Thread Number: 11178
Singer S1
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 120686   1/9/2011 at 01:52 (4,799 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Hi guys new poster here, been enjoying the site for some time but have finally become a member so I can join in on the conversations. I have come across a Singer upright I believe is an S1 in excellent condition. I am wondering more about this machine & if it's worth the $50 price tag they are asking for it? It is intriguing me & I also wonder how rare it is, if at all. Glad to be a member & get to know you all better :) I am posting a photo I found in the archives of a model that looks the same. It would be the vac on the far right side of the pic.

Post# 120687 , Reply# 1   1/9/2011 at 02:01 (4,799 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        
Missing Pic

briguy's profile picture
Here's the pic that didn't post previously

Post# 120689 , Reply# 2   1/9/2011 at 02:08 (4,799 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

kenmore81's profile picture
Nice to have you Bri... It depends on the condition and/or how much you like it =)If its in at least fair to good cond. Id go for it but thats just me.

Post# 120691 , Reply# 3   1/9/2011 at 02:16 (4,799 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Thanks Kenny it's good to be here! :)

Post# 120709 , Reply# 4   1/9/2011 at 08:56 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
A SINGER S-1 'Magic Carpet' upright in excellent condirion?

Pay the man the $50!

Totally redesigned by Raymond Loewy in 1946, it replaced the Singer R-3 (deemed by Loewy looking like Napoleon's Hat cross-pollinated with a crab) on the left hand side of the picture. Singer kept this extreme low profile style in production for several years with minor cosmetic changes. The S-1 and S-2 are a pinkish buff color and the S-3 is light grey.

If it's an S-1 it will be stamped on the motor's rating plate - that would make it the first version Magic Carpet.

Vacuums fine on the compressed low nap carpets and rugs and bare floors of the day but anthing plusher will bog down the floating brushroll. It won't become your daily driver unless you have Industrial Office carpeting. :-)

First upright to have it's motor and fans placed horizontally, it's a fun and stylish upright with unique true twinfan design - intake fans on each end of the motor with a spindle on the left side driving the brushroll belt. It set the engineering and design bar for upright motor placement right up to the present day.

Post# 120711 , Reply# 5   1/9/2011 at 09:07 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
The S-1 and S-2 have the Singer Red 'S' logo with the green lady at her sewing machine.
The S-3 eliminates the Lady.

Rare? Well, not plentiful, that's for sure. I looked for ages for one until I got the grey S-3. I know of two shops in the USA that have several beater parts machines stashed in the back room but haven't been able to convince the owners to part with two-to-make-one yet. I really want a pink S-1 or 2 to complete the twinset. :-)


Post# 120715 , Reply# 6   1/9/2011 at 09:45 (4,799 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Very nice looking machine, great pics Dave, love the exploded view!

Post# 120718 , Reply# 7   1/9/2011 at 12:06 (4,799 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

btw, the man standing on the right is Raymond Loewy.

Post# 120719 , Reply# 8   1/9/2011 at 12:24 (4,799 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Dave, thanks for the reply & history w/ great pics!I was hoping that someone could fill me in on the history of the machine.

Now I realize I should have taken pics while I was there to help me recall all the details. I got so excited when I saw it, but didn't have much time to spend there.

Sounds truely like it was revolutionary for it's time. I knew there was something about it that told me I needed to take it home with me.

The brushroll did look to me like it would be less effective on today's carpet, not only b/c of the fact it's floating but the bristles looked they are spaced far apart.

Will go back tomorrow & see if it follows me home to the rest of my collection :)

Post# 120734 , Reply# 9   1/9/2011 at 15:42 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Loewy had and kept a full french pompador and barbered moust

aeoliandave's profile picture
Sorry Charles, I have to correct this mis-identity. Those are two so far anonymous SINGER Executives.

Post# 120735 , Reply# 10   1/9/2011 at 15:45 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Time Magazine cover October 31 1949

Post# 120736 , Reply# 11   1/9/2011 at 16:11 (4,799 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
Once again....a vacuum re-design apparently wasn't important enough to be illustrated on the Time cover with Loewy. Ah well....

Post# 120738 , Reply# 12   1/9/2011 at 16:17 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
You're gonna prize it as a Historical Art Object...maybe

aeoliandave's profile picture
This shot from the bottom with the lower shell half open shows the generous twinfan airpath and the ease with which the belt and brushroll can be changed out. Both halves are aluminum castings with a couple of keytabs and one lever latch to hold the halves together.
The latch lever rod is just in front of the motor.

