Featherweight Fanatics Archives

January 1996

Sunday, January 7th - Saturday, January 13th

Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 16:35:01 +1100
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/5/96

Just my two penny worth: I  agree that all old machines should be discussed
,variety is the spice of life and apart from that most of us seem to own
something other than FW I have found numerous bits of information invaluable
in fact it was FW Fanatics list that was the deciding factor in my purchase
The fact I can write to you all and share the excitement of a new purchase
knowing there are others out there who appreciate  old machines as I do
.Trying to convince friends  that I can get an enormous amount of pleasure
just looking at my 1888 treadle or playing with one of my hand machines (
still can't co-ordinate properly to use them though.)My total collection is
now three treadles and two hand machines plus my little baby white FW still
looking for a black one .
 Todays  purchase is one 201K treadle in a cabinet she might not be the
prettiest machine in the world  however once I filled a bobbin and threaded
the machine she sews like a dream and is so quiet. She came with two boxes
of attachments  in complete right down to two sizes of screwdrivers., seven
thimbles (brass plastic and stirling silver and one tiny silver one),two
bodkins(one brass) ten bobbins and book pristine condition all contained in
a solid oak cabinet with two trays(one hinged under the other) without a
mark on it. The only minus is it is missing one handle on the front. All
this for $95 Aus now could you leave it in the store?Her N0. is EM011779 so
I guess her name can be Emma .
 Ann-Maree J
I just had to  share the fact I bought a new machine today
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 21:31:53 -0500
Subject: Help Please!

I looked at the FW again today. I went armed with the knowledge of just
having reread Nancy S-J's book, needles, thread, fabric etc.  As I was
threading up the machine I could tell there were tension problems. It was
VERY tight and wouldn't turn completely through all numbers. When I did get
it threaded and the bobbin in correctly, I was unable to draw up the bobbin
thread, grrrrr.... It was difficult to turn the hand wheel, sound like a
thread jam? It did from what i had just read. Now, what would you all do?
 Because it was in an antique mall, the owner was not available. I went home
and took apart the bobbin case as directed in the book as well as the tension
of my 301 and put them both back together successfully. Would you try to
check for a thread jam in a machine in an antique mall? Could this be
something much more serious? Is it too risky to buy? I really would
appreciate any help any of you could give. My DH was all ready to buy

BTW, the toy machine is spoken for.

Have a great day all, Katy
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 09:59:23 -0500
Subject: Union treadle

Thank you Sue for this wonderful list.  It just makes my day!

I saw a Union treadle machine in an antique store this weekend.  It has a box
of accesories with it.  The machine head looks three-quarter size or maybe a
bit smaller. It has a shuttle bobbin.  There is a tiny little drawer under
the top.  I am not familiar with Unions.  Does anyone know anything about

My DH, bless his heart, asks everyone he sees about Featherweights.  Last
week he ran across a white one and offered to buy it.  The woman said the
machine was not working, but she wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons.
 She received it for high school graduation.  My DH said he would come back
and try to get the machine working after he takes Gordy's class.  Nice huh?
 Perhaps he is building up good karma for future FW finds.

Christine T.
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 11:38:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Featherweights for sale

From Hickory Hill Antique Quilts:  I just received these Featherweights to
sell on consignment.  They are priced between $275 and $400, except for the
tan machine.  Credit cards accepted. Shipping done prof

AF Black,  full tray, ornately scrolled front, original manual, many
attachments,  replaced foot petal, case ok,  handle has damage.

AF Black,  full tray, ornately  scrolled front, original manual, attachments
and bobbins, original  motor lubricant tube,  extra needles in original case,
 case is okay but handle is taped.  Machine is excellent.

AJ Black,  full tray,  striated front, original manual, box of attachments
and bobbins, keys, Cornell Extension booklet on how to care for your machine,
receipt for serviced in 82 , case is okay

AL Black,  half tray, striated front, replacement manual (for a 221K),  many
attachments, some bobbins, case okay.

EG Black,  half tray,  striated front, manual, original box of  attachments
and bobbins, very  nice case,  key. 

EV White, case has very slight damage, machine in excellent condition.   $275

JE Tan, half tray.  Original manual and box of attachments with bobbins.
 Case is in good condition.  Taking offers. 
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 11:51:09 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/6/96

Hi Dawn:

I would like to take you up on your offer of a copy of the "History of the 
Sewing Machine" book.  I must have missed your earlier posts.  Are you talking 
E-Mail or Snail?  If E-Mail, please send.  IF not, let me know particulars.    

I find it great to correspond to someone in NZ.  I am sitting here in Brainerd, 
Minnesota   U.S.A., where the temperature was -29 F.  It's cold...We are 
grateful it's not windy today.  Next Friday I am flying off to Mazatlan, Mexico 
to escape to the 70's for a week.  Do you blame me?

Thanks in advance for all your work.

Barb Kl

P. S.  I also have the copy of an old Sears catalog featuring the Minnesota 
machine.  My DH and I sort of collect old sewing machines and own 2 Minnesota's. 
 The 2 we have (the only 2 that I have ever seen) have exceptionally beautiful 
carved cabinets.  We purchased them because of the cabinet beauty and because of 
the name unique to us because we live in Minnesota.
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 1996 13:27:45 -0500
Subject: cherry fw's

Now I know that there is no possible way that I can verify that the most
recent fw I found was an unused floor model, but all my instincts and
visual indications tell me that this machine has not sewn more than 1 yard
of thread.  I don't know who had it originally, but it was the one I found
for $54.95 at the flea market store.

I may be opening up a whole can of worms here, but I don't have an
anniversary model yet.  If I can talk dh into letting me, is anyone out
there interested in a trade???

And yes, I got with Dawn Scotting and should be able to send out copies of
the Minnesota ads within a week of receiving copy from her.  When it gets
here I'll go weigh it and let you know how much postage will be.

Zxuxxa, hope surgery goes well.  Recovery also.  Many thoughts and prayers
your way...

Staying warm and enjoying the Wisconsin-style blizzard here in Northern
Susan R
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 96 14:02 EST
Subject: Gold on FW

I recently looked at a FW which did not have gold on the flip-up part.  I
was told that this machine was a 1950 or 1951 model.  I was wondering if
this is the original condition of this machine?  Could it possibly have been
repaired or had the flip-up replaced?  I looked  through the Nancy
Johnson-Srebro book and the machines all had the gold around the machine and
on the flip-up.  Thank you in advance for your help. Kathie.
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 1996 15:53:10 EST
Subject: FOR SALE -FW

I have a black FW, case, attachments, all in good condition.  Asking 
$400 but will negotiate with suitable home.  Any interested party can 
reach me or reach my daughter on the internet 
    Happy New Year, Grace
Subject: 128?; Athena; 401; Greist; More Whale Blubber
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 96 14:10:07 -0500

	K.D: The small, heavy machine you found at the auction sounds
suspiciously like a Godzilla (Model 128).  Mine had the same numbers on its
motor, is small and heavy and has two plates for the shuttle and bobbin.
Can't wait to hear what Singer says.
	MICHELE: Guess I'm getting it back for defaming the Model 128 because I own
one of those "plastic pieces of junk" your repairman described.  My mother
has a Singer Athena 2000 and I have the 2010 and we both LOVE them.  I
purchased mine new in the late 1970's and have never had one repair on it. 
Last week I saw one in a 2nd hand store that looked like someone had taken
an ax to the top.  You can do that to plastic! :-D
	During the short time I worked for Singer in 1972-73, my boss raved about
the 401 and I bought a used one for my sister for $100.  $275 sounds steep
to me. (Wish I'd listened when he said that the FW was the greatest machine
ever made because few people were collecting them back then.)
	SANDRA M: Your Salvation Army find sounds better than mine but I am happy
with a nice green Rotary Attachments box with silver lettering (good
condition) filled with 17 Greist attachments for $1.50. I also found it at
the S. Army.  I have the Greist adapter for the FW but that adapter doesn't
work on these Greist feet.  Can anyone tell me what these attachments fit
and if there is another adapter? Each has a flat two-pronged piece that fits
straight toward the presser bar as you sit in front of the machine.  HELP! 
	BLUBBER DEPT.: (Pass this up if you've heard enough on sperm oil.)  While
walking the aisles of the Library of Helena, I spied SEWING and went for a
look.  Lots on cooking, 1/2 shelf on sewing and then, out of nowhere, a book
on whales.  They say it comes in threes so I decided not to fight it and
looked up 'machine oil'.
	 Sperm oil comes from the head of the sperm whale and prior to 1960 was the
finest oil for machinery.  (People in Nantucket are laughing 'cause they
know this stuff.) Believe me, no home ec teacher in the mid-West ever
pointed to a Singer in class and said, "That machine is full of sperm oil."
Did you know that Moby Dick was a sperm whale? Herman Melville named him
after a real, scary whale known as Mocha Dick. (I'm not making this up.)
Sounds like a cup of espresso, doesn't it?  Anyway, next time you're
cleaning that black gunk out of an old sewing machines, just think of it as
the Revenge of the Whales.

Date: Sun, 07 Jan 1996 17:28:08 EST
Subject: Need a Florence "Manual"?

I also am blessed to own a beautiful Florence sewing machine (ser. # 2764
-which corresponds to 1861 according to the dating chart in the Smithsonian
book.)  Two years ago, while at an antique show I saw this machine and
immediately fell in love with her!  She cost much more than I could afford
to spend and I willed myself to walk away.  I couldn't!  The thought of
leaving her behind was too much.  I got all choked up and tears in my eyes.
  My sister and parents were were with me that day and were as amazed at my
reaction as I was.  I am not usually an emotional person, but when others
talk about a machine "calling" to them....This machine wrapped herself
around me and pleaded with me to take her home.  It was as if I had owned
her in a previous life and now I had come to reclaim her!!  So with a short
term loan from my sister and a plan to sell my "extra" featherweight to
ease the shock to the bank account, she came home with me.

"Flo" has the beautiful curved, "lacy" wrought iron legs and hand painted
flowers on the legs and head of the machine.  I also got a full pkg of the
unusual curved needles in their original paper envelope, and what passes as
the instruction manual, 2 pages of... "Directions for Using the Florence
Sewing Machine".  There is also a page describing the Florence in the
flowery words of the era.  I particularly enjoyed the sentence that refers
to their competitors:......

     "The great quantity of worthless Sewing Machines that have been palmed
off upon an unsuspecting people by those without character, from the fact
that they were sold at a low price, is surprising, and in view of this
state of things we have made it a long, untiring study, to produce a
Machine that could in no way be classed among them, and finally to lead the
van of all first class Sewing Machines now in use."

These papers are quite fragile as you can imagine.  I have made a few
copies and although they are legible, there are a few words missing or
difficult to make out because of a hole in the paper or a darkened grease
spot.  However, if other Florence owners would like a copy of my copy,
E-mail me and we'll make arrangements.

Chris D
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 19:58:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Antique Show and Other Stuff

Hi Folks!

I braved the weather today to go to an antique show that was relatively
close to my house.  Getting around was like driving through pudding --
lots of sloshing, but ok if you took your time.

There was one actual machine: a Wheeler &Wilson with wooden case for
$200+ (I hope I'm remembering the name right -- it was small, tabletop,
and what we would call the machine head was really  more of a curved
narrow arm.)  The machine itself needed work, the case was rustic at best,
and the motor wiring looked so ratty I would have been afraid to plug the
thing in.

There was one Domestic treadle base (no machine) in what I would judge as
very good condition.  The wood was good looking (refinished, I think) and
the treadle mechanism showed no rust and ran smoothly.  Price: $65.00.

Then of course there was the treadle base that had been converted to a
Well, the barbarian who did this actually managed to redeem himself
somewhat.  When I asked him what happened to the machine that went with
the base, he said that he had it at home, along with more older machines. 
Then I told him I was looking for an original quilting foot to go with my
newly acquired Singer Featherweight.  He said that he and his wife work
out of their home, and that they have both several older machines and
attachments.  He mentioned that the show we were at runs several times a
year, and will be back in March, and that he would make a point of
bringing some attachments to the next session.  I told him about this
Digest, and suggested that if he and his wife had the time they should
make a list of what they have.  If I can actually get such a thing in
March, I'll post it to the Digest provided they don't mind.  I don't see
why they should.  They have stuff to sell, and we are looking to buy.  I
intend to post his number and the next show date on my calendar at work,
in the hope that the week before I'll call and remind him he said he bring
stuff.  By the way, he also mentioned that they end up making more money
if they split up a treadle and sell the base and the head separately.

Dawn: No, as a matter of fact you are NOT the only one on this list who is
wondering what "zsuxxa" means (hope I spelled that right).  OK, Joyce,
'fess up to the rest of us!

Other intersting things I'm noticing:  We went up to the food court at a
local mini-mall for dinner last night, and of course we browsed
afterwards.  One of my favorite places is a store called "Stampland" where
they sell rubber stamps, ink pads, and paper stock.  Anyway, I discovered
that for $7.95 I can own about a 2"x2" rubber stamp of a treadle machine. 
I'm pondering this, and if it's still haunting me after a week I may go
back and get one.  What I'm really looking for is a stamp of a true
eight-pointed star quilt block.

Featherweights in the Movies:  I don't know what made me think of it
(probably this list -- DUH!) but if any of you have seen the Steve
Martin/Martin Short/Chevy Chase movie "The Three Amigos", the end of the plot
revolves around the idea that what this little Mexican village does better
than anything else is: sew!  At one point in the Preparations to Confront
and Defeat the Evil (and Dumb) Bad Guys scene, Martin Short leans over the
shoulder of an elderly-looking Mexican woman and says "Sew, Grandmother! 
Sew like the wind!"  I have no idea what model machine she's using, and
I'm sure it had to be a treadle, but I remember it's a solid black head. 
Anybody want to figure this one out (and laugh a lot -- it's not a bad movie)?

