Featherweight Fanatics Archives

January 1996

Sunday, December 31st - Saturday, January 6th


Wishing all the FW Fanatics the best for 1996
(Maybe we shoud declare it the year of the Featherweight!!)  :-)

Sue T
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 15:38:12 -0500
Subject: The little things count!

Happy New Year, FW friends:

My tan baby FW is sitting much more comfortably now.  I called the NY State
Singer 800 number listed in the FWFanatics a week ago.  I spoke to a very
nice man.  His father had been a Singer dealer.  He knows lots and lots about
FW's.  Even about the white one...the real white one with the geared works,
not the belt drive.  For $.50 each, I ordered the little rubber feet.  I just
screwed them into the tan baby, and for the first time ever it sits perfectly
level.  [my repair man was using feet from another machine, I guess, and
never was able to find four that fit.]  Here is the information on the New
York State Singer Repair:

B.S.B. Sales and Service, Inc.  3056 Burnet Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13206
(315) 433-5215   (800) 321-7397

All this information on the 99s is great...I also have a 99 that I have owned
for many, many years.  In the wood cabinet.  I prefer my FW, though, and
havn't had the initiave to pull it out to look at, what with all this chat on

Finally, a follow-up comment on the archival point argued the other day.  I
am a professional archivist...the curator of a toy collection in a major
museum.  It is important to others to know what we have done.  We needn't
become purists and revert everything to it's absolute original configuration.
 That is quite impossible, as when we revert we are changing.  But many, many
people are curious about their possessions pasts.  We are only temporary
custodians of anything.  So, I, too, would like to add my support to the
person who first mentioned archiving.  Try to keep a record of the changes
you make to your machine and keep it in a retrievable place.

Thanks to Sue for coordinating this newsletter.  Happy New Year to all.

Kenneth L
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 13:23:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Godzilla and other things

Terry, we are so sorry about your troubles with the 99K that was shipped
badly.  I guess this tells us all that we should ship the machine
separately and put the case and foot pedal in another box.  Then the
machine would not have anything to bang against while in transit.

Well, finally we find out what Godzilla is.  He's a 128.  We have one too.
Don't know why they made the finish so ugly.  Our other 128 is so
beautiful with red and green and gold decorations.  The DH says if you
really want to see ugly, you should see his 328K.  

The DH bought another 201 this week.  If I decide to machine quilt, I will
do it on a 201.  This thing will sew through 6 or 7 layers of canvas. 
Yesterday we found a beautiful little 99K in wonderful condition.  Good
case but no attachments.  Yes, I long for spring and the garage sales, but
the thrift stores are open this time of year and you never know what
you'll find.

Mary, being good on a computer is not one of the qualifications for this
group.  All we ask is that you are willing to get silly about the
featherweights and other old Singers that are so beautiful and work so well.
My latest FW is named "Fifteen" and in this group we have "Princess" and
"Holly" and some I can't think of.  Have you named yours yet?  Do you know
that Krisi is keeping records on our FWs.  She has a questionnaire that
you can fill out.  The Singer records are not very good and we are
learning a lot about the machines from what Krisi gets off her database. 
For instance we thought that the fancy endplates just went up to 1946 but
now know that some 47s were given that endplate, too.  At some point in
1947 they switched to stripes.  

Better get busy and do my questionnaire for "Fifteen".

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 00:18:39 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: More ramblings from down under...

Terry: you're right about the difference between the 99-13 and the 
99-28, here's the bit out of my list of models:-
99-13w   1920-1953   flatbed; horiz. oscillator; 3/4 size head; w/o 
                     reverse; drop-in bobbin; black
99-28w   1954-1957   flatbed; horiz. oscillator; 3/4 size head; with 
                     reverse; drop-in bobbin; black
>Two new questions: Do any of your 99s have seam allowance guidelines on 
>the throatplate?  Also do only the 99-13s have knee levers or do the 
My 99k has guideline marks on the throatplate, each numbered from 2-7 in 
1/8" increments. My machine is a 1960 one with no case and no provision 
for one at all! It sits in a black plastic bottom that fits it like a 
glove, no more than an 1/8 of an inch all round, no holes for a cover to 
click into at all!
>In a used bookstore I found an old Better Homes and Garden Applique 
>book with a pattern for an appliqued black Model 15 Singer with lots of 
>detail.  May have to try this.  It even has gold scrollwork, silver on 
>the edge of the hand wheel, and a plug and cord. 
I have this book! I also have it listed in my 'list of mags with 
pictures of antique sewing machines':-
Better Homes &Gardens Applique 1978 - page 61, appliqued Singer machine 
    quilt, model 15-, excellent close up very detailed picture 
            *  *  *         *  *  *         *  *  *
Yesterday a friend called to take me shopping at the quilt fabric shop 
and on the way home we called into a garage sale, surprise surprise :)
I asked the man, name of Peter, if he had any old sewing machines, no 
but he did have an old book with adverts in it, inside he went to get 
it. It turned out to be a 1975 reprint of the old Sears catalogues from 
1905 to 1910, there were about 20 or so full pages of sewing machine 
advertisements with lots of pictures, all in black and white of course! 
After I drooled all over it he said he didn't really want to sell it but 
if he did he would want $25 for it! Too rich for me but he did say I 
could borrow it and photo-copy the pages if I wished, off I went to the 
local Chemist shop where I was informed the photo-copier was, only to 
find out it was closed being the Saturday between xmas and new year's 
holidays! Never mind I'm getting dh to take me back there next week so 
I'll keep you all informed. Anyone else out there with any old Sears 
I've been checking out Sue's homepage regularly for the October archives 
of this list to be updated but of course she's had other more important 
things on her mind lately. I was wondering if anyone had a copy of the 
FWF list from the 1st to the 17th of October please? I have all the 
others from when it started to the end of September, I joined on the 
17th of October so I'm still missing those. If you do could you please 
let me know BEFORE sending them please.
Ann in Ngatea: have you ever checked out the second-hand shop right at 
the other end of Pollen Street in Thames for sewing machines? I called 
in there the other day but it was nearly closing time so I only had 
time for a quick browse, right at the back in the left-hand corner of 
the shop tucked away were about 8 or so sewing machines. A couple of 
Singer's, a 99 (I think) and another one without any model number on it 
but it did have the serial number right on the front. The one I took a 
fancy to was a mustard yellow Monarch Special but they wanted $80 for 
it! There was also a largish box full of all sorts of goodies including 
Singer boxes and attachements, there were two buttonholers and a 
zig-zagger in a cute little plastic box, all with manuals (I think) plus 
a couple of singer motor manuals. No prices and I didn't have time to do 
any bartering, although now I look back I should have shouldn't I, they 
might have taken anything I offered just to get rid of me right on 
closing time! You might want to pop in and check them out. In the other 
room with all the furniture they also had an old treadle machine but it 
had a 'sold' ticket on it :(, so I didn't bother to have a good look at 
it, it wasn't in very good condition though.
Well folks, that's my sum total of FW searching for the last few weeks, 
hope to get back into it very soon. Still enjoying everyone's stories, 
especially the bargains.....
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE - I hope that 1996 will be good to all of you 
and especially those who are still looking for their FW's!
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 09:18:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Happy New Year

	Mary thanks for all the kind comments and I am so glad you are 
pleased with your machine. Also the tan feather weight post was just 
plain exciting. I will be quiting my present employ after clearing out 
old business, and will start off on my own now so I can guarantee better 
shipping that will be insured and also will be able to be in charge of 
sending the machines out, packaged to the nines, and also insured.  I 
will have a list of the 10 new machines ready to sell on Tuesday, so look 
for the Wednesday post. Since I won't have to stick to a business with 
overheads cost, hopefully I can get them out at a better price. As always 
a mechanic will have the his finger in the pie for tune up and any 
repairs needed before they go out the door. But for the new buyer to the 
FeatherWeight it is important to remember that these are considered 
antiques, foot pedals do tend to run hot on some and of course repairs 
can be compared to a used car. I've never had major diasters, only minor 
and usually a winding of thread beyond the bobbin case causing a clunk 
sound in the motor and then a burning smell because the motor can't 
handle that stress. So if you machine is clunking that is the first spot 
to check. The bottom plate can be easily removed for easy access into the 
machine for bobbin cleaning and lubing of the gears. Happy New Year. Zsux
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 12:48:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/30/95

Lydia: I saw a copy of the 1938 Machine Sewing: A treatise... at the 
Library of Congress yesterday (Sorry Terri, I told you the wrong year). 
It is about 8-1/2x5-1/2 and about 3/8 thick. It is typical Singer green. 
This one was not spiral bound, but they reprinted it at least 7 or 8 
times (I know 1955, 1958, 1953) and others might be different. This book 
is a "must have".

Susan: The Sears catalogs were on my list to look at yesterday, but I'll 
need a few more years worth of research time to find everything on my 
list. Apparenly they have a copy of the 1897 and 1902 catalogs as well as 
one with selected pages from the thirties.

Anyway, I did find some interesting items at the Library of Congress. I 
saw a copy of Jan. '51 Readers Guide. It had an article entitled "Singer 
sewing machine that sews everywhere". It was all about the company and 
how they grew and was very interesting. One thing it said was that 
"Singer advertising in the form of picture cards, pocket mirrors, tape 
measures, thimbles, face-powder tissues, fans and calendars accompanied 
Singer salesmen everywhere." Great! more stuff to look for!

It also said "In India an ingenious Singer agent popularized the name by 
printing it on thousands of yards of white cotton cloth which he sold at 
slightly below cost for loincloths, thus creating hundreds of walking 
Singer ads". I will *not* be looking for one of these.

"Consumers' Research Bulletin" dated Nov. '49 rated sewing machines and 
put the Singer model 221-1 under the heading "Recommended" for portables 
and listed it as tied with the Necchi BF and White, Head 77.

"Consumers' Research Bulletin" dated Jan. '53 evaluated the Singer Blind 
Stich attachment #160616 ($5) and although they judged it "easy to use 
(with practice)" and "easy to attach" bottom line was "Results not fully 
satisfactory on all materials. They said it was hard to "get a good hem 
without stitching a fold into the right side of the material.

Found some other information I'll post later. The trip to Library of 
Congress was overwhelming and quite aggrevating when a request came back 
as "Not on shelf" or "Lost". But still worth the trip if anyone ever has 
the need to do serious research.

Happy New Year and Happy Featherweighting,
Date: 31 Dec 95 14:31:45 EST
Subject: MACHINE SEWING, A TREATISE...book stats

Dear FWF Friends,

Per Lydia Pratt's request, I have a 1948 copy of this Singer Home Economics
teacher's book, and I will be glad to provide identification information on it
to facilitate your looking for it in used book stores.  It is hardbound, and the
color is a very dark green--probably more of a hunter green shade than an
avocado green.  It has gold-gild lettering on the front cover and on the spine,
and just the simple block letters MACHINE SEWING (in dull gold gild lettering)
would be visible on a bookshelf.  The cover says MACHINE SEWING within a fancy
scroll-work gold border and SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY near the bottom of the
front cover.  It is 8-3/8" high, 5/8" thick and 5-5/8" wide.  It has 184 pages.
I believe Terry In Montana has a 1950 copy, so perhaps she will describe hers
too, so we can compare the appearance of the two different issues to see if they
are about the same.  (This one cost $30, as I recall...a bit more than it's
original $1 cost.   ;-/   )

I also have the (1941) STUDENT'S MANUAL OF MACHINE SEWING by Singer--the student
companion to the above described teacher's manual.  I will describe it in case
you want to look for it, but it will be harder to spot, since it is much thinner
on a bookshelf.  I would think fewer of the student books have survived, because
it is just a paperback booklet and undoubtedly received rougher handling.  It is
also hunter green, but not as dark a green hue--about 3/4-color intensity of the
teacher's manual.  No spine--just two staples hold it together.  It measures
8-1/4" high by 5-1/2" wide and has 60 pages.  The front cover has a black band
across the upper width of the cover  (3-1/2" x 5-1/2") and the booklet title is
printed in green letters on this black box.  That's a lot of description for one
little booklet, but maybe it will help you spot it.  ($15 for this one.)

I hope many of you are successful in searching for these two books, because they
are really nice additions to your collector's library, and they deserve to be
owned by people who will appreciate them.  

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 02:49:29 -0500

Sorry I was so long-winded yesterday--must have been residual road buzz.

Terry:  the fw I gave my nephew Matt is a triplet to your twins...and
thanks for the Franklin info.  

That is all today.  Hope everyone is happily stitching as we Arlington QU
members will be this evening!

Susan R
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 12:27:10 -0800
Subject: Featherweight

Just recently purchased a featherweight - need information on same - any 
help appreciated    

marida m
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 16:53:37 -0500
Subject: FW w/o bobbin case etc.

Greetins Everyone!

On Saturday, I went to an antique mall to visit a FW that I have been
coveting and found that someone had stolen the bobbin case. It was there the
last time I looked and the dealer didn't realize it was gone until I asked
about it on Saturday. I find it so hard to believe that someone could do such
a thing but it was obviously done by someone who knew what they were taking.
It was a lovely black AK and she was asking $295. I wonder what she will do
now.  I also wonder what a reasonable price would be for a FW w/o a bobbin
case. This machine is so clean and pretty I might consider buying it anyway
if the price were right since I have a 301 and the bobbin case from that
would fit. It does not have the manual or any attachments but the case is in
pretty good shape. It has the side tray and the clip in the top for the foot
pedal.  What do you all think? What would you pay for a FW w/o a bobbin case
or would you just leave it there? 

I also visited some other lovely old machines in another antique mall:  a 128
with manual, attachments and bentwood case; a trio of 99s, one in a cabinet
just like mine but the machine was sadly neglected, the other had the
bentwood case and was in great shape but had no foot pedal, the third was
also in the bentwood case but was in the saddest shape of them all; about a
half dozen treadles, all very interesting, especially the 1860 Florence
machine which I believe was pictured in the Smithsonian book. 

My folks gave me a lovely old White machine for Christmas, possibly from the
50s? We found it in our antique expedition also. It is black with a chrome
striped face plate and is in perfect condition although the case is only
average. I found it very interesting that the gold decoration on the bed is
IDENTICAL to that on the cover of the Nancy J-S book!  This is a great
mystery to me since not even all Singers have the same decorations much less
a machine made by a totally different company. This machine weighs a TON but
sews beautifully and is very quiet. It has the same general shape as my 99
but larger. It looks like it has never been used, not a scratch on it. It has
Griest attachments with it in a tin box marked WHITE. I haven't figured out
how to use them yet or even how they fit on the machine. I did discover that
the presser foot for the White fits perfectly on my 99k. I tried this to see
if maybe the Greist attachments would fit the low shank Singers thinking that
if the presser feet were interchangable, then maybe the attachments would be
also. The machine did not have a manual so if anyone has one they could copy
for me, I would appreciate it. I'm not sure if this will remain in my
collection or not since my DH says one can only have so many sewing machines.
I figure with each one I bring home, it is getting harder and harder to
justify a FW. 

