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Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Sewing

A woman posing with her husband, daughter and a Singer Sewing machine, c 1920s or 1930s. This photograph was copied from a photographic glass plate found in a house in Tollcross. The man appears to be either bored or comatose, and has made a poor job of buttoning the fly on his trousers!

The sewing machine was one of the first labour saving devices to be mass-produced and made affordable to a mass market, and it revolutionised the home production of clothing. A Singer sewing machine, often acquired on hire purchase, became a feature of the average Glasgow home.

The American sewing machine firm Singer Manufacturing Co opened an office in Glasgow in 1856. The huge demand for their product encouraged them to set up a workshop to assemble sewing machines near George Square in 1867 and then to build a factory in James Street, Bridgeton, in the 1870s. In 1884 Singer relocated to a factory at Kilbowie near Clydebank which was greatly extended and had become the largest factory in Europe by the early 1900s.

Reference: 1405.82.211

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
children, consumer credit, dolls, families, girls, hire purchase, living rooms, sewing machine makers, sewing machine suppliers, sewing machines, Singer Manufacturing Co, toys, trouser flies, women



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