Featherweight Fanatics Archives

December 1997

Sunday, December 7 - Saturday, December 13

Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 19:08:57 -0600
Subject: Michigan Sewing Machine Question


Someone gave my daughter in Virginia a treadle sewing machine which 
she says is in great shape except that it is missing the belt to 
power it.  She says the name on it is "Michigan".  Anyone ever heard
of this maker?  Any idea where to get a belt for such a machine?

Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 19:33:45 -0600
Subject: [Fwd:  Minnesota Sewing Machine Question]

Please excuse my ignorance.  My wife has informed me that there is
more than one yankee state which begins with an "M".  She says the
machine the daughter has is a Minnesota sewing machine (vice Michigan).
Same questions apply.  

Frank (With red face)
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 20:38:57 -0500
Subject: Collector's show

Hi Everyone,
	Had a wonderful day at the collector's show at the South Carolina State
Museum.  DH and I took the toy SMs, three FWs, three handcranks and
various other SMs and sewing stuff (needle cases, puzzle box,
attachments, etc.) to display.  Took the Wheeler & Wilson and the
Willcox & Gibbs.  Also took the Carter Bay's book so that people could
look through and show me machines they had.  Pieced on a quilt top made
from feedsacks, using a 1904 Singer treadle.  Lots of interested and
interesting people stopped by.  Hope some of you on FWF can make it next

Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 21:06:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Found and spotted

One  ZigZag #121706 with instructions and box for $ .45 at a thrift shop.
Spotted one 201 AG (1941) student cabinet with the ink bottle holder in the
top left hand drawer. Spool holders in top right hand drawer. Priced $10.00.
Did not buy it.
Head was about a 7. The cabinet was rough could have fixed.
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 21:29:04 EST
Subject: Me again

The FW will quilt....the motor is not as heavy duty as the larger machines as
it was not built to be as strong.  What happens is that the motor over heats
and that is when it has a problem.  Sewing on a larger machine  and the
overheating is not as common.  The FW was one of the closest tolerated
machines....that means that all the parts fit closely together as they had a
lot of stuff in a little space.  It is Aluminum and when heat builds up it
expands in areas....some will shut down and be fine when they cool.  Now, when
they expand it makes the motor run harder....that is not good.  This is why I
do not quilt on it except for small areas.  How do you tell the motor is
hot....feel it.  If the sound of the motor changes is a sign that it is
working too hard.   For 25 at a thrift you can get a machine that can
quilt.....so why risk it?  I have a 500, 99 and 66 that are for
quilting....the fw is for pieceing and she does it better than all of them as
she is small.

In the drawer of the machines
NEVER assume that all that is in the drawer is for that machine.  Some my best
fines are in machines that I buy for the contents of the drawers.  Have gotten
2 different buttonholers out of one and neither was for that machine.

On the drive for the motor
This is the machine that has a small rubber wheel on the shaft coming out of
the motor.  The rubber touches the sewing machine flywheel and turns it.
White, National and a lot of "badge machines" had them.  When not in use I use
a wooden wedge to hold the motor away from the flywheel.(it is spring loaded
to force the shaft against the flywheel).  The wheel will develop a flat spot
if you do not do this and the motor will make a "lump lump" sound as you sew.
That is the flat spot as it rotates around to drive the flywheel.  It will not
hurt the machine, but it does mean that the motor will need to turn faster to
get the same speed.  When you start to sew you remove the wedge and the wheel
stays round.  If you have a flat one take it off the motor....small set screw
holding it on...and show it to the repair shop.  They are not familiar with
all the brands and this is the easy way.  

Badge Machines
I own a New World Rotary Sewing Machine (1929) complete with attachments
(unmarked) and a manual (unmarked).  There is no company by this name.  It is
a White machine.  All white parts for that time will fit it.  It is a machine
made by White for a buyer who wanted this name on it.  A lot of department
stores and other dealers ordered machines like this.  The giveaway is the plug
and shape of the machine head.  White electric plugs at that time were all
alike and unmarked.  If you look at the White head and this one they are alike
in shape but not decorations.  That is what a badge machine is....made for a
buyer with the name they wanted on it.  In a collection of guns I had there
were shotguns done the same way, so this is not an unusual practice.  Kenmore
has been made by several companies yet they are all Kenmores and sold by

The cams for 401 and 501 are dark brown bakelite.  They also fit the Touch and
Sew and any other machine made by singer that used the cams.  So when you see
a newer machine from Singer that uses cams....you can use them on the older
ones.  Now the white cams are for stretch stitch and I do not thing those fit.
Too lazy to try them.  So at the yard sale look at the attachments and cams on
the newer ones that are junkers....they fit your machine and are cheap.  All
are slant needles.

Metal and Plastic bobbins
Maybe I have just been lucky but the only bobbins that jam for me are plastic.
The apollo bobbin case that has the ones that screw together are the worse.

Singer bashing machines.
That is true.   My local guy used a hammer.  They had to reder it useless and
dispose of it.  Singer was not a dummy company.  Trade ins are a OK if a
Singer but any other brand was taken off the market....the idea is that if you
liked the other brand after you got it used then the new one you would by
might not be a Singer.

Subject: 301 manual
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 16:11:31 -0800

found a 301 original manual today in my garage while sorting through stuff.
It is in fair condition.

What is the difference between a 301 and a FW?
Subject: update and 15-89
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 08:42:28 -0800

Hi, all;

I have a manual for the 15-88/89.   The 15-88 is the treadle version, the
15-89 is the handcrank version.   Which means that the 15-90 is most likely
the electric motor version, which I have always just thought of as a
15-88... makes sense when we get enough info.   Ain't the list great!?

Still fighting computer.   Last night I tried to reload Win 95 because it
got so bad I couldn't do anything.   It reloaded, but decided it no longer
has  cd rom drive, so now I can't reload explorer.   fortunately, it is
still giving me mail.   I have a new computer, but to be honest, I am
reluctant to plug it in and try to load software into it until I can get
someone more knowledgeable here to to help me.

Captain Dick
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 11:00:18 -0600
Subject: Holiday for Feathers

Hi Feathers!

Just wanted to welcome all Twin Cities (MN) Feathers to our first
(annual??) Featherweight Holiday gathering.  If there is anybody out
there who hasn't heard about it, please email me for details and
directions.  We'll be getting together at my home next Saturday the 13th
at about 11:30 a.m. for lunch and gabbing and trading, show and tell,
laughing, maybe some sewing, munching, whatever you would like to do. 
Annie  has found some great door prizes and goodies to share. 
Let's see how many Minnesota and Wisconsin feathers we can get!  

Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 20:18:06 -0500
Subject: Featherweight bobbin problem

I have a Featherweight bobbin problem. I can't get it to come out of the
machine. I thnk some thread has gotten wrapped around it somehow. It
will not move an inch. In addition, in the process of trying to get it
out, I unscrewed one of the tiny screws that is part of the bobbin
holder and lost the tiny screw. Can I get one of these screws?

Can anyone help me on either of these points?


Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 22:48:31 EST
Subject: Musings from Moonsage

Drawers from machines
I use them as shelves.  Turn them on side with the pull facing the side that
will see them and then I screw them to the wall.  Now I have 2 surfaces to sit
my sewing things on that are small on the bottom shelf and the taller on the

Is the belt moving or is it still and the motor spinning?  I sew paper a lot
on mine and have no problem.  I use it to make copies of foundation piecing by
letting the needle make the pattern on 6 copies at one time.  Prefer this to
the copies.  I 

The FW pattern
Not ever leaving well enough alone....I did the pattern and found it not to be
hard at all.  I am not a great quilter so it should be easy enought if you
are.  I then painted in details on the dial and end of the machine.  Some gold
and a Singer name to the deal and I was finished.  

Books on the value of machines
I will be nice as I can be to say this.....I have the book and use it to look
and machines to get ideas on what a mahcine in good condition would look like.
There are errors in the book and the novice could get into problems.  The
prices are a joke.  We are dealing with something that is bought for so many
different prices in every area of the country (and world) that you would not
want to use it.  Go to the home page of the ISMAC for a quote about books like

Back to my rant....the price is accurate only one time, and that is when a
willing seller and willing buyer agree and the deal is done for that one
machine at that one time...period.  Look at this listing and at eBay.  We talk
about machines on a certain page number as a reference.  You will never hear
the guide used to set price.  

Meet me at the airport...I think you just found my Navana.  At 100 a FW is a
steal with all you mentioned.  

I will help you out, only because I am so wonderful,  send me the FW and then
when you finish the candy and cookies....send them too!!!!! 

Gib Screw
I have a source for them here.  They are 4 to me.  I am not buying at
discount.  I got the impression that they were not easy to find.  So if you
want them I can get them and sent them in the regular mail.  Let me know.

Blessed be and be careful this season of holidays for so many different
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/3/97
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 11:57:35 +0000

To Regena re grease versus oil

The reason Singer recommend grease is that it has a high melting point and
is unlikely to over lube the motor. Oil is a perfectly satisfactory
lubricant but needs to be applied very sparingly by someone who appreciates
just how much is needed and when. Mt advice stick to grease unless you are
a qualified mechanic.

To Karen re 221 and 222

Just in case no-one else answers this one.

As you say they look similar but the 222 has added features, principally
the ability to drop the feed dogs for free-hand sewing (
embroidery/darning) and has a slide-off  bed converting the machine to a
free arm. Singer completely re-tooled the factory for this machine (222)and
the quality of engineering is first class.

Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 01:35:43 EST
Subject: Parts wanted etc

Hi All

First the etc..Why is it that sewing machine owners never cover their machines
when they redecorate? Do all sm owners use white paint? It seems thatevery
machine I get has white paint spatters on the machine or the case.Why don't
they  paint their rooms black or brown? Any one else have this problem? Or am
I just lucky? 

Parts needed; I need a stick-on gold Singer Medallion for a white FW  .Also
need a spring loaded catch that fits on a black FW cover. for an older 221-1 I
need a handle for the case. This one has the handle anchors covered by an
arrowhead shaped piece of leather (?). All I have are the corroded D rings and
a strip of rusty metal. One last request. I have a 221 type foot control that
is missing the activator. The moveable piece thatyou press on to make the
machine run.

If anyone has any of these pieces or can tell me where i can get them,please
email me privately with particulars, prices etc.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Frank D.
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 18:05:42 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/3/97

Love the newsletter.  Saw the Featherweight Mini in the flesh while visiting
DD in Nebraska.  Cute.  $200.  The man was kind enough to tell me it was a new
machine because I thought it was old.  It was covered with dust.  Saw two FW's
in the store but not for sale.  On another note, am storing an old machine for
DDinlaw and would like to get her parts for Christmas.  It is a Singer Treadle
#B968981 in a Singer Treadle Stand.  It has a long shuttle (missing) (need
one) no bobbins. Belt is broken (need one) beautiful gold decals, sscroll
faceplate.  Three drawers across top of oak stand.  Jan. 1887 on stand.  Oval
bobbin I think.  Can someone help me.  What model is it?  Pat 
Subject: Re: Diplomat
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 23:34:06 -0600

>Dear Jaci:
>I finally got hold of the Slaten book Saturday and he doesn't
>list any machine named Diplomat.  (He does list the makers
>for "Dominion" however!  National and Free, I think.)
>This is an interesting book and well-worth the $20.  I think
>someone just mentioned it on FWF yesterday.  The serious
>collectors think his pricing is unrealistic, but it has a lot of
>other info besides pricing that makes it worthwhile.
>Hope you got the FW and sorry I couldn't find out any more
>about the Diplomat.

Thanks a bunch for the info. The Diplomat was made in Japan. I haven't
gotten it because in the past week I have gotten a 301-A with attachments
including buttonwhole worker with cams, in great condition, no case, for
$25; a FW 221-K  # AJ356265 in good condition, a little fading and flaking,
with great case and manual, two attachments for $95; and a 15- #AM007545 in
a great blonde cabinet with attachments, no manual, for $40. I also found a
hemstitcher and picot attachment in original box with manual and all parts
that my Mother had. I had stuck it back in a drawer. I also have a crank toy
#20 Singer that works fine. I have extra needles for it even. All in all I
would say I have done a good weeks work even though I went over budget.
Any info you have on the above ones would be appreciated. They all need
cleaning and setting up but that's going to have to wait til after Xmas.
Just knowing I have them is enough for now.
Thanks again, Jaci 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/4/97
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 20:59:48 +0000


Can provide needles for the W&G if you cannot get them more locally

To Cathy re National Two Spool

National was one of a handful of companies who sought to run a stardard
cotton spool in place of the bobbin.
ISMACS News is currently running a series on two-spool machines. It will
get to the web site eventually for non members.

Think your thingy-clamp may be for  twisting yardyarn.

To Jack

New Home moved their numbers around all over the place. It's a long
distance call but you can get NH at 201 (New York, I think) 825 3200. They
should be able to help you.

To Diane re 24 X 1 needles

I can provide the needles if you can't find them locally.

To Susan re needles

They are probably 88 X 1 or 82 X1

To Bill M  re Oakland Sewing Machine Museum

Bill don't bother making the trip. There is no museum. It's a rip off.

I leave it to you to conjecture why  someone would claim to have a museum
when one does not exist.
 50 percent , no much more , is plagurised from an earlier Smithsonian
This  is the only publication that ISMACS refuses to handle or even give
out information about.
It does not give the value of every collectable sewing machine manufactured
since 1850. It gives wild guesses built on nothing more than supposition
for a very small percentage  of them.
History, where not copied from someone elses research, is bunk.
Sorry if this sounds bitter but I'd hate to see anyone ripped of by
travelling to Oakland (take your bodyguard to this particular area) or
spending hard earned cash on this junk.

Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 13:43:10 -0700
Subject: Mystery 15-? machine

Lois said:

> I have an AH model 15, with the round stitch-length controller with
> reverse, and feed dogs that lower. It's not a 15-91, though, because the
> motor is the standard belt-type, not in a pot like 15-91's. So what is
> this? Acc. to Capt. Dick's book, the 15-88/89 was only made until 1941,
> and the AH serial number puts this at 1947. Could it be a 15-90 or a
> 15-125?

And Terri replied:

>It might also be a 15-96 or 15-97 -- they were belt-driven, too.  The
>stitch-length lever plate is different on these machines -- long and
>narrow rather than round, and there's a little metal sleeve that the
>screw on the end of the lever goes through which moves up and down with
>the lever.  The -96 has a spoked wheel, and the -97 has a solid wheel,
>but both have a newer style bobbin winder that doesn't have the
>ratcheting wheel and the thread guide that moves the thread back and
>forth as the bobbin winds.  (The 15-90's got the newer style bobbin
>winder, too.)

Here's my $.02:

This mystery machine couldn't possibly be a 15-96 could it?  I have one
dating from1944, complete with a manual that states that the 15-96 is
treadle powered only.  Also, mine has no reverse and the feed can't be
lowered. The stitch length is controlled by a small knob in a numbered
slot.  My bobbin winder must be the new style - very similar to the one on
my 1947 FW.

Subject: Grasshopper
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 22:38:52 -0500

Well Feathers, I'm happy to report that I am the new owner of the little
Elna Grasshopper my neighbor had.  I got it for $50--never was able to find
out what he 
paid--he implied he was giving it to me at that price because I was a
neighbor.  He is a wonderful neighbor, but also a shrewd salesman who made
his living in sales, so I am inclined to think that he did not get hurt on
this deal.

Many of you were kind enough to write suggestions and another Feather had
sent me the Elna (U.S. office) address a while back when I found my Lotus. 
I gave this to Glenn Williams and he made several calls to try to locate a
cord, and no luck.  Graham kindly responded to my inquiries about a
converter, and so now I know what it needs.  I will have to have a
converter, but before I can use it and try out the machine, I have to have
a cord.  Now this is a European current cord and while I did try the
suggestion of some that an appliance cord might fit, so far I have not
found one that would.  The two little plugs which are in a recessed area in
the machine head seem to be closer together than the holes we have in our
American cords for receiving the plugs (hope that makes sense).  One
Feather said he had made a cord, and DH thinks that he can if we can't
locate one any other way.

Well, thanks again for your interest and encouragement.  It is an adorable
little machine.

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 07:51:58 EST
Subject: Orphaned Drawers

You wrote a  Dec 3rd about Davis Treadle drawers and what can be done with
them.  I too rescued two SM drawers from DH's workshop years ago, I had him
make a hinged top for them---cleaned up and varnished, satin lining and the
top is done in velvet crazy quilting with embroidery designs on each piece.  I
love it.  
He made the top higher than the drawer and I am able to store the cards for my
embroidery machine in this drawer perfectly.  Maybe we'd all better check out
those workshops for SM drawers.  
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 23:30:25 -0600
Subject: Antique American Sewing Machines by James W. Slaten

To Bill  

Check out prior FWF to see what Graham thinks of this particular title.  I
had already purchased some for resale and when Graham pointed out the
errors including Slaten's cirruculum vitae, I quit selling them.  The price
guide was well out of date several years back and I did not think it was
very accurate for that publishing date.
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 22:14:24 -0700
Subject: Littlest Quilter

Seasons Greetings to all the posters to FWF!
I want to express my thanks for all that I have learned about machines this
year through this group. Isn't it great that we can share ideas, rumors and
tips and even "correct" or "further advise" about tips we hear -- what a
marvel the internet!

This week my grandaughter reminded me how knowledge grows, built on steps
and associations. Often it is starts with a point of view. Andrea is
intensly interested in my sewing projects, and often sits on my lap while I
talk her through a few stitches on the machine.

Just to see what she might do, I set up a Singer 20 toy machine on her
table (minus needle). At 20 months of age, Andrea has a small working
vocabulary, but lots of enthusiasum and, "Wow!" was her reply.
She immediately went to my sewing cabinet and pulled out assorted bias
tape, spools of thread and trims and commenced to drape them over her
machine. Turning the crank and singing "Sewing... sewing, Granma". I was
delighted! Out came the camera for lots of pictures to slip in the
Christmas cards.

Just for more fun, I showed her how to put a piece of batting between 2
pieces of fabric. Andrea was enthralled and immediately exclaimed "Taco!"
I love this kid!
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 23:30:52 EST
Subject: Good Housekeeping?

 I'm interested in finding a 1950s or 60s all-metal machine with lots of
decorative stitches, probably in cams. I love the way the Singer 400s and 500s
look , but their stitches don't go  wide enough for me. My  FW guru, Frank
Pucillo, tells me that Kenmore offered a competing model, made in Japan, with
a really wide stitch, and lots of cams---but he wasn't sure what it was
called. I was in a flea market today and saw a possible candidate---it was a
cool-looking machine with plenty of chrome, about two dozen pink cams, and the
name 'Good Housekeeping.' (It was only $55,but since I couldn't test it, I
didn't buy it---mistake?).  Is this the same as the elusive Kenmore? Does
anyone know anything about these machines, either the GH, or the Kenmore?  How
do they compare to Singer 400s or 500s? TIA for any insights! 
	(P.S. Frank, who's based in Arcadia CA,  has some great FWs for sale, all
running beautifully, with refurbished cases. Just for fun, he lined one case
with Xmas Poinsettia fabric---it's dazzling! If you're interested in buying a
holiday FW, and are local (he doesn't ship), call him. No
financial affiliation disclaimer!)
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 19:56:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: FW slowing down


You were worried about your FW's motor. It sounds more like a belt problem
to me, and since you didn't mention adjusting or replacing your belt, I'd
definitely suggest trying that next. 
Subject: boxes
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 21:12:47 -0600

To Karen and all others who might be interested.  I've seen the drawers
stacked haphazardly, with things sticking out, greenery, sewing notions,
linens, etc.  I've also seen single drawers filled with flowers,  no
machines or cabinets in sight----- at antique dealers in Minnesota. I have
one extra drawer, that I turn upside down and stand some bears on it.  This
raises it up just enough, so I can set something in front of it and still
see the little bears.  I teach, so I have quite a few I've received as
Christmas gifts.  None are valuable, but all are precious memories of
children I've taught over the years.  Kathy
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 22:21:32 EST
Subject: Another 128 Centenial

On the way home today we saw a 128 Centenial.  Is anyone who is going to the
Minneapolis get together interested?  It's about 70 miles from here.
Gail R
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 20:53:47 -0600
Subject: Cynthia England Patterns

Sewing is a very low priority for me.  I buy and sell antiques specializing
in quilts.  I have done the Houston Quilt Market/Festival for years.  A few
years back Cynthia was set up near me.  She spent four grueling days
demonstrating how her patterns worked and I got to watch her make up her
patterns while she talked with customers, sold patterns and talked with
other vendors.  I found it an interesting process with wonderful results.
She completed one of her pictures in a day which I think is remarkable
considering the interruptions.  It appears that once the sewer develops a
rythmn the work goes quickly.  For the person that wants something
different the results are worth the time.
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 10:41:36 EST
Subject: "Sewing Machine Museum"

To Bill ,

The James Slaten "Sewing Machine Museum" is really just this guy's private
collection.  Years ago I contacted him asking to visit the "museum" and he
replied that his collection is not open to the public "at this time."  Of
course, it doesn't hurt to ask.

As to the book, I bought it several years ago and have used it, but the
consensus opinion of the real collectors is that it's not worth the paper it's
printed on - plagerized info at best, erroneous/missing info at worst and
don't even speak of his "values".  There are better reference books, a list of
which can be obtained from ISMACS.

Subject: Hi, and need a little help, please
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 11:05:35 -0800

Hi feathers,

This is my first post,  I've been lurking for quite some time - I  *love*
this list, and since I now know I've  been bitten by the SM Bug (got to
admit the first time I saw SM on the list I was a bit taken aback, this is
cyberspace after all).  But you seem like a wonderful bunch and I am so glad
this list exists.  What a resource!

DH and I recently  did a  whirlwind trip, one of several since we have 2
sons attending out of state colleges, in our van, starting from  N. Ca,
which is home  thru the Midwest, down to Texas, culminating in Houston for
the Quilt Festival.  Had a fabulous time visiting friends and relatives all
along the way.  Since DH packed golf clubs and fishing poles,  I packed
Pfaff,  iron, fabric, etc.  You understand how it is.  Anyway, I left home
with 1 machine, came home with 5.  I'm sure this is nothing new to most of
you, but I'm a newbie, so please be kind.

My quest was to find a FW.  Found one in 10 condition,  DH surmised it was
probably bought by a DH in deep doodoo as a peace offering and was never
used.  Serial # indicates '61 DOB.  Case  and machine are both flawless, I
did clean case with Armorall for protection.  Manual , oil can, key, 6
bobbins and accessories  in original box all included.  I  saw it from
across the room in a Rossville Tx antique shop and nearly knocked down a
little old man who had the misfortune to be standing in my path, ( I
apologized when I stopped hyperventilating).  Anyway, she is cleaned,
greased, oiled and purring like a much loved kitten.  No bargain, had to pay
$375, but  hey!  She is gorgeous!

