Sewing Machine Research
ISMACS International
International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

The Turtle Back

The Singer Turtle Back Sewing Machine

(Picture and Text Courtesy of Dorothy Brumleve)

The first Singer machine specially designed for family sewing was commonly known as "the Turtle Back" and was produced in 1856. It had a vibrating overhanging shaft, for actuating the needle-bar, and a reciprocating shuttle. Motion was given to the mechanism from the rocking treadle through a driving wheel carrying a broad leather belt capable of carrying much greater power than was required for its purpose.