Skip to main content

Singer Sewing Machine

Curated Submission
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
44 x 21
Materials & techniques
Metal, wood, paint; Woodwork, metalwork, manufactured
Singer Manufacturing Company
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre 2009.026.001
Tradition and modernity did not always mix well for the aboriginal people of the North, but new machines that aided in traditional activities were usually welcomed. The sewing machine is one example of a modern tool that the Dene peoples of the Northwest Territories readily adopted. Dene sewers Rose Drygeese and Sophie Lacorne purchased this manual-drive Singer sewing machine in the 1940s from Weaver & Devore Trading Post in Yellowknife. They shared the portable machine while living in the small Dene community of Detah on Yellowknife Bay and while travelling and camping in the bush. They made and repaired moccasins, mukluks, canvas bags, tents, blankets, and clothing for their households. They also sold some of their items, bridging the gap between traditional and modern manufacturing.
This Singer machine is probably a 128 Model. The hand-cranked machines were light, portable, easy to use, and suitable for homes without electricity. Millions of these sewing machines were produced and marketed during the early 20th century. 
Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners