Featherweight Fanatics Archives

April 1996

Sunday, March 31st - Saturday, April 6th

Date:          Sun, 31 Mar 1996 15:20:16 +0000
Subject:       For Sale

Hi Everyone,

A few finds some of you may be interested in:

1. The book A Capitalist Romance: Singer and the Sewing Machine by 
Ruth Brandon, hardcover with dust jacket.  $20

2. Set of Greist attachments in a black metal box with ATTACHMENTS 
and a gold squiggle on the lid, velvet lined. Attachments include 4 
hemmers, a binder, gathering foot, tucker,  and ruffler. This is in 
beautiful condition. Came from a "Faultless" machine. These will NOT 
fit a FW. According to the Sincere Repair book they will fit top 
clamping Kenmores(49, 71,76), Free Rotary, Free Westinghouse, New 
Home Rotary, Stratford, and most all machines made by Free and New 
Home Sewing Company. $20

3. Folding oak attachment box, patent date of Feburary 
1889. No attachments. The oak is beautiful, the velvet lining is
worn.  Price $30

4. And three Singer Sewing booklets 5 1/2" x 8", dated 1929:
       How to Make Dresses
       How to Make Childrens Clothes
       How to make Draperies
Price:  $9.00

Prices do not include shipping. E-mail if interested. Thanks, Katy
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 18:17:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: mail problem

I'd like to post an open announcement that if anyone in the group is waiting
for a response from me to a previous conversation (especially the person who
wanted a copy of my 15/91 manual), you need to write to me again. A friend's
son managed to delete some portion of my Eudora mail, so I had to reinstall
the program and lost all my old mail. Sorry about that! Sue M.
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 18:10:12 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/30/96

I've been reading the list for several months and enjoying myself.  It is
very dangerous.  I have bought and sold about 8 FW in the last 3-4 years and
kept 2 and a table for myself.  I was never interested in any other old
machines. But today I went to the local flea market for the first time in
months. It was the first time in months it was over 30 and/or not snowing in
Buffalo NY.  I thought I saw everything, bought nothing and was on my way
back to my car, when something caught my eye.  I ended up with a 301 (no A on
the model plate), 2 manuals .  One 5 x 8, black cover, last copyright 1953
and one that looks like a repro. 8 x11 but it says it is a revised form
(7-76) for 301 slant needle sewing machine. It also came with oil can,
buttonholer #489500 (1960) in green bullet case, complete, Singer automatic
zigzagger # 160986 for the 301 and a box of attachments, #160809 for 221
machines.  Oh, did I forget to say I also got a folding leg table, similiar
to the one for the FW. with a cutout for the machine, all for $50.  Did I do
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 16:18:00 -0800
Subject: Re: Cleaning Oil on 99K

To all those who have talked about FW and 99's the past few weeks, I want you to 
know that I have greatly enjoyed reading your information and suggestions.  I 
have just received back from the repairman the 99K that was my grandmothers.  It 
stitches beautifully but it has oil on the wheel and base that I keep rubbing 
off.  Could someone tell me how I can clean this up as I am a quilter and would 
hate to get this oil on my material.  

If anyone in Ontario has a FW that is in good working condition and would like 
to sell it, would you let me know by e-mail.  We have a trailer up north and I 
carry my Bernina with me each weekend to sew on and it is very heavy.  It also 
takes up a lot of room in the trunk, let alone the trailer.  

I also have been looking for the book Johnson-Srebro but have not been able to 
find it at either quilt shops or fabric shops or Chapter.  If anyone knows where 
I could order it from or get it in the Toronto area that would be great.
Thank you for your help.

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 19:22:17 -0500
Subject: FWFanatics

Drove to an Antique Show today, only to find it had been cancelled 6 weeks
ago!  I was not the only one who did not get the message....So at the first
sign ANTIQUES I followed the road for miles into the country and found this
great old shop in a barn.  A real junk place where you did through boxes
yourself to find anything.  Bought a 127 for parts. Also misc other stuff.
I spent about 2 hours.  Unfortunately after 15 years the woman is going out
of business.  She holds estate sales and says she will let me come to this
one house she is going through now which has a room full of machines,
fabric, etc.

Yesterday I asked at a tag sale (yes, they are starting in CT again!!) for a
portable sewing machine and a young woman says she has 2 fw's.  She uses one
and has one for sale but forgot to bring it to her Mom's to sell.  I gave
her my phone number and she promised to call.  As I proceeded to browse a
woman came up to her and said she is looking for a FW sewing machine!!!
Fortunately the young woman simply said she did not have one to sell.  I
couldn't believe there was someone on my heels looking for a FW!!
Competition for them is keen.

Items for sale this week are:
1) an oak box full of attachments,
2) a Singer buttonholer #121795 (this kind does not use cams) for use with
lock stitch machine with 1946 manual, 
3)a box of more modern attachments which look a lot like the Necchi
attachments I use at Cape Cod,
4) a manual for a Singer model 66; 1929 printing
5) a Singer hemstitcher # 121387
6) a Greist blind stitch hemmer.

Met another shopper at the antique store where I bought the 127 and she
exclaimed "I have one just like it!".  Well, she proceeded then to tell me
all the differences between the two.  Turns out hers is a featherweight.  I
showed her a pic of one (you carry one with pics of your kids and dh, don't
you?) to verify that is what she has. I guess when you are not 'into' these
machines, they all look alike.

It was a gorgeous spring day today.  May they continue ad infinitum....We
deserve it!  Millie 
Subject: Bentwood cases
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 19:01:25 -0500

Hi all,

Love all the great info.  I've been wondering about bentwood cases for 
the old Singers.  Does "bentwood" and "domed" refer to the same type of case?  How many different models came in these cases, or is that too many to list?  Approximately what range of years were these cases used?  I've seen two 128s in that style of case, but I've yet to see many of the other models discussed on 
this list.  Saw a GORGEOUS bentwood case LOCKED (NO KEY) at an 
auction----couldn't stay, though, and wondered what sort of treasure 
could have been inside? 

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 18:16:40 -0800
Subject: WANTED

Would love to purchase a Featherweight; actually two, one for me and one for
my mother.  She would like an electric FW in good working condition to take
with her to Quilt Guild and quilt classes.  I would like a FW with a crank
handle so that I can use it on a sailboat (when I am away from shore power).
It also needs to be in good working condition. She does
not access the Internet, except through me.  Thanks in advance.             
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 21:11:43 -6
Subject: help for old treadle?

Hi, everybody! I've only been reading the list for a few days, and 
I've downloaded the Digests, and  I've really enjoyed reading about 
the FW. Believe it or not, I never knew that such a machine existed!

I read that you were the people who could also help with treadle 
machines, so I'm hoping you can help me. I am the proud owner of my 
grandmother-in-law's Singer model 127 ( born Sept.1, 1925). I have 
been trying to get her running for several years, with no success. I 
knew it was a problem with threading the machine, but I tried 
everything under the sun with no luck. Through your list, I found the 
Singer number and they lined me up with somebody who had a photocopy 
of the manual. Ten minutes after the manual arrived in the mail, the 
treadle was up and running and making a beautiful straight stitch! 
Turned out I had put the tension disks together wrong!

Anyway, now I am trying to locate some bobbins. These are the long, 
spool-like type for the "vibrating shuttle". Right now I have 
one-count'em-ONE bobbin....and I'd sure appreciate any help in 
finding more. Singer tells me they are no longer available  :(

Also, I've been trying to gently clean the paint on the machine. I've 
heard that the paint is very delicate. Anyway, it seems very sticky 
and gunky-is there anything I can use to clean it w/o damaging the 
paint? The gilt is already worn in spots, so this isn't a problem. I 
just don't want to damage it anymore. 

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 22:54:58 -0500
Subject: A Singer 99!

Hi all,

I have been receiving the FWF Newsletter for sometime now, and have been
jealous hearing about everyone elses FW finds.  I have been searching for
quite sometime and have only seen a couple.  But today in our local newspaper
was an ad for an "Antique Singer with wooden case".  My heart was racing as I
called the number.  Not a FW, but a mint condition Singer Model 99.  The kind
with the knee control, light, etc.  Not a scratch on it, has all the
accessories in the original box, oil can in the lid and the instruction
manual!! Also, it sews beatifully!  I paid $150, I felt that was very
reasonable, would like to hear others who have this machine.  Unfortunately,
it is not as lightweight as a FW!  But am still thrilled about my find. Would
like to get more info about the Model 99, i.e. history, where they were made.

I also have two treadle machines. The first one is an "Ideal" brand, could
that be the same company as the one who makes toys now?  The machine doesn't
fold down into the cabinent, it has a beautiful wooden box that fits over it.
 The other treadle is a "Goodrich" in an oak cabinent with three drawers on
either side.  Currently they are both residing in our attic so don't know the
type of bobbins, etc. that they have.  But I would like more info on either
one of these if someone would happen to know about them.

Thanks for  the many enjoyable hours of reading all of you Fanatics give me!!

