Featherweight Fanatics Archives

December 1997

Sunday, December 21 - Saturday, December 28

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/14/97
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 12:39:43 +0000

To Marie re Singer 12 needle

You need a 339 -- available from me if you can't find more locally. A 27
takes a 15 x 1.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/16/97
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 12:39:41 +0000

To all

My New Year resolutions

1) Not to get wound up by folk wanting to know nothing more about a machine
other than what it's worth.

2) To continue to campaign against spurious claims for non-existing museums

3)  To try to remember just how much digest organisers like Sue, Jim and Bob
put into the job

4)  To continue smoking ( at least until the ISMACS convention)

5)  To use the speil chequer moore orften

Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 11:03:25 EST
Subject: All I need is....

I just got a 328 and was wondering if anyone has this cam?  It is flat without
the raised area in the middle like the 500A.  I had some with the machine but
the woman is wanting them back.  

Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 11:18:03 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Another birdseye table

I have two web pages that have two different
birdseye maple cabinet pics.  Come by and see at
http://www.icsi.net/~pickens/birdtab.shtml    and

The second picture on the table (known as cabinet
68) has an accessory holder on the inside...This
was not on the first cabinet.

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 19:24:27 -0600
Subject: New Machine

Hi all, just made a find today and hoping someone can come up with some
info. or a manual for her. Shes a Brunswick Treadle , on the inside of her
arm it says Made in USA and a serial number under her slide plate, no model
number. Shes a long bobbin mach. quite ornate & in very good shape. The
treadle cabinet is different than we've ever seen, it has compartments on
both ends which kind of look like "saddlebags" One has a place in it for
extra bobbins and thread and the other end is just one compt. presumably for
the attachments of which there are several. Anyone have any info. on her or
by chance a manual? Thanks and Happy Holidays to everone! Larry & M'Lee ;^)
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 17:23:41 EST
Subject: please help


I'm trying to research a treadle machine I found.  The name on the machine is
"Free Sewing Machine Company of Chicago" and it is in a pretty nice seven
drawer cabinet.

If anyone can give me an on-line reference or has ever heard of these
machines, please e-mail me direct a KwiltnMAH@aol.com.  I would be eternally

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 09:13:10 -0600
Subject: Finishes

Judy  said:

> I have discovered the turpentine/ linseed oil and find it's a miracle for
> removing years' worth of accumulated (now yellowed) wax when applied with
> 00/ 000 steel wool.  I like to "fine-tune" with Howards Restore-A-Finish
> using a fine steel wool.  Is there additional advantage to using tung oil
> after this treatment?  Is it found in Home Depot and do you apply with fine
> steel wool or just a soft rag?  I do seem to feel that some of my wood looks
> "bare" after I'm finished removing the "gunk".  I've also been wondering if
> I'm supposed to use Feed-n-Wax AND Paste Wax.  If so, is there a waiting
> period after using Feed-n-Wax before you paste wax?  I know that I wait
> awhile after the linseedoil/turpentine treatment.  The waiting period I use
> is when it no longer stinks!

I'd say that's a good way to tell!  I think Restor-a-Finish works better
when there's more finish to restore.  You have to be a little careful
with it when you have bare spots, so the wood doesn't soak up too much
of the pigment.

I find tung oil at Builder's Square or Home Depot.  There's some
packaged by Formby's (which you'll also find there) but it's about twice
as expensive as the generic version, and you get the same results.  The
advantage of using tung oil is that if you're down to bare wood after
cleaning it, it will replace the protection the original finish
provided.  And if there's any finish left (assuming it's not flaking or
crazed) the tung oil won't be incompatible with it.  If you've already
used steel wool when you clean it in the first place, I'd rub on the
tung oil with a soft rag or my hand.

I haven't used paste wax on top of Feed 'n Wax, but I shouldn't think
you'd have to wait long -- just the 20 minutes or so the Feed 'n Wax
recommends before you buff it.

Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 03:29:57 EST
Subject: Cattophilia

I'm a bit behind in the digests...between Christmas and Ebay I hardly know
which way up is....

Haven't found too many interesting goodies, besides a centennial matchbook and
a couple more unusual singer trade cards.  There is this guy I met on the
internet who occasionally emails me with a treasure....always at a fair
price...makes me happy...

Anyway, as to cats...I didn't have a cat when I started collecting SM's...and
I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 of them...+ or - a few....but I
have one now...my husband brought me home a Kitten for our 10th anniversary.
He seems largely unimpressed by my sewing machines, though he is extremely
impressed by the christmas tree....we had to nail it to the floor....the dog's
tail is anothre constant amusement...
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 10:46:20 -0800
Subject: stool

I have a sewing machine stool with a label under the cushion that has:
Manufactured by
The Singer Manufacturing Co. 
Serial #4528
75 1/2% hair
7 1/2 % palm fiber
no moss
17% cotton
30% staple
all new material
made expressly for the Singer Manufacturing Co
                       149 Broadway
                       New York, New York

It measures approx. 16"x14" and is 19" high.
I would appreciate any information about this old stool.


Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 07:36:57 -0800
Subject: Autry museum book

Hi all,
   I just wanted to thank the person who posted a couple weeks ago about 
the book from the Autry Museum. I live in New York State, and would never 
have known about the book or exhibit. I ordered the book and am very 
pleased with it. It repeats much of the info in the Grace Rogers Cooper 
book about the history of the sm, but it also includes pictures of women 
in the late 1800's using their machines. It also has excerpts from other 
history books with quotes from women about sewing with their machines. If 
you like quilts,too, it's a double pleasure as it shows how quilting has 
changed over the years because of the use of the sm. At $19.95 it's a 
great buy, and I recommend it.
Date:	Sun, 21 Dec 1997 18:00:43 -1000
Subject: Sewing Machine Book Update

Book Info:

Thanks for all of the very positive responses to the book.  I've already
sold and shipped the first lot, and the second lot has all been reserved.
I have a small lot of 5 books coming in the first week of January.  The
next lot of 48 will then be coming in February or March.  For more info,
feel free to visit my web page at:


The reason they're taking so long to get out is that shipping takes 2
months (1 month to the bindery, 1 month from the bindery).  Actual time to
print a batch is about 1-2 weeks, and to bind is about 2-4 weeks.  I
had/am having the first and second lot sent here by air mail (which cost a
fortune), but will be having the rest sent by boat.
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 22:32:51 EST
Subject: book

How does one go about ordering Charles Law's new book? 
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 20:21:46 
Subject: Models 12 and 15

Well, it seems like the sewing machine drought is over... I finally got a
call back on a "parts" machine I had voiced an interest in about 6 weeks
ago, the guy had a Model 12 with a broken bed (it's split in two just to
the left of the pillar).  We agreed on a price, and then he said he had
another machine he was interested in selling.  When I went to pick up the
12 the following day, he showed me an F-series  Memphis/Sphinx design
Singer 15 in a suitcase!  This is the most unusual sewing machine case I've
ever seen.  It literally looks like a piece of luggage. The price was very
good for a machine in wonderful condition, so it came home with me, too.
In cleaning it up, I noticed something odd...  The designs aren't gold
decals, they're ivory, pale yellow and tan baked enamel.  The whole thing
has a kind of cloisonne look.  The enamel designs are slightly raised, so
when you run your fingers over the designs you can feel the outlines. Has
anyone else run into either this type of case or this type of design?

Since I bought the model 12 with the intent of using it for parts, I've
pulled the bobbin winder, the left slideplate, crank mechanism, belt guard
and the wooden base off of it.  The rest of the machine is there, so if
anyone is looking for parts for a New Family/Model 12, let me know.. I seem
to remember someone was looking for a needleclamp (I can't remember who).
Unfortunately, the bobbin and shuttle were missing from the machine, so no
help there.

Subject: Singer 27, 28, 127, & 128
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 00:23:59 -0500

There seems to be a lot of discussion (and some confusion) about identifying
these various models. So, here goes:

27 -- Low-mount bobbin winder, full-size head.
28 -- Low-mount bobbin winder, 3/4 head.
127 -- High-mount bobbin winder, full-size head.
128 -- High-mount bobbin winder, 3/4 head.

The 27 & 28 are the older models, and the 127 & 128 came later. All are
long-shuttle machines, some electric and some manual (treadle or crank).
Usually, the full-size heads are cabinet-mounted and the 3/4 ones are
portable. You can see some examples at our sewing machine site at
http://www.k2nesoft.com/~clay-l/fancy.htm (I always get confused about these
and have to refer to our machines and their manuals. Seems like the best
reference for identifying machines is to have a few around.)

