Links to the Past: Michiana History - Record Detail


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Singer Sewing Machine Company - 1927

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Topic Indiana History-Singer Sewing Machines
Image Source South Bend News Times
Image Notes At this time in 1927 the output of this relocated and larger plant was 20,000 cabinets a week. Some 40 acres of the ground are occupied by the factory and the remainder of the area by the lumberyard. The plant was served by the New York Central Railroad.
Time Period 20th Century
Image Date 1927
Keywords Singer
Sewing Machines
Leighton Pine
South Bend

Additional Information & Sources

Historical Background By 1914 the South Bend plant employed 3,000 men which was the peak employment for the plant. At one time, Singer was the best known and most widely used product in the world. It is said that Gandhi while in jail learned to sew on a Singer and exempted this sewing machine in his ban on western machinery. The directions for using Singers were printed in 54 languages.

During World War II and using their wood working expertise, the plant produced wood parts for the Gorgon, a secret experimental radio-controlled projectile and primitive guided missile. Singer molded 1200 large plywood nose pieces for the Army's WACO cargo gliders. On D-Day these gliders were towed by C-47s from bases in England and landed behind the German lines along the Normandy coast. These gliders carried troops, Jeeps and weapons. These gliders can be seen in the popular film "The Longest Day".

After World War II, cheaper lumber was available elsewhere and European plants became self-sustaining. In early 1955, after operating in South Bend for 87 years, the Singer Cabinet Works was sold. The only remaining structure is the Marycrest building on Western Avenue.

Information from the Clipping file in the Local and Family History Services Department and "Made in South Bend/Mishawaka".

For additional information see book titles and article below.
Books & Videos "Made in South Bend/Mishawaka" by Discovery Hall Museum; 1980

"Singer In World War II: 1939-1945"; 1946

Newspaper Articles St. Joseph County Public Library Local & Family History Services, Clipping File - Industry - Industries - Singer Manufacturing Co.
Websites

Full-Text Articles & Media Clips "Mammoth New Plant of Singer Manufacturing Co." South Bend News Times; Oct. 15, 1901 PDF File

Source Format Newspaper
Book
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