BTW, the buttonholer has been sold but I will let you know if I find anymore.
I love to hunt for things :).

Happy New Year to all of you and especially to Sue! Can you all believe we
didn't even miss the list on Christmas Day? We are a blessed bunch indeed. 

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 17:05:37 -0500
Subject: Godzilla, Treatise

Lydia wrote 12/30/95

A request:  Could someone in the group who has actually
seen the Singer "Machine Sewing: A Treatise..." book post
its description to the digest? I was in two used bookstores
today, and after developing a significant crick in my neck
from trying to read vertical titles two shelves up it
occurred to me that this would be lots easier if I knew more
or less what I was looking for, physically. That is, x
inches high by x inches wide by x inches thick.  Did someone
comment that it is spiral bound? What color is the cover?>>

The edition I have, 1924, second printing May, is a slender
(159 pages) 8.5" x 6" hardcover book in green with "Machine
Sewing -- Singer" on the spine. Not spiral bound.  While you
are looking you might find a saddle-stitched booklet with
red stripes called "Singer Student's Manual of Machine
Sewing."  The one I have was published in 1957. Between the
two of them most old Singers are covered. I purchased them
from Bette S. Feinstein at Hard-to-Find Needlework Books

Susan R, I enjoyed reading you Christmas story.  Also,
thanks for the information about the Franklin machine.  I'll
fill you in if I find further information.

And, Terry thank you for the Franklin info, too.

You wrote on 12/30/95:

After re-reading Sincere's History of the Sewing Machine,
my best guess is that Godzilla is a Singer Model 128.  Does
anyone have one of these?  E-mail me privately if you are
embarrassed to tell the rest of the list.  :-}  All
the pictures of Model 128's in the book were photographed in
other countries.  What a thing to export!>>

I placed our 99K right next to our 128 to check for
similarities. Our 128 was manufactured on 12/24/19 and the
99K was made in 1950. The 128 is covered with fancy red,
green, and gold decals and has the grape vine pattern on the
faceplate.  The copy of the 1947 manual sent to me by
Marilyn Root does show a very plain-looking machine. The 99
is more rounded on the surface going up to the needle post
and the thread take-up lever comes out the front of the
machine, while on the 128 the take-up comes through the face

Frank Smith was featured in my newspaper today. The article
was from the N.Y. Times News Service.  Too bad there were
not pictures of his Antique Sewing Machine Museum in
Arlington, Texas. I've talked with Frank on the phone and he
loves to give out information about old machines and FWs.

Happy New Year to all from Christine
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 18:45:46 EST
Subject: shipping nightmares

>The person who sold the machine to me offered to cover
>the $19.95 a local repairman said it would cost to fix the machine, in hopes
>that the shipping co. will make good on their insurance for the repairs. 
>The repairman knows 99s but wasn't too sure about the red felt replacement
>so I'm passing on Al's instructions.  I really wanted to tackle this myself
>after all the good advice but was afraid that would void any insurance claim
>.  This way I'll have an invoice.

Terry...hang in there, it could be worse...

I sold a 66-6 over the net, padding it within an inch of its life for 
shipping, and handed it over to the tender mercies of UPS.  When it 
arrived, it no longer worked (not sure if it was ever determined *exactly* 
what happened to it); and UPS paid the claim.  I immediately wrote a check 
to refund the purchase and the buyer's part of the shipping, and sent 
it off with the 24 *hand-dyed* FQs that were the balance of the price she 
paid for it...so one would think that all ended as best as could be 
expected.  Only one problem remains...the post office lost the priority 
mail package with the check and the irreplaceable fabric, so now we get 
to fuss with the p.o. about tracing it...and they are not nearly as easy 
to work with as UPS.  ARGGGHHHH!

Subject: Naked Needles
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 19:59:12 -0500

Henrietta, your letter about the 1908 darning foot was hilarious but that
"naked needle" that you use with it has me worried! Congress will be banning
FWF from cyberspace with language like that. :-}  

Susan R, I nominate you for sainthood for giving away two FWs.  Teaching
your nephew to sew on one is charming.  I really enjoyed your letter.

Nancy J.: Both National and White Sewing Machine Cos. made machines with the
name Phoenix but I don't find a Phoenix Universa in the Smithsonian book. 
It only covers American-made machines so your metric measurement may indeed
mean it was made elsewhere.  Sounds like a beautiful cabinet and machine.
Also, would you or anyone else on this list with keys for the 99 or 128
bentwood cases be willing to take the key to a locksmith to see if they can
still be ordered?  I would really like the order number so that I could get
a key for my case instead of using a screw driver.

Lydia: Thanks for checking your Singer Golden Touch 'n Sew.  I owned one of
those which I purchased new in 1972.  I used to wonder why Berninas and
others didn't utilize the drop-in bobbin or push-button bobbin winder once
the Singer patent expired.  This rethreading the machine and putting bobbin
cases in hard-to-find places on a $3000 machine is nuts. I also couldn't
figure out why Singer didn't have the drop-feed dogs feature on their later
models.  After our discussions I'm concluding that you can't have both
features on the same machine.  Anyone know of a brand that does?

The Machine Sewing - A Treatise book by Singer Sewing Machine Co. has 22
copyright dates up to 1950.  Krisi has seen a 1953 version.  Lydia, you're
smart to ask for a description because every used bookstore I shop I simply
scan the book spines for the following:  Medium dark green with gold capital
letters MACHINE SEWING.  It is 8 3/8 inches high and just under 5/8" thick. 
The front cover says MACHINE SEWING with gold scrolling around it and SINGER
SEWING MACHINE COMPANY along the bottom (again green with gold lettering).
The back cover is blank (green).  Remember this is the 1950 version and if
anyone else has one of these books that doesn't meet this description,
please let us know.

Anyone looking for a good furniture polish for their oak bentwood cases and
cabinets should try Howard Orange Oil Furniture Polish sold in many antique
stores.  It is a cleaner and polisher containing no solvents, silicones,
linseed oil or wax.  Replenishes oils in finished and oiled woods. I've seen
several antique dealers actually using it and I've used it for a few years. 
My bentwood case looks like new and it doesn't affect the gold Singer decal
at all. I just put it on a cloth and wiped it on.  (Men's Fruit of the Looms
work great!)

Subject: Books and Museums
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 21:10:39 -0500


I was just looking at the "Further Reading" and "Places to Visit" section in
a little booklet I have called Old Sewing Mchines by Carol Head.  In case
you don't have this book, it suggests reading The Development, Construction
and Characteristics of the Sewing Machine byJ.B. Duncan, Singer Company (UK)
Ltd.  Obviously it was published in Britain.  Also she says to be sure and
visit Clydebank District Museum, Old Town Hall, Dumbarton Road, Clydebank. 
Telephone: 041-952-8765 or 1416.  "A local museum with a major collection of
over five hundred sewing machines, comprising a full range of Singer
Manufacturing Company models in addition to examples of most other British
and foreign manufacturers."  She also thanks a Mr. Ray Batchelor, Clydebank
Library for his assistance and Singer Company (UK) Ltd.

Krisi, many museums in England publish books on the contents of their museum
in order to raise funds. Do you suppose the Clydebank District Museum does? 
I was in England 18 months ago and was in a zillion museums in London, Bath,
and all over Cornwall and Devon.  Just wish I'd paid more attention to the
sewing machines.  Of course I admired them and even bought an antique toy
metal one for $15 US but I didn't pay as much attention as I would now. 
I'll have to ask my son where Clydebank is.  He spent two years in England
and loved visiting Scotland (where I assume Clydebank is).

The other books listed (all seem to be British publications):

Sewing Machines, K.R. Gilbert, HMSO, London, 1970

Veteran Sewing Machines, Brian F. Jewell, David and Charles, Newton Abbot,

Collecting Mechanical Antiques, Ronald Pearsall, David and Charles, Newton
Abbot, 1973  

Is there a source for British publications in Washington D.C.?  Well, let me
know if I've told you anything you didn't know.  You're usually way ahead of
me on these things.  Sure is fun though.

Subject: Funny Letter
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 21:18:11 -0500

Today I received the following letter and the author gave permission to send
it to the list.  

>>"After re-reading Sincere's History of the Sewing Machine, my best guess
is that Godzilla is a Singer Model 128.  Does anyone have one of these?  E-
mail me privately if you are embarrassed to tell the rest of the list.  :-} 
All the pictures of Model 128's in the book were photographed in other
countries .  What a thing to export!">>

Would you mind going back and bringing me up to date, please?  I've been
reading the posts about "Godzilla" and not saving a lot because I had seen
no model number.  Now you've stepped on my toe and tweaked my memory!
Although I had wanted a Featherweight for some time, I had never seen one,
seen a photo of one,  or had NJS's book.  At a flea market I spotted a small
black machine for $25, no cover, no case, but obviously meant to go into a
case.  My DH cleaned it, puttered with the motor a bit, and it sews
beautifully.  But I didn't even know how to fill a bobbin, and had no one to
tell me how.  'Bout that time I discovered the number for Singer and she
regretfully informed me that I had a model 128, but I don't remember its
date.  The machine vanished into a box and I have not looked at it since -
for much as happened.  I finally got "with it" on Featherweight and now have
a true one that I decided to bite the bullet for and paid $297 since I was
having no luck at garage sales, etc.  It is the first one I had ever seen in
my town that was for sale and luckily for me, it and its case were in almost
pristine condition.  It turned out to be a March 31, 1950 one.  This was in
early November.  On December 18 my daughter came home for Christmas from CT,
gleefully bearing a lovely Featherweight she had found in a New York City
flea market for $95.  She knows nothing about machines and had had the good
sense not to even try to sew on it.  We plugged it in here, threaded it
properly and away it went!  It is an April 22, 1947, model but has the curly
-que face plate, not the striated one that I thought all post-war models had

I still haven't dug the 128 out of its box, but if you'll tell me again why
it is Godzilla, I'll look at it and see if I agree!!

Thank  you!

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 00:35:43 -0700
Subject: Re: Greetings!

To all my friends on the internet...


Look everyone! I'm really sewing! A wonderful start for the new year!

God bless everyone,

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 95 14:57:16 -0800
Subject: My new Featherweight

There are still bargains to be had. I just found a featherweight in an 
antique store in Key West, Fl. I paid 50 dollars. It doesn't have the 
case or any extra feet. Does anyone know were I can get the accessories 
for it? They told me that its circa 1950's but I can't seem to find the 
serial no. on it. It has a small about of rust but the paint in fair 
shape, its not even rubbed of where your hand goes like I seen with other 
machines. The light still works on it too. It also came with a copy of 
the orginal book (the cover has come off but its still all here).The book 
had a reciept in it that said that the serial no. is 533146. Does anyone 
know if that means it was made in 1953? Any help would be appreciated. 
Donna F
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 12:05:12 EST
Subject: Godzilla

     You wondered why anyone would make a machine that looked like that.
Your machine is probably WW II vintage.  An old Singer dealer told me that
chrome along with other critical materials was not available so the war
machines had blued needle plates, etc. and the crackle finish.  Later when
they were unable to produce new machines at all, the factory refurbished
some older ones and these also had the crackle finish and blued needle
plates.  These were usually model 99's and 128's.  One of the finest sewing
machines I have ever had or seen was a 1941 Model 99-24 in a bent-wood
case.   My wife thought it was so ugly that it should be considered junk
but one of her older quilting buddies wanted it very badly so I sold it to
her - she didm't think of it as ugly, she thought of it as a venerated WW
II veteran and would save it rather than her mint Featherweight if her
house was burning and she could only save one machine.  The original owner
must have also had a high regard for it since it had been very well cared
for even though it had seen considerable use.
     On another subject, there is a repair shop in this area that has lost
their lease and will go out if the owner can't find another location he can
afford.  He never threw anything away and had over 200 machines.  He has
now pitched 100 and taken another 100 home.  I don't know if he will do
mail order but if anyone is interested I will ask.  He has several of the
knee-bars for the bent-wood cases, at least 3 99K's, and who knows what
else.  He has one 301 which was brought in for servicing 6 mos ago and
never claimed.  If it's not picked up by Jan 5 I get it.  He also had a
very nice Commemorative 221 that he had been stripping parts off of which I
did get.  Now if I can only find another junked machine perhaps I can make
one good machine.
Date: 01 Jan 96 12:26:06 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 12/31/95

Hi FAnatics,
	I hope I can figure out how to send this from C'serve. I lurk here every
day but so far my attempts to send mail have failed. Oh, well, I'll try again.
You all have taught me SO much about these sweet beauties we all treasure! I'm
very grateful to you all for sharing your wisdom. So here's a challenge:  I
recently bought a FW and it ran beautifully for a while, until it stopped short,
never to run again....as in the Grandfather's CLock song. So I took it apart
like Nancy S-J suggests, and sure enough, there was a thread caught behind the
bobbin case. I removed it, replaced it just right, with the finger just where
it's supposed to be, but the hand wheel still won't turn. So  I took it apart
again and noticed that the bobbin case and other parts of the stitch forming
mechanism are gunked up with some hard black stuff. At first it looked like the
metal was pitted, but it's not. I've wiped and wiiped it all with WD40, which
has been minimally helpful. My best guess is that a previous owner put some bad
oil on these parts and it hardened. Any ideas about how to get it off? Thanks in
advance for your brainstorms!
	Sherry G
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 13:22:28 -0500
Subject: missing bobbin cases

A friend bought a fw that was missing the bobbin case and it cost $40 less
than a previous machine from the same place.  I'd buy the machine if it was
in my price range less $70 for the cost of replacing the case.  But then,
I'm one of those people who can't say no if I can afford not to....

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 13:37:47 -0500
Subject: Iowa Sesquicentennial Quilt Show

Happy New Year, Feather Weight Fanatics!!