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 05:47:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: More machines

Well, another weekend of yard sales and another three machines to add to my
collection (my husband says at that rate, we'll have 150 more machines in a
year!). Friday I found a Singer model 239 made in France for $5 - it's a
very 70's looking machine, but extremely plain and simple for that time. It
only has a straight stitch (plus reverse), a motor and light mounted on the
back and a belt driven wheel. Half metal and half plastic, and still seems
to sew a nice stitch. It weighs a TON though - how did Singer have the nerve
to call these machines PORTABLE?? Yesterday I found an even heavier machine
- a model 66 in a case without any attachments. Serial number of AE, very
plain and simple - I haven't tried this one yet, but looks ok. THEN at
another sale, they had a model 66 in a cabinet with its attachments and
manual for $25. This one's serial number is AA and the stitch length (I
think) is a knob of some sort. The electrical system looks to be pre-WWII so
I'm afraid to try it, but it's a really pretty machine. I didn't have this
model and now I have TWO! I of course have no room for any of these, but at
those prices I just can't resist. Guess I'll have to get the dehumidifier
going in the basement so I can store them there. Does anyone have any
suggestions on what to do with the cases I keep finding machines in -
they're wooden underneath, but covered with usually ugly fabric that's often
tattered. Reminds me of the trunks I used to buy and strip the green fabric
off to find quite nice looking wood underneath. I don't think I could do
much to hurt them - they're so ugly as they are. Or else I'll just have to
keep looking for cabinets to put them in! And the search goes on. Sue M.
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 07:10:54 -0600
Subject: Martha Washington

Yes, a Martha Washington is a sewing cabinet. I have heard two versions of
why they are called MWs. 1) That she had one, or it was designed by or for
her. 2) that the curved side compartments which have a hinged lid look like
the poofy paniers of a colonial lady's skirt. Perhaps someone has another
Below is an attempt to "draw" a MW.
Top View. you have to imagine that the horizonal lines connect to the
brackets. And the parentheses are a bit larger in proportion.

|   |___o___|   |
|   |___o___|   |
|___|   o   |___|
     |     |
     |     |
 Front view, very crude, but I hope you get the idea.
        I have two MWs. And there is a moral to this tale. I found the
larger one as I was previewing an auction. It is about 3 feet high and
wide. The end compartments are each made of a single sheet of bent wood. I
fell in love. I bid on it. I bought it. When I went to collect it, it was
much smaller than I remembered. I looked around and there was the one I
thought I was bidding on still to be put up for bidding! I sat back down
and waited and finally bought it too. The smaller one is about 2 feet high
and wide. I use it as a bedside table. I have seen numerous duplicates in
shops, but never another one like the large one. The top drawer of the
smaller looks like at one time it had rods for spools. Both have a larger
bottom drawer. I assume that the curved end compartments were for storage
of sewing projects. At least that's what I use them for. Anybody else know
more than I do?

Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 11:04:53 -0500
Subject: FW for sale

I am offering for sale a Featherweight with an AM serial number. Black in
black case with striated face plate.  Attachments and a copy of a manual are
accessories. Also a tiny, very dainty dome-shaped oil can. The machine shows
some use (an 8) but mostly pin marks on the neck of the machinet.  Paint is
very good.  Case is also very good condition.  Has side pocket for
accessories and the foot control holder on the inside lid. It sews a really
sweet stitch!  Smooth and consistent.  Quiet too. I think you will like it.

Please email me if interested, indicating any other information you might need.
Thanks.  Millie 
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 11:40:00 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/29/96

Hi Fanatics- I am getting ready to start "thinning out" my collection, and
have decided to sell an extra Singer featherweight cardtable, with insert.
Table is in good condition, but needs to be refinished. It would be an easy
refinish job.  $175 plus shipping.

E-mail if you would like more information.

Thanks, Joe 
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 13:51:40 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/30/96

Hi Diane,
You have a 221K and yes, it is a featherweight Made in Great Britain. You and
everyone else who attempts to find out the date of manufacture has been told
by Singer their machine is not a 221K. Just ignore Singer's answer and accept
the idea that you will not find out that info from Singer. Their records are
all wrong from the ones made in the 1968-1970 period in Great Britain
(Scotland). And the funny thing about it they will argue &defend their wrong
dates &models because the sheet their reading the info from "Says so". Just
consider the source on this one....not good. I've been told at least 10 times
by them the machine I was reading the serial number from was NOT a
221-Featherweight. How sad they don't listen to the consumer. If I can be of
further help, please let me know. Glenn W
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 14:18:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Treadle Work

Dear Sherrie:

A serial number list with dates was posted to the Digest on February 18th
of this year by Jim Wagner.  You can get to the whole list by way of the
FWF homepage (see address at the end of every digest) digest archives. 
However, since I have my handy-dandy copy here before me I can tell you
than an AC serial number places your machine in the 1928-1930 range.
Best way to get the model number is from Singer, but if you have real
difficulty and educated guess can be made based on what type of
stitch-forming mechanism the machine has.  Check your local library (and
start checking out used book stores) for a book called "Machine Sewing: A
Treatise on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines and Their
Attachments".  The author will probably be either "Singer" or "Singer
Company" or possibly "Singer Manufacturing Company".  

