The Singer building, the world's first skyscraper, dominated the New York skyline for many years. Singer President Lightner declared, "in my day, every young man knew where the Singer building was, and if he didn't, he made it his business to find out."
Singer's presence was equally prominent in any city, anywhere in the world, within a decade of the machine's invention. The famous red S, emblazoned with the company name in the indigenous language - "Singer Sivaci Stroje" in Croatia, "Compania Fabril Singer" in Spain, "Original Singer Nahmaschinen" in Germany, "Macchine Singer per Cucire" in Italy - graced the sides of buildings, Singer vehicles and store awnings on every main street and on the grandest avenues, all over the world.
The Singer logo had to be modified in Russia because the letter S does not exist in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Singer capitalized on its ubiquitous presence in its playful international advertising, which often took local landmarks or historical and literary figures, and turned them into Singer icons.
The Singer Company rapidly became an integral part of every country, dramatically affecting, and being affected by, the local culture, economy and social fabric. The story of Singer's international reach and impact is a fascinating back door to history, and is at the heart of my forthcoming book, The Great Civilizer: The Singer Sewing Machine and the Modern World.