      The great state of Iowa (said modestly) is beginning a year long
celebration of her 150th birthday of statehood.  As quilters are always
planning ahead (the only way we can get things done!),  we had a
Sesquicentennial Quilt Challenge, issued in March 1995 by the Grout Museum in
Waterloo, IA.  The quilts had to be no larger than 40" square, and use the 2
fabrics in the kit.  They were also to interpret Iowa, or the
Sesquicentennial, or the theme, which was "Iowa, A Place to Sew"  (a take off
on the state theme of Iowa, A Place to Grow).
      Over 200 kits were sold, and 107 finished quilts were shown at an
exhibit in October 1995.  Of these, 65 were chosen by viewer's choice, to be
part of a traveling exhibit, which will be shown around Iowa during 1996.  
     Yes, I know, you are saying, what does this have to do with FWFs??
  Well, I know that 3 FWF's made quilts which not only made the traveling
exhibit, but were Best of Show, First Place in Traditional Pieced category
and First Place in Mixed Techniques category!!   I can't speak for the other
2, but all the machine piecing of my quilt was done on my FW machine.   (My
apologies to any other FWFs who might have made Sesqui. quilts, if I don't
know about you!)    
      If you are interested in viewing the Iowa Sesquicentennial Quilts, they
are the featured group for the month of January at Turtle's Quilting
Playground, here is the address:
      Thanks to Jeanne Joens, who photographed the quilts, and Bob Nick, who
maintains the Turtle's Quilting Playground page.
      I wrote an article on the Iowa challenge, for Lady's Circle Patchwork
Quilts magazine, which will be in the April '96 issue (should be out about
March 1st). 
 A few of the quilts will also be shown in the magazine.
      I was encouraged by another FWF member to post this, hope it will be of
interest.  I don't have my FW's for decorative or investment purposes- they
are working girls!!  My top of the line Pfaff is only used when I need the
zigzag function- all my piecing and other sewing is done on my FWs.   
       Wishing you all a great 1996!!                            Karan
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 14:03:16 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Happy New Year

I hope everyone reading this has a great time off work today and a
great New Year.  I went on a FW search this weekend but came up with
nothing.  There's a Singer dealer on the east side of town who used to
sell a good many antique machines.  I hadn't been there for several
years and thought I'd check out the shop.  They didn't have one old
machine and said they didn't keep them anymore.  I was so disappointed.
They did have one FW in the back room that she said was in perfect
condition.  A 50's model with manual and attachments but she said
she wanted $699.00 for it.  I didn't even ask to see it because I
knew that was out of my price range.  I want to keep looking for a
good bargain.  I stopped at an indoor flea market.  (Darlene, it's
on second avenue just east of Target.)  Anyway they had one little
portable machine that was blue with no name and wanted $20.00 for
it.  I passed it up though because since I already have three machines
I decided I'm only looking for the really old ones.  But it's fun
to look.  Happy FW hunting in '96!
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 13:56:08 -0700
Subject: Re: Shipping &manuals

Hi all,

I've shipped a couple of FW's and had them arrive in perfect condition. I
used a box that had plenty of space all around the machine, especially at
the top and bottom. I recently got a new printer and the styrofoam inserts
were perfect to put under and on top of the FW case. Inside the case I
packed with lots of wadded up newspaper, especially around the spool pin.
Outside the case was also packed with newspaper. The box was marked all
over with up arrows so it would never be on it's side or upside down.
Mainly I think the box must be large enough to do some serious packing. If
you let someone else do it for you (like Mailboxes USA) make sure they use
a large enough box.

Katy... I have a number of White Rotary machines and will check
to see if any have manuals. I'd be glad to copy one for you if I do. Email
me so we can get together on addresses.

This is the *greatest* list and I'm grateful to Sue for maintaining it.
Thanks Sue!

Happy New Year to all!!!

Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 16:49:43 EST
Subject: My godzilla stories...

I too, am glad to finally know that it was a Godzilla that started out my
adventures in sewing so many years ago... My grandfather bought a Singer
128 for Grandma in the late 40's.  Why, I'll never know since the LAST
thing Grandma was inclined to do was sew!  Fortunately however, my mother
was in high school then and discovered sewing in home ec.  She was a
natural and took custody of her mother's "Godzilla".  About 1960 Mom
replaced Godzilla with a 401 zig zag.  I was 10 years old and just becoming
interested in sewing.  Mom had traded in the 128 to purchase the 401 but
the Singer dealer agreed that I could buy back the 128 at the price he
allowed on Mom's machine --  $25.00.  That was a fortune to a 10 year old!
Where could I have gotten that kind of money?
    My grandfather, who had originally bought this same machine for
grandma, had given me a number of silver dollars over the years.  I was
told I could never spend those silver dollars without special permission
and only for a very special and important purchase.  I counted up my silver
dollars.  There were 28 of them!  I called grandpa and told him that I
wanted permission to spend the silver dollars to buy myself a sewing
machine.  He hemmed and hawed but then agreed that it was a worthy
purchase.  I went down to the Singer store and looked at all the used
machines on sale to see if there was a better buy than my mother's old
machine.  But there was nothing close to my 25.00 price range.  I now
realize Mom had worked out the deal with the Singer guy to give me an
opportunity to have my own machine, but that to truly appreciate it I had
to want it badly enough to sacrifice something.
     By the time I was 12, I was sewing all my clothes.  Mom neglected to
tell me that I was to clean and oil the machine occasionally. When I was
about 17 I finally read the manual and discovered I had been sewing on this
trusty machine practically non-stop for 5 years and had NEVER oiled her.
Admittedly she sounded like a truck, but, she never missed a stitch!  When
I finally oiled the poor thing she purred like a kitten!   I took her to
college with me and earned extra money sewing for others.   Most people
were surprised to learn I was not a home ec major.  What?  Doesn't everyone
take a sewing machine to college with them?  My college graduation gift was
a Touch 'n Sew 758, so I sold my little Godzilla to a friend for $20.00.
        I have since regretted selling her for nostalgic reasons.  But this
summer at an antique show I ran across her twin sister languishing in a
corner with a $5.00 price tag on her!  Now who could resist that poor
little ugly duckling 128?  I had to give her a good home.  She has joined
my growing family of orphan machines.  She may be an ugly duckling but she
sews like the swan she really is!
Chris D
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 18:51:02 EST
Subject: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of the Featherweight Fanatics.
I have located one of the Singer oak foldup attachment boxes 
for shuttle treadle machines. It is in excellent condition. 
It contains about 10 "Singer gadgets" and an original Singer 
style screwdriver. It has a holder for shuttle bobbins, but 
none are in it. All of the attachments are bright and shiny, 
no rust. The purple velvet lining is in great condition,
also. The box says "Patented February 10, 1889" in a stamped 
oval on the wood. All of the hinges and latch work
perfectly. The box folds out into 4 triangular shaped
sections. This is the best example of one of these that I
seen. I am offering it for sale for $52 plus $4 shipping.
Not a bad deal when you consider that they are getting $50
for 5 featherweight gadgets in a cardboard box!
If you are interested, please E-mail
Thanks, Joe 
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 19:02:32 -0500
Subject: Various items

1. I would hate to see this list restricted to just FW chat.  I own two FW's
and I think they're great, but I have learned a lot about care of those
machines by reading about problems and discoveries others have made.  Because
of info provided from this list, I am now actively hunting a 301.  All of us
need to be careful that we do not restrict ourselves so tightly that we fail
to take advantage of all the info out there.  I want to hear about 99's, 128
and whatever anyone else wants to share with me.

2.On another matter, I ran across a nice Singer collectible this week.  Saw a
metal sign titled "The Singer Tea Party".  The sign was about 8" by 16".  It
had a scene of little girls who were having a doll party on a closed Singer
machine.  The logo pointed out that it would be good for this when one was
not actually sewing.  Cost was $14.00

3.  My daughter gifted me with another wooden box for Christmas.  Unlike the
one I purchased a few weeks ago, this one was loaded with almost everything
that was supposed to be inside it.  It came with an instruction book for the
attachment set (#11) for the model 66 machine.  I will not quote the price
list for attachments and parts because I hate to think of a lot of you (and
me too) weeping so early in the new year.

Happy New Year and especially to Sue

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 96 18:35 MST
Subject: naming your FW

Marilyn..you asked what I had named my new little beauty,  well I had to
think for awhile, and what came to mind is GORGEOUS  since whenever I speak
of her, the word gorgeous keeps popping up.  Gorgeous is purring like a
kitten. although after sewing on a Bernina 1530 for the last 2 years, she's
been a bit of a challange.  She reminds me alot of the old Nechi that my mom
had, and I hated it.  At the age of 12, I could tear that stinker apart,
unjam the bobbin thread, and get her back together again in a matter of
minutes, Now that came out wrong, she reminds me of the Nechi because of the
way the machine is set up, threading it, the bobbin winding, the way the
bobbin goes in, NOT THE WAY IT RAN!!!!!  Heaven forbid,  Gorgeous runs
great, I'm just not accustomed to the foot pedal, or presser foot being so
narrow, but I'm quite confident that it will be only days before she's my
main machine.  

A question. the motor seems to be rather loose, DH wants to know if he
should tighten it up or if he should leave it alone?  Is it supposed to sit
loosely, or should it be firm?  It wobbles as it is now.

I'm on the fence about talking about other machines on the newsletter.  I
was totally unaware of all the interest in other machines, since FW's and
Berninas have been my main focus for several years.  Now that I have all
this info going on in my head, I'm really curious to find other machines and
checking them out.  It's nice to know that all these great machines are
being saved from the dumps, and other unfriendly places.  My oldest daughter
just found me a Singer 347 that was on it's way to the Salvation Army, after
going to the repairman,  I now have a machine that my youngest daughter can
learn to sew on, all for $48.55.  It's a really grotesque turquoise color,
and says made in Great Britain.  I'm assuming from the color it's from the
early 60's when Singer still made a good machine.  So if it goes to a vote,
I vote keep the info coming on all the machines.

Happy New Year....Mary
Subject: 99k; Machine Oil; Treatise; etc.
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 96 18:43:19 -0500

Kenneth: Thanks for the Singer service number in NY.  Information like that
comes in handy for those of us in rural areas.  I tried to visit a Singer
store 100 miles from here on Saturday only to find the shop gone.  Sad. I
was also interested to hear you are the curator of a museum toy collection;
I have about 55 metal toy sewing machines dating between 1900 to 1955.  Most
are from the '40s and '50s.  

Dawn S.: Thanks for the info on the 99k with throat plate guidelines.  Now I
want one of those AND a cover plate. Does your throat plate have a part
number? Sorry I can't help you with back issues of FWF as all mine are hard

Krisi: So you're not interested in collecting Singer loin cloths?  Guess we
all have our limits!  In a used bookstore today I spied a 1914 book on home
recipes and compounds for everything imaginable.  Under sewing machine oil
it said that for machines in use on a daily or frequent basis, sperm oil was
the best. Can anyone tell me where I can buy some?

By the way, my MACHINE SEWING - A Treatise book has 207 pgs. (1950 edition).
I also have a Student's Manual of Machine Sewing - Singer dtd. 1941 (same
date as Shirley's) but mine is beige with a 3 5/8" band of dark rust across
the top of the cover with the title in beige lettering.  My copy has 48 pgs.
with two staples in the binding. I find antique dealers tend to lump these
little manuals in with the small cookbooks and kitchen appliance manuals.

Katy: If you can get the dealer to come down about $80 on the price of the
FW with the stolen bobbin case, I'd go for it.  Be sure to take your 301
bobbin case and sew on the FW to make sure it runs well.  Just this week I
told two different antique shop owners to take the shuttle bobbins and
accessories out of their treadle machines because people steal them.  Pretty

While I didn't find any old sewing machine books today, one shop was open on
New Years and for a dollar I found a 1957 book entitled CLOTHING FOR MODERNS
by Mabel D. Erwin. A 27-page chapter called "Using the Sewing Machine"
includes a few pictures and diagrams covering basic threading, bobbins
attachments, trouble-shooting, etc., specifically mentioning Singer 66, 15-
88 to 15-91, 201 and 306.  There is a picture of a "walking presser foot"
that caught my eye; I didn't realize they made these in 1957.  I can't
decide if it is a Singer foot as the caption says TSM Co.  It looks nothing
like the Singer Even Feed Foot. Anyway, this is the third clothing
construction book I've found with sewing machine info so be sure to look for

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 96 19:55 PST

Happy New Year to all!  I've been enjoying all of the postings to this list
but have been quiet 'till this point, however, I thought you might like to
hear about my featherweight quest.  I've been looking for quite some time
now but they seem to be fairly rare in this part of the country - I'd only
seen pictures, not even the real thing, other than vendors using them at
various quilt shows I'd gone to in Seattle (and they certainly weren't
selling their precious FW!).  Imagine my delight at the Houston
International Quilt Festival to see these baby's for sale - until I saw the
prices.  Not in my budget.  When I arrived home I was telling a friend about
my trip and the FW's I saw etc. I couldn't believe when she told me our
mutual sewing machine repairman had just picked up one.  I immediately
called him and was told yes - he had to do some work on it and if he could
get it running the price would be $125 (this is CDN funds-about $175 US
funds).  I was over at his shop the next day - the little beauty was up and
running perfectly - he redid the wiring in the cord and that was the only
problem he could see.  Well, after Houston I was fairly broke and Christmas
was coming so I asked if he'd take a deposit to hold it - I then called my
DH and said I'd made Christmas shopping easy for him!  This all happened
mid-November and I've been holding my breath since.  The box under the tree
looked right but you never know.  So, on to the important details - she came
with a case, bobbins filled with thread, attachments galore, machine
lubricant, a Singer buttonholer (in a green case with instruction booklet),
just missing the keys for the case and the instruction booklet.  Her serial
no. is EF282560 and she is in wonderful shape.  I haven't called Singer yet
but from info I picked up on the 'net I believe she was manufactured in
Scotland in 1949.
The endplate has the fancy scrollwork. 
Question - I've examined this baby from top to bottom and nowhere can I find
a model number - is this where Singer can help me?
So, now you all know why I've been quiet - I wasn't sure 'til Christmas
whether I'd be able to contribute to the list or not.  I've been reading all
the postings and absolutely green with envy hearing about all of your
"treasure hunting'.  Now, a friend just told me about a toy machine she
bought ... hmm.

from Cheral
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 22:49:51 -0500
Subject: Helpful Hint!

Happy New Year to FWFanatics everywhere!

Thank you, Sue, for all you do to send this digest out daily!  I look forward
to reading it and being connected to FWFanatics around the world!

I've got a helpful hint to share:   It is desirable to run each sewing
machine(s) we own at least once a month, to keep it performing at its peak.
  So at the beginning of every month (like now!), if you have not stitched on
a machine you have, gently run it unthreaded for several minutes, varying the
speed.    This will keep the gears in good operating shape.

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 23:23:34 -0500
Subject: New FW

Happy New Year to you all!!

We went to Kansas for Christmas and stayed with my mother-in-law for a week.
 She owns two FWs, one was her mother's and the other she bought from a
friend several years ago.  She sort of offered me one some time ago but
because she uses them both keeping dark thread on one and light on the other,
I didn't have the heart to push it.  I just asked her to keep a look out for
FWs in case she came across a good deal.  So, during this past year, she
called the nearest sewing machine store and inquired about FWs.  He had none
that were a reasonable price so she didn't buy any.  But a few months ago, he
came to her door (he's in Hutchison and she's in McPherson) with one for sale
and wondered if she would like it.  She bought it for me and gave it to me on
Christmas.  What a surprise!  I haven't called in with the SN yet so don't
know when it was born but it has the scrolly work on the face plate instead
of the straight lines.  I called our nearest quilting shop yesterday to sign
up for Gordy's class on FW maintenance.  They had one more opening for the
February class-I'm in!!

