Singer Corporation
Overview
 
Singer Corporation is a manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark
Edward Clark (manufacturer)
Edward C. Clark or Edward S. Clark was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, along with his business partner of Isaac Merritt Singer...

. Best known for its sewing machine
Sewing machine
A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies...

s, it was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. It is currently based in La Vergne, Tennessee
La Vergne, Tennessee
La Vergne is a city in Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 18,687 at the 2000 census. La Vergne lies within the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 near Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

. Its first large factory for mass production was built in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969, retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city with an increase of 4,401 residents from its 2000 Census population of 120,568...

 in 1863.
  • Isaac Merritt Singer (1851–18(1863–1875)
  • Edward S. Clark
    Edward Clark (manufacturer)
    Edward C. Clark or Edward S. Clark was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, along with his business partner of Isaac Merritt Singer...

     (1875–1882)
  • George Ross McKenzie (1882–1889)
  • Frederick Gilbert Bourne
    Frederick Gilbert Bourne
    Frederick Gilbert "Commodore" Bourne was President of the Singer Manufacturing Company between 1889 and 1905. He made the business "perhaps the first modern multinational industrial enterprise of any nationality." Bourne greatly expanded global production as well as international sales of the...

     (1889–1905)
  • Sir Douglas Alexander (1905–1949)
  • Milton C.
Encyclopedia
Singer Corporation is a manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark
Edward Clark (manufacturer)
Edward C. Clark or Edward S. Clark was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, along with his business partner of Isaac Merritt Singer...

. Best known for its sewing machine
Sewing machine
A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies...

s, it was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. It is currently based in La Vergne, Tennessee
La Vergne, Tennessee
La Vergne is a city in Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 18,687 at the 2000 census. La Vergne lies within the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 near Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

. Its first large factory for mass production was built in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969, retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city with an increase of 4,401 residents from its 2000 Census population of 120,568...

 in 1863.

Presidents

  • Isaac Merritt Singer (1851–18(1863–1875)
  • Edward S. Clark
    Edward Clark (manufacturer)
    Edward C. Clark or Edward S. Clark was a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, along with his business partner of Isaac Merritt Singer...

     (1875–1882)
  • George Ross McKenzie (1882–1889)
  • Frederick Gilbert Bourne
    Frederick Gilbert Bourne
    Frederick Gilbert "Commodore" Bourne was President of the Singer Manufacturing Company between 1889 and 1905. He made the business "perhaps the first modern multinational industrial enterprise of any nationality." Bourne greatly expanded global production as well as international sales of the...

     (1889–1905)
  • Sir Douglas Alexander (1905–1949)
  • Milton C. Lightner (1949–1958)
  • Donald P. Kircher (1958–1975)
  • Joseph Bernard Flavin (1975–1987)
  • Paul Bilzerian (1987–1989)
  • James H. Ting (1989–1997)
  • Steve Goodman (1998–2004)

History

In 1885 Singer produced its first "vibrating shuttle
Vibrating shuttle
A vibrating shuttle is a bobbin driver design used in home lockstitch sewing machines during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century...

" sewing machine, an improvement over contemporary oscillating shuttle designs.

The 11,000 workers at the largest factory of Singer, in Clydebank
Clydebank
Clydebank is a town in West Dunbartonshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, Clydebank borders Dumbarton, the town with which it was combined to form West Dunbartonshire, as well as the town of Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire, and the Yoker and...

, went on strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 in March–April 1911, ceasing to work in solidarity of 12 female colleagues protesting against work process reorganization. Following the end of the strike, Singer fired 400 workers, including all strike leaders and purported members of the IWGB, among whom was Arthur McManus, who later went on to become the first chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

 between 1920 and 1922.

Early Singer Company Sales Figures


















1853 1859 1867 1871 1873 1876
810 10,953 43,053 181,260 232,444 262,316

World War II

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the company suspended sewing machine production to take on government contracts for weapons manufacturing. Factories in the US supplied Americans with Norden bomb sights, M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 rifle receivers while factories in Germany provided their armed forces with weapons.

