Alderfer to auction 1855 Singer sewing machine patent Dec. 9

The 1855 U.S. Patent for improvements to Singer's sewing machine. Alderfer Auction Co. image

The 1855 U.S. Patent for improvements to Singer’s sewing machine. Alderfer Auction Co. image


HATFIELD, Pa. – On Dec. 9 the Alderfer Auction Co. will offer at auction an original United States patent for improvements on the sewing machine designed by Isaac Singer as part of a “Legacy Auction – Rare & Important Autographs and Historical Documents” sale.

This rare document dated Nov. 6, 1855, detailed improvements to make double or compound seams using the sewing machine. Isaac Singer applied for this patent to protect his financial interests.

The early 19th century in America saw the growth and expanded use of the sewing machine. During this time many inventors and businessmen were vying for the financial success that selling and marketing a superior sewing machine could provide. Patents could protect an inventor’s investment.

Singer was born in Pittstown, New York, in 1811 and spent some of his early adult life as an actor and an inventor. Singer did not invent the sewing machine, but he developed many important and significant improvements in the design of the sewing machine and how they were manufactured. His improvements made the sewing machine more affordable and easier to produce. He also instituted a payment plan to get it into as many homes as possible. Singer’s foot-powered treadle sewing machine could sew over 800 stitches per minute, a huge improvement over hand stitching.

The patent that is being offered is an important document to sewing machine collectors, patent collectors, technology students and collectors of important ephemera. Patents of this importance rarely come to the market.

The two-page document holds a presale estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. For additional information contact Alderfer Auction Co. at 800-577-8846 or