India - Burma

India - Burma

ca. 1910
13.20x
8.25cm

An advertising card for the Singer Manufacturing Company showing how universal the use of its sewing machines was, and perhaps how easily they could be used by women to create pillows and beautiful cloths. This card was printed in Spain, from the electrotype in back, and suggests it was printed for distribution there which might explain why Burma [Myanmar] was considered a part of India then; earlier Singer cards published in the US clearly labelled India, Ceylon and Burma as separate entities. Given the success of the Singer sewing machine around the world and in South Asia in particular – the Bombay-based sales agent Nusserwanjee Patel was highlighted by the firm in 1911 as one of its most successful international agents – one should not underestimate the aspirational nature of these cards, the way they must have appealed to women and men who saw in the modern machines a future of wealth and escape from more onerous tasks, not to mention the ability to clothe their families.