Old Singer machines have become collectibles, valued for their antique quality and history. Some also prefer these machines as more accurate sewing alternatives to the modern fast-sewing machines. Therefore, knowing how to identify an old machine will be essential should you choose to acquire one.
Determine if the machine is electronic. Older Singer machines were manual and, therefore, did not rely on any electronic mechanisms.
Look for a hand-crank mechanism, which is a large circle on the right of the machine. Generally, unless it is missing, a Singer should include a crank attached to the large circle.
Identify the sewing machine's serial number. If it has no letter prefix, it was created prior to the 1900s. A single-letter prefix means the machine was created from 1900 to 1935. Visit Singer's website for more specific clarity on your machine's model (see References).