Singer
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New Family,
Model 12 and 13
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66 and 99
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The Singer New Family machine was introduced in America c1863 and in Great Britain it seems to have become available c1866. The New Family machine would later become known as the Singer 12 and was manufactured in enormous numbers with production eventually ending with a small batch of 100 machines being commissioned in 1902. So successful was the design it was copied by almost every other sewing machine manufacturer.

It is a transverse shuttle machine using a "boat" type shuttle. A series of minor modifications were made to the machine during its long production run, the most notable was to the tension adjustment which was changed from a thumb screw on the face-plate to the top of the needle head - alongside the presser and needle bars (c1873). The machine was produced both as a hand crank and a treadle machine with various styles of cabinet work available.

The Singer New Family machine was produced with several different styles of decal including one incorporating Mother of Pearl. The Singer company did not name these decal patterns and over the years collectors have given them various descriptive names.

Follow this link to a FREE copy of the Singer 12K Manual.

The Singer 13 was introduced c1870, designed as a semi industrial machine it was only available as a treadle. Like the Singer 12 it was copied by numerous other Companies many of whom improved the machine by increasing the amount of cotton the bobbin could hold - a basic design flaw that Singer seems to have failed to rectify. Besides being a significantly larger machine than the Singer 12 the Singer 13 has an extra inspection plate on the bed which makes it easy to identify.

Follow this link to a FREE copy of the Singer 13K Manual.

DATING: The date of commissioning for Singer sewing machines is available online go to Singer Machine Serial Numbers.

The Singer 12 and 13 have the Serial Number located on the bed of the machine at the base of the pillar. Earlier machines have dual serial numbers in this case it is the larger of the two numbers that is used.


Singer 12 1874

New Family Serial No. 1903896 - 323096.

Made in 1874 at Singers Scottish Bridgeton factory, this machine has the Scroll and Roses Decal which has some minor chipping in places and black japanned balance wheel.

The slide-plate has a circular hole in the end to assist opening and no less than eleven Patent dates are listed commencing Sept 10 1846 (the famous Elias Howe Patent), through 1849, 1850, 1851, 1854 up to Oct 8 1855.

The tension adjustment is by way of a screw on the face plate.
This machine slides into a panelled box case (see below) which has an accessory compartment fixed within the case.


Singer 12 1876

New Family (Model 12) Serial No. 2108516 - 407716.

This machine was commissioned on May 27th 1876. Found on a very bitter December day at a local antique fair we just had to bring it home.

It is worn in the usual places and the japanning is chipped in places. The decals are again of the scroll and rose pattern but the guard and crank have the Peacock Tail decal.

By this date the slide-plate no longer lists the Patent dates and is stamped with the Singer Trade Mark instead.
This machine has a bentwood case with hasp.

Singer 12 Scroll & Rose

Singer Model 12 1878

New Family (Model 12).
Serial No. 2791967
                   561167

Commissioned in 1878 this is another example with Gold Rose decals this time in much better condition. Note the wooden base is shaped differently to the above machine to accept the slide on/off case.

singer 1878 centre decal

Singer Model 12 1883

New Family (Model 12).
Serial No. 5759107
                  1199307

Fiddle base machine dating to 1883. It is in beautiful condition with hardly any wear to the decals, note the Singer name now appears on the arm of the machine. Unusually the hand crank has a bone handle.

The panelled box case slides over the machine and is held in place with a locking door.

singer sliding case
Singer Model 12 1883

Singer Model 12

New Family (Model 12)
Serial No. 7636180
                  1898780

Dating to 1887 this example has minor wear to the front edge of the bed.


Singer Model 12

New Family (Model 12)
Serial No. 8515701
                  2135401

Dated to October 31st 1888. Again this machine has the gold painted decals. There is a little wear to the bed, but only that of use. This machine came as a chance find at a junk shop and was the machine that really started us collecting!

The Case of this machine is shown on the Cases & Bases Page

Singer Model 12

Singer Model 12

New Family (Model 12)
Serial No. 8863824
                  2238024

A very nice condition example of the New Family machine which dates to 1889. The bobbin winder has a "spoon" and level wind device which we understand were only fitted to machines made at Singer's Kilbowie factory.
The machine came complete with a number of accessories.

The machine was donated to the collection by C. Biggam. It was bought new by her grandmother Annie Elizabeth Clarke who lived in Bournemouth. The hand crank was apparently broken by Carole's father Robert when he was a child and was tied up with wire for many years. We've now replaced it with one from a scrap machine but have kept the original as it is part of the history of the machine.


Singer Model 12 Peacock Tail

New Family (Model 12) Serial No. 9441791.

Dating to 1890, this machine has the wonderful 'Peacock Tail' decals which are in very good condition. The balance wheel is nickel plated and the bobbin winder has a level feed device.

When we first found this machine it had been butchered for the stand but it came complete with the top, drawer and paneled cover. After several years searching we found a suitable Singer 12 stand on which it could be mounted. This particular stand has the Registered Design Mark for April 1879.

See also the Cases & Bases Page

Peacock Tail Decal
Peacock Tail Decal

Singer Model 13

New Family (Model 13) Serial No. 4643957.

Currently awaiting restoration, this Singer 13 dates to 1881. Overall this example is in excellent condition particularly the decals. Note the additional inspection plate at right angles to the slide-plates.

The stand has the large Singer Shuttle Trade Mark cast into both sides. When not in use the machine is covered by a large panelled box cover, the table has a small drawer.