Also got a 1906 beautiful Singer treadle in beautiful cabinet, very
elaborate decals all in near perfect shape, sews like a champ.  Third
machine we got is a 1902 Pfaff hand crank in gorgeous bentwood case, key
included.  Needs cleaning, but case and machine are gorgeous.

Last machine ( if you've been patient  so far, thank you)  is probably least
interesting, but I think this is the Singer everyone remembers from
childhood as Mom's workhorse and I really would love to know more about it,
model #, etc.  It sews like a champ.  It is in a pretty cabinet, Queen Anne
legs,  has a knee control,  looks very much like a big sister to a FW, but
light and top tension are in back.  Gold decals say "Singer, Great Britain".
From   serial #  and Singer website I know it was made in '51.  Would
greatly appreciate any info anyone has on this machine - it is a very
*satisfying* machine to sew on - I know people on this list understand what
I mean,  like driving a great old car!

Kathy,  who promises not to be so long-winded next time!
Subject: Blind hemmer attachment
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 06:42:57 -0600

I have an opportunity to purchase a blind hemmer attachment for my FW. Any
advice on price ranges? Rather than naming a price, I'd prefer to give the
seller a price range and let her name a price. I have a 1951 Centennial FW
with all accesories. Though I removed the oil can because of the lead lid
kept falling off and spilling oil all over. 

Subject: More trivia
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 97 07:04:11 -0600

I sent this last week from work, but got the digest address wrong (which 
is what happens when you rely on memory...should have known better)....  
Needless to say, the original message is floating out in the internet 
ether somewhere.  So.... here's a second try!

(Heard on our local oldies radio station, as the morning trivia 
question).  In 1968, Elvis had a comeback television special.  What 
sponsor paid one million dollars to be the sole sponsor of the hour-long 
show?  The Singer Sewing Machine Company.

Guess they knew the audience would be young women who would at some point 
be in the market for a machine of their own, huh?

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 20:11:38 EST
Subject: One Drop

I found the One Drop product in my local Safeway supermarket, in the
housewares aisle hanging on a peg near the brushes (not with the other
deoderizer products).

Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 22:44:08 -0800
Subject: misc

First, what is the difference between a 201-1 and a 201-2??

Second, does anyone have a #48 cabinet for sale?

Third, I have not seen an answer to a question on the model 24, so here
goes. The carrying case has 3 small round holes in the base, one in
front  for the kneelever and 2 in back for the electrical connections.
Now, why 2? well, picture the 2-wire cord. As it nears the base the two
wires separate and each is attached to a metal connector about 1.5 to 2
inches long. Each connector is composed of 2 parts which screw together
after the wire is inserted and each connector fits into the 2 holes in
the back of the case.  Now, I only know this because the model 24 which
I have now is missing one half of one of the connectors and DH showed me
how it all works. (It is great having a resident engineer in the
house!)  Now, if anyone out there has a connector for my machine, I'd be
delighted to hear from you!

201 quest. Early in the year I found a 201 portable in a bentwood case
and snatched it up for my machine quilting. The unit made its way to
Cape Cod where I used it this summer. I thought about bringing it back
to CT, but instead decided to try to find another one so that I would
not have to drag this one back and forth. Well, months passed and
nothing, so 2 weeks ago when there was room in the Blazer I finally
brought the machine back . The following day, I went to a Flea that
I had never been to before and found a 201 head which followed me home.
Wouldn't you know when I finally give up hope it happens!  Then over
Thanksgiving, we drove to NJ (oldest daughter recently moved there) and
I found a 201 head at a Flea there!  Well, I was too tired to even think
about carrying it to my car so I left it behind. The fellow also have a
beaut Minnesota model A portable with great decals. It's base has
feetlike structures which enable it to rest nicely on table top. I also
left it behind, under the tables.

Welll, all for now. Millie
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 19:48:12 EST
Subject: Interesting Stuff.....

Found a "cookie cutter"....Stops you from having cookies added to you cmputer
for unwanted spam. This is the note from another listing I am on called
Sasyfras, for people with CIFIDS.

Re: cookies.  There's a freeware program called RtvReco which can be set to
automatically refuse cookies.  It's a sanity-saver!  Occasionally I have to
disable it so that I can access sites which require acceptance of cookies, but
that's only when I choose to do so.

It's available at http://www.clearlight.com/~rtvsoft/products.htm

Subject: my two cents worth.
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 21:52:11 -0500

Dear feathers; hope my guru has re program the correct address in my
address book feeling sorry for sending sue the mail to the wrong address
because of the gurus.  Well havent sent a letter in a long time its the
result of many things. Trying to get used to a new computer because my
hardrive crashed a while ago, havent got just all the bugs yet. The repair
shop is really busy and the sales of new machines is starting to go with
the xmas shoppers. We finally have done some work on my website and the map
link is really nice. it shows how to find me in the world, country,
province, town. etc. The showroom is ok, the selection of treadles is the
largest its been with two really nice 7 drawer oak singer stands. I am
planning of decorating the treadle showroom if I ever find time in my

What have I picked up since we spoke last 5 featherweights everything from
a mint white one , allreadly sold to my friend in florida. The rest range
from 41 with nickel ringed flywheel to a nice 51 with measurements on
throat plate and oil can. A really clean 306k and a nice 206k, a couple of
27 and couple of 15-90 in bentwoods and a 66 in bentwood case. A 99k, all
this and no one has visited me in weeks, I need to sell some of this stuff.
oh the mail strike is over, thank God.  Anyhow can think of anything else.
need to learn how to write nice concise sentences. 

Ps have a merry xmas fellow fws. mike.
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 08:55:14
Subject: Re: Needle sizes

OK experts I need help.  Is there a place I can look up the needle sizes
for the different machines ( maybe on the net)?  I need needles for certain
machines and I have lots of extra needles that I have gotten here and
there. Maybe I can use these.  What needle size does the Singer 128, the
Singer 99, and the little Willcox & Gibbs take.

Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 10:29:14 -0800
Subject: Antique Sewing Machines

To All:

Several of you have inquired about a web site and a phone number for the
Sewing Machine Museum in Oakland, California, where I ordered the book,
"Antique American Sewing Machines" by James W.Slaten. Gives values and
history of of all American made machines from 1850 to present. It has a
Singer dating chart keyed to the serial number and more. 256 pages. It
is $19.95 ppd.
I telephoned them, since one person suggested that there is no sewing
machine museum at that location. They are there, or at least, there is a
telephone there. They said that they ship out the books on the first day
they get the order. It comes 4th class, since they pay the postage. My
book had been mailed out a couple days ago. Their phone number is
1-800-4 OUR GUIDE. Or 510-532-0272. The proprietor tells me that they
have a book called, "Singer Featherweight, The Perfect Portable" in book
form, also.

The museum had been on the web, but they discontinued it. They are so
busy that they cannot take the time to get set up again very soon.
I picked up on them from an ad on the web someplace under

While I was about it, I asked the difference between a 221 and a 222
Featherweight. Someone on FWF had asked that recently. The expert there
says that the 221 is the regular American made featherweight. The 222 is
made in Great Britain and has a free arm. It is intended for darning,
and it weighs about 4 pounds more than the 221 Feather. The reason that
the 222 brings more money is because there were fewer made than the 221,
and they have great demand. The price goes up.

I have another venture that is mechanical and as exciting as our sewing
machines.. It is the World Star Car, that I just bought into the
manufacture of and sales in Mexico, as a utility pick-up truck or taxi
cab for $6,000. retail. See the web:   www.choicemall.com/car 
It reminds me of a 65 horsepower sewing machine that runs on gasoline or
propane. It was designed by the same person who designed the Dodge
pick-up truck and with space technology. It weighs 1500 pounds, and it
hauls 1500 pounds of people or products (sewing machines).

I'm sew excited, that I just had to share it with my friends.
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/6/97
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 97 08:50:52 -0500

> Everyone has such good things to say about bargains the got, well here is one.
> I bought a 1917 hand crank model 99 at an antique store in Clinton
Arkansas. I
> just had to have it for quilting classes so I wouldn't have to worry about
> electricity. The price was 180.00, but it was on sale for 1/2 plus they
gave me
> a 10% discount. I didn't check it out real good because I thought my local
> singer dealer could fix anything that was  wrong. When I tried to sew on
it, I
> found the tension assembly missing. I can't find anyone that can fix it.
It is
> close to perfect for something that old. The decals are in great shape,
> wooden  case is close to perfect with a key. I would rate it 9.5. Can
> help me get it running? Elizabeth 
If it is like mine 1924 99, then the tension assembly is the same as it is
for my 66's.

I think Stepping Stones has all the parts (new) that go into the tension
assembly. I just purchased the tension disks for a 1904 model 66 from them
and they work just fine.

Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 09:54:24 -0600
Subject: Re: Restoration Techniques

Happy Holiday to all fellow feathers! I wanted to tell of my success with
restoring some of my now "beauties" and ask if others have any suggestions or thoughts about products and method I have used.
I use Formby's Cleansing Liquid to clean the wood thoroughly.  I then use
Formby's Face Lift Finish which is a gritty product that is applied with a thin
coat. The surface is then wiped off with a damp cloth and allowed to dry thoroughly. 
Next step:  Howard Products.  I use the appropriate matching color of
Restor-a-Finish and then Feed-N-Wax.  Finally the Paste Wax that polishes to
a luster!! End result in my estimation:  Furniture is clean, preserved and waxed.
I started using this method on domed wooden sewing cases, progressed to treadles, then a Franklin in a "Parlor Cabinet",  a Featherweight Table and even an 1885 New Family Treadle.  I have received nice compliments and would like to recommend these products but wanted feedback from the list.

Thank you for your input!

Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 15:33:45 -0500
Subject: Nice people!

Please forgive the duplicate posting but when one is saying special
thanks and giving recognition, both digests are necessary.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the continuing saga, I have
been on a year long search for a White Treadle sewing machine like the
one my Grandmother had many years ago.  
Finally, Sue McClure up in Albany NY located a White Treadle for me last
Spring.  But, she cautioned, although the cabinet was lovely, the
machine was pretty bad.  I wanted it and didn't care!  Well, once the
machine was here at home, we realized how bad it was.  The whole thing
had been painted over in flat black.  As the machine was originally from
PA and it even was accompanied by both a German and English manual, we
figure it was Amish owned.  The Amish would have been offended by the
decals, and most likely would have been the ones to paint over the
Well, the cabinet was refinished and came out beautifully, due the DH's
persistence, but the machine remained, forlorn in a cardboard box in our
basement.  I posted a few times looking for another machine to replace
it, one with decals.
That's where the recent development comes in, Lin Harris of Gainsville
FL sent me an e-mail saying she thought she had a machine like the one I
wanted.  She sent a photograph and YES, this would fit my treadle.
Today, UPS delivered it and it's decals are lovely and the machine will
fit!  After restoration is complete, this machine will be placed in it's
new home in a newly refinished treadle base.  I believe the whole
package will be stunning!  When all this is done, I will have a special
machine, though not my Grandmothers, that will commemorate how special
she was to me and how my love of quilting and machines was inherited
from a long line!  I am rejoicing!  Thank you, Lin and Sue my contacts
with these digest always amaze me, people have done some wonderful
things for me.  Without my special friends, I wouldn't have this special
reminder of a wonderful woman who lived long ago.
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 16:03:13 EST
Subject: Re:  FW For Sale - Week Ending 12/6/97

I have an old featherweight  model#221, stamped AL 938368 in great working
shape. What do you think that it is worth as I may want to sell it ?
Thank You
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 19:50:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: British Anniversary Featherweight

I was lucky enough to find a Centennial 221.  It has an EF serial number
which means it was made in Scotland.  I have the new Nancy Johnson-Srebo
book and she says that the light switch is on the right end of the light
fixture for all the British made Centennials.  This one is definitely on the
bed of the machine in the usual spot.  Does anyone else have one of these?