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 01:29:32 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/18/97

>> Steve and Carolyn wrote>>We have a blue FW 221 instruction book that reads
on the front cover. Instructions for using SINGER Electric Sewing Machine
Model 221 >>

I received this blue book with a 1955 FW.  Everything in the FW case was
oringinal and in almost mint condition, so I am sure this book was original.
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 16:26:49 -0500
Subject: Request for Information

I have two (2) antique Singers and a contemporary model. My husband and
I just returned to the U.S. after nearly 10 years in the Philippines.
While in the Philippines, our seamstress did our sewing with a small,
Singer machine which I later found out to be a Feather Weight. All of
our clothes, our silk cushion covers for our furniture, alternations,
and anything that required sewing, were done superably on that FW. Since
our return to the US, our interest in the FW has peaked.

I have seen three (3) since my return and now have the opportunity to
purchase one. Can you give me some information as to generally what to
pay or where I can get information on the going prices for a FW in
excellent condition? I know they are collector's items, you deal with a
variety of years and serial numbers but that is all the information I
have and do not wish to over invest in purchasing one. Thanks for your
help and I look forward to seeing what other FW owners/users have to


Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 10:10:30 EST
Subject: WANTED

I'm new at using the FWF but am thrilled with what I've seen on it so far.  I
never realized how many people collected sewing machines.  My reason for using
this wonderful correspondence is because I have been looking for a particular
machine for about 4 years.

Does anyone have or know where I could find a Singer 201K Treadle Machine?  I
would prefer to find one in working condition since that is what I want it
for.  My husband thinks I'm completely loco for wanting to use a treadle and
maybe I am.  I just like the way they sew and remember having fun learning to
sew on one.

In November we went to Mt. Dora, Florida to the Renninger's Antique
I found quite a few treadle and Featherweight machines, but not the one I
want.  There will be another Extravaganza on January 17, 1998, so I'll go

Good luck to all of you and may you have a blessed 1998.  Judy 
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 08:47:10 EST
Subject: Q: using feet/attachments

Happy Holidays to all! 

Now that I'm really learning to sew (this time for real), I'd like to pick
your brains. Which of the FW attachment feet do you use the most?  Are some of
them so complicated and fussy that (e.g., the ruffler and pleater, which look
like orthopedic surgery instruments) that they're not worth a serious effort?
Are some wonderful? Any caveats? I tried the rolled hem foot on the 99K - when
I got it to work on some old sheeting, it turned the most perfect tiny hem,
albeit for a short distance - will require some work to get the holding
tension and fabric prep down.

Regards, and thanks,

Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 21:31:48 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/14/97

HI all

Once again my son and husband  have found another FW.  I wish I could clone
them and rent them out to FW seekers.  They seem to attract these machines
like a moth to a candle and I don't mind one bit.  This find was at a flea
market this  morning.  We went to early services at our church and stopped at
the market on the way home.  They were walking ahead of me and when I looked
up they were already packing the machine away in the little black box and my
husband was placing the cash in the sellers hand.  The story goes that it was
my son who spotted it first.  My husband asked how much.  My son checked for
the bobbin case.  My husband pulled out his money.  My son packed the machine
away.  The whole transaction took about 30 seconds.  How much cash was
it......$25.  It is going to be a friends Christmas present  from her husband
since I already have a few.  

Have a very joyous Christmas ....   Love and Joy   ....   Madge  
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 21:58:18 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/18/97

I have a question.  Can you sew with a double needle on a 1935 Featherweight? 
Subject: This -n- That
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 18:01:12 -0500

Hi all!

Well DH decided at about 7:30 Saturday evening we should take a ride into Manhattan to see the Rockafeller Center Christmas tree. Had been about 5 years since we last took the treck but wanted to let my 5 year old get a peek. Funny thing was we drove by Herald Square and Macy's to see their Christmas display. Lo and behold even Macy's is into the Sewing Machine craze! In one of their large windows they had a mannequin sewing at a VERY large make believe Treadle sewing machine! Blue base...black w/gold decorated head. Neat! My little guy asked me if we were going to stop to buy it! Guess they know me well eh? Wonder what exactly they will do with this piece after the holidays.......hmmmmmm????
Anyone else see this yet??

Happy Holidays to all!
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 19:19:02
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/97

Dear All

Alan   wrote:  >In a related vein, I have lost count of the number of SM 
collectors who keep cats.

Uh....I think that you have it backwards....cats keep us!  At this time my
big old cat found the ziplock baggie of dried catnip I keep for making Xmas
toys for my cat friends.  Needless to say Catnip is ALL over the sewing

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 19:29:06
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/97

  I wax with car wax on the head to
>protect the gold and jappaned finish. 

Funny you should mention car wax.  Last weekend my dear friend and I went
to visit Renea, a fellow SM collector.  As we were driving back home we
were dissusing the proper ways of cleaning a caring of SM.  I was telling
my friend that I had used Armour-all on some of my machines, but I need a
was that was good for metal.  We pondered what could be used and made
several suggestions.  Then it was light a light bulb went on.....why not
use car wax..after all cars are metal...duh!

It is good taht you too reccomend the same.  DO you have a brand that you
lilke best?

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 19:34:46
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/20/97

 If you have a NF, and I don't have it in the database, this is
>the time to contact me and get the survey questions.  The more machines in
>the database, the more statistically significant the results will be. 


I need you to send me the survey questions ( I think again)  I now have two
NF 12 and would like to give you my input.

Hi Everyone, 

Just want to take a minute to say 

                                    Happy Holidays!!!!  

to all the members of the FW Fanatics - what ever holiday you celebrate!!

Sue T - Spending yet another birthday wrapping Christmas gifts.  Why do I always think that next year, I'll get everything done a week ahead of time :-)
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 22:49:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/18/97

Moonsage said:

> 27 or 28
> The 27 and 127 are shuttle.  The 28 and 128 are rotary round bobbins.

Nope -- the 27 and 127 shuttles are the bullet-shaped ones, but the 28 and
128 are, too.  The difference between the 27/127 and the 28/128 is the
size -- the 27/127 is full-sized (the bed is about 14-1/2" from right side
to left) and the 28/128 is 3/4-sized (about two inches shorter from side
to side.)  27/127's are more likely to be found in a cabinet and 28/128's
are more likely to be found as portables.  Surprisingly, the 128 (with an
electric motor) was made into the 1950's.

Also, just for the record, a V.S.#2 (or Vibrating Shuttle #2) is an early
27; a V.S. #3 is an early 28.


I was over at a s.m. repair shop in Houston (Bob McDougal's place in the
Heights, for those of you who are familiar with it) the other day to get a
part, and saw a really interesting machine.  There was a Willcox & Gibbs
in for repair, and I commented on it, and he said, "Wait till you see
this!" and took me back into the back room, where he pulled out another
Willcox & Gibbs machine, like I'd never seen before!

It's far bigger, with a head shaped like a White family rotary, and
clearly says "Willcox & Gibbs" across the front of the arm.  It was black
with simple gold decals and a motor.  In fact, it looked like an ordinary
family sewing machine from the 20's or 30's except that instead of a
take-up lever, it had a round brass wheel that took up the thread.  He
showed me the bottom (where the shuttle and bobbin would be on a
lockstitch machine) and the hook assembly does indeed look just like the
regular W&G.  One other odd feature is a brass rod that runs up and down
behind the needle bar -- it moves with the needle, but has a sort of blunt
tip that comes down just behind the needle.  I don't know what it's for
(Bob didn't either) but I thought it might just be to keep the needle from
pulling the fabric up with it on its way back up.  Bob said he thought the
machine was an industrial model -- he said he bought it from a
professional seamstress who had used it to sew with for many years.

Anyway, it was an interesting visit!