In 1939, the company was given a production study by the government to draw plans and develop standard raw material sizes for building M1911A1 pistols. The next year, April 17, 1940, Singer was given an educational order of 500 units with serial numbers No. S800001 - S800500. The educational order was a program set up by the US Ordnance Board to learn how easily a company with no gun-making experience could tool up from scratch and build weapons for the government. After the 500 units were delivered to the government; the management decided their expertise would be better used in producing artillery and bomb sights. The pistol tooling and manufacturing machines were transferred to Remington Rand
Remington Rand
Remington Rand was an early American business machines manufacturer, best known originally as a typewriter manufacturer and in a later incarnation as the manufacturer of the UNIVAC line of mainframe computers but with antecedents in Remington Arms in the early nineteenth century. For a time, the...

 and some went to the Ithaca Gun Company
Ithaca Gun Company
The Ithaca Gun Company is a manufacturer of shotguns and rifles originally established in Ithaca, New York in 1880.-Production:Ithaca became famous for building firearms based on expired patents owned by Remington Arms...

. Original and correct Singer pistols are highly desired by collectors. In excellent condition, Singer pistols sell anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000. Current collector value is as high as $80,000 at auction.

Diversification

In the 1960s the company diversified, acquiring the Friden
Friden, Inc.
Friden Calculating Machine Company was an American manufacturer of typewriters and electronic calculators. It was founded by Carl Friden in San Leandro, California in 1934. Friden electromechanical calculators were robust and popular....

 calculator
Calculator
An electronic calculator is a small, portable, usually inexpensive electronic device used to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. Modern calculators are more portable than most computers, though most PDAs are comparable in size to handheld calculators.The first solid-state electronic...

 company in 1965, Packard Bell Electronics in 1966 and General Precision Equipment Corporation in 1968. GPE included Librascope
Librascope
Librascope was a Glendale, California division of General Precision Inc. founded in 1937 by Lewis W. Imm to improve aircraft load balancing, and acquired by General Precision in 1941....

 and The Kearfott Company, Inc. In 1987 Kearfott was split, the Kearfott Guidance & Navigation Corporation was sold to the Astronautics Corporation of America
Astronautics Corporation of America
Astronautics Corporation of America was established in 1959 and is a major supplier, designer, and manufacturer of avionics equipment to airlines, U.S. and international governments, commercial and defense aircraft manufacturers, and other major avionics systems integrators...

 in 1988. The Electronic Systems Division was purchased by GEC-Marconi in 1990, renamed GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems
Marconi Electronic Systems
Marconi Electronic Systems , or GEC-Marconi as it was until 1998, was the defence arm of The General Electric Company . It was demerged from GEC and acquired by British Aerospace on November 30, 1999 to form BAE Systems...

 (and later incorporated into BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

) while the Sewing Machine Division was sold in 1989 to Semi-Tech Microelectronics, a publicly traded Toronto-based company. For several years in the 1970s, Singer set up a national sales force for phototypesetting machines made by another Massachusetts company, Graphic Systems Inc.

Present situation

Today, the Singer Corporation produces a range of consumer products, including electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 sewing machines. It is now part of SVP Worldwide
SVP Worldwide
SVP Worldwide is a company that designs, manufactures, and distributes consumer sewing machines and accessories around the world under 3 brands: Singer, Husqvarna Viking, and Pfaff. SVP was the result of an acquisition of the Swedish VSM Group, which included the Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff brands,...