With the machine I also got a booklet "Outline of Student's Lessons in
Singer Sewing Skills".  Has anyone seen one of these and have any idea how
old it is?

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Subject: I'm baaaaaack.....
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 18:36:40 -0800

Hi, all

New machine is working great!   It's a real flyer.   Ran into a hangup this afternoon trying to implement an FTP program for changing the web page, but appear to have that sorted out.   Reason that's significant is that hopefully tomorrow I will make some web page changes, including taking down the pictures on the special postings page of the Model 1200.   So if you haven't seen the 1200 and want to, don't delay.

Hope to finish quilting the Christmas tree tomorrow as well, and will get a picture of that up ASAP.

New computer is making more room available in my Dummy Depot room, so I think the sewing machines are going to kind of osmose across the hall and begin taking up two rooms.

Captain Dick
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 20:53:56 -0600
Subject: encyclopedia of antique sewing machines


    For all of who have been asking about a reference book that will
guide you in sewing machine hunting this looks like it. I have recieved
one of the first copies and it is loaded with info. Charles Law put a
lot into this book in a short time. You will find contributions by many
of the FWF and ISMACS members including Graham Forsdyke. Loaded with
plenty of pictures and diagrams. Check out his web page for pricing and
availability. Well worth the money.

      I have no interest in this so the usual disclaimer applies.


Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 21:56:33 -0800
Subject: Message to be posted

FIDDLE BASE, INLAID MOTHER OF PEARL, just got a magnificent machine
today, I am sure it is German in origin, probably 1870-80; and I recall
seeing a picture of it on someone's web sight, but I can't locate it now
to learn more about this beautiful creation...DO YOU REMEMBER SEEING a
machine which looks like a Singer of about 1878 (the large crank wheel
with the little squarish body) except this one is German (I am sure)
with a porcelain handle; the bed is fiddle shaped with inlaid mother of
pearl.  I know I saw it somewhere but can't locate it...if you know
about this machine or where on the web it is pictured, please drop me an
Thanks so much.
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 02:00:40 EST
Subject: Need Information Please

Hello everyone. My name is Maggie .
I've only been on the list for a couple weeks and this is my first post. I
have quite a few sewing machines ( 19 ) - and all but 2 of them are Singers.
These 2 are the one's I need some information on please. 
The first one is a "Ruby" treadle in a 5 drawer cabinet. The only number I
have been able to find is on the front throat plate. It's 2263195. It has a
numbered adjustable stitch length regulator on the front of the arm and a
Chrome? balance wheel. It also has "Pat. Dec 17, 1895" stamped ( burned into )
the cabinet top right behind the base of the machine. This machine also has a
tension adjustment in the middle of the top of the machine. It's sort of a
flat piece of metal with a thumb screw. It has a bullet type shuttle. 
The second machine is a "Serata" portable in a coffin topped case- squared on
top with wood inlays. It is also a bullet shuttle with an un-numbered nickel-
plated tension adjuster on the arm. The faceplate is completely flat nickel-
plate with no decoration. The plate on the back of the arm is a very long pear
shape. The machine decals are lions and fancy scrolls. The balance wheel is
also plated. 
Can anyone give me some help as to how I can date these machines. Also what
type of attachments they take, etc. The only thing I've been able to find out
is that both machines were made by the New Home Company. 
Thank You, MaggieS  
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 11:08:49 EST
Subject: Singer 15-91

Hi, all!   Would anyone happen to know if the Singer 15-91 sews as good as the
Singer 201?  I recently bought the 15-91 at an auction for my mother.  It came
in a cabinet, and even had the matching stool.  In the stool was an automatic
zig zagger, another box of cams for the zigzagger, a box of attachments, and a
box of bobbins.  When I saw it, I thought it was a 201, but when I get it home
I found out it was a 15-91.  It has a knee control.  When turned on, the light
works, but nothing happens when I press the knee control.  I'm hoping it's
just a wiring problem, and the motor isn't "dead".   I would appreciate any
info about it.   Thanks so much!

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 01:07:45 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/4/97

In a message dated 97-12-07 23:56:18 EST, you write:

New to this site but have been looking for a FW that I could afford to take to
quilting class and was not sure exactly what I was looking for.  
I had heard they were smaller and old and had a seriel # that began with A

Bought this old singer with AA serial # that is smaller in a brentwood case.
Got it home and started some research and find it might be a model 99. (Any
ideas on where I can find out for sure?)
It works and is in pretty good shape but has a different presser foot and one
of the locks on the case is broke but the machine looks great.
Where can I find a picture of a FW so I don't continue to buy all the old
machines that I find.
Thanks for any help.
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 23:08:52 EST
Subject: Spartan

Hi, Fans:

I have a chance to add a Spartan to my small but growing collection.  It's in
pretty good shape, but no case or attachments.  He wants $65 for it.  What do
these usually sell for?

I really enjoy the Digest and appreciate the work you put into it Sue.

Thanks in advance for the helpful advice I know you all will give me.

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 19:34:12 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/7/97

Belts for tredles
They come in one size with a hook on one end.  You put it on and decide how
tight you want it and then cut about 1/4 inch longer.  Make a hole in the
belting and hook is hooked in the hole.  If only belts for electric was as

I hated that I did not know about your show until it was gone......  I will
watch for it next year.

I finally got both styles of kneebars for the 128s that I have.  Now I do not
have to wie around that.  Yipeee.

Lot more interest that I thought.  Would some like to start a digest on them.
I could send it out twice a month.  I have never done this but could be fun.
I am building a web site and I will include this.

Blessed Be and happy holidays
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/6/97
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 21:57:09 +0000

To Carl

Can provide Willcox and Gibbs or any other needles from the UK if you can't
find them more locally.

To Margo

Can provide manuals for the Singer 28 and the Wheeler and Wilson  8 if you
can't find more locally

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 23:40:48 EST
Subject: Mystery cams

Hey, Feathers--
Ok, put on your thinking caps.  I have a set of cams which I need help to
identify.  They are very distinctive looking, but have no indication of a
manufacturer or machine name anywhere on them or their case.  They don't look
like any Singer item I have ever seen, so I don't think they could be made by

There are twenty numbered cams of various bright colors (like Crayola-type
colors):  4 red, 4 yellow, 4 green, 4 purple, 4 blue.  They are in a special
plastic case which has a pinkish-peach colored bottom and a clear top with the
words "Automatic Cams" and "Zig Zag" on it in large letters.  (While they were
at it, they couldn't identify their company??!!!)  On the top of each cam,
there is a doughnut-shaped knob with striations on the side as for turning it
to install it.  I know some Fanatic out there must have seen such a set
somewhere--and if it's you, please tell me what machine it goes to!   
Thanks in advance, 
Mary Ann 
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 11:39:39 -0600
Subject: Singer Featherweight Bitmap Image Request

Does anyone have a nice line art (like coloring book) bitmap of a Singer
Featherweight.  I'd like it detailed enough to be recognizable as a FW but
not overly complex.  Any size from 2" to 6" or bigger would be helpful.

Thanks so much.
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 18:54:07 -0800
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics


I am desperetely seeking one backplate and four drawer pulls for an
1890's Singer treadle cabinet. The backplate is a 1 3/8 inch square with
3/8 inch  notches in the middle of the four sides. The center of the
backplate is a raised circle with Singer Mfg Co on it in raised letters.
It is made of brass. I have 3 of the 4 originals and would like to beg,
borrow, steal, trade or purchase one to match. Three of the four drawer
pulls (drops) are missing and the one that remains is missing the "drop"

Is there anyone out there that has one lonely backplate that would like
to reunite it with  it's own kind? I have called several hardware
restoration companies and none are available. I would love the "drops"
too but will settle for the backplate. 

Willing to purchase, trade or ?

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 19:10:09 EST
Subject: Re: Cynthia England patterns

Question - Where is Cynthia England located.  Does she do lectures and
workshops and if so what would her prices be.  I am a member of a quilt guild
in New England and we "import" speakers from time to time either just to our
group or to share with other local guilds.  TIA for any information you may
have.   Nancy

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 07:06:48 EST
Subject: FW with Egyptian face plate

Hi FWF, I just saw a Centennial FW sell at auction for $576.00 the description
states the FW has the Egyptian face plate.  I also have a Centennial with the
scroll faceplate rather than the striated face plate I call this machine
Frankie (short for Frankenstein) because I am sure it is not original to this
1951 machine, my other two Centennials have the striated face plate.  My
1930's machines have the scrolled faceplates.
Does anyone know, did she buy a Frankie or did she get a rare machine. ~Phys 
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 23:32:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Fixed my ailing FW !!!

I posted a few days ago about my FW that wasn't moving after doing
a bunch of needle punching to do paper piecing.  I was fearful it
was the motor about to die and my trusy Singer repair man is away
for the winter.  Thanks to fellow FWF Susan R who suggested I
loosen the bolt to the motor and slide the motor up and down while
running the foot pedal.  Eureka!  It worked.  I have to admit I was
holding my breath while doing this.  Apparently the belt was a 
wee bit stretched and moving the motor took up the slack and got
things working.  Thanks to everyone who helped.  I probably should
replace the belt soon anyway.

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 22:51:09 -0700
Subject: puzzle box

I keep reading how a lot of you have found puzzle boxes. Could you explain
what exactly they are? I may have seen some in my travels to antique shops
and garage sales, but I don't know what they look like or anything.

Also, Captain Dick, go out and buy a MacIntosh computer. You won't have the
grief you seem to be having right now and it's easy to use too. Just my .02
cents worth. No affiliation just a happy Mac user.

Subject: Rebirth
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 11:39:54 -0800

Hello all;

Fired up a brand new computer this morning.   Much to learn as it is loaded with latest versions of everything... many new formats.  

Had a nice visit from a Feather the other day... think he'll be sending a message on it.

Will be gradually rebuilding address book and favorites list.   Hope to be able to update web site in next day or so.

Thank you all for your patience while I had troubles.

On another note, I have made progress on the Christmas tree.   Should quilt it today or tomorrow and start on decorations.   Will try to get a picture up.

Captain Dick
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 22:25:39 -0700
Subject: Thanks!!!