Subject: help needed
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 97 22:42:29 -0800

hello featherfriends
a little off topic for our beloved old machines, but if anyone has the 
resources, i know this group does. i have a problem and i hope one of the 
more experienced mechanics on the list can help with (mike h? chris v?) i 
have a pfaff 1222, a very solid metal well-designed machine from about 
1976. it has been in the shop for a little over a year waiting for a new 
motor control board. the owner of the shop assured me he could track down 
a used one, as a new one is $260. i don't trust this guy, but he is the 
only local pfaff dealer. finally i got tired of waiting and picked up the 
machine and brought it home. i am really bummed, as all the new machines 
except (pfaffs included) are plastic and i really love the dual feed and 
quiet operation of this machine. 
it's the only "modern" machine i have ever liked, and it has a lot of 
advantages that i just can't get on an older machine (HERESY!!!....i know 
i know!)
what to do??????
Subject: 201
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 16:41:57 -0500

Found a nice newer (AL) 201 today, in a dark (mahogany?) Queen Anne
cabinet. Machine is an 8 and cabinet is 7 1/2. It also came with a chair
with storage inside the seat. Inside the chair was an original manual.
Motor seems clean (ran without smelling), and the machine itself will
need only minimal cleanup. The set was originally priced at $125, then
marked down to $75, and was on sale for 20% off that, so I got it for
$60. Yes, I know I have two other 201's already (will think about
selling one of them), but this one was so nice I couldn't resist!
Meanwhile, I'm trying to finish up the cleanup of a 201 whose clearcoat
had reacted with some kind of gunk to form a brown sticky haze. Nothing
I could really do but take that whole layer off. Saved most of the
decals, and this one will still be a good working machine, just not as
pretty as the others. I may be looking for a new home for it with someone
who just wants one to use. Or I may keep it for a spare.

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 12:47:24 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Sighting!

Hi Feathers,

Found a Pfaff 135 for $40.00 in a junk store thats going out of business
Dec.31st.  Its in good condition, gold accents 90% intact, motor runs...
Looks like with minimal effort she'd be up and going in no time.  Its in a
cabinet, nothing spectacular and blonde wood. Hurry...
Then I found a Domestic in a cabinet.  Not sure of the model, but its black,
electric, gold decals are worn - the Domestic name is silvered, really
dirty, has a box of Greist attachments with it.  The bobbin case etc. is
there. The cabinet is a very dark wood with two doors in the front and in
good condition. They want $50.00.

Then there's a Singer Treadle. From the remainder of the decals it looks
like the model with the Egyptian design.  The base has six drawers and is in
really bad condition...lots of rot and breakage.  It's heart break to see
something once so gorgeous, look so awful.  Price $100.00  Go figure...

If there's anyone interested in any of these machines email me privately and
I'll go get whichever.

A note about Simichrome...Stained Glass Artists also use it. Great for
bringing a high shine to came and soldered joints. It is available at better
SG retailers. Delphi Stained Glass in Michigan is one and they are online.
(I have no connection to Delphi)

Happy Holidays,
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 01:05:10 -0500
Subject: WANTED

I have a beautiful, early, featherweight, which I will register at a later
date...she is not with me at the moment.
I am in dire need of the tray which fits into the top of the case. 

If you have any ideas where I might find one, please e-mail 
thank you
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/18/97
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:07:57 +0000

To all from Graham, Maggie and the Rat 

Have a great Christmas. We love you all but the Rat is getting twitchy
about all these references to cats and reports he is available to ride
shotgun for any sewing machine in real trouble from a feline gang.

Must tell you this. Once there was a tame pigeon which would spend its days
flying around in my workshop.  We called him the French Polish tester.
At the time I was doing a lot of business with old oak wall telephones. I
would usually have half a dozen being polished at the same time which
allows for drying between coats.
The pigeon was able, without any training, to know which of the six boxes
was still wet  and landed on that one every time.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/97
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:08:02 +0000

To Jenny  who said:

>The 115 was Singer's first full rotary hook design first produced in 1913
>(FWIW, I gleaned this tidbit from Slaten's book


 Please let's not repeat any of the false information and guess work that
appears in this book.
As I've said before, the book is a catalogue of errors and should not be
relied on in any way.
For the record the 115-1 was introduced in 1912.

To Jim re Willcox and Gibbs

Your machine dates 1932

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 09:10:39 -0600
Subject: Blue FW 221 Instruction Book

	My blue instruction book came with an AL561316 FW, dob 10/14/53.

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 08:39:44 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/97

Captain Dick said:

> Last, I need some help/guidance.  I picked up a nice FW, but as is so
> often the case, it's sluggish... I'm quite sure there is thread behind
> the bobbin race, as I pulled a couple of small pieces out with tweezers. 
> However, even following the instructions in the FW book, I can't get the
> bobbin race out.  I have removed the little screw, at 5 o'clock, dropped
> the retainer, and seemingly short of major brute force (!!!!) the bobbin
> race doesn't want to come out. 

It does have to be turned to a particular orientation to come out, but if
you have the FW book, you knew that already.  I think you've got it right:
the tolerances are so much smaller on the FW that having thread back there
jams the race so you can't pull it out.

I've only had this happen once, but the only thing I could think of to do
was go in from the back (through the bottom of the machine) and soak the
place where the thread was caught with Liquid Wrench, and let it sit.  I
worked on it periodically for 2-3 days, and finally managed to get the
race out -- along with a few bits of oil-soaked thread!  I was afraid that
using brute force would bend the race, which would not have been good! 

Surely others must have run across this before -- I was really wishing
this particular case was covered in the FW book, which seems to be so
complete otherwise!

Subject: Re: FW For Sale - Week Ending 12/20/97
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 22:38:04 +0000

To all re Vegas sale

I've been getting a lot of mail about the big sale in Las Vegas . Perhaps
the following letter with my replies to the various points will clear up
any queries

>Is it possible to get addition information on some of the machines you will
>be selling in Ls Vegas?

Not a lot, I arrived in Las Vegas in Feburary this year to see Marvin Tabic
in hospital but he died a couple of days before I got there.I was asked to
handle the machines but the recent death meant it was difficult to do a
comprehensive catalog job and Maggie and I finished up in unlit garages etc
trying to view and make notes by torchlight.

All I could do was jot down names, an idea of condition and a price for
which I though the machine would sell quickly.
>As a new collector I am unfamiliar with some of the terms and would like a
>few more details if possible.

No problem
>For example:
>>Junker & Ruh h/c MOP, silver plate C8<   Is this a machine and cabinet? I
>know the MOP is mother of pearl. This read like a beautiful machine. How old
>is it?

This is a hand crank and if I rated it C8 is must be pretty good. At a
guess it's 1910 to 1930 but I can't remember it as an individual machine. I
will be better able to answer this question once I am there and I am happy
to receive calls during working hours from Monday Jan 26. Note number, it
was incorrect in one of the posted lists.  It's 702- 382 9866

>Are the machines going to be available for viewing prior to sale? Are they
>first come/first serve or will they be auctioned off? Since you will be
>there on the 26th of January, will you be showing the machines prior to sale
>on Feb 1st?

I'm getting there before Feb 1 simply in order to  collect the machines
together, make sure there are no missing pieces -- some were in the process
of restoration -- which with Marvin meant they had been dismantled and
nothing more. These will be assembled. They will be for sale first
come-first served. No auction.
I simply must have some time to do all this and also clean up some of the
machine which had been in a garage for years (fortunately dry but very
dusty). I want to get them in a presentable condition and displayed in the
shop rather than in a large pile.

The machines will go on view and on sale on Saturday Jan 31. Just like a
shop. Everything will be marked with prices and  I'll be there to answer
any questions. As I said prices are ball park some could go up a little if
they clean up real well, others could come down. I have a tricky job of
ensuring that I sell all or most of them yet get a decent result for the
estate.  Obviously I have pitched  the prices below current market values.

We will be able to take credit cards and will ship machines for those who
can't collect in person.
>All in all, how many machines in total will be up for sale. I would hate to
>make the trip and end up with nothing:-))  Would it be possible to see some
>pictures on a web site?

Over 100 in all but this includes a few which I rate of virtually no value
(heads only for example) which I will sell off for around $20.

No pictures possible. I'm here in London, the machines are in Vegas.

Iwould think it very unlikely that you would not find something to
treasure. I have had some dealers trying to buy the lot but I have told
them I will not play this game until the last hour of the last day when
they can pick up the pieces.

Subject: Re:True story
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 22:38:13 +0000

To all

True Story, series two, number three

Still in North Africa with this story but another trip and one that
found Maggie and I in Tangiers -- I think it was Tangiers, it all
happened a few years ago now.

It was a super cheap package tour but the hotel was reasonable and the
only cloud on the horizon was the lack of hire cars. Seems that there
were none available without the right documentation and I had somehow
missed out on taking a Tangerian driving test.