Between the front rollers on the bottom shell is a tab on the axle that rotates half a turn to a flat spot, retracting the rollers 1/4" for most floors and carpet. Since the brushroll floats and contacts the surface on those two long side arms hinged inline with the motor shaft, a plusher carpet benefits from the extra height adjustment.
The arms, where they support the brushroll have tapered rubber bumpers that are easy to mix up in a restoration. The taper must face up toward the headlight or the brushroll will bind and jam in the raised position.
The green glass headlight lens surrounded by the rubber bumper trim is about 1/2" thick and I've yet to see a broken one.

Post# 120740 , Reply# 13   1/9/2011 at 16:25 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Exhaust port to bag is 5" w x 1" h.

The chrome strip around the motor has the detents for 3 handle positions and so the paint doesn't get scratched.

Post# 120741 , Reply# 14   1/9/2011 at 16:32 (4,799 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Well, I guess you'll also have to correct Life Magazine and Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images!

I got my info from this link. Clearly you are correct based on the photos you posted, so one wonders how such a mistake got printed in Life Magazine.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 120742 , Reply# 15   1/9/2011 at 16:35 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
The cloth bag has a 6" inner cloth chute that should keep settled debris from falling back into the fans.
To preserve and protect the original cloth bag, I fitted a flattened accordion-fold fibre organ ducting up-tube and use top fill Hoover paper bags, the one with the long paper up tube. Works great and does not distort the Singer bag profile.


Post# 120746 , Reply# 16   1/9/2011 at 16:45 (4,799 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
how such a mistake got printed

aeoliandave's profile picture
Charles, the same way Olivia Mattis (and many other Theremin sites) state that the Theremin was invented by Leon Theremin, not Terman.

It is a wonderful interview, though...

Thanks for that link, Charles. Now we can put a face to Account Executive and engineer H. S. Barnhart.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO aeoliandave's LINK

Post# 120758 , Reply# 17   1/9/2011 at 18:21 (4,799 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Dave, I am so enjoying the history of this machine. I have always loved vacuums, but the history behind them & how they have evolved thru the decades is so fascinating!

I thought I read in one of your previous posts that you added a paper bag to preserve the original cloth bag. Thanks for the photos for illustration of how you did that.

Did I also read that you used a Hoover round belt on this machine as well? Thats what I thought I could use when I turned it over inspecting it the brief moment I looked at it.

People wonder what it is about vacuums that I collect them, but I have to say they just don't understand the design & history behind these machines. Most just take for granted these wonderful machines found in almost every household today.

I guess I thought that this vac would be much more complicated in design, but the design seems simple, yet effective.

Post# 120765 , Reply# 18   1/9/2011 at 19:22 (4,799 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Actually, the name Theremin is correct. While living in the U.S. from 1927-1938, Lev Sergeivitch Termen [not Terman] anglicized his name to Leon Theremin.

Olivia Mattis is a good friend and colleague. Among other things, she is a noted scholar of composer Edgard Varèse and Portuguese WWII hero Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

Even though her 1989 interview and article occurred well before the theremin enjoyed its great renaissance (beginning in 1995), her statements are accurate, notwithstanding Leon Theremin's propensity for clouding the facts of his past.

You might enjoy my article on Leon Theremin and his instrument. See link.

And to bring this thread back on-topic after drifting way into outer space, I used to have a Singer S-1 that I picked up for $7.00 in a thrift shop back in the good old days. I don't have it any more; I think it went the way of one of my "Great American Garage Clean-Ups." OTOH, I know of a collector who paid nearly $300.00 for one. So I'd say $50.00 would seem a good deal if it's in good running condition and cosmetically nice.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 120906 , Reply# 19   1/10/2011 at 22:40 (4,798 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        
Well... it finally followed me home

briguy's profile picture
I returned & bought the Singer this morning. Turns out that it is an S-4 model. However some interesting things I find about it are that it has the lady at the sewing machine on the logo. Also it is the pinkish buff color. Dave do you know if they went back to the original color & logo on the later models? I am really excited to have it in my collection.I wonder were there anymore S models after the S-4?

I haven't had time to give her the spa treatment yet, but I wonder about laundering the bag? Good idea or not?? It has some oil spots & watermark stains on it. Also want to try & convert to paper bags.

