Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beautiful Old Singer Trade Cards

This is a lovely set of Singer Trade Cards dated 1901 and 1902. They each have a snippet of poetry from Wordsworth, Whittier and Pope. But alas, the backs are in German and so I'm clueless. Maybe one of you can tell us what was being said?
(These were originally posted in December, 2008)


  1. I only know a little German, and with the help fo Google translate, its a sales pitch along the lines of 'there's a big difference between top quality manufacturing on a first-class machine, and something cheaply made. The price of a cheap machine would soon cost more in repair costs (not to mention the poor quality garments it would make).' etc...
    These are very cute.

  2. That all fits. Along with the examples of what you could create these would have been effective ads. Plus the pictures are very sweet, I wonder if these were ever framed?

  3. These are adorable...and what a fantastic resource for dating children's 'dresses' too. Can you imagine sewing one? Wow, what a labor of love, or what might be truely 'heirloom' sewing.

  4. And so detailed! No Garanimals for these kids!

  5. I always think images of children from this era are so poignant - infant mortality rates were much higher then and perhaps lavishing time and attention on their clothing was important because so few made it through? Often a woman might have up to 10 children though only a few survives. The idea of them being angelic fits with that...maybe I'm being too dramatic. But how did they ever have the time? It's not like they had refrigerators or hoovers or microwaves either. Although even middle class people generally had a maid and/or nanny, due to low wages etc. Remember Mary Poppins?

  6. I think it was the same for children as it was for women. If the man of the house was well off one way to show it was to have your family dressed well. It was a primary way to you were successful.
    I wonder if the infant mortality rates were as high in the families who could afford things like this sewing machine. Certainly women and children died at higher rates then rich or poor, but it must hit the poorer classes most.
    Notice how filled out and healthy these children are? Rosy cheeks and even a double chin!

  7. I'm more than a bit late to the party, but I thought I'd offer up the translation for these cards anyway.
    There is a big difference between the manufacturing cost of a first class sewing machine, with the best materials and design, and one which is made cheaply. The buyer of a cheap machine soon pays the price difference through the eternal repair costs, aside from the annoying imperfections [of its products].
    Singer Sewing Machines do good work and last for ages..
    Sale on installments.
    Old machines taken in exchange.
    The Singer Manufacturing Co.
    "The Sewing Machines Manufacturing the world."

    1. I love that you took the time to translate these. And I love that you found this post from quite awhile back. Thanks so much!