One of the waiters offered his  ancient motor cycle for the equivalent
of $2 a day (all in). All-in, it seemed, included everything bar
insurance, fuel, air in the rear tyre and we  were planning an antique
hunt and there is a limit to what can be packed onto the back of a 1934

None of the available taxis looked capable of getting outside the city
limits without major surgery so we carefully browsed the available
excursions offered by the tour company. One, by coach, offered the
delights of the "Fabulous Maki Market" and we signed up for the next
day's run.

As we approached Maki, the number of local merchants on their way to
market increased. These could be identified quite easily -- man of the
house strolling along the dirt road with his wife trailing behind with
the 50-gallon oil drum filled with  garden produce strapped to her
back. Some clearly more-affluent families had a donkey. This allowed
the husband to ride ahead of the wife and the oil drum.

The market itself was a strange mixture of produce laid on sacks on the
ground and shack shops with plastic sheeting for windows.

And it was in one of these shops that we saw two items that we knew we
had to have. The first was a beautiful phonograph horn from the 1920s,
unblemished and probably never used in anger. The second was more
exciting -- the clockwork motor  from a 1901 Berlinner disc phonograph,
the company which eventually became Victor. It was the motor from the
"His Master's Voice" machine and very, very desirable.

Problem was that the shop was closed and attempts to find the owner by
sign language  simply resulted in drinking motions from his fellow

Whether this meant that the shopkeeper was drinking tea or that we
should go and do so until he returned was never clear. Our problem was
that  the coach would leave on the hour and was due to call at another
market before returning to the hotel. The minutes ticked away and as
the driver started the coach we put plan one into action (there was no
plan two).

Maggie would hang around the market, buy the items and find her way
back, somehow, to the hotel, whilst I carried onto the next stop. I can
now sense some raised eyebrows amongst my readers but let me assure you
all that Maggie is a very resourceful lady and probably far better at
handling the problem of a 30-mile cross desert trip than I. And the
advice that echoes around European antique markets has ever been --
"Don't Mess with Maggie".

I settled back in the coach having had a word with the driver and off
we set. I heard whispers from the other passengers -- mostly American,
German and English -- who were clearly  wondering about the empty seat
next to me.

I wish I could claim complete spontaneity for my eventual answer but,
in truth, I probably had five minutes whist the whispering grew louder
before the question eventually came.

The brave soul who made it was a charming lady from Maine.

"Err, excuse me, sir", she said. "Could we ask, what has happened to
your wife?"

In the most casual manner I could affect I replied as if it were the
most natural thing in the world

" Oh, Maggie?  I traded her for two sheep and a goat"

Deathly silence. Then the odd titter. They assumed it was a joke. They
hoped it was a joke and I sat there with the smirk of an efficient
businessman who has just swung a good deal  and said not another word.

Maggie made it back sharing a taxi with 9 (yes 9) local ladies one
phonograph horn and the Berlinner motor. I'd been quite wrong about the
cabs not making it through the desert. 

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to tell her about the conversation
in the coach.

At dinner that night, two charming ladies from Germany approached us.

"We knew your husband was joking about trading you", they told Maggie.
"Otherwise, he would have had the animals in the coach with him"

This, believe me, took a little explaining....... 

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 19:13:26 EST
Subject: Things I've seen

Couldn't get on Freenet tonight so I'm using my AOL id.  

At a flea market recently I saw a tsm called Kayanbee (I think).  I know
nothing about toys.  Couldn't figure out how this one sewed but if anyone is
interested I will take another look at it.  $19, I think.

Last night I went  to TeeJaye's Country Place to pick up a take out dinner.
They always have primitives on a high shelf all around the restaurant, but
this time I spotted a sewing machine that I hadn't noticed before.  Maybe they
just put it up.
And they put it up backwards.  I was looking at the back.  It was a Singer
with a very odd design on the post.  Attractive.  I couldn't tell what it was
from the back but it had the thread take up coming out of the face plate so
maybe a 128?  I couldn't see a motor but there was a short belt hanging on it.

It pays to talk to people.  I told the waitress what I was looking at and she
said she had an old Singer at home.  She will bring it in to work and call me
to see it.

You definitely should have cats to go with sewing machines.  I have 2 calico
cats.  What else would a quilter have?

I hope everyone has a happy holiday and a great '98.

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 18:49:33 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/20/97

I ran across a FW that has a gold faceplate, not the silver, which I
understand is the most common.  The machine has an "AH" serial number and an
Egyptian scrollwork design.  Also, I was told that it has a gold handwheel.  I
was also told that it is a 
221-1 black machine. 

I can't recall ever hearing of or anyone mentioning a gold faceplate.  I will
go over to the person's house tomorrow to take a look at the machine and its
condition.  In the meantime any information anyone could provide on this
machine would be appreciated.  Is this machine a rare find?  Should I pay more
for this machine than I would otherwise for a black machine with a silver
Egyptian faceplate?  Can anyone  suggest a price range?  The lady did talk to
an Authorized Singer Service Center  and they did tell her to ask, what I
would consider to be an unreasonable high price.
Of course, the Service Center, as usual is long on telling people to ask high
My response when I hear this type of feedback is to tell the Service Center to
put their money where their mouth is.  My experience is that the Service
Center would be 
willing, at the most, to offer less than half of what they are telling their
customer to ask.  One Service Center told a person, after the machine was sold
to me, that he should of asked $800.  Has anyone else had this type of
experience?  Am I opening a can of worms?

Enough of my philosophy on why prices tend to be overinflated in many
What I really need is advice and guidance on a 221-1 FW with a gold faceplate.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 23:50:57 +0000

To Sue who does all the work and to every member of this digest, fond
greetings from Maggie, Graham and the Rat for Christmas and the New Year.
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 22:11:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cats and Quilts

Hi All!

I don't think it's the SMs as much as the quilts.  Cats and quilts are a
natural association, and IMHO it's not a real quilt until a cat has slept
on it at least once.  They seem to have radar that tells them when a quilt
becomes available.  Last year I had just spread out my latest ABC quilt on
the living room floor for basting.  Betsy, our little tortoise shell
shorthair, had watched with eager interest from the arm of the sofa as I
spread and smoothed the backing, then layered the batting, then laid out
the top, centered and smoothed.  I swear her ears must have pricked
forward as I patted out the last wrinkle, because I remember looking at
her and saying: "Don't even THINK about it", meaning (as I'm sure she
understood) "Stay OFF of this thing and don't you dare shed on it either!"
Well, I turned away from the quilt for all of two or so seconds to get the
big pins, and by the time I turned back she had settled herself
comfortably just inside the edge farthest away from me.  I think I ended
up picking her up and (gently) tossing her into the dining room.  Conan,
our other resident feline (all 17 pounds of him) has a habit of curling up on
the sewing table while I'm stitching on the machine.  He also occasionally
swats at the needle clamp screw as it goes up and down.  Fortunately he
sits behind the machine, so the presser bar prevents him from doing
any damage to his paw.  He also likes to get up on the cutting table
(mostly I think it's the warmth of the swing arm lamp), but I have more
reservations about that.  One of these days he's going to end up an
honorary Manx without actually trying......

To T.R.: Welcome back!  We've missed you!

Peaceful and blessed holidays to all.  This is one of those happy years
when Christmas and Chanukah cosy up to each other on the calendar, so that
we have more of the earth's population than usual simultaneoly preoccupied
with peace on earth and spiritual renewal.  

Subject: BAck Again
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 12:50:04 -0800

Hi; all;

Well, as many of you noted, I have been "out" or "down" for four days.   Sorry about that.   Got many messages, and finally quite a few "Where are you's?"

I took the computer in to try to get rid of that last bug.   Just brought it home.  Bug is less prevalent, but still there.   We shall continue, but if you don't get prompt answers from me, it's because I'm still determined to chase this down.

Other than that, thanks for all the nice comments about the Christmas tree.   The new FW is purring... never did get the bobbin case out, but as I ran it, it seemed to warm up and get the new lubricant distributed and is fine.

Happy Holidays to all.

Captain Dick
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 17:10:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 401 Instruction manual that I do not need

While I was shopping at one of the thrift shops I bought a 401 manual. If any
one is interested in getting this manual for the postage and the small charge
that I had to pay please e-mail me. Found the product One Drop, at Phar-Mor
In AL. It comes in Potpourri Vanilla and a green color. It is made by
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/21/97
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 00:14:02 +0000

To Larry & M'Lee

Your Brunswick treadle was made by the National Sewing Machine Co. It may
well have never had a specific handbook  but a standard National book will
National badged these machine up for large retailers who wanted an
exclusive line but often this didn't run to a specific handbook, simply a
generic one that they could use for many different names.