Date: Sun, 7 Jan 96 20:10 MST
Subject: Re: 301A


I'm so excited, we went antiquing yesterday, and back in the corner of a
shop all by itself, was a dark tan 301A just waiting for me to discover her!
It's such a little gem of a machine, I can see why so many of you are
singing their praises.  I was thrilled enough just to find the machine, but
then the owner tells me she comes with attachments!!  And boy was that an
understatement.  She had a Singer buttonholer in a dark red plastic box,
with manual, a zig zagger with 4 bights, and a manual, plus a little box
with 4 more bights for the zig zagger, AND a little green box with all six
attachments.  Plus the machine had a manual,  all of these attachments and
the boxes are in pristine shape, the sewer who owned this machine really
took care of the ole girl and her things. 
Best of all, I paid $85.00 for the whole thing.  AVCPM just went down a bunch.  

She has a slant needle, and it seems to me that  she has a high shank, none
of her attachments in the green box will fit the FW, which is a low shank.
But somewhere I read that Singer didn't make a High shank, so what all do
you think?  The only thing that didn't come with it was more bobbins,  which
I would have really liked, since the Singer dealer sells them for .90 cents

Could some one send in a description of a 99?  They sound really
interesting, and after I find a black 301, I'd like to start looking for one
of those!!  Yes, collecting old sewing machines has become a new obsession.
What a great way to obsess.

KEN I really liked your observation about value and what these machines are
worth, I agree that what ever you're willing to pay is what they're worth.
Also, is the monogrammer similar to the buttonhole attachment?  My manual
says you can monogram free hand (ha ha ha, maybe for the artistic)  with it,
but I'm assuming that the monogrammer has cams like the buttonholer with all
the different letters.  Where could  you find one?  Do you know?

One last thing, I love it when folks sign off with their name and state, it
helps me to know where all these reasonably priced FW's are being found. It
seems to me they are primarily in the mid west and east coast.  Here in
Idaho, they are a rare and endangered species.  Maybe cuz our population
base is so small compared to the rest of the country, we recently hit over a
million people for the entire state.  I figure
 that the more people, the more FW's.

Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 22:35:42 -0600 (CST)
Subject: five stages of addiction?

Hello, fellow Fanatics!

Here I thought I'd saved everything I needed, but I think my system *ate* 
those five stages of Featherweight addiction.  They were such fun, and I 
want to share them with DH.  I'd really appreciate it if someone could 
post them again, or e-mail them to me, or point me in the right direction to 
find them in the  archives or wherever (I looked all through my Nov and 
Dec stuff already).  Thanks a zillion!

Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 23:39:16 -0500
Subject: It's a 128!

I purchased 2 machines this week.  One was the 99-13 I told you all about.
 The other I came across at an antique shop, up in the second floor dead
zone.  I thought it was a 99-13 also, but also no manual.  When I got it home
and opened it up, I saw the b
ullet-shaped shuttle and knew that it could not be a model 99.  Searching
prior newsletters, I am sure I have a 128 from early 1920's.  Number is
G8909023.  (I saw a G9 number talked about from 1922. ) Thank goodness for
archives!  The face plate has the 
beautiful grape and leaves design and the body has an ornate red, gold, green
floral-looking design.

Anyways, the bobbin in threaded but I cannot get the bobbin thread picked up
when I run the machine.  I guess I am going to have to ask my cleaning lady
if she knows.  Or, I could look for a manual.  Any extra 128 manuals lying
around looking for a home? 
 I will probably not keep this machine - but I need to satisfy an urge to
understand everying I can about it and stitch a block with it!

I started to piece a quilt block on the 99-13 and after about 50 stitches, it
seized up on me and would not move.  It was even hard to turn it by hand.
 Enter resident engineer with his can of WD-40 and, voila, it purrs again.
 Just finished the quilt blo
ck and am delighted with the way the machine operates.  The only problem I
had was accidently leaving the knee-lever pushed against my sewing table when
I got up to go to the ironing board.  The motor is so quiet I could not hear
it running, but it was in
 startup mode the whole time I was ironing.  Anyone else find this to be
common occurrance?

I also am looking for a 301 manual.

Someone asked about getting a musty odor out of the old cases.  I have not
tried this, but Heloise gives the following advice on musty drawers: "Try
putting the drawers outside on a sunny day to air them out.  If that doesn't
help, dampen a sponge (slight
ly) with a cup of solution consisting of one part vinegar to two parts water
and wipe the inside of the drawers several times; let them dry completely for
several days before putting them back in the dresser.  If the odor persists,
place a bowl of activat
ed charcoal or cat letter in each drawer and keep the drawers closed for a
couple of days.  That should do it."

I made a trip to 2 fabric stores this morning in preparation for the
blizzard.  It started to snow before I got out the driveway.  Had to be sure
I did not run out of fabric while snowbound.  Fat chance!!  But the fabric
stores were busier than ever - did
 I see you there???

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 8:54:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: what did I find?

Hi all from very cold Vermont, I live in the town where Bag Balm is made and I
am using a LOT these days to sooth my poor cracked hands..we had -20 degrees
three nights in a row!  I responded to an ad on the radio for an "old singer"
hoping it might be a fw--I have a freind who wants one--anyway, this was not
a fw, but it was a Singer, black, older scroll work on the end..it weighs about
30 lbs and it has a wooden case, the book (date says 1929) and a box of
accessories.  The tension is a thumb screw type, drop in bobbin--pretty good
shape but I think it would need some wiring work--the woman wants $100 for it=
any advise from folks so I can pass the info along to my friend?
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 96 23:16:49 EST
Subject: What is heaven's name is a ...?

I was poking around in a local antique shop and found an old treadle 
machine that looked more or less like a standard-size Singer head (most of 
them do, I guess), but it said "Oriole" on the front in *very* worn gilt 
lettering.  The belts were damaged, so I tried to run it by hand...the 
needle had an odd cycle...it went down, and then just barely started up and 
then went down again, before coming back up all the way to start over 
again.  Anybody ever heard of this machine?

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 10:19:02 -0500
Subject: newbie

Hi!  I was given this address to request the newsletter for the
featherweights.  I just acquired a fw from my husband's mom...she found it at
a tag sale at a convent and picked it up for $10!  My husband saw it and I
said, but it doesn't say featherweight...I took it home anyway because it was
so pretty!  I got online and found out that it was indeed a fw (221K...made
in Scotland!)   I am beside myself with joy!  It needs a few
adjustments...like the bottom tension, but I will be taking it to a guy to be
repaired...after the blizzard! 
Thanks for any help you can give!
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 10:27:32 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/4/96

Hello all,
I am sending this again as it bounced back to me when I sent it last week.
 Hope you get it this time
Happy again to catch up on all of my FWFanatics digests after the holidays.
 I read where Katy in MI wants to use a 301 bobbin case in her featherweight
- I have been told by Singer that this case will fit but not in the right
way.  It will fit very tightly and be almost impossible to get out once you
put it in.  Apparently, according to Singer man, they look alike, these
bobbin cases, but are enough different to cause problems if they are
interchanged.  He says he has seen quite a few FW's with the bobbin case
stuck in there and the problem turned out to be that they had 301 bobbin
cases in them not 221.  Guess some person or persons unknown, have thought of
substituting one for the other to save a few bucks.  
I have been able to procure a used bobbin case for $55 including shipping and
handling and tax.  So I am not too put out about not having one now that I
know where to get them.  This should influence the price on any machine which
has the bobbin case missing.
Hope this helps someone out there, and Happy New Year to all
Date: Mon, 08 Jan 1996 10:46:58 -0600
Subject:  To my fellow fanatics on the eastern seaboard

 As I'm writing this the
temperature is 23 degrees and it's a heat wave!  All last week it was
sub-zero weather here.  My heart goes out to all of you that's being hit
by this huge blizzard!  I've had one snow day so far this year where I've
stayed home and we only got a whopping 6"!  

My prayer is that you and your families will all stay healthy and safe. 
The only thing in recent memory I can relate to what you're all going
through is our great flood of '93 where, here in Des Moines, Iowa, we
lost our water for 12 days.  But it was summer so it was MUCH warmer. 
And we were blessed with an outpouring of bottled water from people
and organizations from all over the country.   Thanks if you were one
who helped.

Take advantage of this time off and sew your little hearts out.  I'd be
interested in hearing stories of how you're coping and what life is like
when it's this serious.

BTW, I don't have a FW yet, but after reading all these posts for a couple
of months now, I can't wait to hit the antique stores and go look for one. 
One of our fellow FW fanatics who also lives in Des Moines (who I've
since had the privilege of meeting -- hi Ginney), e-mailed me last week
that she walked into a quilting store not far from where I work and saw
an FW sitting on a treadle, but it was not for sale.  I was in this same
store just before Christmas and did not see it!!  I must not be tuned into
these things yet.  But I'm sure there's hope for me yet.  I still love my 99k
and use it almost exclusively.  I also have a Premier Deluxe and a Golden
Touch and Sew.  But my 99k will probably always be my favorite.

Better get back to work...
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 10:02:55 -0800
Subject: Hello

Hi!  I wanted to introduce myself.  I've beeen reading and enjoying the
postings for about 2 weeks.  I have a 1950 Featherweight, that my mother
bought with all the attachments (no table) in Chicago.  I learned on this
machine and my eith year old daughter is now learning on it also.  I t sits
on the table right next to my Bernina 1090.  My mother taught me both to sew
and to maintain this machine, so that's a very important lesson that I'm
passing on to my daughter and my beggining machine quilting classes at the
shop where I work.  Hopefully this machine will always be a one family FW.
Thanks to all of your information, I called Singer and discovered that my
machine's birthdate was march 31, 1950.  I checked with my mom, and she
bought it shortly after that.  I enjoy the discussions about the other
antique machines very much.  Its enough to make me want to start my own

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 14:48:33 -0500
Subject: Why we can't find Featheweights

I finally decided to hit the garage sales hoping to find machines or
attachments.  At one likely garage sale, I asked if they had any old machines
or attachments.  One of the ladies said no, she had given away a box of
attachments because she no longer had the machine they went with.  But the
other said "I have a Featherweight!"  I said, "Is it for sale?"  She said no.
 She had planned to sell it, but recently saw an ad in the paper for a
Featherweight and someone wanted $400 for it.  "Can you imagine?", she said.
 "Once I knew it was worth that much I decided to keep it!"  I asked if she
used it.  She said no, she hadn't used it for years.  She wanted her son to
know that when she was gone he shouldn't just put it out like a piece of junk
since it was "really worth something".  I guess she didn't need $400!

I wonder how many other machines are sitting unused, unwanted, and "saved"
because of their perceived value.  I'm with Kenloyal on this.  It's only
worth what someone will give you for it or what value you place on it

Terry M
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 12:03:33 -0800
Subject: FW

Katie,  I would use the tension problem as a lever to reduce the price of
the machine and then buy it!

Debi O
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 12:11:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 

	All this interest in Zsuxxa, hard to type, huh? I have an easy 
answer, my grandmother's name was Zoeshka, Z's run in the family. Katy, 
yes on the anitque mall screwdriver in hand. Take the bottom plate of and 
get in there and if it is a ball of confusion bring something to start 
the process of removing the thread. Flip ups are replaced and it's quite 
odd that the flip up does not have the scrolling on it. Where does 
Gordy teach next? My father is hoping I will take this class so I can 
service my own collection. I would personally like to thank all of you 
very much for your support and encouragement for my daughters upcoming 
sinus reconstructive and eye surgery. I've been very touched and 
appreciate all the prayers for her. Last night as we had dinner, she held 
hands for prayers and said thank you for the food, send snow and Free Willy.
You can tell we are on the west coast and not the east. Zsux (that's my 
nickname) (Sue-sssssh) Like sushi but without the long e on the end.
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 15:27:37 -0600
Subject: Oh Where is my Dad these days???

Howdy!  Been off the list since later part of December.  If you have any
fw parts or fw's or 301's that you want to buy, you will need to call my
Dad in Baltimore, MD at 

Gail P
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 18:43:55 -0500
Subject: the rest of my cool yule saga

OK--some of you may remember the saga of my MIL's remembered FW and table.
I meant to rush down to Miami immediately, but a feverish bout of
winter-crud kept me in Gainesville.  So, I reworked my driving plans so that
after leaving a conference in Clearwater, I could drag my husband down to
Miami and then back up to Gainesville the next day.  Any of you who know
Florida, know that means I pretty much circled the state in pursuit of the
FW :>  Is that pathetic or admirable?

The machine is an AM (no exact bday yet).  It indeed has a table, which
shows its age!  But the coolest thing is that when I opened up the FW case,
I found all these attachments: a green-boxed buttonholer with its booklet
and about 9 buttonhole sizers and a feed dog cover, a binding foot, a
ruffler, a zipper foot, a hemmer foot, a tucker, an edge stitcher, and a
gathering foot!  Jeez, I'm bad enough at sewing a straight line!  I had to
dig out the booklet to even figure out what all these things were.  I'm so
excited.  Despite being in Miami for its whole life, it's not even
rusted--though it's clearly dry and needs a good lubing.  It even has it's
original needle case and an ancient (though not Singer) can of oil.  My
husband believes this gift has bought his mom ALOT of good karma :>

Here are a couple of questions though:  1) this case differs from my other
FW case in that it has no lift out tray, just a side basket thing that seems
to be for the foot?  Is that right?  And if so, what is the attachment on
the top of the case for?  It seems designed to grab something.  2) Has
anyone replaced their black belt with the tan-pinkish belt that someone
mentioned earlier?  If so, has it affected your machine performance at all
(positively or negatively)?

FWly yours,
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 15:44:37 -0600
Subject: Featherweights and the Baltimore Area

If you live in the Baltimore area (Which I would suppose would include,
D.C., Delaware, Penn, Virginia, etc) and have some questions around the
featherweights  please give my Dad, Mr. Dale P(famous Safari hunter
of featherweights).  My Dad would be pleased to
hear from you.

Well I guess you could also call him, if you want to buy a fw, or
accessories too! (Was that a plug or what? LOL!)

Cheers!  Gail - daughter of Dale and Deloris P (those featherweight
safari hunters!!)

p.s.  I'm about to take my first sewing class after about a 20 year absense
from sewing (home ec in junior high)....anyone have any pointers?
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 10:58:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Treadle for sale

I saw an ad in today's paper someone might be interested in.  They have a
Singer treadle machine for sale with attachments.  Think it might be late
1800's.  $50.  I am not interested in owning another treadle and I'm
afraid if I go look at it, I might want it.

