A Singer UK leaflet from 1939


Maybe, but perhaps not a potted-motor 201 like her on this front cover’s using.  Lovely machine, but not the easiest of things to find a replacement motor for nowadays if you have an urgent need of one – unlike your common or garden 201 with the ubiquitous bolt-on motor and drive belt.

Whatever, that’s the front cover of this rather rare Singer flyer from 1939, the general theme of which seems to be Do Your Bit for the war effort by buying a new Singer sewing machine.  The copy on the inside of the leaflet spreads across three pages, which rules out reproducing it on here big enough for you to read the text, so it’s here instead.

It’s worth a read is that … “In these days of shorter shopping hours, inconvenient travelling and rising cost of ready-made goods, a Singer Sewing Machine is a safeguard for every home and a “right hand man” for every busy woman”.  And that was over 70 years ago!  I love the suggestion that you write or call at your local Singer shop and “have a representative demonstrate a machine – tell you all about different models, prices, free trial and free tuition”.  How very nice that must have been, even if the interest on the HP was a bit steep.

Incidentally, is it only me who thinks that her on the cover looks like she’s about to nod off?

Here’s the back …

“Spare a few minutes for the Singer representative when he calls.  He is bound to interest you”.  Indeed, and what a grand excuse for a pot of Earl Grey and a macaroon.

Now tell me dear reader, when was the last time you opened your front door and the chap standing there raised his hat to you?


7 responses

  1. The last time someone at the door raised his hat…let me think…Oh, right, never! Thanks for posting this. Very interesting!

  2. Hi Paula,

    I’ve posted a picture on Flickr (link below) of what I take to be a 1930s Singer flyer: it’s very light, tissuey paper and was folded with some old packets of Singer sewing-machine needles I bought, so presumably it was just handed out at point of sale. I don’t know when that Marcel-wave lady was introduced to the logo but that would be worth knowing.

    Look for the Red "S"

    Electrification was obviously the latest big thing! – it’s mentioned three times.

    I’ll post the 1950s material there soon too. Hope you find it helpful.

    – Eirlys

  3. Hi Paula in Florida 🙂

    Every one that Elsie and I have has come to us with a machine we’ve bought, and as far as we’re aware they were originally picked up in the Singer shops. Many if not most of them have been rubber-stamped with the shop address.


  4. Great!

    Thank you! I’d love to see those leaflets. The majority of the after-1920s leaflets that I’ve looked are in archives. Would you know where these leaflets were given to people? Would salesmen carry them? At stores?

    Is absolutely amazing to be able to ask these questions to someone rather than company records or advertising records. thanks scrapiana and sid!

  5. Great stuff, Sid! The use of orange in a design of that period strikes me as unexpected, but I’m no expert at all; those of us that didn’t live through WWII tend to think that everything happened in black, white and shades of grey.

    Yes, she’s looking rather mesmerized by her machine, isn’t she? Perhaps it’s the thought of making all those ‘undies’ for the entire family: I didn’t realise the word existed then, so thanks for that surprise too.

    Ref the door-to-door salesman’s hat-tip, you’re making me feel nostalgic towards an age I didn’t actually experience – the best kind of nostalgia, I find.

    Paula, your research sounds interesting. For purposes of comparison, I think I may have a ’30s Singer leaflet, plus a ’50s one. Will have a rootle around and present you all with my findings.

  6. Hello Paula

    That’s the only one we have which is obviously 1939. The big problem is that these things are rarely if ever dated!


  7. Hello,

    The 1939 leaflet is absolutely amazing. I am working on a historical analysis of the Singer Sewing Machine Company and it is interesting to see how advertising is similar from nation to nation. Have you found other Singer adds or pamphlets related with a war period? This could make an amazing historical examination.

    Thank you for your blog, really inspiring.