, which also owns the Pfaff
Pfaff
--------Pfaff is a manufacturer of sewing machines and is now owned by the VSM Group AB.- History :Pfaff was founded in Kaiserslautern Germany in 1862 by guitar player Matthew Pfaff . Pfaff's first machine was hand-made, and designed to sew leather in the manufacture of shoes.- External links :*...

 and Husqvarna Viking
VSM Group AB
VSM Group AB , previously named Husqvarna Sewing Machines is a company based in Huskvarna, Sweden.The company is best known for "smart" sewing machines and sergers under the brands Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff...

 brands, which is in turn owned by Kohlberg & Company
Kohlberg & Company
Kohlberg & Company is a private equity firm that focuses on leveraged buyout transactions founded by industry pioneer Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.Today, the firm invests in a variety of transactions including leveraged carveouts , take private transactions and acquisitions of privately held companies...

, which bought Singer in 2004. Its main competitors are Brother Industries
Brother Industries
is a diversified Japanese company that produces or imports a wide variety of products including printers, sewing machines, large machine tools, label printers, and typewriters, fax machines, and other computer-related electronics. It markets its multifunction printers as Multi-Function Centers...

, Janome and Aisin Seiki - a Toyota Group
Toyota Group
The is a conglomerate company that work together and mostly share the Toyota brand. The primary companies in the group are Toyota Industries Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation...

 company that manufactures Toyota, Necchi and E&R Classic Sewing Machines.

Singer Buildings

Singer was heavily involved in Manhattan real estate in the 1800s through Edward Clark, a founder of the company. Clark had built The Dakota
The Dakota
The Dakota, constructed from October 25, 1880 to October 27, 1884, is a co-op apartment building located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City...

 apartments and other Manhattan buildings in the 1880s. In 1900, the Singer company retained Ernest Flagg
Ernest Flagg
Ernest Flagg was a noted American architect in the Beaux-Arts style. He was also an advocate for urban reform and architecture's social responsibility.-Biography:...

 to build a 12-story loft building at Broadway and Prince Street in Lower Manhattan. The building is now considered architecturally notable, and has been restored.

The 47-story Singer Building
Singer Building
The Singer Building or Singer Tower at Liberty Street and Broadway in Manhattan, was a 47-story office building completed in 1908 as the headquarters of the Singer Manufacturing Company. It was demolished in 1968 and is now the site of 1 Liberty Plaza....

, completed in 1908, was also designed by Flagg, who designed two landmark residences for Bourne. Constructed during Bourne's tenure, the Singer Building (demolished in 1968) was then the tallest building in the world. In addition to works in North America, the Singer Corporation also had the honour of creating the largest clock face in the world, the Singer's clock at its Clydebank
Clydebank
Clydebank is a town in West Dunbartonshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, Clydebank borders Dumbarton, the town with which it was combined to form West Dunbartonshire, as well as the town of Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire, and the Yoker and...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 factory which opened in 1885 and closed in 1980. Singer railway station
Singer railway station
Singer railway station is a two-platformed manned station serving Clydebank town centre, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is located on the Argyle Line, west of and the North Clyde Line, 13 km west of ....

, built to serve the factory, is still in existence to this day.

Another famous Singer Building
Singer House
Singer House , also widely known as House of Books is a historical landmark building located at intersection of Nevsky Prospekt with Griboyedov Canal, just opposite to the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

, designed by architect Pavel Suzor
Pavel Suzor
Pavel Yulievich Suzor was a Russian architect, president of the Architects Society and count.Suzor graduated from the Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts in 1866. He started to work for the city council in 1873, and in 1883 he started to teach at the Saint Petersburg Institute of Civil...

, was built in 1902-1904 at Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Avenue |Prospekt]]) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow, the avenue runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 for headquarters of the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n branch of the company. This modern style building (situated just opposite to the Kazan Cathedral) is officially recognized as an object of Russian historical-cultural heritage.

See also

  • History of the sewing machine
  • Toyota Sewing Machines
    History of Toyota
    The history of Toyota started in 1933 with the company being a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Kiichiro Toyoda had traveled to Europe and the United States in 1929 to investigate automobile...

  • Aisin Seiki
  • Singer railway station
    Singer railway station
    Singer railway station is a two-platformed manned station serving Clydebank town centre, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is located on the Argyle Line, west of and the North Clyde Line, 13 km west of ....


External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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