The one she bought for me just came in a vinyl carrying case but she gave me
her old case because I preferred it and it would be better on the plane.  She
had it out in the shop behind her house because she didn't like the mildew
smell.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to get it and left the vinyl case for
her.  It sews quite well but I've never used nor seen a FW being used so I
don't have anything to compare it to.  The underside metal plate is gone and
in its place is a wooden one.  I looked at the two machines my mother-in-law
has and both of hers have metal plates.  Hers are in A1 condition; both have
all of the gold work in perfect condition where as mine has some of the gold
work rubbed off.  Mine also seems to have some build up on the base near and
around the gold work and I am going to use a little WD-40 on it (carefully,
that is) to see if it removes it.  I would like it to shine.  Anyway, don't
want to look a gift horse in the mouth as I am very pleased to own one.
 Hopefully, it will be my first and not only FW.

I hope everyone of you received special gifts of love also for Christmas-FWs
or other wonderful gifts.

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 22:08:02 -0800
Subject: October FWF

I too would like to hard copy all of Octobers Digest. I feel I have missed
some good chatter .  I print each day FWF E-mail and share it with my
friends that would never in there life have a computer or be on the net. I
Punch 3 holds in it, put it binders and share. They all have at least 1 FW
and its good reading to most of them.
Thank You to Kenneth Loyal in Manhattan who Talked about archiving. An
intresting person to work as a proffessional archivist.  I like the chatter
about the SINGERS and maybe the historians will love us. So Keep records of
the changes. My dh said from the begining "how much can you say about a
FW?" we have proven him wrong.

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 06:33:06 -0500
Subject: Packaging


I thank all who wrote me and I have decided to answer your questions through
the newsletter to share my experience in the museum field with everyone.  My
college training was in museum studies and conservation, specifically
costume.  My many years in the field have taught me what I am sharing.  I
will start with the queries regarding the packing of the machines.

There is not perfect way to pack to insure absolutely no damage.  However,
there are some important guidelines to save injury to the machine.  There is
a packing material called "ethafoam" (a DuPont product) which is relatively
inert and very stable.  It is siimilar to the pellets used to package
material and is often used to pack items such as computers.  It is a shiney,
white and slightly sticky foam.  It comes in various thickness and the
different sizes can all be used.  The 1/4" can be used to wrap the heads of
the machines, while the 6" pieces can be cut to stabilize the base.  Someone
hit on the correct idea last week when they mentioned packing the case
separately.  The machine should be packed in one container and the case in
another.  If the ethafoam cannot be found, use lots of the pellets. Surround
the head to a thickness of at least four inches  with the pellets, between
the head and the box, that is.  And be sure to put a four inch layer on the
bottom of the box, to keep the base from being near an edge of the box.
 There is not a lot anyone can do to make sure a box stays with the intended
top side up during shipping.  Too many people, time limits and variables.
 The case should be packed in it's own box, using the same guidelines.  Fill
the interior with pellets and surround the case with at least four inches of
pellets or foam.

One of my favorite attachments for my Featherweight back in the 1960's was
the monogram attachment.  Like the zigzag attachment, it moved the fabric as
the initial was being formed.  I haven't seen much talk about either of those
attachments.  I have seen several of each at an antique store in
Pennsylvania.  I will call information later today to get their phone number
and see if they still have them.  I have mine and love to use them, the
pleasant little click-click sound is very reassuring as the initials or
zigzag motifs are formed.

Before I go to work today, I would like to just address the issue of value,
which was mentioned in several of the letters I got.  Remember, these are
antiques and are not being made.  My tan baby sold for $149.95 when new, ages
ago.  We are willing to pay thousands for the new machines.  The machine is
worth what you are willing to pay and the person who sells it wants.  That
should be the only guide to pricing.  

Best of the first week of 1996.

Kenneth L
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:22:52 -0500
Subject: This and That

Donna--Congratulations on a great find! I am so excited for you.You should
find the serial number on the bottom of the machine. Pick it up and look for
it stamped underneath.

Al and Chris-- I loved the Godzilla stories!

Sadie--Good job on the Iowa quilt contest!

Gretchen--Thanks for the info on shipping machines and I'll e-mail you about
the manual, Thanks!

Flo--I think I would have had a hard time passing up that metal Tea Party

Mary --My mom had a Nechhi too. She made my sister and I orange
dresses with a brown scalloped stitch trim. Then she put it away never to be
seen from again :).

Terry--I saw a 99k last weekend that had the seams marked on the throat
plate. I wish I could have boughten just that :). I believe the serial number
started with EF.

Marie--Thanks for the hint, at the very least, it is a great excuse to sew
today :).

Cheral--Good for you! What a great Christmas gift!

Evie--My SIL lives in McPherson, Kansas maybe I will have to have her look
for me :).

To all who gave advice on the FW without a bobbin case, thanks. Actually this
might put it in the affordable range for me since I have a bobbin case I can
use and wouldn't have to buy one immediately.  I am going to try to get back
over there this week. I'll keep you all posted.

Have a terrific day! Katy
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:55:56 -0500
Subject: misc

I'd like to hear from the FWF who asked for a copy of the Wheeler &Wilson #9
instruction manual.  I have lost your email and need snail mail address.

Although this is a feather weight digest, I just love all this other info on
other great machines.  We all seem to be pretty well-rounded, machine wise.
 It has really opened my eyes a lot!  That's my 2 cents worth!
Subject: Spartan question
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 10:21:17 -0600 (CST)

First of all, Happy New Year Everyone!  The sun is finally shining!

I saw a Spartan machine last week in an Antique Mall, it was priced at
$185.  There was no case, the footpedal looked like it must be the
original. What is the average price for these machines?  I have 3 FWs,
2 treadles and no more space but....

Thanks for any help on this machine.

It is so great to be able to communicate with people who don't look at
you with (at best) a raised eyebrow because of your passion for old

Jane M
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 12:13:37 -0500
Subject: Gear Driven Singers

Hi Everyone,  I have been enjoying this list for about one month now.  I
have owned my featherweight for 2 years now and take it to quilting classes
as well as our boat which is located on Lake Champlain in Vermont.  Do any
other FW owners do sewing on boats.  My DH is very kind an does not go nuts
if I sew on the boat.  I prefer do to this while he washes and waxes the
boat.  I have even repaired boat canvas with the FW.  I hunt out and seek
the Singers that are gear driven.  I have two 401A's that I paid $ 100 each
for.  These are gear driven zig zag machines that I love and do my home
sewing on.  My friends enjoyed these machine so much four have purchased
used ones.  The going price around here seems to be $ 100 for the 401A's
with or without a cabinet.  I have also purchased two 301's for $ 100 each.
I kept one and the art Department at my husband's school uses the other one.
They are great stitching machines.  I also purchased two 404 Singers for $
65 each.  These machines are gear driven and only straight stitch, but they
do a great job.  I gave one to my niece for Christmas, very easy to thread
and not much to go wrong with.  She is 10 years old and is just getting
started with sewing.  I am a home economics teacher and I seek these
machines for my classroom as well.  I believe the new Singers are poorly
made and the school does not have the budget for the higher priced machines.
These older ones just keep on going and the students prefer them because the
thread and tension work well.  I believe these machines are worth collecting
and using.  Happy New Year,  

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 96 09:20 PST
Subject: Christmas FW

        Hi everyone!  I called Singer this am (6am Pacific time) and held my
breath while I waited for the rep to look up the details on my baby
(EF282560) - since I couldn't find the model no. myself I was worried that I
didn't actually have a 221.  Well - I do, a model 221K (as I thought) born
on August 17, 1949!
        The next step is to find a copy of Nancy Johnson-Sebro's book - I've
had it on order from the nearest quilt shop (200 miles away) for over a
month now.  Think I should try another source.  
        I also plan on calling the Bob (who we purchased the 221 from) to
see if he has any details on her history - I was so excited when I
discovered her in November that I didn't think to ask - and then I was too
scared in case my DH didn't follow through with my Christmas request!
        Question - how do I contribute to the survey I've been reading
about? TIA.
                                        Cheral S
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 16:12:54 -0500
Subject: FW w/o Bobbin Case con't.

Thanks to all for the advice on this machine. I called around today to find
out what a bobbin case would cost me locally and the range was $80-$98. Then
I called and talked to the dealer who said even without the bobbin case she
wouldn't go less than $250 but she wouldn't even do that until she had a
chance to look for a bobbin case herself. She was sure she could find one for
less and sure enough, she did! (She wouldn't tell me where she found one or
what she actually paid.) So the price is $295 with a bobbin case. The machine
is an AK with a case in good condition. It has no manual or attachments. She
says it runs well. It is cosmetically beautiful. I will be able to try it out
this weekend. She says they have layaway. Now to convince my DH......I think
I will look around and see what I have that I can sell. Anyone interested in
a spongeware bean pot? 

Katy where it is STILL snowing
Subject: Manual for Singer 128?
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 96 17:06:38 EST

Hi, all:

Today I finally got to the downtown library and had a look at
the "Sincere's" book about sewing machine repair.  I now  know
that my Singer is a "long shuttle" or "vibrator" machine.  It
looks like it's a 3/4 head, so I guess I have a model 128.
I can't be positive, since the folks at Singer told me that
no one had recorded the model number for the machine when
it was given its serial number. 

My machine's manual was long lost when I bought her.  If anyone
on the list who has a manual for a 128 would be kind enough
to send me a photocopy, I'll pay you handsomely  

Tomorrow I'm going to check out a new store that bills itself
as selling "Antiques, Collectibles and Junk", and see if they
have any FWs (don't tell my husband that I'm looking for
yet another sewing machine before I've paid my second term
university tuition, okay?) :-)

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 17:27:46 -0500
Subject: Oiling the FW

Hi all:

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year.  I have been reading about
and speaking to people about how often to oil the FW and have rec'd so many
different opinions I don't know what to do with my machine.  I've been told
everything from once a year -  to every 8 hours of use - to each time I use
it.  Someone please HELP me get it right.  Also buttonhole attachments - do
they work well with the FW - since it is  a straight stitch machine how does
it stitch the zig zag for the buttonhole?  Thanks for any help with the oiling.
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 19:16:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Machine Sewing...

Thanks to all of you who posted your descriptions.  I'll be a much more
efficient hunter from now on!
                                  _   _
Lydia P
Subject: Model 128
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 96 19:07:24 -0500

This morning I finally called Singer and found out that Godzilla is indeed a
Model 128 born May 1, 1950.  I couldn't get a manual but I was told to call
Bellevue, Washington (206)462-1274 to order one.  The manual says #127 
(Model) on the cover and is Stock #505-257-127.  That makes me wonder if
those of you with 128s have manuals that actually say Model 128 on the cover
. According to a Singer parts book I looked at today, there were at least 6
different Model 128s.

Al said>> Your machine is probably WW II vintage..... Later when they were
unable to produce new machines at all, the factory refurbished some older
ones and these also had the crackle finish and blued needle plates>>   Well,
while it isn't quite that old, could Godzilla be a refurbished 127?  Would
certainly explain why the manual is for a 127. I also read that in the late
1940's Singer had a crippling strike that lasted over a year so WWII wasn't
the only thing affecting their supply of machines. But if they refurbished
old machines, did they remove the old serial numbers and install new ones? 
Another mystery.

>>  She may be an ugly duckling but she sews like the swan she really is!
Chris Deitchley in South Bend, IN>>  Chris I loved your story about buying
your mother's 128 with your silver dollars.  From what you and others say,
this machine must be a diamond-in-the-rough and you've peaked my interest in
getting it to run. This may be a very interesting project. When I asked the
repairman about putting kerosene in the oil holes, running it and then
oiling it, he said to use Liquid Wrench Super Lubricant instead of kerosene.
 He had an aerosol can of this and I'm wondering if anyone has any comments.
 Several of you have mentioned your dh fixes old machines but do they just
oil them?

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 22:04:06 -0500
Subject: New Old FW

     Happy New Year to all.  My DH's great aunt gave me her FW, I picked her
up over the holidays.  She is a Canadian beauty: EE 811303.  According to
Singer she was born Sept 16, 1948 and is still in great shape.  The case is
in great shape too.  My MIL has a  FW that I examined over the holidays (AJ
215534, Nov 18, 1949).  The EE has the fancy scrollwork face plate and a
leather handle on the case while the AJ has a striated face plate and plastic
handle on the case.  They are only one year apart but also one country apart.
 The EE has lived its life until now in Canada and of course has a Canadian

    I also got to clean up a 99 that my SIL bought at a sale of some sort for
cheap.  She doesn't know anything about sewing machines but liked the way
this one looked (good taste).  It's in a bent wood dome case.  It's missing
the throat plate, bobbin and unfortunately the knee control thing.  I've
never seen a knee controlled machine in person so I have a question: Can a
knee control be created even if it's not pretty.  The machine is 5 hours away
now so I can't look myself but it seems that something could be made to work
since all the electrical stuff is already in the machine.  Are knee control
things available? (wishful thinking?)  I located a bobbin but am still
looking for a throat plate.
     I enjoyed reading all the stuff on 99s when I returned from the holidays
especially since I had just tried cleaning up the above machine.  Thank
goodness I was unsuccessful in getting that bit of red fuzz(felt) out of that
spring in the bobbin area.

Happy year of the FW to all!
Date:          Wed, 3 Jan 1996 14:31:14 GMT-10
Subject:       New member

I have been lurking on this list for months enjoing the talk about 
old sewing machines.  I am interested in finding an old treadle 
machine like the one my grandmother bought in 1915 and my mother and 
I both learnt to sew on.  Has any one ( Gordy or Terry) ever heard of 
an ANA treadle machine c1915.  It looks just like a Singer treadle of 
that vintage but has ANA stamped on the body .  It may have been 
imported from the UK or Europe pre WW1. I have contacted the ISMACS 
( the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society)
and hope to find some history as to the ANA sewing machine.

In my search for a treadle I have become the proud owner of :
1  a hand crank,shuttle bobbin Singer machine c1915  G4723488 mounted 
in a wooden base and a bentwood case made in the USA
2  a knee powered electric Singer c1949  EF255666 made in the UK with 
a bentwood case
3  a Singer treadle head (minus the treadle) c1925  Y6345793

I have my eye on a FW in a local Antique shop, however it is minus 
the electric cord, attachments etc so I haven"t been tempted.....yet.

If anyone has any information about an ANA treadle please email

from Elizabeth
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 20:55:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW's For Sale

    I have the following FeatherWeights For Sale. I will try to describe 
them to the best of my ability but please feel free to email or phone for 
further information.

AF  1938 -Attachments, Case, manual, a little wear on the gold and the 
black but considering it's year it is in good condition. $395.

AG  1941 - Attachments, manual, case, tray, black in front shows wear.

AH  1948 - Attachments, manual, layered case, very good condition, even wear.

AJ  1950 - Attachments, manual, case, great condition, key with the case.

AJ  1950 - Attachments, manual, case, a little wear. $425.

AM  1956 - Attachments, manual, case, the later version scrollwork, both 
           and machine, very good condition $550

ES  1962 - Manufactured in St. Johns Canada, center of gold oval is red, 
           later version scrollwork, 221-K below oval, lube in box, 
           original needles, manual, case, $595. This machine is set apart
           by its red marking, perfect condition and collectors status.

The following are Anniversary Machines with the blue outer stripe on the 

AJ  1951 - Case, zerox manual, no attachments, has some wear on the 
           black. $395.

AK  1951 - Very good condition, case, key, attachments, manual, needles 
           original $525.

AJ  1950 - Superior, manual, attachments, case, key, needles in originial 
           wrap. $595. 

There will be a $25. UPS shipping charge added on to the machines price.
All machines are swatched out and in running order, shipping charge 
includes insurance for machines worth.  Zsuxxa
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 00:55:24 -0500
Subject: Such service

This is a copy of a letter we are sending to the Singer Company:

Singer Sewing Company
PO Box 190
Edison, NJ 08818

Dear Folks,

My husband called your 800 number yesterday to ask about an
old machine we just purchased.  He gave your customer
service person the serial number and the representative
identified the machine as a Singer 101 manufactured on March
23, 1927.  

This is such a marvelous service.  We want to thank you for
your courteous attention.  We hope this message is passed
around the customer service office.

We were told that if we sent in $5.00 we could get a copy of
a manual for the Singer 101 machine.  Enclosed please find a
check for $5.00.  Please send the manual to the address at
the top of this letter.  Thank you.
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 07:54:45 -0500
Subject: Re: other machines

Hold it right there fans - don't nobody change nuttin'! - Somebody was
muttering about making this a FW's Only List and I for one vote the other
way.  One of the reasons I love this list is that it does wander around the
whole field of old sewing machines!  There is only so much to say about FW's
- and believe me we say it! - and the info about books and attachments and
other machines definitely makes this a nicely varied buffet.  I have been
pleasantly atonished about how long this List has lasted given the topic,
which one might expect to run a limited life span - instead it keeps on
rolling with ever new sightings and info!  Let 'er rip fans!  Henrietta
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 07:53:36 -0500
Subject: unexpected finds

Dear Friends  well I finally had some luck, not fantastic luck but for me who
never has a knack for this I was VERY pleased.  Went to small neighboring
town after christmAs to an antique (really just expensive junk, not a classy
place) mall looking for a small wooden kitchen table.  As I was leaving I
idly asked if any of the booths had a sewing machine - just a small one he
replied - oh my heart! - he pointed to the booth and the minute I walked in I
spotted the little black case on the floor. $230 for FW Centennial with blue
ringed medallion, #AK089961, a very musty smelling case, 8 bobbins, small
green cardboard singer box with 5-6 attachments, small green singer
screwdriver(!) and an extra thumbscrew.  I am delighted except the case is
really stinky.  NJS book says AK is i952 but this definitely has centennial
medallion so they must have kept printing them after 1951?  This is this best
price I have paid so far.  She runs smoothly but a tad more noisy than my
other ladies.  Of course I bought her!  Happy Henrietta
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 12:13:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 1/2/96

Hi Fanatics!

To Carolyn:  I don't own a boat at the moment, but always did handcrafts etc.
on boats when I was aboard in my misspent youth - my dad had a boat.

Regarding how the zigzag works:  MY DH used one many times, and says it clamps
to the rear of the machine and actually moves the fabric back and forth- the
needle stays still!  Pretty neat, I think.

Ruth A
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 09:43:02 -0800
Subject: rough riders

Just thought I'd pass on this little eye opener.  I've been using my 1935 FW
on EVERYTHING for some months now, and after one oiling it was sounding very
loud.  I went over the whole thing and couldn't find anything wrong.  Then I
started on a project that I didn't want to use dark purple thread on ...
The thread was the culprit!  Although I can't see a difference in thickness
between it and the medium green and light blue threads I've used since (and
the light blue is the same brand and weight, according to the label), it must
be just enough thicker to make the rubbing of the spool thread against the 
machine parts to be real loud.
So if your baby has been making a lot of noise lately and she's well oiled 
and you can't find anything wrong, try changing the spool thread.

Someone said she's gotten all kinds of advice on when to oil; I'll give still
another piece.  I oil when my princess gets loud (hence my need for tips like
the thread one above) or if it's been a while, I'll look at the oiling points
in the bottom and oil if they look dry.

Date:     Wed,  3 Jan 96 09:42:13 PST
Subject:  128, 201, AND Ken's favorite...

I have a couple of attachments that came with my Featherweight, that
are not in the manual that came with it. One has a magnet! Will the
person maintaining the accessories list please send it to me? (I
loved the comment about everyone on the list knowing that
accessories didn't mean scarves &gloves or whatever!). I can't
figure out what these two thingies do.

Thanks, Diane L, for the 128 manual! Now I just have to dig out
the 128 from the garage, and see what's what. I thought it was cute
when I bought it, although it has that "stucco" finish that makes
others call it Godzilla. Certainly no grape leaves - I wonder how
many versions of the 128 were made? I actually bought it because it
reminded me of a Featherweight - this was before I got my

Terry - It was fascinating to read that the 201 was introduced at
the Texas Centennial in 1936!! Thanks for that quote from
Sincere's history, which i have not yet located.  Remember that my
FW has a Texas Centennial seal on it.  I suppose the 201's sold at
the Centennial would also have that seal?  I'd sure like to have a
201 with the same seal...

My sisters, who are much better seamstresses than I (I somehow
missed taking home ec) - although I'm the better quilter and do
good handwork - each have old machines, not Singers.  My older
sister has an ornate machine in a lovely table - she does all her
sewing on this.  My younger sister has my mother's old machine,
which has Godzilla stucco.  It was the first thing my mom bought
when she got her first job.  I think one of the machines is a White
and one a Domestic, but I forget which is which.  Both of them run
better than any modern machine.  My mom has the new machines with
the zig zags, and her daughters have all the antiques!!  Ironic.

I enjoy all the personal stories, the junk sale finds, the historic
information, the lists of parts and the discussions of red felt.
This list is a great way to start the new year!!!

-Carolyn Y
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 12:47:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: FW attachments and treadle machine


        I haven't written for a while, but I do enjoy the post everyday.

        First, what is the zig-zag and monogram attatchments for the
Featherweights for. I though the Featherweight only did straight stitching.
Does it do zig-zag too? I saw the mention of these attachments, (and I believe
the mention of a embroidery attatchment)on the list a few times.
I wanted to tell you that I almost had my hands on a Singer Treadle machine
in excellant condition. My DH friends bought a house. The garage is packed full
of junk. The previous owner told  them that they could have or throw away
anything in the garage.....I saw it...it was beautiful....I wanted it....
I said (knowing his wife doesn't sew) What are you going to do with that?
He said his mother wants it...now, everyone sit down for this....
to use as a neat table to put her plants on...!!!! A beautiful machine,
she can't sew a stitch and she wants it. My DH said if you give it to my wife
I'll buy your mom a neat plant stand.....nope....she wants that one!!!
I walked away feeling like I just lost my best friend. The light at the end of 
the tunnel was gone. 

BTW...my DH doesn't care for older machines, he even bought me a ruffler
attachment for my newer model Singer machine so I won't use the old
Free Westing House rotary one. But there he was....up to bat for me. He really
surprised me.
He says he's still going to try to get it, since the guy owes him a few favors.
Keep your fingers crossed (my birthday is in March)!!!!! 

Stopped at the local thrift shop a few days ago, but nothing as far as sewing
machines go. Found an excellant condition Cat-in-the-hat Book for my 4
year, old for 50 cents, though.

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 13:23:29 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/2/96

It is also the only place I know of where one can ask and and receive
information on other models of machines that are out of production and the
company is out of business.  I'm glad to know that there are others out there
who buy machines other than Singer if they are in good condition and priced

Lastly I would like to know if anyone has an FW for sale with a birth date of
Oct 58.  I would be interested in purchasing one.

Happy New Year to everyone out there and Happy Sewing :)
Date: 03 Jan 96 14:48:00 EST
Subject: sewing canvas on a FW

On Jan 2, 1996 Carolyn wrote:

"Hi Everyone,  I have been enjoying this list for about one month now.  I
have owned my featherweight for 2 years now and take it to quilting classes
as well as our boat which is located on Lake Champlain in Vermont.  Do any
other FW owners do sewing on boats.  My DH is very kind an does not go nuts
if I sew on the boat.  I prefer do to this while he washes and waxes the
boat.  I have even repaired boat canvas with the FW. "

Oh, I'm so glad to hear that you sew sail canvas on your featherweight 
Carolyn.  ;-)  I've been reading comments that the FW is a delicate machine
and can't do tough work.  One of my fondest memories from high school
days is the canvas sail for an iceboat my father and I made on my mother's 
We couldn't afford the new dacron fabric so we purchased yards and yards
of canvas.  Dad cut the pieces and said "sew this to this" and I sat on the
living room floor with the FW on the floor in front of me, stitching away 
while Dad guided the canvas out across the floor.  We made flat fell seams, 
and batten pockets, sewing through three layers of canvas.  Little FW never 

Now that FW belongs to me and primarily sews quilt tops (how easy) and
the sail is long gone... but the memory lingers on.  

Thanks for this little trip to the past and a happy new year to all.
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 16:52:47 -0500
Subject: New FW Owner

To All,
Santa (aka DH) gave me a FW for Xmas.  I nearly passed out when I came down
the stairs and looked under the tree.  Santa then informed me of FWFanatics
and I proceeded directly to the computer to check out the WEB page and other
info.  I have learned so much in the past week about these machines.  However,
I am another member of the 328K confused club.  I called with the serial
number and Singer informed me that the machine is a 328K even though 221K is
printed on the side of the machine.  I don't get it.  Oh Well.  More info, on
my new machine.  She appears to be of the mint green color.  She is definately
not white-white.  Last night, DH and sat down and oiled this baby according to
the 221 book and suggestions from this list and now she runs beautifully.   I
was having a problem with skipped stitches, but looked at the problem solving
part of the 221 book, reinserted the needle and now, no more skipped stitches.
 Immediately I started sewing.  

Receiving this machine has also sparked my interest in a machine I have
upstairs in a closet that I thought I hated until I started reading this
newgroup.  My grandmother left me a Singer machine.  I new it was old and that
it enjoyed eating my fabric in the bobbin.   I had just started sewing when I
first used this machine and did not have much in the way of patience.  4 years
later, I have learned you must be very patient to sew.    Anyway, after
pulling my hair out one night over this machine, DH purchased for me one of
those computerized machines and I do admit that I love this machine.  However,
I have a renewed interest in these old Singers since I have taken up quilting.
 I called Singer and found out that Grandmas machine is a 99K made 3/4/49. 
Her machine is attached to a sewing table.  I do not have a case.  I looked in
a pull out drawer and found one of those green Singer boxes labeled 99K
attachments.   I am so excited to figure out how to use them.  

So I will continue to sew with a renewed loved for these Singers.   And by the
way, does anybody know how I can get a manual for either one of these
machines.  Sorry for the long first post.
Julie F
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 19:42:30 -0500
Subject: misc

I was showing my cleaning lady some of my sewing machine related treasures,
as she also has an interest in things of this nature.  She tells me that her
mother sewed all their clothes on a Franklin machine, which is still in the
family and used regularly.  Shirley's brother's middle name is Franklin - named after the sewing machine!  That really shows how important that hunk of iron was in those days.  Like a member of the family!

I have talked to more antique dealers and estate handlers lately who say they
had no idea that there is any interest in old sewing machine parts.  I cringe
at the thought of all those attachments which probably have been junked at
the dump!

Re the Spartan, I recently saw a nice looking one in a Tag Sale store for
$40, marked down from $50.  No accessories or case as far as I could tell.

I must tell you about this marvelous old Singer ad I found this weekend.  It
is a 1934, 13 X 18",  fold-up, ad sheet titled 'Make it yourself on a
Singer'. It is comprised of photos and sketches of various machines, sewing
tables and fashion aids.  
The neatest thing about it is that the Featherweight is featured with case
and someone wrote on it: $79.90.  A handwritten note says "I hear you can buy
Singer machines in England for about half you pay in U.S.A. .....This $79.90
one is very, 
very nice.  Think about it."  It really is so neat.  Wish you could all see

And finally, I have for sale a clear plastic bobbin box containing 18 bobbins
for FeatherWeight machines.  Each bobbin is in slot to allow you to see
thread color easily and to prevent movement when lid is closed. The box is 3
x 5.5 inches.   
$15 includes packaging/postage.  Email me if interested.  Millie 
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 20:36:06 EST
Subject: Mercury

Hello all!  Well, I've been lurking here for a while and totally 
enjoying all the postings.  You have inspired me to begin 
inventorying my old machines.  Which dh and I seem to pick up just 
because we love them.  I have 2 fw's, and various other old Singers, 
including a lovely 1903 Singer treadle.  However, while in the loft 
last night, I spied a suitcase in the corner, made dh drag it out, 
thinking it might be a 99K, but it is a Mercury, gold medallion on 
the front says Made in Japan, model 1953.  It's quite nice looking, 
in great shape.  But, of course, no manual.  Can anyone provide any 
info on this?  It does weigh a ton.  And is now residing on the 
dining room table.   I found my 2nd fw, 1953, at an estate sale which 
I went to for the fw table, planning to sell the fw.  Right, that 
will never happen.  It's currently helping me piece a Storm at Sea 
quilt, while getting nasty looks from my Pfaff!   Thanks for this 
wonderful digest!!
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 20:54:15 -0500
Subject: various

Hi All!
     I would like to take a minute to thank everyone for all I have learned
on this list. I am so pleased that so many of you have offered information
about your machines for the survey. (And if any newcomers would like to
participate please e-mail me). 
     When this list first started I have to admit that I tuned out most
discussion that wasn't strictly on Featherweight facts. But I am so glad that
after reading about so many happy owners that I started looking for almost
anything with a needle. I took my first step towards a more diverse
collection when a neighbor knocked at my door and incredulously asked "Are
those all sewing machines on your wall?" Guess it's time to get curtains.
Anyway, she asked me to find for her a treadle (in perfect condition), in a
pretty cabinet (but it couldn't be oak) for $100 or less (yeah, sure). The
very next weekend I found a 1920's model 127 which had never been converted
to electricity, in a mahogany cabinet with the egyptian scrollwork and I
talked the guy down to (you guessed it) $100. We brought it home and my DH
said "before we give it to her I just want to see what it's like to sew on a
treadle" so we oiled it and a friend gave us a new belt and my husband said
"you know, this paint could be made to shine with a little work" so we spent
an afternoon cleaning it, and (yep, you guessed it again) we decided this
machine was just too gorgeous to let go. Poor lady, that was three months
ago, and I still haven't had the nerve to tell her I stole her sewing
     Then my DH got a lead on a local collector with Featherweights. Sure he
had five Featherweights, but he also had what must have been 100 toy sewing
machines and an incredible collection of pre 1900 treadles. And it just so
happened he had a Wheeler and Wilson #2 priced just right. Doesn't everyone
*need* two treadles in their dining room? If you aren't familiar with this
machine, the head faces you, so you sew from left to right (or is it right to
left). We are only a tensioner and a curved needle away from having this baby
     And thanks to Katy we are now thinking about taking a major leap and
purchasing a Florence. Ah, they don't make them like that anymore! My DH fell
in love with this machine (but especially the beautiful wrought iron base) at
the above mentioned collector's home. I'm trying to justify the cost by
telling DH that I could buy a piece of furniture for the same amount that
won't be nearly the conversation starter.
     By the way, if anyone in the U.S. is interested in getting information
about the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society that Elizabeth
mentioned, the U.S. contact is Sharon Tedrow, P.O. Box 336 Orcas, WA. 98280
(360)376-2829. She is a wonderful person (in fact she found us the tan
Featherweight that arrived the day after X-mas) but be prepared: their
newsletters will might make you feel a little premature in calling not only
the FW, but any 20th century machine an antique, as the Society is based in
Great Britain, and they tend to feel that an item isn't an antique until its
been in the family at least umpteen generations. ISMACS tends to concentrate
on toys and pre-1900 machines, although I know a member had a FW for sale at
their last get together.
Happy Sewing,
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 21:03:09 -0500
Subject: FS model 15

Happy New Year, Fanatics!  
   I'm having alot of trouble composing mail to send on my computer and
sending it.  I've tried composing off line and transferring on line and
composing on  line and then sending.  What happens is after a minute or so I
am disconnected because my signal is receiving no response.  What gives.
 I'll try 2 short letters and see if this goes.
   For sale:  One very pristine 1949 Singer model 15.  She looks like she
just came out of the showroom.  All gold is perfect, no scratches. She is in
the oak bentwood case with key.  The case is in really good condition.  It
has a few small knicks.  Nothing big or disfiguring.  Unfortunately she only
has a few attachments.  Attachments include:  presser foot, seam gauge,
zipper foor?, and a bias cutting gauge.  Her light bulb is missing.  Housing
for the bulb is there, just the bulb is missing.  I'm asking $125 for her.
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 21:03:34 -0500
Subject: Treadle mixing

Hi again, I'mmm baaaack!
   I need some help, quick.  Over the holidays, my DH picked up a 1914 Singer
127 treadle shuttle. I'm not really very interested in treadles but this one
needed a home, maybe, temporarily.  Anyway she's pretty clean.  I don't know
if she runs cause I didn't have a treadle setup, and I haven't the slightest
idea how this bobbin thing works. Oh she's missing her front throat plate.
 Anybody got one to sell?
   As luck would have it, I went fw hunting this weekend and found a old
treadle cabinet.  the Auctioneer said it was for an old Franklin machine.
 Beings this was old sewing stuff I rummaged through the cabinets drawers.
 The drawers were loaded.  A metal box of attachments, a weird looking kind
of tape measure, thimble, and a couple of books.  One is a manual for the
Franklin machine. Pictured inside is this exact cabinet.  The other book in
offering a correspondence sewing course on the Lorraine method of sewing.  
  Upon bringing home the cabinet my DH suggests we put the 127 in the cabinet
and sell it.  Well...the127 is just a bit too long on one end for the cabinet
opening.  My DH wants to router it out to make it fit.  I'm hesitant to let
him do this. I feel that that might not be the best move. Al, Gordy, anybody,
any suggestions? I want to sell this machine and probably the cabinet since I
really have no interest in owning a treadle right now.  How come we are
beckoned to buy some of these old machines when its not really what we want
at the moment.  This is not a fw that I was out hunting for.  Help---Jacque
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 01:21:52 -0500
Subject: Sewing Machines - Of course!!

Hello All!
     I have been so busy out hunting for all those great machines that
everyone is talking about, I haven't had time to write.  All the talk about
the 301's started me hunting for one.  I wanted to see for myself what all
the fuss was about.  I saw one for $75 in the local antique mall, but I
wasn't really inclined at the time.  A week or so later my 20 year old
daughter informed me that she wanted to take a sewing machine back to school
with her.  Didn't I have an extra one of those small machines for her, she
inquired.  My heart stopped - give my mechanically uninclined and generally
sloppy daughter one of my babies!!  I did plan to give her one someday when
she got her act together and would appreciate and use it.  Suddenly, I
thought of the 301's everyone had discussed - strong, durable - a real
workhorse!!  Best of all the bobbin case could easily be placed in the
machine.  For the mechanically disadvantaged this is an important issue.  It
sounded like just what my daughter needed.  Now you have to understand, my
daughter doesn't sew.  She has always talked about it and she did try it a
couple of times when she was younger but "it took soooooo long" she
complained.  She does love fabric and a few years ago even took some of her
teenage friends in to show them my fabrics because she thought they were
wonderful.  I always assumed she would naturally come back to sewing after
she grew up and wasn't in such a hurry.  Then a few months ago she started
saying that she wanted to sew her clothes because  she couldn't find anything
she liked.  Everything in the stores was so dreary.  She then asked where she
could get that fake leather - she wanted to make pants!!!!!  A beginner
project for sure.  Lately, she has mentioned making pants and a skirt out of
felt.  I was even more sure that she needed a 301.  Can you believe my luck
when I went to a different antique store and there was another 301a.  It is
beige and cream.  My SIL thought I was crazy - she thought it was just
another slightly old machine and ugly too.  While I waited for the clerk to
bring me the manual and the bobbin case, I noticed a strangely shaped
suitcase on the same table.  I wondered if they went together.  I opened the
case and sure enough it was for the 301a.  It contained a zig-zagger as well
as a box of assorted attachments.  I was in heaven.  Of course,  I bought it!
 How much?  $67.  After seeing the suitcase my SIL has changed her mind - now
I am supposed to find one for her.  Patricia - if you still need a copy of a
301 manual, I will be glad to oblige.  Just e-mail me.  I oiled and lubed her
in preparation for her enlistment period with my daughter.  I have never
named any of my machines but I think she definitely is Ethel to my daughter's
Lucy personality.  I'll keep you posted on the sewing Ethel is challenged to
do.  Without this list, I never would have known about this great machine.
     On to other things.  I have a crinkle matte finish Singer similar to the
one described as Godzilla, but mine is a 99.  The serial number is AG105529
and its b-day is Sept. 9, 1941.  It has a round top wood case and a drop in
bobbin.  I think she is beautiful in a plain way - rather like the Amish.  Is
anyone keeping any records for the machines other than featherweights?  
     Last but not least - I am seeking info on another machine I recently
purchased.  My business partner and another FWFanatic, Chris D, is
taking care of it for me until I find the right time to tell my DH.  I was
searching for a hand crank sewing machine and calling all of the sewing
machine dealers, when one of them told me to look in the local antique mall (
yes, a different one still) as he had seen an old machine in the window a few
days earlier.  I called the mall and asked about the machine.  I asked if it
had a hand crank on the wheel, but she said that there was no wheel on the
machine.  It was a treadle.  I described where the hand wheel was on the
right side of the  machine, but she insisted that there wasn't a wheel.
 Naturally, I went to see it right after work.  She was right - no wheel.  It
is a 1872 Howe Machine Co. treadle.- a Stockwell Bros. machine.  I found out
what little I know about it from the Smithsonian book.  It is missing a belt
- any ideas where I can get one?  I would love to make it run.  I also need
to clean it.  It is in good shape, but I think (hope) that some of the decals
are still there under a 120 years of living.  It did not have a manual so I
don't know for sure how to thread it.  Does anyone have one of these
machines?  A manual?  I called the Sewing Machine museum man and he indicated
that it is not a common machine.  He would have talked to me more, but I
called from work and was called away suddenly with an emergency.  What is it
worth?  Any ideas?  I paid $93.  It is very dainty as treadles go.  The head
is positively tiny and it only has one drawer.  Any information or
suggestions would be appreciated.
     I know this has been long but I have had little time to post as I have
been so busy hunting for machines.
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 12:28:18 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: Ramblings from a HOT sunny Auckland

I mentioned last week that I'd found an old Sears catalogue with more 
than 20 pages of adverts for sewing machines in it, I borrowed the book 
yesterday and have taken photo-copies of every page. ALL the ads are for 
a 'Minnesota' machine that Sears must have had made especially for them, 
they look very similar to Singers but then so do many other machines. 
There is just so much information on each page that I haven't had time to 
read it all yet, just a few snippets that I thought you all might be 
amused with:-
Our Minnesota Improved Hand Machine - with iron base, no cover $5.95
                                      with wood base and cover $7.85
                       Full set of attachments (11), extra       .75
Our New Improved Minnesota Model "A"
Furnished in the following styles:
The popular drop head styles
The full cabinet styles - $18.90
The library table sewing machine, sole exclusively by us - $21.95
The five and seven-drawer upright with drop leaf and box cover
You could also get a very basic machine, the Homan for $8.45 or the 
Belmont for $9.84.
Sewing machine needles for ALL family sewing machines, regardless of name 
and make - 15c per dozen
54" cotton warp broadcloth - 42c
Fine colored corduroys - 31c
36" black taffeta - $1
Radia style corset - 98c
27" silk and cotton pongee - 35c
There are also model "S" and "C" machines; an x-ray picture of the 
insides of the model "A"; descriptions and closeup pictures of model "A" 
(&others) parts; illustrations of "A" attachments; pictures of many 
different styles of machines (all treadles or hand-cranked); lots of 
sewing machine supplies including a 'greist tuck folder'. 
Amongst dozens of pictures/drawings of parts/attachments/machines there 
is a small one of three bobbin cases, for the White, Wheeler &Wilson and 
Standard machines.
Does anyone actually KNOW who made the machines for Sears, was it Singer 
or one of the others? You should see the work in some of the more 
elaborate cabinets and tables, just beautiful. At that stage they'd been 
selling machines for 10 years (the catalogue covers 1905-1910) so there 
must be thousands of these machines out there, right? I've never heard 
the name Minnesota mentioned at all before, has anyone else? Anyone have 
one? I'd be happy to send photo-copies of these pages to anyone who wants 
them, problem being by the time I've copied 27 pages and then added $5 
for airmail postage it becomes a bit expensive to send to lots of people! 
Maybe I could send a set to someone who has access to a free/cheap 
photo-copier who wouldn't mind distributing them, those who wanted them 
could send an sase. There is just so much information on these pages I 
hate to think of it not being shared.
>Right, that will never happen.  It's currently helping me piece a Storm 
>at Sea quilt, while getting nasty looks from my Pfaff!   Thanks for this 
>wonderful digest!! Sandi, in wet Washington State.
Snap Sandi! I've just started cutting out 1546 pieces of blue &white 
fabric for my Stars at Sea (variation of Storm at Sea) quilt, still have 
740 whites to go! I found it in Judy Martin's Scrap Quilts book. Any tips 
or hints on the piecing that you've picked up along the way?
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 20:53:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/3/96

Hi all!
	I finally found an article that tells why the FW and its big 
sisters were given the pink slip by Singer. The Dec. 20, 1958 issue of 
Business Week has an article entitled *More push overseas for Singer 
sewing*. Apparently the "Old Guard" at Singer believed they knew just 
what consumers wanted in a sewing machine and were whammied by Necchi and 
Pfaff importing zig-zag machines. Then they were double whammied by the 
Japanese with low priced machines. When Singer finally figured out what 
hit them, Singer was only selling 1/3 of the household machines on the 
market, compared to 2/3 prewar. "Still... Singer continued to rest 
chiefly on its old reliables-heavy, black(with gold lettering), 
straight-stitch models dating from pre-war days."
	Singer's answer was to finally install a new president along with 
less conservative executives whose marketing stategies included heavy 
advertising, pushing models with prices under $69 instead of over $300, 
and for the first time selling through 70 department stores and dime 
stores. I remember reading that much earlier Singer had sold through 
Wannamaker's but that was different in that all Singer salespeople there 
were factory trained and it actually operated more like a Singer outlet.  
	Foreign markets became more important to Singer as foreign 
sales climbed to 60% of total income. Singer decided to produce locally 
whenever possible. Previously the St. Johns, Canadian plant had exported 
as much as 80% of its production to Latin America and the Clydebank, 
Scotland plant was supplying both Great Britain and the U.S. About this 
time they opened plants in Brazil, Mexico and Australia to supply local 
areas. This article also mentions that the plant at Clydebank had 13,000 
employees, and I read somwhere that that factory was so important to 
Glascow that a Singer sewing machine was put on the city's coat of arms.
	I guess we should be glad that the Singer people didn't catch on 
sooner to the change in the consumer wants, or it would be even harder to 
find a Featherweight.
Happy sewing,
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 20:31:22 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/2/96

Hello to all,

The source of tons and tons of antique sewing stuff is the following:

Antique Complex of Fleetwood
Fleetwood, PA.  19522
owners: Jerry &Elain Arak

Over the years I purchased from them: several zigzag attachments, many
buttonhoe attachments, two machines, (one a hand-crank Wilcox &Gibbs from
1860) and one monogram attachment, a gift to yet another Walla Walla friend
living here in New York City.

The shop covers at least an acre and is extroadinarily well organized.  For
example, all the kitchen stuff is in a huge room with stoves, tables,
cupboards, etc. and there is a pharmacy with antique pharmacy stuff for sale.
 Best of all, of course, is a huge sewing center with lots of machines,
attachments, quilt frames, darning socks, knitting needles, buttons, ironing
boards, etc.

There are three people in this area who specialize in antique sewing
parapharnalia.  I will call them tomorrow to see if they will allow me to
give out their stat's.