I had to laugh at a previous post where the writer asked the question,
"Who would use a nice Singer treadle machine as a plantstand?"  Well, the
only place I have to put mine is in the kitchen and yes, I am using it for
a plantstand.  Only one plant, though, so I can unload it easily and show
it off.  Come to think of it, what I should put on top is a kerosene
lantern of the same vintage.  Then if I had a project going and the
electricity went off, I would have my machine and my light ready.

This will be a shock to all of you.  The DH was looking at the headings on
the papers we get from Singer.  He thinks that the date might not be
the date of manufacture but the date the factory got the order to produce a
certain number of that particular model.  And the number (50,000 or
whatever) is not how many were made on one day but how many were ordered.
What do you think?

I knew a storm was coming and made sure we had bread, milk, etc., but
Millie knew what was really important and went out for fabric.  Good
thinking.  They say we got 10 inches of snow.  Today the sun is shining.

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 20:47:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/7/96


Just a few observations from reading all the neat stuff on the FWF pages.
I own a l95l FW with the l00th anniversary seal.  The starting letters 
are also AK.  I haven't called Singer for the exact date, but I did go by 
Nancy's book.  

Yesterday I was at a huge antique show in the Tacoma Dome--over 700 
booths. I was there the last day but I only saw three sewing machines.
Two were FWs- one in disasterous condition for $249 and one for $425 that 
didn't look anywhere as nice as mine.  I paid $300 at a garage sale.  It 
had the keys, manual, attachments and oil can.  The case was in almost 
perfect condition.  There was also a machine in a curved wooden case that 
had this black stucco like finish.  Is this what is referred to as 
"godzilla".  It was in excellent shape and had not only the oil can and 
                           attachments, but the lubricant in the green 
cardboard container.  I was 
tempted to buy it just for the attachments, etc.  The machine was priced 
at $95 and the owner would negotiate.  Her shop is in Oregon and if 
anyone wants the address, I will dig out her card.

I have a 401A slant machine that I use as my everyday machine.  I do have 
a little trouble trying to machine q uilt with it, even though I bought one 
of the big foot attachments.  Any hints?  I also wind my bobbins for the 
FW on this machine as they tend to wind tighter and more consistently.  
The bobbins I purchased from the local sewing machine repair shop work 
fine.  However, I bought some at a sewing center and the holes are too 
small to fit on the bobbin rewinder.  If the bobbins fit on one of your 
newer Singer machines, giveit a try.  It certainly is faster.

I remember someone writing in about lace embroidery on the machine and 	 
happened to see a book  at the show.  The name of it was "Singer 
Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lacework".  It was written by an 
author whose last name was Fanning for $26.95.  Maybe you could find it 
at a library.

Sorry this is so lenghty.  This is my first letter.

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 07:16:34 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/7/96

I'm so glad to hear that most people want to hear about all old machines, not
just featherweights. I dearly love my baby and wouldn't trade all my others
for her, but there's just so much you can say about featherweights and I find
all the other old machines equally fascinating. I still say we should combine
our info and create our own book. I've found lots of info on really antique
machines which aren't really available any more, but I'd love to learn more
about new old machines (from the 30's on). Fortunately, I've gotten a lot of
that kind of info from this group - thanks to everyone, and please keep it

I have to tell about my latest acquistion - a 401a. After hearing the sewing
machine repair man's comments on it, I of course had to have one. My husband
thinks it looks like a 1956 Plymouth - beautiful it's not, but it really
seems to run well and has a lot of the same features as my beloved 301's. It
also came with a buttonholer that had never been used AND the MONOGRAMMER. I
don't know if it's the same one as had been mentioned previously - it has
cams for each letter and seems to operate a lot like the buttonholer. It also
looks unused and has a manual, if anyone needs directions. I love being able
to take these machines apart and play with their insides - something I'd sure
never dare do with my Bernina. And it's so satisfying to make them purr once
again! Sue M.
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 09:33:59 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/8/96

Anne--Sounds like a 99?

Dawn--This is a new one on me.

Judy--Welcome to the list, your find is incredible!

Shelley--This is indeed an interesting bit of info. How does the Singer guy
tell the difference when the bobbin case part number is the same? BTW, I
don't have the FW. Just have been considering buying it and the lady did find
a bobbin case. In case anyone is interested in the latest on this story, the
lady called me yesterday and said someone else had come in to try it and had
problems too. She is going to take it in to be looked at. Maybe it is still a

AnneL--The bracket in the top of the case is for holding the foot pedal
in. It slides in from the side. The side tray for attachments etc. was the
norm on the newer cases (1950ish?)

Thanks to Joyce, Terry, Debi and any others who offered advice on the FW I
have been looking at. 

Have a great day all! Katy
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 06:34 PST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/8/96

Hello everyone- especially to those of you on the east coast - personally I
love snow days - just a great excuse to stay home and do whatever!
I received my copy of NJS book yesterday and read it cover to cover.
Interesting to note that my EF FW was made in 1949 and yet has the
scrollwork face plate that she describes as being only on prewar machines.
Obviously the machines from Scotland don't follow the rules!  My carrying
case looks like the older one form the US (pg 40 of the book).  Its in great
shape as well, handle still intact but showing some wear.
Enjoying this list very much and learning lots.  I never seen anyone mention
a machine called Margaret.  My friend (her name is Margaret) received one as
a gift from her DH.  Its a beautiful portable in a case with lots of fancy
scrollwork with the name Margaret Co. on the front.  Any info?  I think it
was made in Canada.
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 09:51:04 -0500
Subject: misc

Terry: re Greist attachments:  'Each has a flat two-pronged piece that fits
straight toward the presser bar as you sit in front of the machine'.

I have 2 boxes of Greist attachments as described and which my Greist
attachment foot does not fit.  Then SAT I browsed a quilt shop where I saw a
really ancient New Home treadle machine in a cabinet.  In the drawer was all
kinds of stuff (none for sale) including a tin box of Greist attachments.
 What I did not think to do was to open out the machine to get a look at the
shank to see if I could figure out how to hook the attachments to the shank.
 If I get back there soon I will do that.  I should have been curious-er at
the time!  Anyways, I would assume now that those style attachments are for
machines much older than the Singer portable we have been talking about.

I have a friend with a machine which has a timing problem (he can straight
stitch but not zig-zag since the needle hits hard when attempted).  Question:
 is this something which can be adjusted at home or does he need to take it
to a repair man.  He is technically competent.  Are there any writeups on
timing adjustment? 

Saw some question on whether Singer made high-shank machines and, tho I do
not have an answer, I do have a Singer attachment which is high-shank.  So:
would Singer make attachments for machines they did not make??? 

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 09:34:01 -0500
Subject: Gailee's Home Page

Just had to put in a plug for Gails FW Page on the Web. It is great! (Did you
get the book, Gail?)  Also if you have to deal with a thread jam and are
faced with taking apart the bobbin case base, see her Re-Digest for Gordy's
super explanation. It is far more clear than in the Nancy J-S book. Thanks,

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 14:32:16 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/8/96

Hi Everyone,
I've been lurking for a few months and finally have something to contribute!
 I have one FW--bought at a sewing machine store for $200 plus 2 old trade
ins, one and a half years ago.  The dealer couldn't understand the attraction
and tried to sway me to a new tiny machine.  Sure!  I absolutely love it of
course, and use it as much as my Pfaff 7550.  Just taught my 14 yo daughter
to piece on it at Xmas.  

My stepmom saw my machine a few months ago and said her 80+ mom has one just
like it and that I can have it when she dies.  Talk about a weird feeling!!
 I have no attachments for my machine, so am hoping hers is complete.  I'm
even thinking of asking her if I can buy it next time I am in Canada, where
they live, so I don't have to feel strange about waiting for her to go!  (I
hope no-one takes this the wrong way!!)

This last weekend we were finally away from the 4 kids on the Oregon coast,
(go Keiko,) and I dragged my husband on a few FW quests.  Found a dealer with
9 FW's, but none for sale.  He did recommend the product Tri-Flow for oiling
the FWs.  It has teflon in it.  Has anyone tried it?  I bought a can but
haven't been brave yet.  It is an arosol with a thin spout.

While at his shop, he showed me a machine in for repair-- an absolutely
gorgeous old ornate Singer in a portable bentwood case.  It was
breathtaking!!  What was it?  He had no idea of what model it was, but it was
small.  I lusted big time.

We then hit a few antique shops and found:  
old toy Singer that I actually already own from '50s for $225. (Yippee!)
Lots of toy machines from Germany ($120 and on).
Featherweight with striated plate and no attachments for $400.
Little Singer in bentwood case like at the repair shop with some attachments
for $188, but not as beautiful, so I didn't buy.
Treadle machine for $200.  I fell in love with it!!  It is a Franklin(?) with
tons of Greist attachments, oil can, old wood spools of thread, needles, etc.
 (The 6 drawers were like 6 little treasure chests!!)  The belt was broken,
but otherwise it was perfect, although obviously used.  Can the belt be
replaced?  I am dreaming of this machine and have hinted to my husband for my
birthday next month.  Is this a good machine?

I hope this is not too long to post, but it's been a very exciting few days.
 The bug has got me!!  Thanks for all your enthusiastic posts--they've
definitely given me enough knowledge to be dangerous to my checkbook!!
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 15:22:12 -0500 (EST)

 I sent this message a few days ago, but never saw it on FWF. Someone 
somewhere probably had it routed to his inbox by mistake and now wants to 
know what the hell a Featherweight is.

Carrie: About the different threads having different effects on the 
FW's-I have found that my FW is much more sensitive to different threads 
than my Bernina.  When I use Dual Duty in the FW, I find I have to clean 
beneath the throat plate quite often because of all the fuzz that builds 
up. I guess it's because of those tolerances you wrote of. I am going to 
start treating my babies better and only use the best threads from now on.

Terry: That Godzilla Stucco finish you talk about is what I have called 
"Matte" on the Featherweights. One of the questions ISMACS asks when you 
join is: If there was a fire and you could only save one machine which 
would it be? I answered the matte finish, but now I'm wondering if my 
taste isn't a little weird. So do or don't plaids and florals go together?
Gretchen: The green FW your Mom thought she could get a hold of turned 
out to be the minty white. Darn. At this point I just want to see a 
picture of one to know that they actually exist. A guy in Florida who has 
100 FW's (and by the way is going to start selling them in lots of 10,but 
at high dollar)) called my DH up and yelled at him, telling him to stop 
adding fuel to the  rumor that there is a green machine. At that point my DH 
said "And did you know that it also came in blue?" My husband's hearing 
in that ear should be back any day. 

Gretchen: About running out of space for sewing machines: I saw a picture 
of a guy that has so many that he keeps a treadle in the bath tub.  I 
think it was doing the backstroke.

Office Mom:All the black and tan machines are gear driven. It's the 
newer white machines that are belt drive, and they were made in Great 

I know you all are absolutely going to hate me but:
I got a call from a guy the day before X-mas asking me if I was 
interested in buying a Featherweight he had, and how much would I pay for 
it? I said that if the condition was good I'd pay no more than $300. He 
said he would figure out with shipping what he needed to get out of it 
and he would send me a photo to see if the condition looked OK. I got the 
photo Friday along with a note saying he needed $270 for it. I was at the 
Post Office 10 minutes later with a check in the mail. It was a Freearm! 
It has the manual and even the original box the darning hoop came in. 
Yes, my conscience is bothering me, but tell me you wouldn't have done 
the same!

And DH thinks he just made the deal of the century. He traded another 
freearm that we also got for a good price for an oval maple table for the FW. 
He doesn't understand that our cost on a freearm is not the same as what 
it's worth, but that's OK. The woman had two of these tables, and 
wouldn't have sold one for any cost. I find alot of people would rather 
trade for something they don't have than for cash. I'm thrilled to 
get the table, but I know that now I'll find one for $2 at a yard sale.

Also, about the 301 bobbin cases: I have heard you can use them as long 
as you also use the entire 301 bobbin case assembly. (Base, jib, etc.)

Happy Featherweighting,
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 11:43:30 -0800
Subject: Antique Show

Last weekend my DH and I attended a large antique show.He likes to go to
this kind of show as much as I do. The show had 820 booths, with a total of
5 FW's for sale at various booths. The cost was $275. for a very worn
looking one, to $425. There were  4 treadels &not a Singer in the bunch.
One man took great pride in taking apart the cabinets and selling the side
parts with drawers.My friend talked to him and told him he was destroying
history and where are the sewing machines etc. I saw a man that had  oak
everything; from  boxes to furniture that almost looked new, he refinished
everything. I asked him if he had the oak box that the treadle sewing
machine attachments came in and he showed me three at $55. EA.  He had
re-finished them, stripped the inside and glued new green felt in them (no
attachments). I didn't even try to talk to him about history and people are
looking for such items because he seemed cross just showing me the boxes.
It was a very small part of what he was selling. I did buy a Singer oil can
to complete what came with the white (lt. green fw). I also found a lady
that sells collectable  cards, manuals, etc.She had them very nicely put
into albums. I looked in the one marked sewing. It had the cards that I
have read about on this list. There were bird cards #1 to ?, and card that
showed people sewing on a Singer in many other country's. I did not know
what a going price would be on the cards, but she had $4.50 ea. A few would
be cute framed in a sewing room. I did buy another antique quilt, it has
house blocks with wonderful 30's fabric. If I don't quit buying quilts I
may find myself sleeping out side under them.
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 12:04:33 -0600
Subject:  Where to look for Parts?

I've been lurking here for a few weeks.  What a wonderful info
exchange!  I'm all fired up and hoping I'll be one of the lucky ones to make
a bargain find on a FW!  I have a Viking 1+, just got a couple of working
freebies (a mid-seventies Kenmore and a similar vintage Singer), and a
1960-something Singer kids machine. 

In the meantime, I got curious about the sewing machines of my
grandmother's that my parents now have. I knew that had a few oldies,
but it had never occurred to me to ask about them before. Here is the
response:  Please note- Dad is looking for a part and I would appreciate
any ideas as to where to look for one.

"Your mother has two old Singers.  Her mothers machine is a Model
201-2 made probably in 1941.  The other Singer is very old and is in
excellent condition. The cabinet has three vertical drawers on each side.
 It also decorated designs on the ends of the cabinet and drawer fronts.
The machine has "The Singer Manufacturing Co." on the head in gold. 
The whole unit is black with very ornate decorations all over it gold, red,
and green all original.   There is no model number  but there is a plate
which I think is a serial No. B-1314820.  Also there are 6 Patent dates
listed on another plate starting with 1885 and ending with July 5, 1901.  