I am posting pics of it that I shot quickly to show you guys. Here's the head to toe shot:

Post# 120907 , Reply# 20   1/10/2011 at 22:47 (4,798 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Hood Shot:

Post# 120908 , Reply# 21   1/10/2011 at 22:50 (4,798 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Singer Lady logo:

Post# 120909 , Reply# 22   1/10/2011 at 22:52 (4,798 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Serial Number Plate:

Post# 120913 , Reply# 23   1/11/2011 at 00:17 (4,797 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

That's really in lovely condition. IIRC, it's kind of a noisy bugger isn't it? But it's a real find, and at what I'd consider a reasonable price. Congratulations!

Post# 120925 , Reply# 24   1/11/2011 at 03:51 (4,797 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
$50.00 for that?

arh1953's profile picture
Is cheap! What a beautiful Singer!

Post# 120934 , Reply# 25   1/11/2011 at 07:32 (4,797 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
It is a great find I think. Charles it its a noisy thing, actually noisier than I expected the little thing to be.
And the price was definitely right.

It's gonna be a favorite in my collection for sure.

Post# 120942 , Reply# 26   1/11/2011 at 08:56 (4,797 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Beautiful machine in great cosmetic condition!

aeoliandave's profile picture
Golly, Brian, I didn't know they made an S-4 even!
Which begs the question, how many years did Singer make the S? And what was the next Singer upright that followed it and when?
Since it debuted in 1949, did they raise the S model number each consecutive year?
I've only seen it in grey (S2 - mine is an S-2) or pink (S-1 and now, S-4). My reference picture files show an S-2 in beige-y pink and an S-3 in you could have your S in either colour but what is the meaning of the number designation? Curious minds want to know...
Other than colour and logo plate I've noticed no other changes or improvements to the basic machine.

Anyone in Vacuumland with a Singer S, it would be helpful if you would tell us your model No, colour, and serial number to aid this timeline research. I'll be doing the same with any other S I come across or know where they are.

Handwash the bag an a sink, or tub, with a mild detergent, after turning it inside out and vacuuming and detaching from the exhaust fitting. Hang to dry. It will come out cleaner than before but some stains will be hard set forever - mine has a stain line at the bottom.

And then there's this General Electric Twin Power slimline that appears to incorporate the same principals but lacks a cordwinder and adds a Saran outer bag with disposable paper liners. It appears to fill the bag through a rotating nozzle connection platform the bag rests on rather that a direct attachment at the rear exhaust like a Hoover or the Singer. Claimed to be a half inch slimmer. It has the style of the very late 50s and as far as I know no one has posted a picture of one in their collection.

Anyone have one?

Post# 120944 , Reply# 27   1/11/2011 at 09:27 (4,797 days old) by Ohio_Tuec ()        

I wish I did. I get the feeling they are rarer than hen's teeth, I guess most people bought G.E. canisters at that time. The only place I know that has one is the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in Missouri.


Post# 120975 , Reply# 28   1/11/2011 at 16:23 (4,797 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
Just to throw a monkey wrench into the works....I had an S-4 that looks EXACTLY like Brian's, but mine took paper bags!
All of the S-4's I have seen are that color scheme. I have only ever seen one S-series that was grey, and I don't know what the "number" part of the model number was. And we thought Hoover was confusing!

Post# 120995 , Reply# 29   1/11/2011 at 20:02 (4,797 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Dave, I thought you would find the S-4 an interesting model in the lineup. I want to know more about the history of the entire line as well if anyone of you Vacuumlander's out there have any details or pics.

John, I would like it if mine were to take paper bags like yours did. However I may try to convert mine as Dave did if I can do so without destroying it! We'll see...

Now I need to get giving her the spa treatment & make my first Youtube vid. :)

Post# 120999 , Reply# 30   1/11/2011 at 21:47 (4,797 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Keep throwing those monkey wrenches and eventually we'll

aeoliandave's profile picture
The paper bag option must have been introduced after the S-1 and was possibly a retrofit any Singer vac shop could do to a 'bagless' model. Only after examining a great number of Ss could one reliably come to a conclusion as to which had what and when. My grey S2 shows no signs of being anything other than a single cloth bag arrangement.
I bagged it simply enough, based it on the Hoover top-fill paper bag idea with the paper 'proboscis' extension. Found a corrugated tube that would fit snugly inside the short inside black cloth baffle and stepped on it to shape it into a slim oval with a J curve at the bottom. I did this to avoid bending and choking the uptube while creating a minimal profile bulge showing through the outer bag when collapsed. Rubber banded the cloth collar on the new uptube. The paper bag with the top fill trunk I used was the right width to fit the narrow Singer bag, so it creates no unsightly bulge there either.

Thanks for the info, Karl. I found the Museum picture and that's another reason - as if I needed another - to try to get there sooner than later.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy