Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

First Advisor's Committee Title

Co-committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kenneth Lipartito

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-committee Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Bianca Premo

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mira Wilkins

Fifth Advisor's Name

Jesus Cruz


History, Multinational Corporations, Gender, Spain, Mexico, Singer, Sewing, Technology

Date of Defense



This dissertation examines the role of Singer in the modernization of sewing practices in Spain and Mexico from 1860 to 1940. Singer marketing was founded on gendered views of women’s work and gendered perceptions of the home. These connected with sewing practices in Spain and Mexico, where home sewing remained economically and culturally important throughout the 1940s. "Atlantic Threads" is the first study of the US-owned multinational in the Hispanic World. I demonstrate that sewing practices, and especially practices related to home sewing that have been considered part of the private sphere and therefore not an important historical matter, contributed to the building of one the first global corporation. I examine Singer corporate records and business strategies that have not been considered by other scholars such as the creation of the Embroidery Department in the late nineteen-century. Likewise, this dissertation challenges traditional narratives that have assumed that Spain and Mexico were peripheral to modernity. I look at Singer corporate records in Spain and Mexico and at regional government and cultural sources to demonstrate how Singer integrated Spain and Mexico within its business organization. Singer's marketing was focused on the consumer, which contributed to make the company part of local sewing businesses and cultures.





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