If you find somebody that knows about parts, her machine has one
missing bolt which connects the treadle to the cast iron leg of the
cabinet.  If my memory is correct, it's about 1" long \,  3/8" diam. and  is a
shoulder bolt with a flat head.  The hard part is I believe the threads 19 to
the Inch  instead of a standard size.  Right now it has a wooden dowel
which seems to work."

I'm going to call Singer on the serial number, although I keep getting the
"all circuits busy" message; must be the snowstorm!  I've asked my folks
for a serial number on the 201-1 as well.

Also, when I got the freebie machines, I also got a manual for a "Singer
Automatic Swing-Needle Machine 306."  Unfortunately, the machine
wasn't there, so I didn't get it.  The copyright dates on the manual are
1952 and 1954.  If this is of any use or value to anyone, send me an
e-mail.  Or if you have suggestions as to where to look for the part Dad
needs, e-mail me.

Re: discussion of FW only or all old machines.  IMHO, please leave it as
wide open as you have.  I am utterly fascinated by and learning alot
reading this list.  It makes me realize that I shouldn't have passed up the
ancient "Domestic" labeled machine that I could have picked up as well. 
If I can still get it, is it of interest to anyone?  It almost looked llike it 
been hand wired; it certainly was in old, neglected condition.  I'll check on
it anyway.

I look forward to the day when I can participate instead of just lurking!

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 16:26:10 -0500
Subject: Damascus treadle

Hi all,
After a visit with my parents in south-east Idaho over the holidays, I have a
question.  My grandmother's old treadle, which now belongs to my parents, has
the word "DAMASCUS" in lovely gold decoration on the front.  Anyone ever
heard of this maker?  It's a lovely machine. The machine was not used alot
because my grandmother had leg and foot sores which prevented it.  When my
mother was a young adult she bought grandmother a portable electric model 15,
with the black cottage cheese finish and rounded wooden case, thinking it
would be easier for her to use.  By that time grandmother's children were all
grown and she just never used the model 15 either.  (Too bad it wasn't a FW!)

While I was in Idaho I bought a 201 in a cabinet for $25 at a thrift shop.
 My parents are keeping it for me till I can get it home.  It needs a little
work, but will eventually  run fine. I'm interested to see if it lives up to
that glowing recommendation I read here not long ago.  Meanwhile, it won't be
lonely, along with the Damascus treadle, the model 15, a classic tan 301A in
a substantial cabinet, an unidentified older machine, and an old White
treadle in wonderful condition.  My parents have become collectors while I
wasn't looking!

I got interested all on my own, with a serendipitous find of a FW.  Now,
after reading this list for a while, I am considering any old machine I see
in my local antique store.  Right now there is a model 15, shiney finish with
gold decoration, from 1925 that I would like because the rounded case is so
nice--tagged at $105.  There is also a 1908 Singer treadle, model 27 that
looks to be in excellent condition--tagged at $249.  I'd appreciate any
opinions on these prices.
Love this list!
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 16:58:20 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/7/96

To Katy - My concern would be if the FW has been dropped the shaft may be
bent.  Do not but it if the shaft is bent.  Unless you can get the wheel to
turn freely it won't be worth your money.  I bought a 301A and the wheel
would not turn. When I took it into the shop they found the shaft was bent
and very expensive to replace.  Good Luck. 

For what it is worth my favorite sewing machine shop in KC is Missouri Sewing
Machine.  They have or had a Black 301A for $200.00 and 201K English 125.00
with a wooden case.  They also have green boxes and every attachment you
could want for our old machines.  Also they have an 800 number which is
1-800-257-4989.  I really like visiting their shop and they have been in
business since 1932.  Very good people to work with and I have no affiliation
to them.
Subj:    Howe
Date:    96-01-07 13:18:25 EST

The Singer Sewing Book by Mary Brooks Picken, copyright 1949 has a short
history of the invention of the sewing machine. (Consider the source when
reading this.)

"History tells us that as early as the seventeenth century, men tried to
devise a machine that would sew. Early in the eighteenth century, a French
tailor named Barthelemy Thimmonier invented a crude wooden sewing machine but
it was destroyed by a mob of angry tailors who saw it as a threat to their
livelihood. Others tried and failed. Then in 1846, Elias Howe, Jr., from
Cambridge, Mass., made and patented what is popularly regarded as the first
sewing machine. But it wasn't truly practical. It could sew only six or seven
inches at one time. Not until four years later did another American, Isaac
Merritt Singer, develop the first really practical machine -- one that would
sew continuouusly or until the thread ran out, with a stitch that was the
same on both the right and wrong side of the material."

You all might want to look around in used book stores for this book
(hardback, 244 pages).  It covers the use of just about every attachment and
has very clear illustrations.  Mrs. Picken, who authored 91 books on sewing
and crafts, gives advice on sewing successfully. She says "Prepare yourself
mentally for sewing.... Never approach sewing with a sigh or
lackadaisically.... Never try to sew with the sink full of dishes or bed
unmade.... When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Go through
a beauty ritual of orderliness."

I must admit I have not followed all of Mrs. Picken's rules for successful

Christine T.
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 19:15:26 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/8/96

I have also found that very fine thread (60-80 weight) does not agree with my
FW.  It hums along with 40 or 50, but complains bitterly if I use anything

Date:     Tue,  9 Jan 96 16:23:26 PST

It sounds like everyone has had such good luck with thrift and
antique stores! I haven't found anything of interest lately. In the
used book store I looked for the green book but no luck (it wasn't
in the occult section). I did look at intereesting old sewing books
but a lot of them only had tips on working with patterns, no machine
info. I did find Sincere's manual in the library - those hand
drawings are kind of cute. If that's the right word. I'm not sure
it's the same one everyone else has.

In an antique collecting book from 1994, a couple of fw's are listed
as selling at the $250-300 range. Also people seem to collect a lot
of thimbles and some tape measures with advertising on them. I think
tape measures would be fun to collect.

Katy - check whether the bobbin case base is in correctly (pointed
piece up). If it's loose and not straight up, take off the throat
plate and move it into position. This is a common problem, and was
messed up on one of the machines I bought. It happens when the
throat plate is removed for cleaning (thread gets stuck there
sometimes, too.

Lydia - I have a few sewing machine and quilt theme rubber stamps
for sale. Email me if interested and I can send you a xerox image or
a catalog. One is a lone star quilt - not sure if that's what you're
looking for.

Rita - I wrote the 5 stages of fw addiction, will try to find and
send it to you.

-Carolyn Y
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 20:08:38 -0500 (EST)

Hi All!

For Mary: On the 7th you wrote "But somewhere I read that
Singer didn't make a high shank..."   I'm not sure that's correct.  I went
up and checked my "retired" Golden Touch and Sew, and it's definitely a
high shank machine.  I got this machine from my MIL lots of years ago; I'm
not sure of the date it was made, but the copyright date on the book is
1970.  I know there are a couple of other Touch and Sews out there, so
maybe a couple more of us can check for you.

Terry: The "flat, two-pronged piece that fits toward the presser bar" is
called a "Type II" in the book that came with the Greist buttonholer that
I bought last weekend.  The box on the other buttonholer (the one I didn't
buy) had better illustrations and a list of machine types to go with each
type of attachment foot.  Maybe I can stop by again this Saturday and copy
down the list.  I don't quite see myself explaining to the folks who run
this thrift shop that I don't want to buy the buttonholer, I just want to
borrow it long enough to photocopy the box (surrrrrrre, lady!).

Which reminds me... Blindbuff in Boise, if you are still out there: Back
in December you were looking for a feed dog cover and a quilting foot for
your machine.  If you can find a buttonholer, it will probably come with a
feed dog cover.  I suspect a monogrammer would have one, too.  Happy hunting!

Well, for the record, here in central Ohio we had an "official" fall of 10
inches, plus about three more this morning during my 1 hour 15 minute
drive to work (normal drive time = 20 minutes).  I did elect to stay home
on Monday.  All things considered, I can't complain.  We were on the
western end of the storm, and have fared pretty well.  I friend of mine
who retired to central Pennsylvania phoned me and told me that on Monday
the Governor had closed ALL the roads, period.  Also, my in-laws near
Winston-Salem (North Carolina) have 11 inches on the ground, and
everything is at a standstill but they're coping.  They're just not
equipped to deal with standing snow that far south.  Hope all of you are
safe and sound!

                                  _   _
Lydia P
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:54:05 -0500
Subject: thanks!

Thanks to everyone for the replies on the case question--I had a feeling the
foot pedal was supposed to go in the top, but am still a bit leary about
whamming it in there!

Still no replies to my belt question though, so I'll keep nagging :>  Has
anyone replaced her FW old black belt with the tan/pink tooth variety?  Any
comments?  Is there a source for new black belts?

Had my little quilt group tonight and informed them all of my good fortune.
Only a few of us are FW-literate (can you believe it??)--but I was still the
envy of these clearly superior individuals.

Just a "could you die" story: a little while back a local station was doing
a sweeps-week feature on garage sales--trash or treasure.  My sister (who is
FW-friendly) was watching and as they swept the camera through one sale,
she--of course--spied the tell-tale black box.  Why aren't I ever at those
sales?  I'm sure it was priced at $5!

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 23:32:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/8/96

To Annie:

I find your discussion about your newly acquired featherweight interesting.  
Especially the part about the old oil can.  Your case sounds exactly like mine 
even down to the oil can which doesn't say Singer.  My FW is a 1954.  The case 
is black, lined in black moire.  The clip in the cover of the case is for the 
foot feed, (it slides in from the right side.)  The little metal box on the left 
that you describe holds the green cardboard box with the Singer attatchments.  
The oil can slips in a clip behind this.  As to the oil can, I wonder if Singer 
didn't use a different can occasionally.  Mine looks as old as the FW.  It is 
green, with orange writing saying "approved" and "oil " is in orange.  There is 
an old sewing machine pictured on the front in green and white.  "Sewing 
Machine" is in white.  

I wonder if anyone else has this oil can.

I want everyone on this list to know that you alone are responsible for my 
owning a featherweight.  I didn't even know there was such a passion until I 
started reading here, caught the fever and tracked one down for Christmas.

Happy Collecting,

Subject: my latest finds...
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 02:02:00 PDT

I went hunting through antique stores with my dad last thursday when my
son was at school.  I was beginning to despair of finding ANYHTING
related to a sewing machine, but I finally hit a small jackpot in a
small shop.  Back in the corner of one of the booths I found a box of
high shank greist attachments which will fit my New Home machine!!!!
They were only $7.00!  I have been looking for a set of attachments for
that machine for MONTHS!  Now I wish I hadn't bought the 3 hemmers for
4.95 each from Sewing Emporium...oh well...I have 2 New Homes, so I
guess I can collect 2 sets of attachments.  She also had a box of low
shank greist attachments (not the type that will fit our FWs), and I
hunted through them, and there was a singer darning attachment and
adjustable hemmer in with them, so I asked her if she would sell them
separately.  She just threw them in!  Boy was I lucky!

No featherweights, but hey, I did find some goodies!

Subject: 401
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 00:09:00 PDT


I have a singer 401a, which I LOVE!!!  I agree with the repairman about
it being a cadilac!  Mine isn't particularly noisy, and it sews faster
than my featherweight.  Maybe yours needs some TLC?  I paid 189.00 for
mine.  My repair man said the same thing about it yours says.  I use it
mainly for decorative stitching...which is why I bought it....besides it
looking REALLY cool.  It reminds me of the rocketeers, or my mother's
old 1960 Chevy Impala....
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 08:37:16 -0500
Subject: FW Fanatics

There was a question about a FW case that I thought I could answer.
My FW case does not have a lift out tray.  It also has a side basket in which
was stored the small green box of attachments, not the foot pedal.  The
attachment on the top of the lid is used to store the foot pedal.  Just slide
it on!  You'll see it will fit perfectly!

With respect to the tan-pinkish belt... When I first got my FW I took it to
my repair man because the cord was frayed through and I wanted to make sure
it was in peak condition.  He suggested replacing the old black belt since it
had a flat spot which made it difficult to wind the bobbin correctly.  He
replaced with the tan one and it appears to work perfectly.
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 06:45:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/6/96

Katy-That knee pedel is almost impossible to find at least out here on 
the east coast. I have heard go to flea markets, antique malls and try to 
snag one with another machine. Then my mother up and bought me a 128 for 
Christmas and this had the kneepedal lever. If I were you, I'd try to 
pick up another machine that included this pedal, or perhaps Mr. Pickens 
would have one or know where to get one.  Everytime I mention it at the 
shop they just throw up there hands, so I'm assuming they are worth the 
price of a trashed machine just to get the pedal.
Margel-Oh thanks so much for giving me your historical infomation. I'm 
really interested in knowing the facts and not just what I'm told. I 
based my information on my boss and daughter's history book, and there's 
nothing I like better than fighting with the school distric about the 
lies spread in the history book!  Especially since we are going 
rounds now on the books they expect the tutor to present to my daughter, 
but that's a book in itself. Might I have Susan Risty's address for the 
copies of the adverts. I don't know what Zsuxxa means as a literal 
translation, but my grandmother's name was Zoeshka and that translates to 
the European Sohpia. Zoeshkza was Croatian and they did tend to get 
carried away wwith the z and x's.  I live in a neighborhood with a few 
displaced Russians that still speak the language and will ask them if it 
has a literal traslation. Zsux (Sue-shh)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 09:25:15 -0600 (CST)


Sorry I missed the info on the tannish pink belt.  The featherweight I purchased 
from the dealer in Brainerd, had the origional belt replaced with one of these. 
 He apparently had robbed the origional from one of his bookends.  It works 
fine, and since he is a Singer dealer, I have confidence that it will not hurt 
the machine.  My replacement belt has little teeth on the under side.  This 
looks un-authentic, but it works great...