New York City was the sewing capitol of America and still is.  The garment
industry still relies upon thousands of sweatshops to produce the garments
middle America buys with pride as Made in America...not knowing the sweatshop
story.  I worked for twelve years in Harlem across from a shop that employed
at least 60 laborers at treadles on the second floor...every day at 1:00 a
truck would pull up, double park and a rope was thrown out the window.  Down
the rope came hundreds and hundreds of dresses...all the same color, but
different sizes.  It still goes on in all parts of the city.  The point of
this is that there are hundreds of shops selling machines in all parts of
this huge metropolis.  My repair shop on 27th Street and Seventh Avenue has
always had at least one FW for sale at all times for the past six years.  I
have personally purchased five as gifts from him.  I will also ask him if he
wants to deal with phone calls and shipping.  They were reasonably
priced...all between $175 - 250.

I am curious to know how many people have or use Wilcox and Gibbs chain
stitch either treadle, hand-crank or electric.  I own a 1907 (YES) W &G with
it's original electric motor.  It is in a shellac oak case which is about
four feet long, a foot high and deep.  I don't know the measurements as it is
in my upstate house, in the Catskills.  There are also lots of shops up there
which basically sell only old machines.  One, and you'll all drool over this,
had at least twenty 99's sitting on the floor in the back room when I closed
up the house for the winter in November.  That is called the Phonecia Antique
Center, in Phonecia, New York.  I don't have a card...wait I do have a phone

I'm photographing the wonderful machines in the archives of my museum.  I
will send them along as soon as I can get them scanned.

Best of all.....Ken
Subject: Singer 101, 128, 301, 404, Noise, Oiling, and a Partridge in a Pear 
Date: Thu, 04 Jan 96 15:25:02 -0500

	CHRISTINE:  What a nice letter to send to the Singer Company.  I've called
three times and they are always so helpful that I think I should send them a
box of chocolates.  I think one more call will take care of my birth dates.
Anyway, you said you had a Singer 101.  Sincere's book says it "represented
the first real departure from contemporary machine heads....became the gear-
drive, top bobbin rotary, built specifically for electrical operation."  He
goes on to say it was a good sewing machine but "the timing of marketing
during the 1920's was wrong.  To the newly emancipated lady of the Roaring
Twenties, paying $250.00 for a sewing machine was the last thing on her mind
." From 1915 when one of it's components was patented, to 1935 it "bridged a
gap from treadle" to the Singer 201. The book includes a reproduction of a
patent drawing of component of Singer 101-1. [I am going to hate to have to
return this book.]
	CARRIE: Thanks for the tip on certain threads causing machines to be loud. 
I was trying to solve a noise problem and found this: " Sometimes thread
becomes wound around the hub of the balance wheel and the ends of the band
wheel crank.  With constant running and contact with oil the thread works in
next to the bearings so tightly that it makes the machine run heavily. When
this happens, remove the thread with a stiletto or other sharp instrument."
	CAROLYN: Last week I found a 1959 Singer advertisement and I now believe
one of the machines pictured is the straight-stitch 404.  Since you own both
Singer 301s and 404s and they are straight-stitch, gear-driven and slant
needle, could you give us a rundown on their differences (other than looks
and dates of mfg.) and your opinion of which model you like the best?  A
couple days ago I finally saw a picture of a 301 and it is so '50s, it needs
a poodle skirt.  I've got to have one (machine, not skirt).
	KATY: Thanks for the info on 99k's with throat plate seam allowance marks. 
Maybe I'll take mine to an engraver.... And I'm sorry but I'm not interested
in a spongeware bean pot but do you have a stun gun?
	DAWN D.: Sorry but I had to laugh when you said Singer didn't record the
model number for your 128.  Guess even THEY were afraid of Godzilla! 
Whoever came up with the phrase "Godzilla stucco" to describe the finish is
so right.  Hate to see this stuff on my house.  To be serious, though,
frankly I was quite surprised after cleaning my 128 for three hours, that it
is actually black and not gray. Al was right that the throat and sliding
plates, end plate and back plate are all blued metal.  The gold medallion is
huge compared to other machines.  No scratches either but then what could
scratch this stucco?
	GAIL: The 1950 book MACHINE SEWING by Singer says about oiling (quote):
Sewing machines require daily oiling and cleaning if they are used
continuously all day.  If used moderately, a few hours a day, oiling and
cleaning once or twice a week is sufficient.  A sewing machine, like all
other machinery, will not give proper satisfaction if the working parts are
allowed to become dry or gummed with a poor grade of oil.  A sewing machine
that has not received the proper care will run hard and considerable energy
is wasted by using a machine in this condition.  Always remove dust, lint,
threads, etc., before oiling any part of the machine or stand, especially in
and around the shuttle race.
	CKLS.BFHG: Sorry but I was cleaning the computer garbage out for a fresh
start in the new year and you're history! The closest I can find to fit your
description is a machine called a "Spitler" mfg. by White or an "Industrious
Hen" mfg. by A.G. Mason Mfg. Co. Does either have a tension regulating thumb
nut?  Maybe I can get Krisi to run a data base on these and get more input
for you.  :-P  Anyone on FWF ever heard of these? "Spitler" sounds German to

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 10:04:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 128s

For Dawn D:  I think you said that you have a 127 manual and a 128
machine.  Your 127 manual is fine for that machine.  They are identical
except that the 127 is a full size head.  That's what our 1928 treadle is.

Thanks, Lydia, for asking questions and getting us a description of those
manuals.  Now we can all do better hunting in the bookstores. (Near the
Occult section.)

Chris, what a wonderful story.  I know I started sewing on a Singer
treadle but I can't remember anything about it except it had the shuttle.
Of course, I probably have a lot more years to remember than you do.

I called Singer about our latest finds - the 99K and the 201.  For the
first time I got someone who didn't know what documentation was sent out. 
She said, "We don't do that."  I explained what it is and that I have
called about 15 other machines and always had the papers mailed to me.  She
was very nice and agreed to do it.  I also asked if she had any idea where
I can find directions for my Singer embroidery attachment.  No luck.  Do
any of you have directions you could copy for me?

Here's my vote to keep this digest just the way it is.  

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 03:28:56 -0700
Subject: Re: Miscellaneous stuff

Hi All,

To "Chucks" - The buttonholer on a Featherweight is so neat to watch!
Instead of the needle going back and forth, the fabric goes back and forth!
The old original buttonholer has all kinds of settings so you aren't
limited in the size or shape of the buttonhole. You set it, set your fabric
in it, step on the gas and watch the perfect buttonhole appear. The later
buttonholers use little inserts to set the size and shape of the
buttonhole. Not as much freedom of expression! :D

To Courtney - My Mom has bobbin cases and footplates and LOTS of
other parts and attachments for MANY antique machines, not just
featherweights. She so far refuses to be computerized but was here for a
visit last week and I showed her the web and FWF homepage where she got me
to download and print the archives for her to take home and read. NOW she
wants it on a regular basis! (Sigh...) Maybe I'll get her good and hooked
then withold her "fix" and finally get her online. (grin!) Anyway, for
anyone who is looking for parts, machines or attachments or just wants to
talk machines with her, write to her at:
The shop is called Beehive Books and Arts and is on Main Street if anyone
is in that neck of the woods. It's right next to the town quilting supply
store. Don't let the name put you off. It's *really* a sewing machine
museum and quilting store.

When I got home last night there was a message from her on my answering
machine. She said, "I found a pristine, like-new white FW with all it's
goodies on my way home! Heh, heh, heh!" *Click*. So of course I had to call
her and get the whole story. She forbids me to tell anyone what she paid
for it (tears come to my eyes) and she wants to cuddle it for a while
before she decides whether or not to sell it. I'll tell you right now,
folks, don't even think about it. It's MINE! She just doesn't know it yet.
Heh, heh, heh!

And finally... my 2=A2 worth on the contents of this list. I adore all old
sewing machines, especially Featherweights. I have a good sized collection
but I knew very little about what I had until I started reading FWF. All
the great info on FW's is terrific but the info on other machines is pure
gold! All the sharing and swapping of manuals and attachments and even
machines is so much fun. Just think about the wonderful old machines who
sat in a lonely dark attic or a dusty old junk shop for so long that are
now loved and appreciated and *used*. How many of them would be gutted out
lamp tables by now (a crime!) if not for this wonderful list. (Thank you
Sue!)  We are the happiest bunch I know of on the net. So please keep it
open to ALL old sewing machines. I don't think I could handle
*another*list. I'm on too many as it is!

Sincerely in stitches,

Subject: Hope this helps
Date: 05 Jan 1996 12:47:41 GMT

Hi all Fanatics,
   My Traditional Quiltworks magazine has just arrived in
the mail, issue #42.  On page 58 there is a small ad. and
I quote.  VINTAGE Singer Featherweights, (8o3) 287-443
end of quote.  Note it states plural,- but no prices.
   Hope this could help out some of you who still quest
after these machines.  I have no association with the
magazine or the advertiser.  Have'nt a clue where they are. !
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 06:15:07 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/4/96

Margel-Howe invented the sewing machine so your find is just truly 
fantastic. I've seen the treadles go as high as $3,000. Surely this is a 
great completion to a machine collection. It's thrilling just to hear of 
such a find.
Dawn-I didn't know the Minnesota was from the Sears catalogue and just 
saw a treadle for $700. in an antique mall.
	This weekend there is a great Antique Show at the Del Mar 
FairGrounds and the Howe find has prompted me to go and check this one 
out. The antique shops in Southern California are not sewing machine 
orientated, but I also collect antique doll beds for miniature quilts, 
quilts, and Zane Grey first editions so when I hit an antique shop I'm 
going in all directions. Tina Gravett of the Miniature Quilt fame taught 
me to go through the shop first, and then on the second and third circle 
around I'll start finding what I'm looking for. The breadbox and black 
box are always looked for, but I've also uncover 20's machines thats 
wiring is totally frayed and scary looking. I've wondered how hard is it 
to re-wire, and in any attempts I couldn't even get the screws off. 
Maybe some of the more mechanically inclined could speak to the first 
steps. Zsuxxa
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 12:55:18 -0500
Subject: Godzilla etc.

Happy New Year all!  So good to hear about all of your interesting holiday
happenings.  My only FW related holiday happening was falling off my chair
while working on my brother's gift on Christmas Eve...luckily I didn't pull
the table pad off the dining room table and topple the poor old girl (or
hit the library table...or mom's gone with the wind lamp...).  :-)

I've also been reading the Godzilla reports with great interest...the
machine I started sewing on was a Godzilla and I haven't seen one since.
It was my mom's first (and last) sewing machine as a newlywed, bought used
from someone in town.  I pulled it out of the back of the closet when I was
10 and started using it.  The cabinet is still in my old room but no one
can seem to find the machine itself...although I keep bugging them about
it.  I must say, it would have been a great weight lifting device to pull
the machine up and down in the cabinet as a weight.  :-)

Happy machine hunting in 1996!

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 13:42:15 -0500
Subject: misc

May I have your shoulder to cry on?   I called a woman this morning to
confirm our afternoon meeting for me to buy the 221 and 301 from her at a
decent price - not a steal!  This is my 4th toll call to her and she tells me
her life story each time.  Well, she said this morning she called a Singer
dealer and was told her FW machine is worth $400.  Forget it!  So I said,
what about your 301.  She said $100.  I laughed at her and bid her adieu.
 She is 73 years old and does not sew!  I said if you can't get your asking
price call me and she said now that she knows the value she would not sell at
agreed price!  How aggravating!!!  And I was in the mood to BUY a machine.
 So I called another lady who had a 99-13 for me to see.  Picked up my MIL
and drove an hour away to get it.  Well, Barbara invited us into her home.
 First had me park my car in garage so that I wouldn't have to walk in the
snow.  Made us tea and coffee.  Chatted an hour.  Then she finally showed me
her machine.  Lonely lady - Barbara, not the machine.  Anyways, the machine
is gorgeous.  Someone in FWF is looking for it - with bentwood case and knee
control.  Now that I own it I want to use it and it is going to be really
hard selling it!!  It is 1925 and has seen only TLC.

I have 2 Singer buttonholers for sale.  Please email me if interested.
 First is for slant-shank machine. Has 5 templates, copy of similar White
buttonholer manua includedl. Maroon plastic 4 x 9 box w/attached hinged lid.
 SINGER in raised letters on lid.  Includes feed cover plate/screw.$35
Second, for Touch &Sew machine. New. Complete.  SINGER green/white box. $40

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 07:48:08 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: Toy Machines

Hi Everyone!
I do not as yet own a fw but will I am sure in the future, but I do have a
Singer Treadle sn Y 7510670 which has very elaborate looks like art deco
flower design on the machine.  I also collect toy machines my collection is
50+ some of the brands are Singers (0f course!) Peter Pan, Vulcan, Little
Bette, Necchi, Casige, Stitch Mistress, Jurvel, Grain &Bel.  I also managed
to pick up a pen in an antique shop which as a very small singer machine in
the clear top  of the pen and engraved on the gold end was Singer for 100th
To: Terry Great to hear another toy collector I am having trouble dating
some of mine could you help if I send details?
After reading my first pages of fwf I decided to pull out some old magazines
that I had purchased some years ago from a Steptoe type shop.  I fould three
ads for Singers one for the fw in Home Chat (London) dated 31/5/52, one on
automatics in the NZ Womens Weekly 15/10/56 and one on the Singer 306 from
English Womens weekly 3/12/55.  I was surprised to only find three ads as I
went through about twenty five mags.I have just joined the Net and having a

Best Wishes for a great new year
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 13:55:15 -0500
Subject: another oldie but is it a goodie?

Sewing machine store near me is going out of business.  They had exactly one
old metal machine in the place.  The only model # I can find on it is 414G.
 This is positioned directly above the Singer medallion.  I took the machine
apart and it appears to be very clean inside.  It really hums when you try
it.  However-no manual, no case, no attachments.  Does anyone know anything
about this particular machine.  I can probably name my price, but I don't
know whether to grab it or not.

Loved the posting about the Florence machine (for obvious reasons).  In my
house, when I was a kid, we had a kitchen stove named Florence.
 Unfortunately, I also had a kid brother who loved to tease.  Now that brings
back memories from the dark ages.

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 15:34:47 -0500
Subject: Model Numbers

I was in a number of antique stores in Martinez, California in the last few
days and saw quite a few old machines, none in good repair.  In particular I
wanted to see what a 99, a 128, and a 301 look like.  I still haven't been
able to figure it out.  How do you find the model numbers on these machines?
 I'm sure I saw Godzilla's cousin, but couldn't find any kind of number
except the serial number.   I found a manual for a 66-18, but the picture on
the manual didn't look like the machine it was with.