To Mary  re Free SM Co

Check out the ISMACS web site at http://www.ismacs.net  for  information

Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 05:24:14 -0600
Subject: New Machine

Hi all, just made a find today and hoping someone can come up with some
info. or a manual for her. Shes a Brunswick Treadle , on the inside of her
arm it says Made in USA and a serial number under her slide plate, no model
number. Shes a long bobbin mach. quite ornate & in very good shape. The
treadle cabinet is different than we've ever seen, it has compartments on
both ends which kind of look like "saddlebags" One has a place in it for
extra bobbins and thread and the other end is just one compt. presumably for
the attachments of which there are several. Anyone have any info. on her or
by chance a manual? Thanks and Happy Holidays to everone! Larry & M'Lee ;^)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 04:14:36 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/97

To all FWFanatics; Have a great holiday and a Happy New Year. Thanks for all
the help your correspondence has been to me this year.

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 13:42:22 +0000
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/20/97

For Graham:

Santa brought me (a few days early) a Frister & Rossman handcrank 
sewing machine, and I'd appreciate any help you can offer on 
identifying model #, date of manufacture, etc.  Here's the specifics:

Brass oval plate says "Manufactured in Germany by Frister & Rossman.
Sale agent W. Pierssene  24/25 Fore St.  London E.C."
Engraved number on the silver plate on the bed:  1480888

It has a white porcelain hand wheel, elaborate gold and pink flower 
designs (petals like daisies with a rose in the center).  The 
faceplate is completely smooth (no etching or straiting).  Of course, 
it has the bullet-type shuttle bobbin. 

The machine is a portable; the wooden base has tiny inlaid wood 
letters that say FRISTER & on the left, ROSSMAN on the right, and an 
unnumbered measure in between.  A built-in attachment case has a 
dove-tail sliding wooden lid.  And the case top is a coffin-type with 
a spindle carved into each corner about half-way up.  

Many attachments came with the machine, as well as bobbins, but no 
instructions.  Could I possibly purchase a copy of the instructions 
from your files?

Thanks in advance for any info you might have.

Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 13:45:01 -0600
Subject: My inheritance


This is my first post.  I have sewed all of my life. I learned on my
grandmother's Model 27 Singer treadle (which I still have).   A good friend
of mine has cancer.  She gave me her Singer FeatherWeight 221.  It hasn't
been used for awhile, probably years.  It appears to be in good condition.
She said it works really well, but I am afraid to run it until it is oiled
and cleaned.  Is there a good maintenance book out there on these sewing
machines.  I have the manual, but is there something further I should do
since it has sat for so long?  Do I need to do anything to the motor or
footswitch, etc.?

I called Singer and talked to a gentleman who warned me to take care in
trusting a small repair shop, because this machine is a collectors item.

Also, I would like to know where to get parts and attachments for it, even
if they are just reproductions.  It came with a buttonholer & case,  one
foot, a rather battered black carrying case (which can be fixed up) and a
beat up manual.

Could someone give me some suggestions on how I could get it up and running
on my own?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Subject: Cats...
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 16:56:25 -0800


caught up with 7 (!) FW lists, and picked up the thread re our feline friends... I'm afraid I, too, am charter member of FOC (Friends of Cats).   Our Manx, Ginger, has actually never shown any interest in the machines... but I don't dare lay fabric down.   And, of course, a lap quilt has to be planned with consideration for it's ability to not show orange/yellow hair too readily.  Ginger does love computer games, however, and Mrs. Captain spends many hours playing with her keyboard hand reaching under a cat, or with a 15 pound cat draped over her shoulder.

If you are a cat person and have not checked out my web site, go to the stories page and check out my Christmas story "Alleycat Christmas".

Captain Dick
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 20:09:56 EST
Subject: Re: A very good sewing machine

Hi & Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all,
I just wanted to give a little helping hand to Glenn Williams who is selling
the New Home 8000.  I sew on this model myself & think it is the greatest.  I
bought mine used a year or so ago.  I have several discs to go with mine.
Glenn, you didn't tell them how WONDERFUL this machine is !!  Also, tell what
discs come with it.  I had the New Home model just below it & upgraded to the
8000.  I, too, have seen the 
9000 & wondered if I shouldn't do the same thing again.  This machine will do
anything the Bernina will do & better.  Now, I'll start an avalanche of
Bernina lovers writing.  I sewed on a Singer Golden Touch N'Sew for years
before I fell for the New Home machines.  I learned to sew on the great Singer
401a.  DM still uses hers to make jammies for the grandkids.  
Again Happy Holidays & hunting to all !
Subject: Graybar
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 16:56:08 -0800

Happy Holidays to all!

I had such a wonderful response in re to an alternate FW case that I have
braved asking another question.  I have purchased a Graybar sewing machine
with a kneebar in a nice cabinent. It is in top condition. circa 40's. This
was a sentimental purchase as it appears to be the same machine my mom had
that I sewed on in my early teens. (My gramma started me sewing on her
treadle when I was 11.) It has every attachment I have ever seen and many
delightful things that I do not already have. I have been unable to get any
other information on this brand.  Does anyone have any idea of its value as
a non-Singer etc or a source that I can research? I do need to get another
cord but thanks to this newsletter and caring people who have submitted
information, this does not concern me as it would have before. (round cord
w/waffle iron type plug-ing). Thanks to all of you who contribute,
maintain, and provide this site.  Val
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 22:44:30
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/21/97


You are a real hoot!  I just want to say that although I am not a big time
sewing machine collector, you have been a real big help to me.  What a
machine is worth is not what I am interested in I want to know if it works!
 It is folks like you and Captian Dick who help the rest of us to learn and
appreciate these old machines.. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

P.S.   As soon as the Xmas rush is over I do plan to send money for
needles, but budget is blown this month!
Subject: Card Table
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 20:26:18 -0600

 I got my Featherweight about five years
ago, it runs like a dream!  I am interested in getting the card table
attachment.  I would like to hear more about your newsletter, do you send
it by e-mail?  It would sure be cheaper to send that way.  I have just been
hooked up to the internet for a month now, this is the first time Iv'e
tried to find you.  I heard about your web site at a quilt camp I went to
in Rockaway Oregon.  I am also interested in getting some of the
accessories for my '35 Featherweight.  I can't wait to hear from you,
Sincerely, Stacey 
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 10:35:39 -0800
Subject: Willcox & Gibbs needles

Hi all,
   Some of you have asked recently where you can get needles for Willcox 
& Gibbs machines. I recently bought some from Emily Matalobos in New 
Jersey. Her email address is: ganibear@tiac.net. I was very pleased with 
her service. She gave me permission to refer you folks to her.
Subject: Return
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 15:22:55 -0700

Merry Christmas, Feathers.  I've been out of town for several months and
have just re-subscribed.  I've gone through the archives enough to know
that poor Captain Dick has gotten the dread virus big time, which explains
why my e-mail to him keeps bouncing.  Wanted to consult with him concerning
an ironing board I'm building.   I'm still using the captaindick@acme.com. 
Is there a new one available??  Captain Dick,  I'm a pretty good typist. 
If I can be of any help here in Denver, will be glad to oblige.  All you
have to do is e-mail 

Haven't had much luck in the eternal search for FW's lately, but my BDIL
was in Atlanta last week and went to the flea market there.  She found 13
FW's w/o really looking for them.  She said they ranged from $295 (this one
was black w/a WHITE foot pedal!) and no case to $495 for a fairly decent
one with a red/white/blue carrying case!!!!  sigh..

Happy holidays to all from beautiful  Colorado where we shall have a white
Christmas after all!

Also Ginger
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 23:27:55 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/23/97

Forgive me and let me live another day!!!!!  I was wrong on the difference
between the 27,127,28,128.  I was thinking one thing and saying another.  I
always have to proof my letters several times as I have a loose wire between
the hands and the brain....to all the really nice people that told  me
privately ....thank you.  And to the ones on the list that told me
publicly...thank you also.  I will be more careful and not send any until I
read them twice!!!  

They are all shuttles, I have one of each and should have caught that.