Wow,  I can't say enough how thankful I am for all help and offers I 
have had regarding my losing my FW's gib screw. My E-mail runneth over. 
 I did locate one and will soon have my dear "Edna" back and sewing 
again.  I think I'll sit right next to DH as he puts the bobbin casing 
back together again.  Two sets of eyes are better than one. :) 
My thanks again to all who responded.  Hope you all on the digest have a 
very joyous Christmas.  Jacque (one happy camper!)
Subject: Singer Treadle, Model 66
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 08:05:15 -0600

Hi fellow Feathers,
I am new to the list and have been lurking now for a couple weeks and
enjoying your wealth of information.  I have a question regarding my 1912
Singer Treadle, Model 66, red eye.  We found this machine in an antique
shop last summer and have not yet started to clean it up.  The wear on this
machine seems to be very uneven and I can't quite figure that out.  The
decals on the bed of the machine are in great condition, almost no rubbing
or scratches.  The upper portion of the head is just so/so, and there is
one spot right in front of the bobbin winder that is really bad.  It is in
a beautiful, seven drawer cabinet which is in very good condition.  My main
question concerns the handwheel which is so badly worn/rusty I can't tell
if it was once black or shiny (nickel?)  I'd really like to clean this
machine up (it appears to still work though I haven't tried sewing with
it).  Anyone have any tips/suggestions for this machine?  What to do about
the very badly worn handwheel?  Where can I find needles for this machine? 
Any speculation about the very uneven wear on the machine?

TIA for any advice.

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 08:05:47 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Whatta find!

Sometimes you just step in it.  While on vacation in NJ,  I visited several
thrift stores for the usual treasures, always keeping my eyes peeled for
SM's.  As I entered this particular store I spotted these legs peeping out
from piles of stuff. Upon further investigation it was a SM cabinet.  The
veneer was a bit peeled on one side as if it was stored near a window for
years.  My curiosity grew...I got the kids occupied with toys then started
looking at it. Opened it up and pulled up the SM.  It was the most beautiful
black Singer.  It was in excellent condition except for dust, as if it were
sitting for years. Okay, now for the price.  The tag said $50, then crossed
off, marked down to $40.  The small print stated that the item will be
marked down every 30 days.  Here we are in the end of Nov. and the last date
of reduction was Oct.6.  Well, I bee-lined up to the register and requested
another mark-down.  Now its at $30.  To top that they were having a special
$3.00 coupon savings for sales over $10. The final price is now $27.00!
Yahoowee!  Still, I do not know what model this is, I just knew it had to
come home with me.  I would worry about the shipping later.  Long story
short...shes here in Arkansas now.  Happy to say, her birthdate is 5-26-37
(per Singer) and is a model 201!  She works, though needs new cords. The
"find" is further blissful since the cabinet with the great legs is a Queen
Anne (no.40 per ISMACS), refinishing will be a joy!
This story supports my theory that SM's will find you, never give up!

Thanks for listening...and for the education received on this listing,
without all the discussions here I would never have known to grab the 201 up. 
Okay, now for business...is there anyone out there that has a 201 manual for
sale?  How 'bout a Queen Anne stool?  ;o)

What a great obsession!
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:20:47 -0500
Subject: Oakland

>> I'd hate to see anyone ripped of by travelling to Oakland (take your
bodyguard to this particular area) >>

Excuse me Graham....I realize you don't live in the area & Oakland's
reputation is less than wonderful, but that particular part of Oakland is
quite nice. There are many beautiful & nice parts of Oakland in fact. Jim's
place is in the upper Park Blvd area which is also near Piedmont &
Montclair (very nice & expensive area$)

As for Jim...he's been called cranky & eccentric, He does have more 221s
than I've ever seen in one place in his Berkeley shop on Solano Ave close
to New Pieces (a quilting shop/gallery) I've only dealt very briefly with
him, but have been meaning to see his Museum. I've been told to say a
particular person sent me. It seems he doesn't deal well with the public.

As someone who's third generation working with sewing , I can somewhat
understand. The general public has very little respect for sewing in
general, probably because they are now able to get sewn items very cheaply
from 3rd world countries where labor is cheap & exploited.

As for your Moroccan story, I spent many hours there & found the people
quite hospitable and generous....& I saw a lot of hand cranks being used on
the Casbah. I remember about a 12 or 13 year old boy doing beautiful work
on a treadle lathe. He was so proud of his work. He demonstrated his
craftsmanship to me with pride & presented a small item he did in a few
minutes to me with a big smile. I still have it & the memory of his doing

Now that I've probably offended you terribly....do know where I can get any
needles for a Singer 24?....were there different sized piercers for the
hemstitcher attachment?

I do have a special affection for you Graham....You see I also smoke & am
dismayed at the predicament of smokers today. Gee I can blow smoke rings
inside of rings...light a match with one hand....flick the butt at an
object with wonderful aim....a trick I learned in NYC for self defence.
Nonsmokers can't possibly understand... I'm almost tempted to find a
country where I can smoke in peace.

It's not the nicotine...it's all the little bits that go along with
smoking. there's so many ways to hold a cigarette. Have you ever seen Greek
sailors dancing? Why don't they make better cigarettes?

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:29:52 -0600
Subject: Mailing  

Today I finally received the Singer 29 (tan godzilla finish) that I
purchased on eBay.  This was mailed to me priortiy mail on 11/17/97!!!!

The sender reused a box that had a printed Company name and address on it.
You guessed it -  the PO ignored her address lable to me and sent it
(repeatedly) to the preprinted address on the box!

If you reuse boxes (which is a good idea!) be sure you cover or cross out
any old address info on the box.  We were ready to file an insurance claim
but I didn't want the money - I wanted the TSM!!!

It is just super nice - I'm so thrilled to have it.  Merry Christmas to me!

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 97 10:01:25 -0600
Subject: Good Housekeeping?

> I'm interested in finding a 1950s or 60s all-metal machine with lots of
>decorative stitches, probably in cams. . . .Kenmore offered a competing 
>model, made in Japan, with a really wide stitch, and lots of cams---but he 
>wasn't sure what it was called.

This sounds like it might be the Sears "portable" my sister bought in 1962-63. 
I don't know the model number. Although it is a portable with a built-in case, 
it weighs about 20 pounds so is probably all metal. It came with 6 or 8 cams.  
She used it for about 15 years, then I used it about 15 years. When the zigzag 
stitch stopped working & Sears said it was unrepairable, I got a new machine & 
gave the old one back to my sister.  She doesn't use it much but, of course, 
still has it.

It finally occurred to us that that the zigzag might not be actually broken 
but rather that that cam which had been used so much might have worn out. Some 
day we're going to try it with one of the other cams to see if it will zigzag.

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:18:53 -0600
Subject: Help

Hi & Happy Holidays to you all! Have been busy with our quilting & haven't
written lately, now a friend needs some help with finding a feed dog for her
New Home Treadle. We could not come up with the part she needed sew we
thought we would ask if one of you could be of assistance. Her Name is
Tracey & her e-mail is  if someone could be of
assistance let her know. Thanks and you all have a safe , happy holiday
season! Larry & Mel ;^)
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 11:48:50 -0500
Subject: Case for 185J

Was a portable case made for the 185J? If so, or if a case for another
machine will fit the 185J, I want to buy one. If you have one for sale,
please send E-mail to:
    deanna           Thanks
Subject: Re: Bartered featherweight
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 11:05:35 -0600

Hi fellow feathers,
	Please bare with me...this is my very first posting but I really need the
opinion of the experts.  Thru a magazine trading post column I was
contacted to swap  a Hummel figurine(mine) for her fw.  She said it was her
mothers and she did not need another sewing machine because she already had
one(!).Anyhow, in good faith I sent here the Hummel , which I used to
collect but am now hooked on fws:) and today I recieved as follows.  White
featherweight 221k, in a ...are you ready for this?...tan and brown case. 
I realize this case must have come from a tan fw which I have not been able
to find.  I have several questions.  1. how do I clean the outside of this
machine?  The paint has some scratches along the front of the base from
wear.  I was not sure what a safe solution would be.  2.  This case has
been written on on the insde of the lid with the previos owners name.  Any
possibility I can get that off with out hurting the covering on the inside
of the lid.  3.  The machine is in good working order but really needs to
be cleaned up.  The Hummel I sent was worth 185.00  Do you think I made a
fair trade.  Im just not sure.  Machine is 7.5 if I had to guess,  case a 7
but like I said it is for one of the tan machines I believe.  Your comments
would really be appreciated.  You are so knowledgeable and I have really
enjoyed these last 3 months on your list.
Susan A.
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:20:57 -0500
Subject: Post

Hi All!

For Ginny, re: difference between a 301 and a FW... About 5 pounds and $200

For Capt. Dick, re: computer problems - I sure wish we were closer, as I'd
like to help you out of your predicament!

For David, re: FW Bobbin Case Stuck - You'll probably have to remove the
hook (two screws on drive shaft, accessible through cut out under machine.
Note that one screw fits agains a flat section of shaft. Memorize the hook
position when removing this screw). re: Bobbin Case screws - I can source
them for you - email me...

For Frank, re: FW case parts - contact Glenn Williams @ GWillie37@aol.com

For Betty , re: Elna cord - send me a drawing of the machine's
connector & I'll source it for you. I've got a US Elna cord in stock, maybe
it'll fit?!

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:30:00 EST
Subject: Bad poetry on the subject of SM


There once was a lady of moderate means
Who, in retirement, collected old sewing machines.

From attic and cellar, flea market and auction
Two sewing machines grew into such a collection.

Two treadles, two featherweights, three slant needles and then
Two more in tables,and two are with friends.

Where do you stop?  How many is enough?
There must be one more I haven't heard of.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/8/97
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:23:04 +0000

To Frank re white paint on machines

Sorry but you are wrong. Not all the paint gets onto the machines, only
that which has dripped off the antique wall-mounted telephone which I also
deal in.

To Pam re needles

There are some needles sizes at the ISMACS site  http://www.ismacs.net but
we can't cover every make -- there were over 5000 different brand names
this century.

Specifically. Most Singer machines take a 15 X 1. Willcox and Gibbs is an
88 X 1. The later can be difficult to source in the USA but I can provide
in packs of 10 from old  Schmetz stock.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/7/97
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:22:46 +0000

To Frank re Minnestota

These were made, at various times by Davis, . Mason,  Standard and New Home.

You could also have gone for Maine ( made by Standard) and yes there was a
Michigan (made by New Home)

This gives me an idea for a quiz question at the May ISMACS convention so
those of you who are coming might like to do a little homework.....

On the same subject -- well, nearly -- we've been offered a   Jem  machine
by Janome as a  competition prize for the convention. I know it's a
convertable free-arm but can anyone give me some input on this --- don't
really want to ask the company if it's any good!!

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 14:31:09 -0800
Subject: sm finds and paint splatters.

Just an few words regarding Millie's 201 bonanza.  Things seen to
show up for us in two's. I had never seen a 201, then two came home
with us in a week.  I found two 301's within in a week, and the 
best was two FW's in two days.  Some of these finds are luck, but
most are a lot of legwork too. I wish I had a nickel for every
Kenmore I have seen :)  
Regarding the paint splatters on cabinets. I first encountered 
this problem with old radios we collect.  It seems to be true that 
folks seem to want to paint with a color contrasting wood. Same
folks don't know they should cover everything in sight because
they are messy!  You might want to listen to a radio while you 
paint, but I can't imagine sewing in a room being painted.
I hope everyone is having a good holiday season!
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 17:39:00 -0500
Subject: Paint Spatters

To Frank D. 
   You are not alone! I have wondered about paint spatters myself.
We have had 11 Featherweights in the past 2 yrs. of which we still
have 4 & all but 2 have had white paint spatters on the case. 
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:14:47 -0500
Subject: Unknown SM

Just picked up a GELERIA SM ,hand crank in a curved top wood case.
Graham or anyone else ever heard of this one ?
Subject: bartered fw
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 17:22:48 -0600

Hi fellow feathers,
	I have been on the list for 2 months but this is my first posting so bear
with me.  Thru an article in a national magazines trading post I was
contacted by a woman who wanted to trade hew fw for my Hummel figurine.  I
sent my Hummel to her first worth 185.00 and here is what she sent me.  A
white fw that purrs like a kitten but cosmetically is a 7 or 7.5 due to
some scratches on the very front.  It came...get this... in a tan and brown
fw case.  I saw a picture of it in Srebros latest book and it was for one
of the elusive tan fw.  The case is a 7 I guess, the lady had written her
name inside the lid in black marker:(  Anyhow could you guys comment and
tell me what you think of my trade.  The lady said if I am not happy she
will take it back and send my Hummel back.  I think I did ok but I am new
to this and I only have 4 fws so far.Also what about the fact that the
white fw was in this tan fw case?
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 16:30:40 -0500
Subject: Charles Law's Book

Dear fellow collectors:
I got my copy of Charles Law's new Encyclopedia of Antique Sewing
Machines in today's mail!  In case some of you are "gun shy" after the
Sincere Book fiasco, I just wanted you to know that YES it does exist. 
Delivery was very prompt and the quality (at first glance) is VERY nice.
It looks fairly thorough, and has lots of photographs which will help
those who need to identify machines and want to learn about the
manufacturers. I haven't had time to curl up in a chair with my tea and
read it from cover to cover yet, but I sure will be doing that soon! 
Holiday preparations may have to take precedence over reading for
Good Job Charles!
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 19:31:10 -0800
Subject: model no.

I have a Singer machine I believe to be a featherweight and when I called 
Singer I was told that it was a model 15 and would not fit in the feather
weight case. The serial no. is AM621072 and it is in a case like my 
others. The Machine has the 100 yr. medallion but has no tag rivited 
beneath it.It also has a more ornate gold design than my others.The
motor is a cat3-120and the left side folds up. Singer was adamant about 
it being a model 15. I would appreciate some imput as to its actual
Subject: Singer Featherweight sewing machine
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 97 14:28:17 PST

To whom it may concern:

My mom is searching for a Singer Featherweight sewing machine to purchase.

Could you provide me direction as to where I can locate them, please advise.

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:30:34 -0800
Subject: Sew Shopping

To All:

I dropped into an antique store today in El Cajon (San Diego
County)between business appointments. I saw two sewing machines for
One is a Singer Model 99, I think, (new at this)  in a walnut cabinet
with six drawers. The head is black with a black wheel. The wheel is a
little smaller that other Singer machines. It is an AL serial number
which is about 1953 mfg. The condition is about a 7.5 to 8. The cabinet
is about the same. They are asking $50. and it is marked for  a 20%
discount off that, now. The foot pedal is inside the cabinet.

The second machine is a treddle Model 66. The machine and cabinet are
about 6.5. Some of the silver on the gold decals is showing. They have
the key to the cabinet drawers. The oak cabinet has 7 drawers and needs
refinishing and some of the veneer on the edges glued back down. The
machine has some little rust marks and needs cleaning up. They are
asking $150. on consignment.
The proprietor said that the owner of the machine will negotiate. 
The store is called Antique Boulevard, a mall at 799 El Cajon Blvd,
ElCajon, California 92020. Ph: 619-447-8057

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:33:26 -0800
Subject: Correction

Upon looking at more pictures on the web sites, I think the machine that
I saw in the Antique Boulevard is a Model 201 rather than a Model 99.
Sorry about that.
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 02:51:48 EST
Subject: still banging my head against the wall. . .

Hi, All--
I just had to share today's experience with a group of people who would
appreciate the horror of it.  I was doing the rounds in my local St. Vinnie's,
and they had moved their sewing machine "department" from its usual spot, so I
was kind of wandering through the furniture department looking for my favorite
fix.  Unfortunately, my path took me to the a little too long to get around
the whole furniture department, because just as I turned a corner and saw
"it"--a really nice looking Singer table for a 301 or 401, this other lady and
her father grabbed it and started talking about what a good "card table" it
was, and how it would fit perfectly in their trailer.  I stifled the urge to
yell "FIRE", and I just sort of hung around hoping that they'd decide that it
was just too weird with that little cut-out thingy in the middle of the top.
But, of course, they loved it!  Finally, I went up and told them that it was
really quite a valuable little table and I would give them $50 for it (it was
priced at $27).  But, no, they really wanted it for their trailer.  So I
explained that it was a specialty item made for a certain type of sewing
machine, but they really weren't interested.  AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!!
Then I crawled away to the book section, and listened while the lady dickered
the sales clerk down to $15 for it!!!!  This is the first time I've ever even
seen one in a thrift store, and I arrived 32 seconds too late!  
Oh, well--they were having a book sale and I found some cool sewing books.
But geez!
Thanks for understanding.  My DH thinks I'm crazy.
Mary Ann 
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 03:20:51 EST
Subject: Mini-FW look alike

Hi all,

 Is anyone interested in a "Mini"? This Japanese looks like a FW with some
small differences. It is brand new,comes with a foot control and that's all.
No case or accessories. A shop near me has it for $175.00 plus $14,43 CA sales
tax and shipping of ?(probably around 15 lbs.) The shop owner will not sell
without the tax and will not ship but if anyone is interested I canpurchase it
and ship it UPS from my business. Let me know. I will get more particulars if
you wish but cannot guarantee it except to verify that it runs.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/8/97
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 23:10:55 -0500

Jenny wrote:

> This mystery machine couldn't possibly be a 15-96 could it?  I have one
> dating from1944, complete with a manual that states that the 15-96 is
> treadle powered only.  Also, mine has no reverse and the feed can't be
> lowered. The stitch length is controlled by a small knob in a numbered

No; from Terri's description, it's not a 15-96. I've decided that it's
mostly a 15-90.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 10:06:30 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Slaten, Formby, and Howard's

Bill M  said:

> While I was about it, I asked the difference between a 221 and a 222
> Featherweight. Someone on FWF had asked that recently. The expert there
> says that the 221 is the regular American made featherweight. The 222 is
> made in Great Britain and has a free arm. It is intended for darning,
> and it weighs about 4 pounds more than the 221 Feather. The reason that
> the 222 brings more money is because there were fewer made than the 221,
> and they have great demand. The price goes up.

Slaten (or whomever you talked to) is correct about the free arm (222) 
machine being in higher demand because there were fewer made, but he
missed the boat on the 221 being an American-made machine.  Yes, some were
made in the US, but there were also a great number made in Clydebank, too. 

As for his guide, my objections arent' just about the pricing information.
I don't think kindly of people who present someone else's research as
their own work, for one thing.  (If you doubt me, find a copy of Grace
Rogers Cooper's history of the sewing machine, and compare it with
Slaten's book.  Cooper was the one who did the research...)  True, he
acknowledges her as a source, but in my mind, he went far beyond just
using her as a source.  His account of the development of the sewing
machine is simply a paraphrased version of hers, for example.

For another thing, the information he manages to add just isn't terribly
accurate, and not very complete, either.  He leaves out some major
pre-1880 brands altogether, and I've found several errors in his
identification of later Singers.  (There are four pages in a row that
misidentify the cabinets he makes a point of identifying.)  And he shows
picture after picture of Singers and still manages to provide almost no
information which would help you distinguish between Singer models.

I think if you're a new collector, relying on this book would not serve
you well.  Carter Bay's book is much more complete (and has better
pictures) and Cooper's book is a terrific source for a good general

[BTW, I think the museum really exists -- until you try to visit it, that

Joan C  said:

> I use Formby's Cleansing Liquid to clean the wood thoroughly.  I then
> use Formby's Face Lift Finish which is a gritty product that is applied
> with a thin coat. The surface is then wiped off with a damp cloth and
> allowed to dry thoroughly.  

> Next step:  Howard Products.  I use the appropriate matching color of
> Restor-a-Finish and then Feed-N-Wax. Finally the Paste Wax that polishes
> to a luster!! End result in my estimation:  Furniture is clean,
> preserved and waxed.

I've used all of these products, and you're right -- they work quite well. 
I would only use the first two products in the Formby finish-restoring kit
-- the cleansing liquid and the buffing liquid (which is essentially
pumice in a lemon oil emulsion.)  The third, which adds a layer of some
kind of varnish, may not give you the finish you want. 

I've also used the Restor-a-Finish, with good results -- you can also use
a 2:1 mix of mineral spirits and linseed oil, which does essentially the
same thing, except that the Howard's has some stain suspended in the
liquid, so it may hide scuff marks better.  I keep the Feed 'n Wax around
all the time -- really makes wood glow. 

If the finish on the cabinet or case is really destroyed (to the point
where there's no protection for the wood) I rub tung oil into the wood
after I clean it and before I wax it -- it provides a little more
protection, and gives it a nice hand-rubbed glow.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 10:53:39 -0500
Subject: Charles Law's book

Just one more update about Charles' book.  IMHO he picks up where Carter
Bays left off, and I am glad I made this purchase.  In particular, for
the new collector, it cleary outlines (with pictured examples) which
might and might not be considered a "collectible" machine.  I really
liked that. I would have really appreciated having this book in my
"machine hunting tote" when I was first pounding the pavement looking
for machines! The book, of course, includes Graham's scale, but with an
additional interpretation, which might make it easier for someone a bit
inexperienced in rating systems to evaluate a machine.  I learned from
and enjoyed reading Charles' version of the inventor of the Sewing
Machine as well.
Subject: One Drop
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 14:42:38 -0500

Hi FWF's

After looking for weeks for One Drop, I've come up with two different
products with very similar names.
Could someone tell me which is the "good guy"?  One is made by Willert Home
Products, called One
Drop all purpose household deodorizer.  Green liquid in a glass bottle. 
Other one my sister brought up
from Florida.  Made by Whink, called One Drop all purpose deodorant.  This
one is purple liquid in a
plastic bottle.  Any thoughts??

Last Saturday, just a few days after seeing you all discuss the Singer
Spartan, we found one.  No case
or access. but a good looking & sewing machine for a good price.  This
brings us to 11 Singers,
including 6FW's.  Not bad (or good) for someone who set out to find one FW
last April. 

Thanks for all your help & have a great holdiay season.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 18:34:43 -0500
Subject: New National Handcrank

Answered an ad in the paper for a New National Handcrank sewing machine. 
The woman was asking $25.00 but ended up giving it to me for nothing. 
The machine looks like it must have been quite beautiful in its heyday
however it is in very sorry shape now.  The decals are almost all worn
down to silver and completely gone in some places and there is quite a
lot of rust and chipping through to the metal and it is caked with grease
all over.  It uses a shuttle bobbin but did not come with either a bobbin
case or any bobbins.  The handcrank turns and the needle goes up and down
but this machine will need a lot of work to put it into working order and
I'm not sure if I'm up to the task (would like to have a working
handcrank but I don't think this one is going to be it).  At least the
price was right and it is nice to look at if you can look beyond the
grease, rust and chipping!

I would like to find out a little bit about the company and how old this
sm might be.  Graham, where do I look for a serial number?  The only
number that I could find is 2476794 stamped on the front slide plate. 
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance -
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 17:21:29 -0800
Subject: Quilt Shops in Munich, Germany

Hi, all,

I have a student who is moving to Munich, Germany.  If you know of any
quilt shops or good fabric shops with quilting fabrics & supplies--and
also any quilt groups or guilds, please e-mail me privately.


Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 20:35:11 EST
Subject: i need some infomation

my dad has two featherweights. one is black and has and small plate on front
that says 100 year aniversary 1851-1951. heal also has a white featherweight
that was purchased new in 1968. he has the origanal bill of sale. were can i
find out the value  of these machines. 
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 19:13:48 -0500
Subject: Singer Sewhandy model 50D

Hi Feathers:

Haven't posted in quite a while, however, I have enjoyed all your
finds!  I found a Singer Sewhand Model 50D, which is a children's toy
electric machine.  It is supposed to sew a chain stitch.  I do not have
any needles for this machine so I can not try it out yet.  The motor
seems to work.  I just got a copy of the manual from Singer.  I want to
oil it before I use it.  If anyone has a source where I could purchase
about five needles for this machine, I'd be very happy to do so.  My
Singer service center here would only sell in groups of 100 needles.
Don't think I would use that many in my lifetime.  Also, found out that
we may be moving to the Norfolk, VA area.  If anyone has any information
on the average cost to rent a 3-4 bedroom house, please e-mail me
privately.  Thanks so much.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 20:11:24 EST
Subject: Re:  FW Fanatics 12/9/97

Sew and Vac in Long Beach California have several old Singers for sale
including a 301 (I think that is the model).  They seem in pretty good shape
and Scott is a long-time mechanic. You may want to call Scott at (562) 594
4659.  I have no affiliation except that that is where I go for sewing club.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 23:45:03 +0000
Subject: More machines

Having had a few days off using up leave, I've found time to go sewing
machine hunting. No FW's but five "new" machines followed me home.
1) Singer Model 99   Serial number :  EB651953(black /fancy end plate)         
2) Singer Model 185K Serial number :  ER445062(tan /brown+chrome plate)
I'm not completely certain of the second letter on the 185k
3) Singer Model 401G Serial number :  PA578801 (tannish finish)                 
4) Necchi Supernova Julia  cream and grey finish
5) Necchi Supernova Julia  cream and beige finish

The 99 has a rotary selector for stitch length.
The 185 is in a carry case with a dark red top, the base is wooden with
a tweed/hessian type material over it.
The 401 has all 5 cams plus most of the standard attachments, but is
missing the straight stitch foot and plate. The plastic carry case is in
a dire state so if the machine turns out to run well, I'll be putting it
into a work table.
Only one of the Necchi's has a full set of attachments but neither
necchi has a manual. Anybody know where I might obtain one? 

The 401 is the first slant needle singer I've found, how good a
workhorse is it likely to be?
Costs: 99---10 pounds
       185--11   "
       401--14   "
Necchis 10 pounds the pair.
Total price for the 5 machines 45 pounds.

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 23:22:16 EST
Subject: I am not picking on one person....

I say this often and I will say it again.....no book can tell you the value,
proce or cost of an item.  As soon as it is published it is out of date....no,
make that before it is written.  Even at Walmart prices are not set in stone.
I have dabbled in antiques, china, cars and sewing machines.  I ahve yet to
find a price "guide" that is anything more than a "gee-whiz" factor.  If you
buy or sell by them, then  you are the person that the "let the buyer beware"
was ment for when it was written. If you base your purchase on anything
besides the facts in front of you....write me, I have several machines listed
in some of the above books and would love to sell them for listed price.  

I have the Slaten book,  Oldtimer, Carter-Bays, Blue Book, and Captain Dick's
Singer Guide(my favorite as he does it without photos) and several
others....so I do have some basis for what I am saying.  Be careful....when
you buy.  

Some people feel very strongly about "price" guides.  (Graham, remember your
blood pressure).  I think that as Americans  we lack the courage to rely on
our own opinion.  A lot of us are lazy want others to determine the values,
prices and costs.  You want the national market? It comes out weekly as FW for
sale and search on eBay using "Singer".  Want one of the photos from a web
site or eBay.  Your computer will download it for you.  Set your own limits
and then hunt....more fun if you set it low.  I will not pay over 200 for a FW
black in 8 condition....yet I have 4 of them.

As for Nancy's book on the FW....NO prices, she tells you about FW machines
from its start to now.  How to get the most out of it and what they look like.
She has the original manual copied there and both of her books are "must
haves" for me.  Slaten is not the only supplier.  Every dealer listed here
that has a quilt store sells them.  I would love to have more books like hers
on the other models.  I want details not fairy tails.

ISMAC has a quote at the home page about this.....http://www.ismacs.net
While you are there look at the listing of machines....a lot of info on
oiling, threading and how they look.   Also, the FWFanatics home page has the
FW 221 and 222.  They have sites that you can go to and educate yourself.
Closest thing to a drive thru for info I have found.  

To sell a machine I wuold look at the prices on the FW for sale and then set
the price for online.  I have even bought one on eBay....and I must be honest
about it...it exceeded my idea of what it would look like when I got it.  It
was a 1925 model 99-13 with the kneebar, manual and the case was
perfect...really!!!!  If you know me very well it had to be
undervalued and I made an obsene bid on it and got it.  

As always, personal flames should be directly sent to me via UPS attached to a
FW.  Those who agree can set up a time and place at a nearby pub (or send me
an airline ticket) and you can buy the first round.

Blessed Be
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 07:41:43 -0600
Subject: FW or model 15?

Kenneth H  said:

> I have a Singer machine I believe to be a featherweight and when I called 
> Singer I was told that it was a model 15 and would not fit in the feather
> weight case. The serial no. is AM621072 and it is in a case like my 
> others. The Machine has the 100 yr. medallion but has no tag rivited 
> beneath it.It also has a more ornate gold design than my others.The
> motor is a cat3-120and the left side folds up. Singer was adamant about 
> it being a model 15. I would appreciate some imput as to its actual
> designation.

You've run into one of the problems with using Singer records to date
your machine.  A good many of these records are handwritten, and (at
least by the time your machine was made) every single serial number was
not recorded, but instead, a range of serial numbers was assigned a
model number and a date.  (For example, Singer may have an entry that
says machine with a serial number of AG820500 through AG901200 were made
on Oct 25, 1946, and were all model 99s.  [This date range isn't real,
by the way -- don't try to date your machine by it!])  Furthermore,
you've got people reading the records who a) can make mistakes figuring
the serial number range and b) don't necessarily know anything about
these machines.

So it's possible that your machine was stamped with a serial number in
the wrong range or that the serial number was recorded incorrectly. 
Maybe when they were writing down the range of serial numbers, they made
a mistake in the beginning or end of that range of serial numbers.  Or
the person on the other end of the phone line when you called Singer
misread that range of numbers. 

Whatever the case, if the date you were given for the machine was in the
late 50's, the manufacture date is probably pretty close.  If the
machine looks like it's a 221, then it probably is.  (A model 15 is a
full-size machine, as Singer said -- the bed measures about 14-1/2" from
side to side, and the tension mechanism is on the face plate.  It does
have a bobbin case like the 221, but the bobbin is a completely
different one.  Bobbins for the model 15 *are* easier to find!)  It's
important to have other ways of verifying ANY information you get about
your machine, if you want to collect.  In this case, I'd trust my own
instincts:  you have other Featherweights that look just like the
machine that you called Singer about.  That sounds like pretty
overwhelming evidence to me.  

By the way, if you want to know more about different Featherweight
models, Nancy Srebro-Johnson's latest book is a good one!

Subject: Model 15????
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:07:27 -0600

This sure sounds like a centennial model 15 to me. Just remember Singer's
records are not to be taken as gospel. When I call and get a date I will
take them mostly at their word, but in your case I would just figure that
the person giving is having a bad day or that the record is inaccurate.
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:10:45 -0700
Subject: Re: Janome Jem

Graham was inquiring about this machine, which the manufacturer offered to
donate to the ISMACS convention.  I have one of these machines.  I won it
in a raffle at a fabric store.  It is Janome's absolute BOL machine, with a
MSRP of about $300, but usually on sale for about half that.  I would say
it is in the same market niche as the "new" FW.  I can't honestly say I've
used it much, what with all the other SMs around here needing attention and
exercise, but I did piece a queen-size quilt with it with satisfactory
results.  It's main drawbacks are its preset stitches - three lengths of
straight stitch, pick one.  Three preset ZZ options.  The feed doesn't
drop, and there is no off/on switch.  You plug it in, the light goes on and
you sew.  It must be 90+% plastic as it is very light.  But it the motor
ran well enough for all the non-stop chain piecing I did on this quilt.  My
son also managed to drop it off a table and it still works.  I would say it
is okay for occasional light duty sewing.  It hardly fits into a collection
of classic machines, but like I said, it works and the price was right.
Maybe The kids will use it sometime.

Subject: Gib screws
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 11:15:59 -0500

My DH solved the problem of lost gib screws before I even unscrewed one. 
He provided me with a magnetic screw driver.  I don't think he knew how
valuable that would be, but it saved me a lot of aggravation.  

It's sometimes tricky getting the little guy lined up right to screw back
in, but boy, is that screwdriver handy for keeping the screw from getting
lost.  (Also, might work to find it inside when you do lose it.)  Good luck
in the future.

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:31:26 -0800
Subject: Cold Featherweights

Hello Feathers
I dont remember reading anything of this subject,but I just happened to
me yesterday. I had several of my featherweights stored in a cold ,
unheated building. A customer came to buy one and upon trying to run the
machine it barely would turn over. So here is the solution. Take a hair
dryer and heat the motor up in the area of the grease tubes. Dont run
the motor right at first until this area is very warm. Loosen the hand
wheel like you are winding the bobbin and let the motor just turn
itself. After the motor is warm then run the motor and heat with hair
dryer until it has reached maximum RPM's. I spent the rest of the
morning doing this to all of the machines in this building and moving
them into the warm area of the house. P.S. The customer picked out a
machine that had been warmer so the sale was not lost.  Hapy Hollidays
Subject: FW with Egyptian (scrolled) Faceplate
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:42:57 -0800

To Phys:

Last year I stopped at an antique shop in No. California and noticed
several FW's.  I got to talking to the owner, and he confessed that he
removes the scrolled faceplates from the older FW models because they often
show more wear, and puts them on the newer FW's because they usually are in
better condition.   His idea was that quilters don't care about which
faceplate it has or if the machine is and worn looking, and collectors like
them in good condition with the scrolled faceplate.  Of course, he passes
them off as the older variety at a higher price.  Not honest, and I've
never stopped at his shop again.  

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:58:18 -0800
Subject: The Latest Addition to my FWFamily

I found a nice early Featherweight, March, 1935, this weekend and 
deliberated several days before deciding to buy it (our $$ priorities 
have to be elsewhere for he next couple of months), even though the 
price ws good ($200).  But I'm so glad I finally decided to add it to 
my small but growing FW family.  

It has the exposed tension discs (no numbered cover over them), the 
thread winder tensioner flat on the front rather than on the bed, the 
scrolled faceplate which doesn't turn the corner, etc.  The original 
cloth covered cord and controller were there, though I won't try to 
use the set given its visual condition, along with the box of 
attachments, an oil soaked manual without its cover, and a couple of 
dozen bobbins.  The case is the Type I, blue interior, intact and 
clean except for the leather handle, just barely attached, and the 
missing top tray.  

Well, once I realized how unusual this early machine was I had a 
justification for buying it, but I would have let it go by if I hadn't 
done my homework with Nancy's book, and Krisi's web site.  I want to 
put in a plug for Krisi's site because of the completeness and careful 
organization.  Never having seen the early tension assembly, I thought 
the assembly on this one was broken (!) until I went home and looked 
at the detail pictures on the web site.  As I went through the 
pictures of the early feature changes I began to get excited about all 
the unique features of this early FW and really began to want to buy 
it.  This list has really provided a wealth of specific knowledge we 
couldn't have acquired otherwise, so I may name the new FW somehow in 
Sue's honor (though I don't name my machines).