Also, I've seen lots of mention of the gear-driven versus belt-driven
machines Featherweights.  As I recall, the discussion has always been about
the British made machines.  Can someone tell me how to tell the difference
without taking the machine apart?  I thought they were all belt driven.  I'd
like to know before I'm tempted to buy one.
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 1996 18:29:01 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: FW Shopping

Today I called all the shops in town trying to find a FW.  Two owners
were really helpful and took my name.  I went back to my Singer dealer
to pick up my portable that was having a tune-up.  It's a Deluxe Home
Machine made in Japan around 1950 and it says Universal.  It's real
pretty black with the gold embellishments.  The Singer guy thought I
got a good deal when I bought it for $17.00 about 12 years ago.  
Anyway, when I took the machine in on Saturday I was told the shop
didn't carry any old machines anymore.  But today a different guy told
me they had quite a few in the back room. He said he had several 99K's
and a 301 which he didn't seem to like and a little Featherweight 221
that he said he wanted $800.00 dollars for.  I called the shop aboaut
a week ago and the lady said they had a FW for $699.00.  I don't know
if this is the same FW or not.  But I left thinking I had just
conversed with a shifty used car salesman.  I wasn't sure what to think.
I don't know is this is two FW's or one but don't both prices seem a
little steep.  Especially after I read Ken's post about his shop in
New York that sells FW's for $175-$250.  Are they more rare in
different parts of the country?  I enjoyed reading Krisi's history of
the Singer Company.  Thanks a lot Krisi for an interesting read.
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 19:35:51 -0500
Subject: Re: other machines

I want to take this opportunity to add my two cents to the suggestion that
this list be limited to the discussion of the featherweight only.  While
every single article posted may not be of paramount interest to each and
every reader I believe that most of us subscribe because of the diversity of
topics discussed and find the majority of each day's articles to be very
Please keep this list just as it is.  The discussions about other machines,
accessories, books, etc. helps all of us. This is the most friendly and
consistantly interesting list that I have found on the internet and would
hate to see it change. 

Sue Thank you for starting and maintaining the best list on the internet.
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 23:04:31 -0500
Subject: Toy Machine

Hi All you toy collectors out there!

I found a toy machine for sale while out junking. Anyone interested? I am not
well versed in toy machines so I don't know if this is a great deal or not.
Someone please tell me. I'm not interested myself but will pick it up if
anyone wants it.  It is a Lindstrom Little Miss. It is adorable! Approx.
measurements would be 8" long by 5" deep by 7 " high ( please note that these
are approx.). The machine itself is a little hand crank model which appears
to work (I didn't have any fabric to try it out but I did turn the crank and
all moving parts seemed okay).  It is robin egg blue with lovely scrolly red,
orange and yellow decorations. It has the original corrigated box but no
instructions or any packing inserts that I could see. Has a tiny wooden spool
of thread. It actually looked familiar to me. I thumbed through a book on toy
machines once, I think I saw it there. If anyone has a book on toy machines I
would appreciate it if you would look it up for me. Condition is hard for me
to assess since I really haven't been into the toy machines much. I would
call it good condition though not perfect or mint (to me, mint or perfect
indicates it has not been used). I really don't recall seeing any rust on it
at all. Price is $65 plus shipping. I guess I would have to pay tax also so
that would add 6% to the purchase price. E-mail me if interested and I will
pick it up for you. Katy 
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 01:51:17 -0700
Subject: Found the White Manual!

Hi All,

I finally managed to fight my way through the parlor to my 3 White Rotary
Machines against the back wall.

One is colorfully decorated and in a small cabinet and has some attachments.

One is even more colorfully decorated and in a portable fabric covered case
with attachments.

And one is textured black finish with pretty designs cast into the metal of
the machine. The third one is also in an elaborate cabinet with a knee
control. The front looks like drawers but is really a panel that folds up
when the top is raised, thus raising the machine into position. The ends of
the cabinet are curved and on the left side the top lifts up to expose a
large bin as deep as the cabinet, and on the right the rounded part opens
up like a door to expose the stored power cord and shelves and a "drawer"
that rotates out. The drawer is FULL of attachments and sewing tools and
needles and thread. The shelves also have many old wooden spools of thread
and... the manual!

I have already promised to copy the manual and send it to 2 other FWF (next
week Katy and Courtney). If anyone else wants a copy tell me this weekend
so I can do them all at once. I have a hard time remembering to take things
to work.

Now... my problem is that I collect machines and I'm out of room! I have
too many machines in cabinets. I really prefer "portables" and handcranks.
I have 7 others in cabinets, 4 of which I won't part with. All the rest of
the collection takes up much less room.

I would like to sell or trade the Whites if anyone is interested. $100 plus
shipping for the portable, $150 plus shipping for the small cabinet (it
needs some cosmetic work), and $225 plus shipping for the elaborate cabinet
(which is in really good shape but also needs a bit of cosmetic work).

Remember that they all have attachments and I will make a copy of the
manual for all of them. The original manual goes with the elaborate

I'm actually more interested in trading for other machines and attachments.
Email me if you're interested.

Subject: Model 15 Applique
Date: Thu, 04 Jan 96 19:44:51 -0500

	RITA: I got more than a little carried away cleaning up my computer and
you're history, too!  Please e-mail again so I can send you the applique
information.  Sorry :-o   Terry
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 09:05:43 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/2/96

I too have a Spartan and would like to know approx. value.  Found it at an
estate sale this summer.  It does not have a case, (what did it originally
have?) and seems to be in very good shape with original foot pedal.  Was
built in l960's according to date on head.  Thanks for any info regarding
this machine.
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 08:53:15 -0800
Subject: Other machines

I just want to put in my vote also that it is through my love of FW's that I
have found an interest in other old sewing machines and that I love the fact
that this digest is a place where all old sewing machines are discussed.  

Debi O
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 08:56:55 -0800
Subject: Monogram Attachment

Ooohhhhh, I want one!  I've never seen it, where do I find it, how much is
it?  Gail, does your dad have these?  Ohhh, sounds fun!

Debi O
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 08:29:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW For Sale

	I posted earlier in the week about the FW's I have for sale but 
noted after going over the post that one price was wrong. I have also 
called Singer for all birthdates so will list those too.

AF - BD 4-10-40  Attachments, Case manual, a little wear on the gold and 
black.  $395.

AG - BD 2-18-46  ATtachments, Case, manual, black in front shows wear, 
gold look fine.  $395.

AH - BD 1-22-48  Attachments, case, manual, tray, good condition, even 
wear.  $475.

AJ - BD 8-22-50  Attachments, case, key, manual, great condition, $475.

AJ - BD 1-23-50  Attachments, manual, case, a little wear, $425.

AM - BD 6-10-55  Attachments, manual, case, later edition scrollwork, 
very good condition $525.

ES - BD 11-3-60  born in St. Johns Canada, gold oval has red inner oval, 
later version scrollwork, attatchments, manual, case original needles, 
lube in box, superior condition. $595.

Anniversary Machines

AJ - BD 10-23-50  Case, zerox manual, no attachments, has some wwear on 
the black. $395.

AK - 10-31-51 Very Good Condition, case, key, attachments, manual, 
needles in original wrap. $525.

AJ - 8-28-50 Superior Quality, manual, attachments, case, key, needles in 
original wrap. $ 595

All Anniversary Machines has the surrounding blue stripe around the gold 
oval, with the Singer 100 years of service on oval.
	All machines are swatched out and in running order by the 
mechanic. Shipping charge of $25, includes insurance for the amount of 
the machines. Email me privately for further details.
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 10:50:48 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FORGOT

	Expect me to forget alot lately, my littlest is up for big 
surgery and I can't keep my mind. But I do have 6 buttonholers for sale, 
$35 and that includes, shipping handling and insurance. Also, Millie, LOL 
on the story of her life long distance. Boy do I get into that with local 
customers that are toll calls. They had a 41 in 41 and gave it away and 
now they are very upset because they have to pay to get it back. Another 
question has anyone every bought a FW in a case that has never been 
opened and what would this go for. I know this would depend upon which 
year, but I've run into a collector in LA that has FW's still in cases, I 
want to get to him but The Smithsonian may be have a larger bank roll 
than mine, especially after the doctors hit me hard. Zsux
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 13:47:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Beautiful Singer

Look on page 26 of Feb. 96 Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts.  There is a
picture of a quilt hanging above the most beautiful Singer I have ever
seen. Beautiful gold and red painted design and wonderful wood cabinet.  Does
anyone know what year it is?  I want one.  It has no cover over the bobbin
case.  Round drop in bobbin.

Subject: Minn. Models; Toys; Kill My Sister for Me; More on Sperm Oil
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 96 12:50:32 -0500

	DAWN S. asked:>> Does anyone actually KNOW who made the machines for Sears,
was it Singer or one of the others?>> I found this in Sincere's History:
Davis Co. was Sears' prime source for most of the early 1900's. The
Minnesota series absorbed much of Davis production time. A "Davis" machine
head looks very much like a "Minnesota" head. When White succeeded in
getting Sears' account, the machine was renamed the Franklin; later Kenmore.
	BETH C.: Welcome to the digest!  What is a Steptoe type shop? My dh guesses
a shoe store. I'd be glad to help you date your toy machines so just e-mail
descriptions to me.  Thanks also for the info on the Singer magazine ads. 
You're lucky!
	GINNEY: I think $699 and $800 is too much for a FW221.  It would be cheap
for a FW freearm. Maybe there are so many quilters in your area requesting
221s that they really can get those prices.
	KATY: My toy book shows three blue "Lindstrom's LITTLE MISS" toy machines.
They were made by the Lindstrom Tool &Toy Co. at 50 Silliman Ave,
Bridgeport, Conn. These sewing machines were named after Shirley Temple who
starred in hit movies entiltled "Little Miss Marker" and "Little Miss
Broadway". Two machines (not the blue ones) have Shirley's face on them.
	FLO: Could you please e-mail me that article on the Florence machine?  Must
have missed that one.

	Well, add this to your "I could kill my sister for passing up a free
antique Singer w/cabinet and chair" file.  One of my sisters called this
morning and said the afore-mentioned machine had been sitting in an office
at the dump for two weeks and the guys kept asking her if she wanted it. 
She doesn't sew and didn't think I'd be interested (ARE YOU NUTS?) so
finally a guy took it home to his daughter.  Then she rubs salt in the wound
by telling me it runs great and sews through several layers of denim with
ease.  Aren't siblings great? Think she's getting back at me for not letting
her play my Beatles' albums.
	And, while the rest of you are finding these great machines and Krisi is
delving into the Library of Congress, all I can find (for the 2nd time in a
week) is another reference to sperm oil!  :-P This is not a topic that once
interested me but if that is all I can get in this town, I better resign
myself.  Just how many whales did they kill to make a bottle of this stuff? 
Assuming, of course, that it is from a whale... So now at the top of my list
of sewing antiques to find is a glass bottle with a label reading "Standard
Sewing Machine Sperm Oil" valued between $8-$12.  Can anyone help me out
	Karan wants to know if we are going to have a Godzilla reunion? 
Frightening thought.  Amy, I thought your idea for a weight lifting device
was good.  Your comment about your mom's 128 being her "first (and last)
sewing machine" doesn't surprise me. : D [Apologies to those of you with the
beautiful 128s and not the stucco ones.)

Subject: S.M History &Minnesota adverts
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 96 08:29:08 +1200

>Margel - Howe invented the sewing machine so your find is just truly 

Joyce, according to my 'History of the Sewing Machine' book (library 
loan) Howe only patented a machine in 1846. A German named Karl 
Weisanthal invented a machine (it doesn't say it was the first one) in 
1750. There were five other inventors between him and Howe including the 
first American Walter Hunt in 1832-1834.
BTW am I the _only_ person who is curious as to what 'zsuxxa' means?
I've finally finished typing up 'The History of the Sewing Machine' and 
sent it out to the two people that requested it, if there's anyone else 
that would like it just let me know.
Here's the first few entries:
1750 - Karl Weisenthal, a German, invented a machine with an eye in the 
middle of the needle and a point at both ends capable of sewing a single 
thread running stitch.
1790 - Thomas Saint, an Englishman, patented a design for a machine to 
sew leather. This machine made a chain stitch with a tambour-type needle 
to produce a mechanical crochet or chain stitch. It is doubtful whether 
it actually worked.
1810 - Baltasar Krems of Mayern, Germany, made a chain stitch machine for 
sewing night caps. This had a crank-operated needle and a continuous 
material feed, but its greatest innovation was a needle with an eye in 
the tip.
                            * * *
Susan R has very kindly offered to copy the 'Minnesota' adverts from 
the old Sears catalogue for anyone who wants them, you'll need to send 
her an sase size about 13x9" if you want them unfolded. She should have 
them in about a week.
Date: 06 Jan 96 20:24:15 EST
Subject: fw


just back from an auction ...
bought what i think looks like a fw ... small ... but it's pretty heavy!
model no AK 862256 ... motor says AU52-16-1 BZ9-8 ...
can't find any more model or #'s ...
anyone know how i can identify this ??
will call singer monday but wonder if these numbers hide a model number ?
has a round wooden case ... two plates for the bobbin which i can't see at all
but it works! ... even with all the rust and the oldest needle around, it's got
a fine stitch ...
thanks for any info ... may not be time for me to have a fw ... but this might
do til i come across one

Date:        Sat, 06 Jan 1996 19:43:13 CST
Subject: 404????????

DH and I were antique browsing today and when I saw a sewingmachine
repair shop I went in.  The man in the shop was repairing a Singer
Athena (a plastic piece of junk, he called it) and he told me a lot
about old singer machines.  He praised 404s and 301s but was most
enthusiastic about the Singer 401, which looks just like a 404 (tan and
cream) but had a cam and does zig-zag stitching.  He said he provided
each of his daughters with one when they started to sew. He called the
401 the "cadillac" of the great old singers.  He had oned that will be
available for sale once he has tuned it up at $275.  ouch.  I was
wondering if anyone had a 401 and what they thought of it, and what they
had to pay to get it.  I have a 401, but I don't like it at all.  It is
very noisy and also slow.  It is much slower and loads louder than any
featherweight I've had.  He told me that when he was done with the 401
it would be whisper quiet.  I'm also wondering if a machine that
zig-zags would have as nice a straight stitch as a straight stitch only
machine does.  I'd also like to hear from other 404 owners.  Do you like
your machines?  Do you consider it slow and or noisy?  Michele
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 1996 19:22:23 MST
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 1/5/96

Today while prowling the Salvation Army, I found two Singer attachments...
the zig zag complete and in box as well as a buttonholer...complete with
manual and in a wonderful turquoise oval hard plastic container with
"Singer" on the lid.  I've never seen this kind of case before.  The
manual with the buttonholer was printed in G.B. in 1960 ...I paid
$3.00 (Canadian) for each.
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 22:04:21 -0500
Subject: Knee lever

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to buy a knee lever for a 99 in a
bentwood case? I found one that is setup to use a knee lever  rather than the
foot pedal but the knee lever itself is missing. Is this a complicated piece?
Does anyone have a picture of it they could photocopy for me? I would really
appreciate it. Thanks, Katy

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