Blessed Be
Subject: 301s
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 07:28:50 -0500

Have to write a few words about my favorite model Singers - yes, I'm afraid
the 301s have even surpassed my love of FWs! They aren't as pretty, but for
portable sewing, I'd rather use these machines any day! But in playing with
some of mine recently, I've discovered something that might be of interest
to others, and have also come up with a few more questions for those of you
who are more knowledgable than me!

First of all, after reading the Electric Repair manual I received from Mike
H. (thanks so much for the quick service, Mike!), I realized that this
machine was actually shipped intended to be used as a portable, but they
would send along the separate plug to be used with the foot control in the
cabinet. SO after bemoaning the fact that many of my 301s came with TWO
separate cords (one for the power, the other for the foot control), I tried
using a single cord with both connections, and they worked just fine!! The
reason I was so pleased to discover this is that I often take these machines
to classes without their case, and it's much easier to carry a single cord
than two separate ones! Hope this wasn't obvious to all of you already!

As for my questions: in cleaning and oiling these machines before sewing, I
began to wonder about the composition of the gear for the hand wheel. It
almost looks like its plastic and I was wondering if you use the regular
Singer lubricant there as you would with metal gears? Also some of mine seem
to pull to the side a little while sewing and I wondered what might cause
this? Think I heard someone mention recently that buildup under the feeddogs
could cause that, but it's clean under there on my machines. And sometimes
it seems as though the machines have a hard time starting - you have to turn
the handwheel to get them going - any thoughts on what causes THIS?

Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season! Thanks to Sue T. for
making this great digest possible! Sue 
Subject: Question on usefulness of ruffler
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 08:05:57 -0600

I have ruffled many a mile of trim with my FW ruffler and/or other
machines.  In the 50's when I was in high school, nylon net formals were
the ultimate thing we wore to proms.  The fuller and fluffier the better. 
Those nylon net ruffles, 2" or so wide were a breeze.  These were done on
the FW because that is all we had.  In later years I have made tons of
"country curtains", using the ruffler on what ever slant needle machine I
was using at the time -- with a serger for the rolled edges and the
ruffler, you can go with the speed of light... well, almost!

Merry Christmas to all

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/23/97
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 19:11:18 +0000

Re auctions

Yes, it's Christmas morning and sad case that I am I checked the

 Letter from an ISMACS member asking about a Howe machine offered on
e-bay and requiring my comments.

I duely typed the reply and realised that it was a perfect answer to
all those folk who ask why I have such a "down" on auctions and why
Maggie doesn't use e-bay rather than simply selling machines at a fixed

Here are my comments on the Howe seller's description of the machine.
His description in light case, my comments in larger type.

Time1846 Sewing Machine 

No.  How could an 1847 machine have an 1867 date on it?.

Machine actually dates  1875 from the serial number (if that's

Invented by Elias Howe.

No. Not made my him either. It was made by the Stockwell brothers using his name.

 This was the first sewing machine successfully patent in U.S.A. in 1846.

No It's nothing like the 1846 machine.

 This Machine sold for $300.00 back in 1846 therefore only the wealthy could afford them.

Wrong. No machines were sold in 1846. It was  quite a few years
later that any were any sold. None of the Howe patent-type ever made it
to the open market and you would have had to wait another two decades
to buy this one.

 We bought this machine from a gentleman in his 80's who's life work was 
repairing sewing machines he told us this is the only one he has ever seen in the 60 some odd years he's been in the business.

He must have led a very secluded life or be a very good salesman

 There is a  chance this maybe one of a kind.

Unlikely with a  serial number of over half a million don't you think?

There is a brass round disc with a picture of Elias Howe and it says
Inventor+Maker New York U.S.A. also 

there is a brass plate that reads Patented Sept.10,1846, Aug.24,1858, 

April 2,1867 

They all had this

To Claire re gold face-plate machine.

It simply having a gold-finished face plate shouldn't impress you at
all. If there is some paperwork to show that the machine was a special
presentation model that would be different but what we have here is a
standard Featherweight worth $xxx plus the cost of plating the face
plate - say $5.


To Dick et all re removing bobbin cases

Ocassionally a case just seems not to want to come out. You do all the
right things and it still doesn't make it. If you feel adventurous some
time take the entire gizmo from the machine (two screws on the under
shaft. With assembly on the bench the retaing mechanism for the case
can be better understood and you will have less trouble.

Probably the reason it's not mentioned in the book is that we "experts"
don't like to admit that we can be troubled by something as simple as a
bobbin case. Believe me it happens all the time.

To Dee re Frister and Rossman

It's not possible to date these machines via serial numbers -- records
lost during war. but the agent's address gives a few clues.

Pierssene with the Fore Street address was agent between 1901 and 1914
so you machine must fall within this bracket.

If you wouldn't mind reminding me about the handbook after the holiday,
I can provide one.

To Terry re first FW

These machines are pretty idiot-proof, I'd suggest that you lube it as
per the manual, Then ensure that the machjine turn freely by hand. Next
disengage the drive wheel (turn small knurled wheel in centre - English
spelling - anti-clock) and run the motor for a few minutes without the
machine engaged. With the motor warm, engage the clutch (that mini
wheel again) and sew.

If the machine seems sluglish check that the belt is correctly
tensionsed -- too tight or too loose will slow the machine -- or look
for trapped threads around the bobbin housing.

Back to Christmas dinner

Subject: want a hand-crank machine
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 97 12:20:02 -0800

hello feathers
i would like to acquire a hand-cranked SInger in a sturdy case. i am 
NOTinterested in machines with the $15 add-on crank that you can buy 
today. i want it all original. visual condition is not that important, 
but very smooth operation is. prefer a 66 or 99 machine, as my other main 
machines (201 and 503 and 66-1 treadle) all use that class 66 bobbin. a 
hand cranked 1200/201 would be the ideal! heheheh. will consider machines 
other than singer though, if necessary.
i have no money, but will trade a 2 tone tan/cream shortbed 301 condition 
8.5, with pink jetson buttonholer, all attachments, a photocopy manual 
and the original tweed case (condition 6)
i need a handcranked machine for when i go to primitive craft fairs and 
hippie gatherings, living/travelling in my old volvo stationwagon (no 
room for a treadle!). the 301/221 would be ideal for these situations but 
for the lack of electricity......solar panels on the roof?.....
cats and machines???? YES! i used to own a singer athena 2000, the 
computerized one, it would get quite warm on top, and my dear departed 
tortioseshell Emmaline would sleep&purr loudly up there while i sewed!
nowdays i have 5 cats. only one, the mischevous and young Elsie-girl, 
likes to come up and bat the take-up lever with her paw. however all the 
cats are mysteriously and magnetically drawn to patterns, garments in 
progress, and piles of freshly laundered fabric. with ginger tabbies, 
black furries and a white smooth cat ther is no way to pick a fabric 
which wont show SOMEones fur!
i got an aquarium for christmas! Cat TV!
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 14:21:02 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Blackie, Minty and Beige FW

Just finished scanning a putting on the web page, some more
pics of FW's.  A pic of a standard black FW, an off-white,
maybe considered *minty* coloured FW, and a beige FW.  
Look at my standard site in the pic section or at the 
following site:

Added Graham's latest story to the graham page at:

Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 20:25:50 -0000

This has been a really good SM year for me.  This year the sm fates have provided me with a  model 13 that was supposed to be a parts machine,  but my mom adopted it, [too old to destroy] a model 12 ripoff that was going to be a parts machine which also ended up with mom,  [too pretty], [she was right, its very pretty] and a model 12 that didn't even need a parts machine.  It's a good solid 7.  I also ended up with a 503,  a Turkey #20,  a VS#2 Treadle with fiddle base,  and I finished up cleaning and fixing a 99k handcrank  that  had spent years in a cowshed, and FINALLY got rid of the cow smell.  It runs nicely, and I like to use it when I watch TV.   My other 2 sm are a 27 with Memphis design,  and a 'Harris'  which is reminiscent  of an old Singer right down to the brass medallion.  I've had them a while.  Next year, I'd like to go to the ISMACS auction and pick up a # 20 from the 50-60's.   
Subject: Question about ISMACS 
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 16:51:57 -0600

Graham often mentions that articles from the magazine are not posted to the
Web Site for 6 months, but I can't seem to find ANY articles there, even
six month old ones.  What am I doing wrong???

Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 23:18:10 +0000
Subject: Industrial Willcox and Gibbs

To Terri

>.........clearly says "Willcox & Gibbs" across the front of the 
>arm.  It was black with simple gold decals and a motor.  In fact, it
>looked like an ordinary family sewing machine from the 20's or 30's 
>except that instead of a take-up lever, it had a round brass 
>wheel that took up the thread.  He showed me the bottom (where 
>the shuttle and bobbin would be on a lockstitch machine) and the 
>hook assembly does indeed look just like the regular W&G.  One 
>other odd feature is a brass rod that runs up and down behind the 
>needle bar -- it moves with the needle, but has a sort of blunt tip 
>that comes down just behind the needle........... he thought the 
>machine was an industrial model............

I have a couple of Willcox and Gibbs industrial "High Speed" machines 
up on my site which sound like this one. Both were made in France. 

There is also a cutaway diagram (from an encyclopaedia published in 
1917 and shown in more detail on Sharon Reese's site) which shows
the operation of the rotary hook. 

I have not attempted to sew with these machines yet and would 
also appreciate any further information about them.

Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 00:00:11 EST
Subject: HELP!!

I have a Singer Touch & Sew 600e that used to be my grandmothers.  It came
with a table and "knee pedal".. I have no instruction book, and I need to know
how to thread the spool and bobbin.. Please help me!!
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 22:48:26 -0800
Subject: Dogs Vs. Cats

To All Feathers,

I like cats and dogs. My wife, MaryJane, and I have five Bishon Frise
dogs. Two of them are show dogs. One is sister to "JP", the national
champion of All Breeds in Madison Square Garden a few years ago. 

I wrote this following poem which was published this year in some dog
and I just entered it in a National Poetry Contest. If you like sewing
machines, you must like animals, in general.


		More like my dog,

		I wish I could be.

		My dog is always loving

		and forgiving, you see.

		Loving is the way life ought to be.

		That is: Loving Unconditionally.

		Accepting, forgiving, and licking your hand.

		Yes, the more I get to know the ways of man,

		the more I love my dog.

		That's the whole meaning of the teaching of God.

		It's as simple as simple can be.

		Just pure love between you and me.

		Loving, Loving Unconditionally.

		That is the way people ought to be.

			----Bill Ml September 30,1996

Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 05:43:49 -0500
Subject: attachments


>>  Are some of them so complicated and fussy that (e.g., the ruffler and pleater, >>

Actually the ruffler is a wonderful for texturizing fabric, as is the
pleater. Another wonderful attachment is the edge stitching foot.
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 21:02:01 -0600
Subject: Found another old Singer

Hello everyone!

Thanks for all the advice about the Featherweight 221 I inherited from my
friend.  I drove 68miles and spent $60+ today to have it professionally
gone over before I turned one bobbin revolution.  While we were waiting we
checked out a couple of antique stores looking for collectible collie
figurines, etc (another passion of mine, collie dogs live and inanimate).
While were at one of the stores my husband spotted a Singer portable.  The
case looks line a big wooden lunch box.  It appeared to have quite a few
attachments and the gold trim seemed in good shape.  The lady minding the
store thought it was in working condition but wasn't sure.  The serial # we
found was AF155403.  Any clues?  The decorative detail looks very simular
to my FW221. Could the attachments be used with my FW221?    What do you
think it is worth?  The antique dearler was asking $80 but the lady minding
the store said it has been there quite awhile and she thought he would come
down on his price.

Thanks for any advice, again!

Subject: Cats & SMs

Hi Feathers,
I do not have a cat, but do have a pet racoon. She was hurt as a baby and we
have had her close to 3 years. She is non-releasable, does not climb and only
comes out to play with DH at night. Best pet we have ever had. I only pick up
papers in the morning and give grapes at night. When she wants to play, she
will let our 2 big German Shephards out of their room. They do get along well
and all ignore my SMs so we are all happy.

I got my new MIT (Made in Turkey, Singer 20) and opened it for Christmas. It
is in really good shape and I love it. Thanks Joy. Also a friend picked up a
tan FW for me, so I will get it later. Many new books to add to my collection,
so I will be busy reading. I got the Electric Quilt 3 to make quilts on my new
PC. As soon as my gigabyte arrives, I can put Windows 95 and EQ3 on to play
and have fun. I will keep you posted on how it works. All reports so far is
that it will be a great addition to my SMs and quilts. Take care and Happy New
Year, Cathy 
Subject: X-mas baby
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 04:00:20 +0000

Hi feathers,
Since I am having no more human babies, I refer to my FWs as babies.
My DH gave me a new baby this Christmas. It was in sad shape but at
a low enough price to bring it home for lots of TLC. I think she must've
survived a flood. The bottom of her case was detached but came home
with her. Her bobbin was stuck on the spindle of the bobbin case base.
After removing the two screws on the shaft underneath the machine, I
emmersed the whole unit in acetone. After two days, DH gingerly got it
to release the bobbin case. There was slight rust on the spindle and
bobbon case hole. I cleaned it up and got it back in and whala, she
worked great after a good lube and oil. Her finish looked like someone
tried to dry her out with a heat gun. Clear finish was bubbled and gone
in places. She has several paint chips and even a tear in her extension
bed but you can tell I love her all the same. I was thinking about stripping
her paint and going for the new color treatment. After reading all the
steps Charles Law did to get that fire engine red FW that looks fantastic
I decided to leave her the way she is and think it over for a while.
I'm wondering how I could repair the tear in the bed. Never seen this
before. Her plastic housing where the plug goes is also partially broken
away. I just can't bear the thought of parting her out. But as I write
this, I wonder if I should put her out of her misery. I think the case
is a good candidate for stripping and going for that wood grain look I
keep hearing about.     I know you all understand...

Still looking for that 222K at a price I can afford,
Harmony in Oceanside California where 1997 was a good year 
bringing 11 new machine my way.
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 01:19:56 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/25/97

Ooppps my error.  I talked about Gayleee having the parts page.  I ment
http://www.erols.com/santilla.  Gaylee is also one of my favorite sites and
since I look often at both I mixed them up.

Blessed Be
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 19:24:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/25/97

Hello, all!
I'm new here, too.
I've got a 99-13 (dated 1928). It runs really well and is excellent for
piecing quilt blocks. Maybe one day i'll get the base re-veneered.  Why do
people store these babies in wet basements? Luckily the cover is in great
shape, and most all of the gold is intact.

Like Suzy, i also find that my work tends to drift to the left as i sew...
But i was under the impression that this is a problem common to most all
machines (except those with good walking feet). Mary Ellen Hopkins
mentioned this problem in a class i took.  IS there something i can do to
correct it?

Also, regarding lint buildup...just finished working on a flannel project
and fuzz is everywhere. Is it sensible to pull out the vacuum and suck away
at the bobbin area? Or is that too brutal?

And speaking of walking feet, any advice on finding one that's not a piece
of crap? So far, the generic ones haven't impressed me much.

Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 21:35:10 EST
Subject: frister and rossman and what I've learned from the list (long)

Frister and Rossman: This sounds like a beautiful machine. Would love to see a

This is what I've learned in the past few months from the list as a rank

FW supplies & accessories: this list has a For Sale component once a week.
Ebay on line auctions (ebay.com) usually has a couple of sewing machines and
accessories. You can just watch to see what prices things are sold for before
you bid on anything. 

Getting your machine to run: I'm new to old sewing machines, but after reading
this list for a little while, I got my courage up after figuring out that a
lot of people here just squirt oil in the obvious places or the real places if
they have a manual, check the power cord and control, pull out thread balls
and fluff, clean off the gunk from the machine, try the hand wheel, and if
everything seems OK - you hit the pedal (or crank or treadle), and sniff,
watch and listen to what happens. 

Information I've gleaned specifically about Singers from the list: Don't pull
out any red felt. Don't put oil in anything that is specifically electrical as
opposed to mechanical. Oil is only for places where metal meets metal. Motor
lubricant is a different product - nonflowing, goes in motor tubes.  Little
round felt things with holes in the middle are washers for screws and pads for
spool pins. Featherweight cases have a specific smell; people have tried
everything imaginable to get it out.

Bad stuff: some guy in California who claims to have a museum, some inaccurate
books, printed price guides. 

Invaluable supplies: WD-40, Simichrome or other metal polish, tweezers, a tiny
flashlight [UK and the Commonwealth: torch], short shank screwdrivers,

Invaluable resources: The people on this list. The people who run this list. 

Thanks to all! and...

