woodwork. The ferrule was large enough to fit over broken knobs, or where drawers were split, to fit over cracks.

The High Arm Philadelphia Singer

Serial #37734 (with a 5 located farther up the bed), located on rim of machine under front slide plate

Courtesy of Bill Grewe

The front slide plate has a November 30 1886 patent. This was either Henry E Dierterle's patent #353542. Dieterle was assignor to Barnabas Eldredge, President of National; one witness was Irvine Miller.

Or it was Martin Ransom's patent #353588 for a shuttle & bobbin. Ransom was British, living in Chicago, and was assignor to Eldredge Manufacturing Company. One of the witnesses of the patent was Barnabas Eldredge. The other witness was Irvine Miller.

And the machine has a National type shuttle. The style of front inspection plate (arm post escutcheon or medallion) matches National machines.

The High Arm Philadelphia Singer

Serial #44514, stamped into the front edge of machine bed underneath the front slide plate.

Courtesy of Robyn

Patent date is Nov 30, 1886 on the front slide plate. The style of front inspection plate (arm post escutcheon or medallion) matches National machines.

The machine has a Domestic cover.

The High Arm Philadelphia Machine, C A Wood

Serial #1024331 (with a 3 farther up the slide plate base), located on rim of machine under front slide plate

Courtesy of Bill Grewe

The front slide plate has the November 30 1886 patent from Eldredge. It also uses a National style shuttle.

Charles A Wood was located at 17 N 10 Street, Philadelphia.

The badge on the front oil port which reads "Manufactured by the C.A. Wood Co Philadelphia PA." This is an updated model, without the word "Singer". It has the same general features and bobbin winder, but with a different style of base and treadle irons.

Charles A. Wood had a feed and shuttle patent (283,449 date Aug. 21, 1883). One of the witnesses is Ida K. Hipple. In 1901 there was a lawsuit, Singer Mfg. Co. v. Hipple. Singer filed suit against Ida Hipple for using the name "High Arm Philadelphia Singer".

Comparison with machine #37734