Bye again,

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 07:19:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/9/96

Gail P-Does you Dad have any knee lever's for the breadbox machine, 
or is he just FeatherWeight? And Kristella more interesting info on Howe. 
I feel I must get to the root of this Howe business and would be 
interested  in all that have input. I have four Buttonholers left for the 
FW and the collection previously posted. Thanks to all for schooling me 
in the history of Howe and others involved in the invention of the machine.
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 11:09:01 -0500
Subject: Singer Golden Touch and Sew

The Singer Golden Touch and Sew has been mentioned in this column several
times lately.

I know more than I'd like to about this machine--I owned one for 25 years.
It is an absolute DOG if you want to sew on it.  During the time I owned it
there was never a time that the tension was absolutely right.  I took it to
Singer dealers for repair everywhere we lived (about four locations) and it
was never exactly "right".  I purchased mine in about 1970.

People will not be collecting this machine in the future (as we do FW's now)
its sewing ability!

Frances T
Date: 10 Jan 96 14:12:50 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 1/9/96

Hi Folks,
	To Anne:  I recently bought a pre-war FW. Someone had replaced the belt
with one of those tan-pinkish-tooth belts, and it works fine. I'd never seen one
before, and was a little put off by its looks, but oh well. 
	Happy stitching!
		Sherry G
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 14:42:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/5/96

Carrie: About the different threads having different effects on the 
FW's-I have found that my FW is much more sensitive to different threads 
than my Bernina.  When I use Dual Duty in the FW, I find I have to clean 
beneath the throat plate quite often because of all the fuzz that builds 
up. I guess it's because of those tolerances you wrote of. I am going to 
start treating my babies better and only use the best threads from now on.

Terry: That Godzilla Stucco finish you talk about is what I have called 
"Matte" on the Featherweights. One of the questions ISMACS asks when you 
join is: If there was a fire and you could only save one machine which 
would it be? I answered the matte finish, but now I'm wondering if my 
taste isn't a little weird. So do or don't plaids and florals go together?
Gretchen: The green FW your Mom thought she could get a hold of turned 
out to be the minty white. Darn. At this point I just want to see a 
picture of one to know that they actually exist. A guy in Florida who has 
100 FW's (and by the way is going to start selling them in lots of 10,but 
at high dollar)) called my DH up and yelled at him, telling him to stop 
adding fuel to the  rumor that there is a green machine. At that point my DH 
said "And did you know that it also came in blue?" My husband's hearing 
in that ear should be back any day. 

Gretchen: About running out of space for sewing machines: I saw a picture 
of a guy that has so many that he keeps a treadle in the bath tub.  I 
think it was doing the backstroke.

Office Mom:All the black and tan machines are gear driven. It's the 
newer white machines that are belt drive, and they were made in Great 

I know you all are absolutely going to hate me but:
I got a call from a guy the day before X-mas asking me if I was 
interested in buying a Featherweight he had, and how much would I pay for 
it? I said that if the condition was good I'd pay no more than $300. He 
said he would figure out with shipping what he needed to get out of it 
and he would send me a photo to see if the condition looked OK. I got the 
photo Friday along with a note saying he needed $270 for it. I was at the 
Post Office 10 minutes later with a check in the mail. It was a Freearm! 
It has the manual and even the original box the darning hoop came in. 
Yes, my conscience is bothering me, but tell me you wouldn't have done 
the same!

And DH thinks he just made the deal of the century. He traded another 
freearm that we also got for a good price for an oval maple table for the FW. 
He doesn't understand that our cost on a freearm is not the same as what 
it's worth, but that's OK. The woman had two of these tables, and 
wouldn't have sold one for any cost. I find alot of people would rather 
trade for something they don't have than for cash. I'm thrilled to 
get the table, but I know that now I'll find one for $2 at a yard sale.

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 16:41:53 -0500
Subject: A Tale of a White Featherweight....

The FW Fanatic eagerly reads the "For Sale" posting by Zxussa (Joyce
Roberts)...Eureka!!! two white Featherweights for sale!  She e-mails her,
holding her breath--have they both been snapped up already?  No!  there's
still one left--and it was manufactured in Great Britian!  Transactions are
made, and then comes the hard part--waiting for the little gem to
arrive....Everyday she listens for the sound of the UPS truck...will it be
today? tomorrow? the next day...?  Then the great day comes!  She hears the
rumbling sound of the UPS truck, and dashes to the door...O Happy Day!  It's
here!  She carefully pries open the stapled box, and then takes the packing
peanuts out handful by loving handful.  She has her first glimpse of it--it's
simply beautiful!  She lifts it out of the box--breathtaking!  Just as it was
described--even BETTER!  Her hand is slightly shaking as she plugs it in--how
will it run?  She stitches a log onto a log cabin block and...heaven!  It
purrs like a kitten!  The stitch quality is wonderful!  She could hug it!!!

Needless to say, that Fanatic is me!

Subject: FW hunting...
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 18:34:26 EST

First, a giant thank you to Carolyn Y for sending me a
copy of her 128 manual.  I've been able to identify some of
the attachments that came with the machine and am very happy
now that I know where to oil!

Last week I mentioned that I was checking out antique and junk
shops for fws.  No luck.  Scarcely a sewing machine in sight.
One place had a Brother, circa 1970 (out on the sidewalk in
-28 Celsius weather :-().  Today I discovered another 128 in
an antique store.  It had very ornate and beautiful gold
detailing on it.  Unfortunately, it was without its case.
This machine had never been motorized, but had obviously been
used a lot because the shuttle showed considerable wear.  There
was no hand crank on it, either.  Maybe it had been a treadle
long ago?  The serial number started with a G.  I guess I'll
end up paying the big bucks for a fw if I really want one :-)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 19:23:20 -0700
Subject: Featherweighs, of course

Hi.  I'm just new to FW Fanatics and have been enjoying reading all the
posts.  I'm from Wyoming so I don't think there's too many of us on line yet
-- at least not on FW Fanatics.  

Last summer I bought a 1952 FW.  It has the 100th anniversary seal.  Does
this make it worth more -- not that I would sell it.  It has all the
attachments, including button holer, even the little green oil can and tube
of lubricant (which had to be thrown away).  My favorite sewing machine man
said he didn't think it had an hour's worth of sewing on it.  I tried to buy
it at an estate auction but got out bid.  Two weeks later I heard the lady
who bought it wanted to sell it so, of course, I jumped on it and ended up
paying $25 more than she paid for it.  I bought it for $350.  No great
bargain after reading some of the bargains on the posts.  But I love it and
use it for quilting.  We have a small local quilt group and almost everyone
now has one and those that don't are looking.  

So long for now.  I'm not into antique machines but may end up that way!!
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 21:54:32 -0500
Subject: 301's, 401's and 501's

Someone asked to describe the differences between a FW and 301.  Since I
have a FW and 301 and 301A, I will try to describe them.  Of course you all
knew the FW.  I purchased a 301 and 301A a few years ago for $100 each.  The
301A is just like the 301 except it is light brown in color while the 301 is
black.  Both have the number below the Singer label.  They are larger than a
FW and both have handles on the top for carrying.  The bobbins system is
like the FW.  They only do straight stitch.  I kept one machine and the
other is at my husband's school being used by the art dept.  I like this
machine and I also like my FW.  I bought these machines because I couldn't
find a FW.  Then I did find a FW for $300 and bought it.  Considering the
difference in price, I think the 301 is a good deal at $100.  Both machinces
have the folding plate on the left like the FW.

Someone else was asking about 401 and 404.  I have both these machines.  The
401A is my work horse.  In fact I own two.  I have also purchased four of
these for sewing buddies.  I paided $ 100 each for them with or without a
cabinet.  The feed dogs can be lowered for machine quilting.  It does a
great job on machine quilting.  This model is also zig zag.  Mine makes a
nice even straight stitch.  I do know that if you change the needle plate
from the wider opening  to a single hole the stitch is more even.  However I
do not bother with this.  By the way, Singer also made a 501 that is very
much like the 401A.  

I also own two 404.  A nice basic straight stitch machine. The feed dgos in
these machines can be lowered as well.  I paid $ 65 for each machine.  I
have not had trouble with the machine being loud.  I clean and oil my
machines often.  I live in Vermont and purchased all these machines from a
man in Grand Isle, Vermont which is a 2 1/2 hour drive from home.  He is an
interesting character.  He is hard of hearing and will not talk on the
phone.  It has to go through his wife.  If anyone is interested in locating
machines email me and I will give details.  A comment he made to me "lady
you sure know your Singers!"  He goes to yard sales and buys these machines,
services them and resells them.  I don't think he is the best reapir man
around.  Because of his hearing he does not hear the sound of the motor. On
a few machines I had to have work done on them.  Hope this helps. DH thinks
that 101's should be used for ear rings!  I do enjoy this list!    Carolyn
Date: 10 Jan 96 21:59:36 EST
Subject: old new home

hi all,	

thank you all for all the wonderful info you're providing ...

have only been reading you for a week ... and i'm hooked!

started out wanting a fw ... but now find all old machines irresistible ... 

cannot wait til the yard sale season starts!

anyhow, latest acquisition is a NEW HOME 671 ... wonderful, clean condition ...
green with cams ... very 50's retro looking ... 

new home will only respond to a written request so in the meantime ....

anyone have any info on this machine? i'm particularly interested in a manual
... and any cams available?

thanks again ... 

i'm in the seattle area ... if anyone needs a contact here, keep me in mind!
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 22:56:57 EST
Subject: Hello Fanatics

Hi Fanatics! I am still enjoying this list and reading it every day. Thank
you, Sue!
I recently found a "Necchi-Elna" Home Sewing Accessories and Supplies
catalog. It is not dated, but fairly old (prior to zip codes). It is in
pretty good condition and has a lot of interesting gadgets pictured. 30
pages long. I would like $3.00 for it plus 75 cents postage.
E-mail if interested. Joe
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 22:29 PST
Subject: Featherweights &Thank you

All this is very new to me.  I have always been an avid quiltmaker and
collector and have wanted a FW for sewing same.   DH found a FW and gave it
to me for Christmas and my son installed software and up graded the computer
for netscape (Son thought I should be computer upgraded and quit living in
the old quilt world with old sewing machines). This is where I found FWF  -
well actually he found you.... much to his surprise.  He has now returned to
Michigan State Univ. (snow+snow)  ----  Anyway, here I am learning about
Singer Sewing Machines and trying to figure out "E"mail!!!!

Krisi S. I have just finished your survey and I'm mailing you the hard
copies (this I can do)

Terry - I called the singer # today - after what seemed like terminal hold -
they game me my "kids" birthdates.  The other four birthdates I knew about.

221 - April 22, 1954
99K - December 6, 1954

I just wanted to hold them and coo.....

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 96 10:05:58 -0500

Would anyone with a Singer 99k that has the reverse lever, please advise me?
 After I put the lever up for the reverse stitch, is there a trick to
getting it to go back down only as far as 12 stitches to the inch?  Since
there is no screw to set the stitch length, my lever goes down to the
basting stitch unless I look at the lever each time and manually stop it at
the 12 length (a real pain in the rumpski). Any suggestions for something I
can stick in the slot to keep the lever from going all the way down?

I have a Singer Stylist zigzag free-arm Model 533 manual copy 1976 in
excellent condition.  If you need this manual, just e-mail a message to me.
I found it in a thrift store for $1.

I am very interested in this 301 bobbin case versus the FW bobbin case.  Can
anyone with these two machines tell us what the part numbers are that are
stamped on the cases? I'm still lusting after an elusive black 301.

I purchased a bubble pak of four plastic bobbins for my 99k.  Only one of
the four would fit on the bobbin winder and the repairman told me he has the
same problem when he buys in bulk.  Save your receipts in case you have to
return them!

If FWF was dispensing alcohol, I'd be drunk 24 hrs. a day! Machines I didn't
give a second glance just weeks ago, are beckoning me in my sleep. Yesterday
I spent an hour trying out a cosmetically mint condition 15-91 in bentwood
case, all attachments, green box, manual AND the centennial plate affixed to
the front (where else?).  I was the only customer for two hours and I know
Jan. and Feb. are the worst months for sales but do you think I could get
the owner to come down on the $125 price? NOT. The blue book says it's worth
$17 and the Bernina shop would give her $50 on a trade.  Her partner offered
a 10% discount but then she reneged.  The foot pedal sticks and the needle
bar goes up and down while winding a bobbin, but these I can fix.  There is
some play in the balance wheel when the motor is off--about an inch back and
forth.  The machine sews beautifully with a size 16 needle (original needle)
and two layers of heavy upholstery fabric.  This one is going to be hard to
resist.  Anyone want to buy a couple of parrots? (I'll get a couple extra
hard bites for saying THAT!)

For those who asked, Standard Sewing Machine Co. of Cleveland, Ohio started
mfg. machines in 1884 and made a machine called 'Oreole'.  That company was
purchased by OSAAN Fur Machine Co. which was then purchased by Singer in
1931. Standard also made machines called 'Margareta' and 'Margets' and
Household S.M. Co. made a 'Marguerite' but I don't find a Margaret.  My book
only covers American-made machines and this 'Margaret Co.' may be Canadian
as was mentioned.  Standard S.M. Co. and National S.M. Co. both made
machines called 'Damascus'. National mfg. machines from 1890 to 1953 and
sold most of their machines through department stores and mail-order houses.
They were located in Belvidere, Illinois.

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 10:48:34 -0500
Subject: franklin treadle

Deborah...Get The Franklin Treadle for $200!  Belt's can be had for a
little as $5.  I absolutely love mine.  I don't have any attachments and
paid $100 for it.  Does anyone else actually sew on their treadle?

Date: 10 Jan 96 10:12:30 EST
Subject: model l28

   I called Singer about the machine we found at Xmas time in an antique store.
It is model l28 and has a B.D. of July 26, l95l. It does have the l00 yr.
commemorative plate on it. It is in the bentwood case.  We could become addicted
to old machines, but I keep telling DH we don't have the room. Two FWs and a
Godzilla is enough for the moment, at least until we come  upon something we
can't pass up.
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 10:42:23 EST
Subject: My recent finds

I just had to tell you about some recent finds that I'm excited about.