Happy New Year,
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 00:28:38 EST
Subject: Moonsage again

I agree with Sue that this is a very good machine...soon will be more noticed
in its own right.  Better motor and stronger...heavy.  As for the
flywheel....I have a 500A, a 401 and have worked on at least 10 of these in
the last year.  The flywheel needs a little tighening as they "junp" out and
unlock like you would do for filling the bobbin.  I see it as a safety item
sometimes as it has saved me a few needles when I hit a thick spot.  I sew
leather on them so you see what I mean.   Would not do that with a FW.  As for
the plastic gears...use lube not oil.  It hinds at that in the newer
manuals....remember that they want you to bring it in yearly for a cleaning
and checkup...they then put in the lub on the gears.  The oil instructions are
very limited.  Unlike the older machines these were the new breed, post war
and modern.  Go to your local library and look for books.  Some are out of
print and that is the only way to get them.  Not hard to do...if it moves oil
it...if it has gears and moves lube it.  Most of these have sealed motors (and
some hidden) so no need to worry there.

Sluggish machines
As Graham suggested the belt is a definate place to check.  Another clue is
that the motor will be running fast and the machine is not...loose belt.   If
the belt is too tight the motor make a slight different noise but it sounds
like it is working too hard.  When you get to know you machine you will hear
the difference that your machines makes as it sews on thin or thick
fabric...like a vaccuum cleaner when something is stuck runs very different in
the sound.  (Unfortunately teens are deaf to that sound and I have replaced
several belts on the carpet sweeper...burning rubber did not alert them
either)  The other thing I would do if the belt is OK is to try another foot
control with the machine.  If you do not have one call a friend or
quilter....find the same foot control...may not be the same machine.  If it
runs better with the different foot control then have it repaired...not
replaced.  Worth sending to some of the businesses on this listing if you and
spouse do not do feel you can do this.

Gaileees web page
Also a great resource for part numbers.  She has them listed by machine.
Singer did a very annoying thing.  All parts on a machine is numbered
differently from any other even if they are the same part.

Cow patties
There is a definate smell when they are stored in a cow shead.  Perhaps we
need to paint the case white with black spots and then charge extra for the
unique machine.

I got a very nice 99 in bentwood there but you are at the seller's mercy.
Have heard from others about not being so happy.  I prefer to hunt my own
machines as it is more fun.  I do get needle packs off there sometimes.  Like
any place you must use your own judgement.  Not only was the 1846 machines
there but I have seen other things listed just as funny if you know what you
are looking at.  It is a "let the buyer beware".  If you have problems with
the seller a complaint to eBay may not get your money back but they have rules
about just how far they can go.....a lot of them have no idea about the
machines so they elaborate..not fair to you but you do not have to bid.

Poor baby machine
I have one that is not going to clean up good at all.  Has anyone ever had a
head sand blasted?  This one is not even a parts machine.  The cabinet was
great the head is a solid rust with the finish gone.  Would naval jelly be
better?  Never seen an old rusty head with the cabinet in good condition...and
they were together as I got them out of a estate.  Attachments, book and other
things were in great condition....but the head.

Blessed Be
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 06:51:34 -0500
Subject: Articles on the ISMACS site

In response to the request for articles on the ISMACS site... All articles
are identified in the drop down boxes by "ARTICLE:  " and the title of the

Graham is in the process of sending me a new batch of material for the
website.  He hopes to have it in the US soon.

In the meantime articles are limited mainly to the Willcox & Gibbs page.
There is also an article on the Model 24 on the Singer page and the Worlds
Most Expensive sewing machine on the Wheeler & Wilson page.

All are accessible from the first page at http://www.ismacs.net.

Requests for articles to be included on the website in the future can go to

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/25/97
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 12:35:44 +0000

To Barbara

Much of what appears on the ISMACS web site http://www.ismacs.net  (Willcox
and Gibbs history for example) was first published in the magazine and
there will be more shortly.
We don't specifically say it came from the magazine but yoy can take it
that most company histories etc will have started life there

 To Alan and Terri

Yes the Willcox and  Gibbs you mention is an industrial model. These were
said to be able to sew  at 4000 stitches per minute under power.

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 08:29:41 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/25/97

I recently purchased a table that was billed as a Featherweight Table.  When I
got it home, it is not the same as my other Featherweight Table.  It is a
Singer table and has a serial number.  The opening is longer but narrower than
the opening in the FW table.  It is a lovely table, condition 9.  Can someone
tell me what machine was used in this table?

Hope you had a Blessed Christmas!
Subject: my two cents worth.
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 08:55:57 -0500

Dear fws;  wishing all of you the best in this new year from the H family. mikeh.
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 09:10:05 -0500
Subject: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all, Well I got number 5 FW yesterday its an
AL911... so I figure its around 1953-54 she is pretty  a solid 8 the
case is an easy 9 came with the works even the oil can!!  My friend
called me this past Mon. and told me about a FW in a local antique shope
we both go to and told me to check it out well I didn't get there til
Christmas eve day and threw 50.00 to hold it. There woman called it a
featherlite and she also insisted it was a featherlite. She had 245.00
on it and did agree to 200.00 so I was very happy and better yet my dad
gave me money for Christmas so I ran out yesterday and picked it up. My
husband still doesn't get it after 60 sewing machines. He says you have
2 black FW's sew on them...well there practically mint and I don't want
to scratch them up and I will not use the white or beige ones. I needed
a FW that I can use so now I got one even though she is a beauty she'll
be my main machine alomng with the bernina for fancy stitching and the
301 when I need a switch and of course the 201... I sure hope my mansion
in Heaven has FW's and an endless supply of fabric.... Merry Christmas
and a great NEW Year!!!  frish
Subject: Trade Card Calendar
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 97 11:26:45 -0500

A couple months ago I made a request but with computer and other problems, I
am not sure if anyone responded to the list. Thanks in advance.

There is currently a needlework homepage which shows the 1890 J & P Coats
Trade Card with Calendar.  This calendar is supposed to be identical to
1997's calendar but unfortunately I found it too late to use. If printed and
laminated, it would be great for any FWFanatic.  To see this calendar, go to


Now.......... I know there are many FWFanatics who collect trade cards and I
would be so grateful if one of you would look through your trade cards w/old
calendars and see if any of them match 1998.  I know it is a lot to ask but
if there IS such a card, it could be put up on a website. OR, describe the
card and we can begin haunting antique paper shops. Maybe there is a trade
card site on the web that has already done this for 1998?  

Please let me and others know because I would love to copy one from the web
and laminate it for 1998. It would make a quick gift for friends, too, and
easy to mail. (Finding an original card in small town Montana would be a
miracle!) I appreciate any information or help with this and I hope all of
you received the antique sewing machine of your dreams for Christmas!

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 20:26:12 -0500
Subject: Keys, again

We are still having some trouble with the P.O. and getting our mail.  In he
spirit of the season I am crediting it to the holidays which, with the
P.O., started before Labor Day.

If you sent money for a Bentwood Case Key or a Featherweight Key and have
not received it please e-mail me.  All the requests we have received have
been sent as of today.

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 17:18:44
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/25/97

> Sue Wrote>>

>Have to write a few words about my favorite model Singers - yes, I'm afraid
>the 301s have even surpassed my love of FWs! They aren't as pretty, but for
>portable sewing, I'd rather use these machines any day!>>

I will second that!!!  I just love my 301.  The day after Christmas  I went
with Christmas money in hand and signed up for three quilting classes at
the local quilt shop. YOu know another reason to take my 301 out and show
it off.  I have a friend who has a FW and I was telling her how I could
drop the feed dogs, and how my motor was a geared motor and not a belt
driven motor.  I think I have finally overcomed the "gotahaves" of a FW.
IF I could find a FW at a real steal I would buy it, but for what I need to
do, the 301 is my best bet!.

I am not sure what you were saying about the cord, but mine came with a
foot petal that is just like the FW,  One plugs into the machine, one plugs
into the wall and then there is the foot petal.
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 19:45:30 -0600
Subject: Texas Centennial Featherweight

My father in-law collects featherweights, (around 40 I think), and has one
that he is interested in more information. It is a 1936 featherweight with a
"Texas Centennial" plate on the front. He has heard rumors that these were
given away at the 1936 World's Fair in Dallas. If anybody knows for sure or
has any additional information about this paticular 221, he would sure
appreciate the information.He would also like to obtain a case for his tan
featherweight if anyone knows where one might be found. THANKS! 

 World Wide Quilting Page * Featherweight Fanatics Page