In 1851, I.M. Singer & Company, with headquarters in New York, was begun by inventor Isaac Merrit Singer and businessman/lawyer Edward Clark. In 1863 the business was incorporated as the Singer Manufacturing Company. After 1867 the company became the dominant firm in the industry despite the fact that it sold more expensive products than any of its competitors. Business expanded in the United States and abroad while designers focused their efforts on making mechanical improvements in the machines in the last half of the 19th century. By the 1930s a new profession, industrial design, began to influence the design of the sewing machine.
Collection contains materials that show the influence of industrial design on Singer machines: includes presentation drawings, 1960-1983, by industrial designers such as Robert P. Gersin, Eliot Noyes, Henry Dreyfuss and by designers of Singer's in-house design department and consultants to the firm; also industrial design program catalogs of Malcolm Park and Henry Dreyfuss, 1934-1962, Editorial Department product photographs, 1927-1979, and decalcomania.
Singer Industrial Design Collection, 1927-1983, Archives Center, National Museum of American History