I bought an old hand-crank sewing machine that is SO cute. It's a New England
type c. 1870 chain stitch machine. It's quite small, and that's good because
the body of the machine is cast iron scrollwork. It's covered with hand-painted
gold scrollwork and tole painting of flowers. Most of the painting and enamel 
are in pretty good shape. I paid $250 (probably too much). The same machine
is pictured in Fig 2-126, pg 132 of "The Encyclopedia of Early American Sewing 
Machines" by Carter Bays. I would love to get it working if possible, but it's
missing an adjustment screw. The machine pictured has this adjustment screw at
the place where a tension adjustment is on more modern machines. Does anyone 
know what this screw is for? Do I need to have it in order to sew? What kind
of needle do I need? How do I thread it? Any help would be very much

Also, I bought a very interesting box of low-shank attachments. In the box
were a ruffler, several binders, a tucker, a quilting foot, etc. Unfortunately
all of the adjustment screws on the attachments are missing, so most of the 
attachments are in pieces. Most of the attachments have no part numbers.
Those that do I looked up in the FW digest; they're not listed. The ruffler is
stamped "Singer", not "Simanco". Also, some of the binding feet don't have
the low-shank fork to attach to the machine. Instead, they seem to be made
to attach to some other foot, so that the binding attachments would be 
interchangeable. Has anyone seen anything like this?

As interesting as the attachments are, the box that they came in is really
extraordinary. It's wooden, about 8" wide with sides about 3" square. The
square sides are finger jointed to the top, bottom, front, and back which are
hinged together with brass knife hinges. The square sides are cut into 
quarter triangles, so (this is the neat part) the entire box unfolds to lay
flat. The inside of the box is lined with blue/purple velvet, and has several
metal holders screwed to the box. These holders are numbered (7, 8, 9, etc.),
and presumably hold the attachments in place. The top of the box is
embossed (or burned) with some words in an oval, but they're too worn to read.
I paid $20 for the box and attachments. I think the box itself is probably 
worth that much. Has anyone seen anything like this before? 

And finally, I found a copy of the Singer "Student's Guide to Machine Sewing",
copyright 1939. It's a really wonderful little book, as you all have said. I 
$12 for it, which was probably way too much, but I bought it along with the
aforementioned box, so I didn't try to bargain.

I want everyone to know how much I enjoy getting this list everyday. I've
learned so much from everyone, and I've really got the sewing machine collecting
bug now. Thanks especially to Sue for keeping us all connected.

Betsy S
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:59:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: FWF 

Katy - I have the "bread box machine" -- I've head it called a 66k?.  It 
is also needs the knee pedal...There is a slightly larger version of my 
machine (wish I was more knowledgeable about the # -- I communicate by 
size, shape &color!) and I did find a knee pedal for that machine.  
Someone on this lists suggested that I dig around the little sewing 
machine places in my area, and that was good advice.  Almost.  The knee 
pedal, which looked like it would fit, was a little too big.  Right shape 
and color though!  Anyway, I would be happy to provide the name of the 
shop where this knee lives...the owner has a big collection of antique 
machines and may have what you need.

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 09:40:38 -0600
Subject:  high-shank machines

Hello to all!  Regarding the high shank attachments -- yes, I believe the
Golden Touch and Sews take high shank attachments.  I had some
attachments (i.e., zipper foot) for my 99k that I was trying to put on my
GT&S and it wouldn't go.  But this was so many years ago when I still
didn't know sewing machines that well (not that I do today either!). 
Anyway, I bought a Premier Deluxe at a garage sale a few years ago
that came in a cabinet and tucked inside was a box of Greist
attachments.  I know those will fit the Premier, but I didn't even realize I
had them until just before Christmas when I kept hearing about them on
this Digest.  So I had to put my 99k away for the holidays and haven't
gotten it out yet, so my question is, do the Greist attachments fit the 99k?

Also, I looked at the FW archives the other day and immediately went to
the referral to the Antique Sewing Machines FAQ.  Whoever put this
together did a great job and I loved looking at the old pictures.  I didn't see
my 99k in the bunch, but I do have the toy Singer Model 20 from my
childhood.  It was tons of fun to see that!  Thanks.

Hey, we're having a heat wave here in Iowa -- it's finally getting in the
30s again, however, we are supposed to have freezing rain by the time
we go home tonight.  I should have stayed home!!!

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 11:15:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Free Westinghouse


        Did you ever buy the Free Westinghouse? Did you find the spool-type
bobbins you were looking for? If you still want the manual, please e-mail me
privately. Thanks
        Going to work some more on my quilt. Waiting for all the snow. DH
and I went to the store yesterday to stock up for the "Noreaster".
        Happy FW hunting to all.......
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 09:23:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 

	Oh Michelle, I'm so glad your White Princess got there and even 
moret thrilled that you love her. I love the whites and want one too. The 
current collector I'm dealing with does not have whites, but his 
collection is just wonderful. I'm most impressed with the St. Johns 
Canada FeatherWeight and the top of the line Anniversary. I can't get 
over that little inner red oval on the Canadian. Katy, it was no holds 
barred on yesterdays knee lever hunt. I went to a town that has a whole 
downtown section of antique malls. I found two breadbox machines, lifted 
them up and they were both missing the knee lever. Another empty box I 
picked up and looked to see if by chance there was one in there no nothing.
I scrimaged all afternoon and looked like a dirty kid with grease on my 
nose, but I did find a first edition Zane Grey and another one of his 
books at a good price. As far as Anniversary's and their price being 
higher I'd like to say they are a cherished grouping, but then each year 
has it's history and birthdate that is pre - war are good sellers because 
of their scrolled face plate. Post war because they were the first after 
the war, and so on until the Whites ended it all. Also the buyer is very 
much dictates what they want and what is important to them. Zsux
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 12:18:20 -0600
Subject: Thanks go to Nancy Too!

Hello all!  Thanks go to Nancy S too, for providing the fw-digest
information in a subject manner format!  Thanks Nancy!

As to a white fw.  No I do not believe Dad has one.  He does have some
301's, and accessories.  He does have a monagram attachment, but he is not
parting with that RARE accessory.

Thanks and eya all later!
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 16:04:18 -0500
Subject: A Case Fix

Hi there,

They say neccesity is the mother of invention (desperation in this case).

My FW case while in great shape otherwise is vinyl lined and it is curling
badly at the edges.  Every time I removed or replaced the machine it
furthered the problem.  I found a solution.  I took a teflon sheet and layed
it over the interior and used a hot iron on it.  Not only did it take out the
curl but the adhesive must have been heat activated because it sealed back
down!!!!  This might even work on cloth interiors - but I can't say as I
don't have one.  To do the lid you have to (my type case) remove the foot
pedal holder.  This is just 2 screws but be careful I was just sure I'd strip
the holes and ruin it.  Luck was with me and it survived fine.

Does anyone else have any "FW Solutions"??

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 19:58:20 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/10/96

     I thought I had a white featherweight.  When I called Singer, they told
me it was a model 153 from 1968.  I still love it, and it is in the the mint
green case, has the featherweight bobbin case and fold up bed.  How can I
tell if it is belt or gear driven?  I see a belt on all of the featherweight
machine - where is the difference?  Should I remove the bottom?  I guess I
should really try that before I post, but I was at the computer when the
thought hit me?
     My next question is for the FWFanatics who own hand crank machines.  I
saw one that was not as early as the one I lost but it was $120.  Could
someone give me a range for the hand crank machines?  I would put this one in
the ordinary range.  It looked a lot like a 128, but it was a hand crank and
had a square rather than round top box lid. tThe last patent date was 1891.
 If anyone sees an early hand crank, please e-mail me unless it is $1500 as
that is out of my range.
The choice of the word "Fanatic" is what you become after you join this
group!! . . . . . . I am getting more fanatic all the time.  Isn't it
wonderful?.  . . . . . Margel
Date: 11 Jan 96 21:20:02 EST
Subject: posting reply

reply to terry ...
somehow mail was returned ...


you were right ... singer says it's a 128 born 5/3/52 ....

have since lost interest in this monster since i've actually lifted it a number
of times ... and have also just acquired a pristine new home from the 50's ... a
model 671 ... has one cam .. think there may be some more out there ... very
50's retro looking ... green with sort of a hinged flap for the cams ... love
but i guess it's a whole world of old sewing machines!

glad i found it!
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 96 00:09:00 PDT
Subject: greist attachments


FF>with a nice green Rotary Attachments box with silver lettering (good
FF>condition) filled with 17 Greist attachments for $1.50. I also found it at
FF>the S. Army.  I have the Greist adapter for the FW but that adapter doesn't
FF>work on these Greist feet.  Can anyone tell me what these attachments fit
FF>and if there is another adapter? Each has a flat two-pronged piece that fits
FF>straight toward the presser bar as you sit in front of the machine.  HELP!

That type of greist attachments fits machines with a knurled disc that
screws down onto the attachment after it is slid down from the front to
the back of the shank.  There are two sizes, at least that I know of,
High shank and low shank.  The low shank feet are 1/2" from the fork
thingy to the bottom, and they fit many old White rotary's, Sears
Kenmores, some New Homes...that I know of.  The High shank attachments
are 3/4" from the the fork to the bottom, and the only machine I know
for sure they fit is the New Home NLB or NLC machines, which were made
in the 40's. I suspect the Free Westinghouse, which looks just like a
NLC or NLB, is also a high shank machine, but I am not sure.

The only reason I know the New Home machines are High shank is because I
have 3 of them, actually I gave one to my sister, and I have had a
difficult time finding the high shank attachments.  I finally did find a
box last week though!  HOOORAY!!!!!  I paid 6.00 for mine, but she threw
in a couple of Simanco attachments I happened to be looking for, so I
felt quite pleased!

Anyway....I actually bought an old White Rotary, at least in part,
because I could use the low shank greist attachments with it....I have 3
boxes of them......
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 19:29:42 +1100
Subject: Mystery machine

I've seen a hand-cranked Singer machine which seems to be a bit of a
mystery. It's serial number is 10559064. I looked closely, and it's
definitely a one, not an I at the beginning of the serial number. From what
I know of serial numbers, the British were using the M series and then
other letters from 1900 on, and only numbers before that. This machine is
in Australia, and likely came here in a container-load of antiques from
Britain. ( We don't have enough old stuff here, we're only 200 years old.
We have to import antiques.)

It has the long bobbin on the RHS of the foot - is that called a flying shuttle?

I didn't pay attention to whether it's a fullsize head or 3/4. There is no
manual or extra feet. The tag indicates there is a case, but I couldn't
find it. The wooden bottom is a light-coloured wood, and it has a fairly
rough look about it, not nearly as wellmade as normal machines. But the
style is the normal style. At A$65 it's not expensive, but I'm curious as
to what it is.

The decals are Art Deco style, similar in style but not the same as the 50s
machines I have. But the scrollwork is lovely grapes, which indicates a
much earlier machine. And faceplates can be changed. Although I doubt this
one has.

I've had a good look at Dawn Scotting's compilation of machine models, but
as yet it's incomplete. Dawn would be delighted if you mail her such
details as model number, year, treadle/hand/electric, info about the
bobbin, straight and reverse stitching, colour, head size, decals. One
thing I'm learning is to be able to identify the age of a machine, and
preferably its model, just by looking at it. It would be wonderful if we
could get enough info between us all to make a decision tree.

This baby could be a model 28 - but then it could be lots of things. So
what do you think?

Wendy P
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 03:03:00 PDT>
Subject: buttonholers

Gretchen-  (and anyone else interested in old buttonholers)

does your mom happen to have any parts for old New Home machines?  They
are not belt driven, but instead have a little rubber thing that
attaches to the motor and rests on the handwheel.  Mine has a flat spot
on it, and I need another one.

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

I found one of those old original buttonholers a while ago.  It's called
the "Famous" buttonhole worker, and it is made by Lenox Manufacturing
Company.  It is completely steel, not a hint of any kind of plastic.  It
has lots of screws on it.  I have the box, the instruction sheet, the
throat plate cover and a knife for cutting the buttonholes.  It doesn't
say what kind of machine it is for, but there was a hand written note in
it that says get sears buttonholer 60706.  I don't know if it's because
this is the sears buttonholer, or if it is because she bought the wrong
buttonholer.  There are no dates anywhere.

I think it may be for an old sears or white machine, because the
instructions for attaching the "Famous" Buttonhole Worker say to "Remove
presser foot holder, with presser foot attached, by loosening set screw
just above knurled collar."  So it sounds like a machine that uses the
greist attachments that slide under the knurled collar from front to
back.  I know White, New Home, some old sears, and Free Westinghouse use
these attachments.  I have a couple of New Home machines though, and I
don't see anyway to remove the presser foot holder on them.  I just
picked up a very old White Rotary Electric recently, which I haven't
really had a chance to look at, so I will have to look at the attachment
set up on it.  I am quite sure this would not fit my FW, as it is too

Have you ever used one of these contraptions?  I also have the type that
fits our beloved featherweights, but I haven't gotten around to trying
that on either...one of these days.  I just can't pass up an attachment
when I see one!  This thing looks rather like a miniature torture

Hey...guess what!  I just looked under the box, and it says it is for a
White Rotary Model C!  Wonder why I didn't notice that before?  Now, I
wonder what a Model C looks like...anyone know?  Maybe that's what I
have in my basement....
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 08:04:15 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/10/96

I hope someone can help me with an historical Singer question. I've been
reading the Sincere history (I finally made myself a copy, so I wouldn't have
to keep borrowing it from the library) and I can't quite get the timeline
right. After the war, Singer went back to making the same old machines, which
I presume is where the 301 fits in (another straight stitch machine with the
slant needle variation).The author then says that Singer finally came out
with a marketable zigzag called the Slant-o-matic (which I assume is the 401
with a copyright date of 1958 in my manual). Later in the book, he says that
when Singer came out with the Touch &Sew series around 1960, they gradually
picked up some of the ground lost to the foreign companies. My question is:
was the 401 only really marketed for a couple of years, to be replaced by the
Touch and Sew (which went on forever)? It also seems strange that so many
301's survived since they were being sold when zigzags were the rage. Just
wondering - I would dearly love to find a complete history of the Singer
company - too bad the author moved to White after the war. Sue M.
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 08:26:10 -0600
Subject:  Reply to Terry 


I have a 99K and I don't know of any way of stopping the
forward/reverse lever at 12 stitches except to manually look at it.  I've
never even thought of finding a way to stop it.  But I don't consider it that
much of a nuisance -- maybe because I don't sew a lot YET!  I'm still
cleaning and rearranging my house to make room for that first quilt!!!
If you hear of any ways to stop it, let me know.