In the old manual there is a picture of a FW table new to me.  It 
isn't a card table or a cabinet.  It looks more like a writing table, 
with the FW set into it's top, having curved feet similar to those on 
the FW cabinet.  The manual didn't identify it and I failed to find it 
in Mike's reprint of parts (another great resource through FWF) so I'd 
love to hear more from anyone who has one.

BTW, when I called Singer for the BD of the new machine I was first 
told it was a 1927 model 66!  When I questioned that identification 
she looked again and reported that she had looked at the wrong column 
and came up with the March 18 1935 date.  So that's how easy it is to 
get those strange identifications we hear about.  

Finally, is there any way to separate oil-soaked pages stuck together?  
It doesn't hurt to ask.
Subject: problems solved
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:46:44 -0800


Well, looks like the computer problem was easily solved.   I had a program running in background that should only have been running on startup.  No problems since we changed that.

My Christmas tree, undecorated, is now hanging on the wall.   I will take some photos today, and also decorate it today, then try to post a picture.   Decorations will by hung with brass quilting pins this go round.   I want to buy as many different Christmas buttons as possible for it, but will wait until a day or so before Christmas when all that stuff goes on sale to buy them, then put them on for next year.

It appears I will be able to save much of the work on the restoration book, which I will get back to after New Year's.

Captain Dick
Subject: RE:  paint spatters
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 13:12:36 -0500

Pianos, too.  Had a old upright once that had several colors of paint spatters on it.  I can't understand painting without covering the piano!	
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/10/97
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 18:29:04 +0000

To Maggie re New Homes

I have no serial number records for New Home, although this may be remedied
later next year. In the mean time try the company's hq at 201-825 3200

To Carla re non-existant museum etc

Carla I hate to contradict someone as trusting as you but the museum is a
con. There are  over 1000 keen sewing enthusiats reading this digest --
many living in Northern California. Not one has ever seen the museum
because it doesn't exist. Nor does the tooth fairy or the Wizard of Oz.
Please don't get taken in by stories of special passwords etc. There simply
is no museum.
As to the advertised location of the museum, this is where, when I parked,
a local policeman told me not to walk the area at night and at another time
I was charged protection money by local youths to make sure my car wasn't
No you didn't offend me but when you check the facts and find out there is
no museum, I trust you will come back to this digest and say so.
Don't know about the hemstitchers but yes I can supply needles for the 24.
The country where you can smoke in peace is France, despite having passed
laws similar to the repressive legislation in Southern California. Only
difference is that they ignore them. However you would have to put up with
the French people and the dogs that inhabit almost every restaurant and
attempt to lick from your plate.

Re Geleria

Don't know this one. Sounds very Italian, but then most German machines
sound very English or American.

Subject: FWF/ISMACS Oregon gathering
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:07:45 -0800

Captain Dick will be here in Oregon at the end of January, and he suggested (and I loved the idea) of having an Oregon FWF/ISMACS gathering  then.  I'll be hosting it on Saturday, January 31, probably 11:00 until everyone leaves (plan on having lunch here).  Come and bring pictures, unusual SM stuff others would like to see, and things you want to trade/sell.  If you have a friend who likes old SM's but isn't on the internet, bring them too.  I don't have as many SM's as Captain Dick does, but I do have a FW cabinet. : )

If you think you can make it (even if you aren't sure), please let me know.  I'd like to get an idea of how many to expect.  In early January, I'll email the digests again and send complete details with directions to whomever has told me they think they can come.

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:44:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Buttonhole attachment....


O.K. a little problem I have here, which I hope someone wiser than me can
solve. I attached buttonholer (Serial #160506) to my 221k - and it didn't
work. Tried it on another 221k, still no luck, needle won't even move.  Then
tried it on my 221 and it worked fine.  Everything was set up equally, same
thread, etc., and I made sure the little clamp was over the needle clamp and
I had the plate over the feed-dog!  Does anyone know why it will work on the
221 but _not_ the 221k?
Do I have to get another buttonholer for the k?
TIA for any help on this, and save my sanity, and my time.

Thanks to Sue for helping me out with my 99k problems :-)
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 18:07:14 -0500\
Subject: 401A questions.

Hi fellow -feathers,
I am afraid that not only am I hooked on sms, but I have an afflicted 
mother also.  She just called to tell me that she found a 401A at a 
shop.  I think they wanted 40$ for it.  We are both fairly new to 
this adventure and would appreciate any information about this model 
that you could provide.  She will use it to sew with.  Is this a good 
machine for machine quilting? Does this seem like an ok price?
 Thanks for your help.  I appreciate this list and the people who so
 faithfully answer our questions.

Subject: Singer Sewing Machine Museum in Oakland
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 17:15:32 -0800

To Carla ,

I live just west of Oakland, and yes, it is a beautiful city, especially on
the hilltops looking out to San Francisco.  Around two years ago, Peter
Wilhelm was visiting from Germany.  I wrote a letter to The Singer Sewing
Machine Museum asking if we could bring Peter to visit and wanted to know
the hours it was open. Mr. Slaten wrote back to say that the museum was not
in operation at that time.    A few years earlier, Claire Toschi and I
attempted to see the museum.  He told us it was under reconstruction.  I am
under the impression the museum does not exist, and if it does, it is his
own private museum.  Many people donate and/or will their old sewing
machines to museums with the assumption that they will be put on display. 
Guess again.  The Smithsonian and other well known museums sells them to
anyone who wants to buy them to raise money.  Others, who claim to be
museums, have a constant supply of donated sewing machines to do as they
please.  They can sell the bad ones and keep the good ones in their own
private collection.  Since you live so close, wonder if you check it out
and report back. 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/9/97
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 01:08:07 +0000

To Sandy re light switch on centenials

I checked out a five UK-made  1951 221s, two have the high light switch,
three have it on the base.

Re Chas Law's book

Haven't seen a copy but I've been getting requestes from European members
impressed with the commonts here about the publication. Hope to have it
available at the May ISMACS Convention along with all other available

Subject: Treadle vs. Handcrank 
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 20:59:33 -0500

I have a 127 dated to 1916-18 which came in a two tone case,
no motor.  The balance wheel is spoked.  The stop motion screw
has larger teeth than normal around the outside and there is
a hole in the center of it.  Was this machine meant to be a treadle
or a handcrank, and more importantly, can I convert it equally
to either?

It came with two loose hinges which seem to be for a treadle cabinet,
but as it was in a case, it seems it must have been used as
a handcrank, even with the later model case.  ?? 

It has the nicest Memphis decals I've seen and I'd like to get it
functioning.  Thanks for any input.  Joyous holidays, all.

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 21:16:37 -0800

Hi there, I posted a couple days ago about an beautiful older machine I
had just gotten - and got responses all pointing to a German machine on
one of the web sites, BUT it was not the one I have.  I decided that
perhaps pictures could speak much louder than my description, so please
check out the three pictures at:


There is one close up of the base; one taken above the machine and one
of the case.  The fiddle base is COMPLETELY  edged in Mother of Pearl;
and the center inlay on the base is mother of pearl of two doves
kissing.  The handle of this magnificent machine is porcelain; and there
is a wood inlay about 2 inches infront of the bed.  The top is a coffin
top, trimmed on the top with wood inlays, I have also included a photo
of it.  There is no name on the machine, although we can see a faint "S"
and then possibly a "O" but nothing else can be read.  The body looks
VERY much like a 1878 Singer, but feel this is a German machine because
of the porcelain handle and the wood inlays.  IF ANYONE KNOWS ANYTHING
about this machine, please drop me an e-mail.  This is such a unique
piece you might just like to see a picture even if you doubt you know
what it is.  Thanks so much
Go with God
Subject: The British Centennial FW called "Frankie"
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 21:14:01 -0900

I am the person who bought the British Centennial FW with the scrolled or
Egyptian faceplate on ebay.  No, I didn't get a "frankie" as someone
lovingly called it!  This rare Centennial Featherweight is discussed in
Nancy Johnson-Srebro's new book "Featherweight 221 - The Perfect Portable"
on page 75.  This model 221K was made in Clydebank, Scotland and has the
second series of scrolled face plate.  All of these machines have serial
numbers that start with either EF or EG.  However, contrary to NJS book,
there are some of the models that have the light switch at the base of the
machine, instead of by the right end of the light.  As she states in her
book, "The occurrence of these British Centennial machines is definitely
less than their U.S. Centennial counterparts.  Again, they seem to command
somewhat premium prices when offered for sale."  Don't worry, I didn't get
taken - - I just knew what I was bidding on - - and did alot of reading
before bidding.  
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 01:04:31 EST
Subject: W&G take up

Hi All.

Got a problem. One of our number needs a take up for her W&G. I've got a
junker with a good take up but don't know the correct way to remove it. I sure
don't want to damage it by forcing it. Anyone out there know how to remove it?

Thanks and Happy Holidays to all.

Frank D.
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 08:22:34 -0800
Subject: reproduction sewing machine

Has anyone purchased the reproduction toy machine from Stepping Stones
Quilts.  Just wondering about the quality and all.  The picture looks

Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 10:08:24 -0800 (PST)
Subject: advice

I found some sm's yesterday and was wondering what you all thought.  I
brought home a lonely 115 treadle head that's only missing the front slide
plate, otherwise was just really dirty ($15.00-I thought it should be
around some other cabinetless machines :-)  ).  But they also had a couple
others that I liked, and only left them there because I couldn't
decide........so can anyone please advise me?  They have a 128 in a
bentwood case, case is in really good shape.  It has a few attachments and
a bunch of bobbins.  The decals are kind of worn, especially on the bed,
but those that are there are nice and bright. This one is $65.00.  They
also have a Betsy Ross toy, which I know nothing about, other than it's
really cute (150.00).  The other one that I really liked is a 72 w **
hemstitcher.  It's been electified, but is still in the original treadle
cabinet.  This one is $50.00 and my only hesitation is it's size.  I had
no idea how big they are!!!  Anyway, I'd really appreciate any advice you
can give me!  Thanks, Ann
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 21:58:28 -0500
Subject: 201 Manual

Hi All,
Color me either honest or stupid.  Not too long ago I sold several pristine
201 manuals.  I considered making a copy before I let them go, but I had
already stated them as *unused* and didn't want to muss one up.  (Of course,
I could/should have just kept one for myself, but I reasoned that when I do
find my 201, It will be so NICE that it will surely have a manual with it
:).  Anyway, I now have a friend who needs....a 201 manual.  Anyone have a
copy to sell?  TIA

Subject: Hawaii and Etc.
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 22:27:11 -0500

Feathers, I have had a lot of fun with the little Grasshopper I bought--got
a number of friendly comments and inquiries from other Feathers and have
enjoyed the messages.  One kind Feather, Cathy, sent me a copy of the
manual.  Now another Feather has asked me for a copy and so I will pass the
favor along.

DH and I are leaving for Hawaii Wednesday for a Christmas trip.  DH likes
to be "flexible" and has not made any reservations for hotels.  We live in
Florida near the beach and so don't especially want ocean front rooms. 
Could any of  you Feathers who live in Hawaii or who have traveled there
this time of year tell me whether to anticipate any problems getting a
room?  Sorry this is not SM related, but everyone is so nice to help out. 
Charles L-do you have any advice?


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