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 06:33:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Collections

  Unused collections are wonderful to me. I love to see them all lined up 
in a row next to their boxes. In my mind they are like cartoon characters 
calling out to be morphed into The FW Story. It's museum like to me 
because collections show the progression of the machine and I'm not just 
into the Anniversary Model although it does hold a passion, I like the 
pre-war, post-war, scroll plate, striated plate, avante guarde scrolling 
of the later years and begin to emerge myself in the history of it all. 
I'm always amazed at the ones I find that look like they never been sewn 
on as compared to those that have really been used. A costume designer 
wanted to get a machine she had been given one in the early 50 for a 
college grad present from her Dad. She wanted a well worn one, because 
she said that those perfect ones had not been used and not useing them 
causes lock up of the gears. That made me think on those unused models I 
get I need to get in there and let the lube slowly work back into the 
gears. Look at me talking like a mechanic....mechanics what do you think 
about the unused machine and oiling and lubing first. Anne you do sound 
like you've found a breadbox machine I have two 128 S long shuttles in my 
collection and one has good wiring the other is scary. Dad said I needed 
a soddering gun and a spool of wire.  Make sure the knee lever is in 
the top of the case, because those are very difficult to find. Judy, 
congratulations on a great find, if you look at the bobbin case there is 
a little screw that can be turned to adjust the bobbin tension, it should 
pull out easily, but not stream out. Anne, I too circle the county and 
the state in my hunts, You have what I call a foot pedal case the foot 
pedal goes in the lid and insert it from left to right, starting from the 
far right. It will push right in there and is really great for storage 
and I do prefer it for my on the road machine used in workshops. the 
little box is for the attachments. Finally, to come full circle, I 
thought it would be fun to have a FeatherWeight Quilting Workshop where I 
provided the machines and all that came got to use them and do a pieced 
project. TTYL Zsux
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 09:36:31 EST
Subject: Toy Machines

I have my toy sewing machine from childhood.  A green Sew Master in a wooden 
base.  Does anyone have any information on these machines?  I do remember trying 
to make doll clothes, but my mother nor grandmother sewed, and we did not have a 
sewing machine, so I remember that they were not inclined to help.  My father 
bought me an electroux sewing machine when I was 15, just so I would sew up the 
rips in the seams of his work pants!!!  Boy did I have a blast.

On Saturday my husband and I were in an antique mall that I always find 
overpriced.  At the end of the last row, what did I spot?  A beige toy singer 
sewing machine, complete oval medilition.  No box or instructions, but in great 
shape of $28.00.  I snatched it up.  Cleaned it up on Sunday, Oiled and ground 
down a needle to fit...it makes a respectful chain stitch.  Again, any info 
would be appreciated.

After purchasing 3 FW this summer, looking forward to buying a bernina, I really 
do not need this habit also..but most toy machines I have spotted have been 
priced above $50.00

Karen P
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 09:03:59 MST
Subject: Greist Buttonholer

The other day I was talking with one of the people in our office and she
was describing the 'little' sewing machine owned by her mother that
travels back and forth between her and her sister....I asked her how little...
she responded 'really little'...so had her bring the model number and of
course it is a FW...her mother is not the least bit interested in selling it
but does remember purchasing it in 1953...she was very interested in the
history of the machine and I'm lending her mother my FW book....of
course I mentioned that if she ever did decide to sell it, l would
definitely be interested....her grandmother also has a treadle that is
still being used to make traditional Japanese kimonos...this lovely lady
is now 80+ and still dances with a Japanese dance troupe...she makes all
of the kimonos.  

Last night I found a Greist Buttonholer at the Sally Ann...on the box
it says Model #1...the buttonholer is blue and has all cams.  I'm not
particularly interested in this item so if anyone wants it, let me know...
will gladly trade for a yard of fabric (I'll pay postage)....
Sandra M
Subject: FW for sale
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:12:46 -0600 (CST)  

I just acquired #AE543852 (June 11, 1937) which I am willing to sell.
This a gem of a machine--has the scrollwork on the side and is in
excellent condition.

Here are the details:
	case is in good shape with leather handle
	2 keys for the case
	Feed cover plate
	original manual
	Singer motor lubricant
	2 bobbins
	3 pkgs. original Singer needles
	Has feet with the following numbers:
		1261 (looks quite complicated)
		35931 (adjustable hemmer)
		12164 (slotted binder)
		36583 (edge stitcher/binder)
		25527 (seam gauge)

Cost for machine and all accessories is $350.00 plus UPS insurance and
shipping costs.  If you are interested in this beauty, please e-mail
me directly.  I have sold several machines through the mail and all
have been satisfied customers.

K. N
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 13:34:26 -0500
Subject: This and That

Thanks to all for the input on the knee lever. Unfortunately, I waited too
long and the machine is gone. On the bright side, now I don't have to worry
about finding the lever. Here is a funny little story some of you might

Yesterday the kids and I were coming home from errands and we were listening
to the radio. The announcements came on and a concert with the New Life
Singers was announced. My 6 year old immediately perked up and said," Mom,
they said Singers!" I had to stifle a smile as I explained that they were
talking about a group of people who actually sang songs, not sewing machines,
 to which came the disappointed reply, "Oh, is that all?" Aren't kids great?

If anyone has a manual for the Greist attachments with the "fork" at the top,
could I get a copy? Also does anyone know what kind of machine this will fit?
Mine came with my old White but I can't figure out how in the world they
would attach. I'd love to hear more about them if anyone knows anything.

One more thing, the part number on my 301 bobbin case is 45750.

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 15:05:46 -0500

I keep forgetting to tell about my newest find.  Not another fw though. 
It's a green holder from the Singer Sewing Library.  It holds 4 booklets: 
Short Cuts to Home Sewing, How To Make Dresses, How To Make Children's
Clothes, and How To Make Draperies.

They are all written by Mary Brooks Pickens, and copyright from 1923 to as
late as 1929.  It doesn't really talk about specific machines, but it does
mention bobbin winding information regarding the 66, 99, 115 and 15-30

Just another bit of Singer trivia I thought I'd share.  I also found a
quilt top for $30 at the same shop.  It had just come in, I suppose that's
why I got it so cheap.  Haven't had it officially dated, but looking
through the couple of books I own, it may be fabric from the late 1800's.

Off to work on yet another project instead of the to-do pile!

enjoying being snowed in in Arlington Virginia...
susan r
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 15:47:50 -0500
Subject: Buttonholers

Since there is too much snow to do anything interesting, like go to thrift
stores, I cleaned out my sewing room.  In the process, I got out both my
Kenmore buttonholer which fits the old White and the Singer buttonholer which
fits the FW.  I have a little mystery here.  The templates for Singer and
Kenmore are identical-down to the little letter squiggle inside each
template.  They are interchangeable between the two buttonholers.  The
feeddog covers are also twins.  The Kenmore was made by Greist-it says so on
the bottom.  Singer has only the Singer name on it.  The templates go in the
same way; directions are almost word for word; oil and lube directions and
locations are identical.  The ONLY difference is that the foot for the
Kenmore is a highshank attachment.  I have a funny feeling that Singer farmed
out the mfg on that particular attachment.  So-if you need a feeddog cover,
or extra templates for a Singer buttonholer that you already have, keep an
eye open.  If the price is right, the Kenmore might be worth considering.
 BTW, I only paid $5 for my buttonholer.  Can't remember what the Kenmore
cost since I bought it brand new years ago. 

Date: 12 Jan 96 17:59:13 EST
Subject: Re: Posting

Hi Sue and all readers,

Let me introduce myself. I'm Graham F, I live in London and I'm the
research editor of the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society.

That means I'm sitting on the world's largest archive of historical material
relating to antique sewing machines and I'd be quite happy to help identify and
give information on older machines to any Fanatics.

Featherweights are just a bit too modern for me, although I did pick up a nice
example in Germany recently which I would happily trade for something older for
the MS collection.

The MS collection is that of Maggie Snell, the secretary of ISMACS and editor of
its magazine. One of my jobs as a professional mechanical antiquity restorer is
to look after the collection, arrange loans to museums etc. The collection
contains around 400 machines from the 1850s to the 1890s although Maggie has
been adding some later cast-iron and tin-plate toys recently.

If you wish to consult the archive, learn more about ISMACS or even attend the
largest ever gathering of sewing-machine collectors (in London in April) feel
free to e-mail me.
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 12:37:47 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: Knobs and knockers....

Terry said:
>Would anyone with a Singer 99k that has the reverse lever, please 
>advise me? After I put the lever up for the reverse stitch, is there a 
>trick to getting it to go back down only as far as 12 stitches to the 
>inch?  Since there is no screw to set the stitch length, my lever goes 
>down to the basting stitch unless I look at the lever each time and 
>manually stop it at the 12 length (a real pain in the rumpski). Any 
I have a reverse lever on my 99k Terry. Mine goes up and comes down and 
stops exactly where I had it set at. Mine has a screw that you turn to 
change the stitch size and it stays there until you turn it to change 
the size again. It looks like this:-
         --------{ }--------
        |      _      _     |
        |-----| |----| |    |
        |  30-| |    | |    |
        |     | |-20 | |    |
        |  15-| |    | |    |
        |     |.|-12 (@)  ---lever, the spot on the left is just a
        |  10-| |    | |    | little point that sticks out to show what
        |     | |-8  | |    | number you're on, it moves when you move
        |   7-| |    | |    | the large lever on the right, you then
        |     |_|-6  |_|    | screw up the screw tight to keep it in
        |                   | that position. The long narrow opening on
         --------{_}--------  the left is narrower than the one on the 
                              right. The knob on the lever is actually
quite a bit larger than I was able to show. 
Is your screw knob just missing or does it look like it never had one to 
start with?
Thanks to Marilyn sending me my fw 'papers' I've had an idea. I wondered 
if we/someone could get Singer to send one of us a copy of ALL the 
'Record of Register Numbers Issued to Date'? That way we would have on 
hand all the machine birthdates and anyone buying a new machine or 
joining FWF would only need to email the holder to find out the 
information. Maybe we could even get them scanned and put into a 
downloadable file somewhere. Even if they won't maybe those of us who do 
have papers could send copies of them to one person, via photocopy or 
email? Or am I behind the times and someone has done this already? 
Marilyn and I _think_ that maybe the dates that are given out as 
birthdates aren't actually the REAL birthday of each machine. It looks 
to me as though a certain amount of numbers were assigned to different 
model/class machines for a specific period, when those numbers were used 
up, usually within say 2-5 months depending on how many of that model 
was made, another amount of numbers were assigned for the next period, 
and so on. Take for example the 221k numbers issued on Oct 17 1951, 
10,000 numbers EG957781-967780 were assigned on that day, however I 
don't beleive that 10,000 machines were made in one day, I think those 
10,000 took them until Dec 17 1951 to use up, on Dec 18 another 10,000 
numbers were assigned, this time EH001027-011026.  All the numbers 
between those two assignments were used up on other model/class 
machines. So sorry to burst anyone's bubble about having an _actual_ 
birthdate, this is just my opinion though, I stand to be corrected on 
any of this of course! This would appear to explain why some machines 
with serial numbers thousands apart appear to have the same birthdate.
The 221k seems to be a popular machine compared to most of the others, 
some model/class numbers only show up once in the 9 months my paper 
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 20:10:59 -0500
Subject: cleaning, manuals, buttonholer

Thanks to Sue (FWF) for keeping me sane through all this snow.

All the snow led me to work on one of my treadles only to find I've been
WD-40ed by an antique dealer.  After sewing about a yard my Singer Model 15
(treadle, 1929) it started sticking.  The insides appear to be covered with
brown crusty stuff.  I know some of you have disassembled and cleaned your
old machines.  Do I take everything apart?  Are there any factory set
adjustment screws that I am going to mess up?

I am also in search of xerox copies of the following manuals: Singer Model
2(vibrating shuttle), 15, 28, 99, 127, 128.  I have the following manuals if
anyone needs copies: Singer Model 66, Instructions for Using Singer Treadle
attachments (the ones in the wooden boxes), Singer Buttonhole Attachment
121795 (for FW), Wheeler and Wilson No. 9, Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch.

Also picked up a Singer buttonhole attachment (121795 complete) for $5 over
the holidays.  It was in a green and white cardboard box, not the plastic
boxes I kept hearing about so I wasn't sure it would fit my FW.  The manual,
dated 9/46, says "Try a handsome, new cabinet model which serves as a useful
piece of fine furniture when it is closed.  Or a handy, new "Featherwight"
portable with its luggagetype carrying case and its special folding utility

Also looking for a knee lever for a 99.

Thanks to Sue and all of you for alleving cabin fever,
Date: 12 Jan 96 21:51:53 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 1/11/96

Hi Betsy,
	Congratulations on your great finds!! That wooden box is a treasure! The
printing in that oval on the top probably says "Patented in 1889." And you got
it for a great price. I recently paid $65 for one, including attachments, and
that seems to be the going price range. Have fun!
	Sherry G
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 19:59:17 +0000
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/11/96

Hello - I am Roz C and have been receiving FW Fanatics
for the last few weeks. I have recently started collecting old sewing
machines - I'm glad you discuss other antique machines here - because I
don't posess a FW, but am acquiring old Singers of other descriptions
and very much enjoy learning about the whole range of these machines.
I have a request - would anyone be prepared to occasionally telephone
the Singer 0800 number for me, to find out the "birthdays" of any
machines that I may have? I know that it is a freephone number in the
States - but not from here - I have to pay for a Transatlantic phone
call  and it gets expensive! I wouldn't ask very often - because I
haven't got the space for too many machines - but I would be VERY
grateful for anyone who could do this for me - and send the results via
Thanks a lot - Regards from Roz
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 23:21:47 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/11/96

Sue -- I love FW Fanatics!  Thanks for your work in putting it together so
faithfully.  I've been on your list since day-one.  

FOR SALE -- a wonderful little Tan FW in a tan case complete with its manual
and a FULL box of accessories including ruffler, pin tucker, zipper foot,
etc.  The FW is nice and shiny -- could never have been used much, runs like
a little dream, and comes with a 90 day warranty.  Price is $375 plus
shipping.  I can take Visa/MC or money order.  E-mail for more info.  Thanks.
Subject: Greist, High Shanks, Rare FWs, Trivia
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 96 21:37:09 -0500

	MILLIE and LYDIA: Thanks for the offer to go back to the shops to look at
the Greist adapter and box.  I have now seen this adapter and it is nothing
like the Greist adapter that fits the FW and other low shank Singers.  The
Greist attachments with the 2-prong fork fit into a large round cylinder
that slips onto the presser bars of other brand machines.  
	SHANK DISCUSSIONS: Singer had low shank feet and the 301s, 401s, Touch 'n
Sews, etc. use a slant needle foot which is also high shank.  Catalogs such
as Clotilde specify low shank, high shank OR slant needle.  Only Singers use
slant needle attachments.  I have seen MANY Singer feet in the last few
weeks at a local shop in boxes of old attachments and only one marked Singer
was anything but low shank or slant needle.  This lone foot was about 1/4
higher than other low shank feet but definitely not slant needle.  
	KRISI: Plaids and florals do NOT go together unless you bowl, golf or are
going to a '50s theme party.  [Bowlers and golfers, please don't e-mail me.
:-D ] Singer made metal toy sewing machines in red, blue and pale green as
discussed in the toy sewing machine book.  The red and blue are pictured. 
Could these be the elusive Singers and someone has just mislabeled them FWs?
I want to see real FWs in red, blue, tan and white on Sue Traudt's FW page
or Gail's homepage in full, living color before I believe that they exist. 
Anyone up to this challenge? Let's show that guy in Florida a thing or two!
	About that treadle in a bathtub...I have a photo of a cartoon I collected
years ago showing a woman sitting in the back seat of a Model T or something
like it.  There is a treadle on the floor in front of her and its belt is
attached to the right back tire so that the machine operates while the car
is moving.  Talk about a woman's work never being done!
	CHRISTINE: I have the 1953 version of your Singer Sewing Book by Mary
Brooks Picken.  Anyone looking for this book by its spine should look for a
gray cover, one inch wide by 10 3/4 inches tall with Picken in gold at the
top, SINGER in gold turned sideways, SEWING BOOK in turquoise also sideways,
and SINGER in gold on the bottom.  More extensive coverage of Singer
	FRANCES: I laughed when you called your Golden Touch 'n Sew a dog.  I had
one and loved it but since you had yours 22 yrs. longer than I did, it
probably developed rabies.  
	MARY SUE: Fish that old tube of Singer lube out of the trash.  Even though
the contents are worthless except maybe as lip gloss, the tube itself may
someday be worth as much as an oil can, especially if it is in the original
	CAROLYN V-T: Thank you, thank you for that great comparison of the 301, 401
, 404, etc.  It really helps to know what each does and their value for
machine quilting.  Why burn up an expensive Bernina when we just need a
straight stitch for this function?  But why does your husband think 101s
should be used for earrings?  (Don't give me any ideas. :-\) How about a
hood ornament? 
	JUDY S.: A Godzilla with a Centennial Plate? I own the REAL Godzilla and
his gold plate is huge compared to the FW plate.  How large is the
Centennial Plate on your 128?  I'm trying to determine if there were
different size centennial plates.  Just some more Singer trivia.  We could
market our own game with this stuff.
	BETSY: The cute, old 1870 chain stitch machine you described sounds like
some in the Toy and Miniature Sewing Machines book by Glenda Thomas.  Find a
copy in a bookstore and it may answer some of your questions about screws,
needles, etc. if you can find your machine pictured. And that Singer Student
Manual for $12, while more than I paid years ago, is well worth it I think. 
I'll pay that if I come across another copy.
	DARLENE: Some Greist attachments do fit the 99k if you find the right
adapter.  Unless you have a photo it is very hard to figure out what is what
	MARGEL: Regardless of what Singer told you, your white Singer as described,
 is exactly like my white FW.  Singer has a mixup in their books on these
white FWs as many have discovered.   
	K. D: I laughed when you called your new Godzilla discovery a monster. 
Mine just got home from the repairman's after escaping from his cage.  New
belt, rearranged needle bar, new throat plate (not blued so it doesn't match
the rest of his creepy finish) and brand new bobbins.  Next I have to soak
the bobbin shuttle in naval jelly (what's with this sperm oil and now naval
jelly??).  Will this creature finally do something besides give me
nightmares and stink up the house?
	MONOGRAMERS: Would someone please give the part number on these and the
copyright date in the manual?

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:38:07 -0500
Subject: BantamWeight?

        Hello from Snowy Central.  This is my first time posting
to this wonderful List, I have been enjoying the posts here since November.
My question is about a small, bantam (not a chicken) sewing machine that
was apparently made by Bel Air.  It is a model 33, about 10 pounds, the
base measures 6 3/4" wide by 12 1/4" long.  The serial number is B5022932A.
This machine sort of looks like a featherweight without the extention
base.  It is black and has beautiful gold trim around the base.  The
machine itself is in beautiful condition with a nice cabinet, it needs a
new power cord and belt.  I got it last summer for $7.50 at a garage sale.
Does anyone know what I have here, who actually made this model, where/when
was it made and where I can get parts?
        I really enjoy all of the discussions in this List, it is my
favorite by far.  Keep up the great stories and Best wishes to all the
FeatherWeight Fanatics out there.    TIA    Ingrid
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 17:41:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Quilting and Touch-N-Sew

For Betty W: What kind of quilting are you trying to do on your 401
-- straight line stitching or free motion?  I'm trying to improve my own
machine quilting skills, and I have a BigFoot(R) on order.  I've always
had problems trying to quilt with a flannel backing, even with a walking
foot.  Is your backing flannel, musiln, or calico?  You might try pinning
your quilt more closely to keep the three layers more compressed together.
 If I discover any revelations in the next few months, I'll let you know.

For Frances : The reason that my "retired" Golden
Touch-and-Sew is just that is that it eventually developed the chronic
tension problem you describe.  I'd take it for service, then two days
after I got it back the tension was out again.  When I got to the point
where I had worn the rubber coating on the feed dogs down to the metal,
I was was really frustrated with it and decided to get out my "workhorse"
again (which I think is a Necchi).  In all fairness, I did get a lot of
mileage out of the Singer, and I know my MIL had also used is really
extensively before me.  I think between the two of us we just wore its little
guts out.

Marilyn: Now you've got me thinking about the treadle!


Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 08:22:37 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/11/96

I have a couple of questions I'm hoping someone can help me with. First of
all, I'd like to know what to do about my machines that aren't being used.
Should I oil them fairly heavily before putting them away, or wait until I'm
going to use it again? Are there any other hints on storing machines that I
should know about? Also, my latest purchase (401a) has a huge amount of
lubricant around the gears, both top and bottom, and it seems to make it sort
of slip at times. Is there any way to get rid of this grease? I tried wiping
out as much as I could reach with a paper towel, but there's still an awful
lot in there. An old repair manual I had said to squirt kerosene on the parts
to clean them?? Sue M.
Date:         Sat, 13 Jan 96 10:00:53 CST
Subject:      TouchandSew

Frances -- I also have a Golden Touch and Sew Dog, purchased in the
early '70s.  My husband has endured hearing me curse, spit, and splutter
every time I get it out for the past many years!  The good news is that
he has a CD maturing this summer and has promised me enough of it to
purchase the machine of my choice!!!  Since I have my sweet little
fw already, I'm planning on some serious shopping this spring.  I've
narrowed it to Bernina, Pfaff, or Viking.  And I can hardly wait to
put the Dog out of its misery (and mine!) -- I've already decided against
a trade-in; I think I'd rather take it to the driveway and put a sledge
hammer to it.  Much more satisfaction!  You're right: nobody will ever
collect these things!  I suspect this was the beginning of the Singer

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 15:10:06 -0500
Subject: Cranks, sewing book &boxes

MARGEL asked about hand crank sewing machine
prices.  That is a hard question to answer.  I own a hand
crank, not a Singer, but a knock-off made in the late 1800s
or early 1900s by an English company called Seller &Sons. 
It has a shuttle bobbin case which shoots straight back and
forth along the back of the machine base, not in an arc as
so many of the shuttles do. The decorations are not all
there, but the machine is in excellent mechanical condition
and sews well.  I love the sound it makes.  I paid $45 for

Frank Smith of the Sewing Machine Museum in Arlington, TX
[(817) 275-0971] sent me a post card showing some machines
in his collection.  I took a magnifying glass to it and
spotted a machine that looked just like my hand crank.  I called
Frank and he told me it was a Singer machine.  Mr. Smith
said I should take the post card to Kinkos and have it blown
up to 11"x17" for a nice poster.  I think I'll do that. 
Some of you might want to get a copy of this postcard. I
think he sells them as souvenirs.

MARY BROOK PICKEN'S book, Singer Sewing Book -- Terry
described her 1953 version for those who are looking for a
copy.  My 1949 edition has a grey-beige [greige] cover and
maroon lettering where Terry's has turquoise.

BETSY &SHERRY  -- about those wonderful wooden fold out
boxes.  I have one too, but mine does NOT have the
attachments for Singer shuttle bobbin case machines.  The
one we have came with a Singer Model 24 which is a chain
stitch machine.  The attachments screw into the "cloth
plate" instead of the presser foot.  Watch for the
differences when you are out there searching.

Christine T.
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 17:54:33 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: FW Hunt

This was a beautiful day in the high 40's in central Iowa so it was time
to go on another FW hunt.  I enjoyed myself completely in the thrift
stores and antique shops but I only found one machine that I almost
bought but still might go back.  It was an old black portable with the
gold embellishments.  Some of the gold had been rubbed off and I could
tell it had seen a lot of use.  I think the name was Rotary but I con't
recall seeing that name before.  Anyway, a section of the throat plate
cover was missing.  It had a foot pedal and attached motor and light
but no belt.  The thing was on the floor and weighed a ton so I didn't
pick it up and get it in the light better.  But the bobbin rewinder
(or whatever it's called) looked like the one on my old treadle so
I know it had to have the shuttle type bobbin but the bobbin case
was missing.  The best part was that it was in a great old bentwood
case that I am sure could be used with my machine if I didn't get this
one fixed.  The price was only $30.00.  Now that I'm sitting here typing
this I think I was stupid not to buy it.  But I just paid $70.00 to
get one of my babies tuned up with a new footpedal so I wasn't sure
if I wanted to spend the money.  Should I go back?  
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 22:31:06 +0000
Subject: Vesta Machines

Does anyone have any information on VESTA sewing machines? The first
antique machine that I purchased at the end of last year was a Vesta -
but I have been unable to find any references to them.
BTW - is there a book list or FAQ which I should read before I ask any
more silly questions?!
Regards - Roz
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 18:58:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Attachment Feet

OK, so I went back to the Thrift Shop to check out the
buttonholer box with the pictures and descriptions of the different
attachment types.  The good news is that I had misread the price and it
was much more affordable than I had originally thought.  Oh well, what's
one more buttonholer among friends...

Anyway, this Greist buttonholer has a plastic casing (that could pass as
blue) and the date on the instruction book is Copyright 1966.  The
illustrations on the bottom of the box define five different types of
attachment feet, as follows:

Model #1, Side Screw Clamping. This is the type with the bent horizontal
prongs that will fit the FW.  The box says this type will fit: "Singer,
White, Brother, Morse, Atlas, Kenmore, Domestic, Free Westinghouse and
most all imported straight stitch sewing machines"

Model #2, Top Clamping.  This is the type with horizontal prongs that
slides on from the front.  The box says this type will fit: "White,
Kenmore, Domestic, Majestic, Franklin, Worlds, Dressmaster and all Rotary
machines made by White &Domestic Sewing Machine Corp."

Model #3, Top Clamping.  Also the type with horizontal prongs that slides
on from the front.  These prongs, however, appear to be shorter than those
shown for Model #1.  The box says this type will fit: "Kenmore (49, 71,
76), Free Rotary, Free-Westinghouse, New Home (Rotary), Stratford, Most
all machines made by Free &New Home Sewing Maching Company."

Model #4, Top Clamping.  Also the type with horizontal prongs that slides
on from the front.  In the illustration, the slot appears to be wider (and
the prongs therefore narrower) than those shown for Model #1.  The box
says this type will fit: "Eldredge, National, Montgomery Ward, all
machines made by national Sewing Machine Company."

Model #5, Slant Needle.  The box says "Singer only" [surprise! surprise!]

If you own an actual machine, you may be able to distinguish among models
2, 3, and 4 by the shape of the the knurled knob and needle attachment
mechanism shown.  I will be happy to photocopy the bottom of the box if
anyone wants the illustrations -- sorry, I don't know how I could scan
these in.  I may even be able to enlarge them a little via photocopier. 
E-mail me your snail mail address.

One other note: the November issue of Quilter's Newsletter magazine has a
column by Helen Kelley called "Feathering My Nest".  In it she describes
how she acquired her FW, and how perfectly it still sews.

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 20:31:41 -0500
Subject: misc

I browsed my "Stitch Back in Time" catalog today and saw a lot of rubber
stamps for sewing and quilting hobbists.  Someone recently asked about an
8-point star quilt stamp.   Check that catalog.

I was also looking to see if they sell knee-levers but did not see an ad for
them.  Someone asked about this several weeks ago but I never saw a response.
 So, can they be purchased today and at what price?

I saw several machines this week.  One fabric store has an old treadle and a
portable both on 'display'.  Well, the condition of both is so sad.  I wanted
so badly to offer to take them home, clean and shine them, so they could sit
proudly on display.

I bumped into a 201 which also needs some polishing.  It is missing some
wiring and the precious knee-lever.  Someone else with a 99k possibly wants
$100 but no knee lever.  What good is it?  Is there a substitute you can use
in place of knee lever?

I am always interested in Singer manuals, so when I learned of a set of 7
manuals in foreign languages at a bookstore I had to see them!  Actually,
several were English and others were Spanish, Portuguese, German, and another
which I forgot.  Two manuals were for Wheeler/Wilson machines but put out by
Singer.  I had read somewhere that around 1905 Singer took over W/W.  These
manuals were 1906-08 vintage.  Package deal: $125.  I passed.  If anyone is
interested, email me and I'll go back and get them for you.


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