Best way to remove gunk so far has still proved to by WD-40, but sometimes
it has to sit for a couple of hours or overnight.  To clean out the oil
holes, try pipe cleaners.  To de-gunk screw threads or free up joints, try
dental floss.  I've been using a chrome cleaner made by Turtle Wax with
good success.  I got it at a local auto-supplies store for less then $2 a
can.  You wipe it on, let try, then polish off.  Serious corrosion (black
stuff similar to silver tarnish) requires repeated applications to get
down through the build-up.  By the way, if your machine is pre-1920's the
"bright" metal isn't chrome, it's nickel (according to Graham). Surface
rust may require the use of 0000 steel wool.  I've found it doesn't hurt
the metal but DON'T use it on the machine surface -- it leaves tiny scratches.
Genuing pitting, however, is there to stay.  If you can get the rust off,
the pitting isn't really so bad -- just proves your machine "has a story
to tell".  If the throat plate has trouble fitting back in, be sure the
parts of the plate and the machine that make contact aren't also gunked
up.  I had the same problem with the rear slide plate on my machine. 
Burnished off the side of the slide plate with 0000 steel wool, and
cleaned out the machine surfaces (very gently) with either a tiny screw
driver blade or a large straight pin.  After so many years, what looks
black like the machine's surface can really be solidified gunk that really
doesn't belong there.

While you're in the FWF Digest Archive, check out Terri's Featherweight
Attachments and Parts List which was originally posted on 10/31/95.  I
think she did a sequel, but I can't place it at the moment.

Other advice on taking machines apart (from a beginner to a beginner).
-- Begin with your vacuum cleaner, gently.  If you have one of those tiny
attachment sets originally sold to clean out computers, so much the better.
-- Work on only one area at a time
-- If you work screws out to get parts off, put the screw securely back
in the machine hole while you clean up the part (safest place for it).

That's "dumping my brain" based on what I've been doing to the Model 127
over the past three weeks or so.  We'll get to the varnish/decal issue
some other time.

                                  _   _
Lydia P
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 15:15:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Bobbin information RE:Larry

 Hi to all, Can any one help me find a manual for a New Wilson Treadle 
machine.This has a shuttle type bobbin which I have never thread before.So if 
there is not a manual to be found how about instruction on threading a shuttle 
type bobbin. Regards,Larry
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 15:53:04 EST
Subject: Betsy Ross

Hi Fellow Fanatics!  I know I asked this previously, but can't recall 
seeing a reply.  Does anyone have any info on a toy Betsy Ross 
machine?  My dh got me one for my birthday, and I would like to know 
more about it.  It runs, green color, in a little red suitcase.  But, 
no manual of any sort.  Can anyone help with more information?   We 
made our first trip to my folk's summer place last weekend, and I 
checked out the machine I keep there.  I had gotten it at a garage 
sale on the island for $20.  It's a Singer 185, in a cabinet with 
stool, has manual, attachments, and a mint condition buttonholer, 
16506.  The manual is dated 1953 or 58, can't remember which now.  I 
wasn't really into old machines when I picked it up, just seemed 
easier than lugging my Pfaff over there all summer.  However, things 
have changed!  Last weekend, one of my trusty fws went with me and I 
pieced some Mariner's Compass blocks.  Well, it seems to have stopped 
raining, so I'm off to the flower beds!     
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 16:16:45 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/30/96

Hi All,

I haven't written before but have been "lurking" for about a month or so I
have really learned alot from reading what everyone writes.
In the past two weeks I have purchased a Singer 66 treadle machine in the
case which my DH and I are still working on getting cleaned up. The machine
seems to work pretty well.  There were no attachments with it so I'm going to
keep my eyes open for them. Anyone out there have any that they would be
willing to sell? Yesterday we went to an antique mall in southern Ohio and I
found my second FW. It is in very good shape and came with the original
manual, case and attachments. The down side is that there was no bobbin case.
Does anyone know where to get one? I hope someone out there can help me with
this. Thanks.

Date: 31 Mar 96 16:17:09 EST
Subject: I'm Still Here...Still Looking for FWs!

Hi Everyone!  I have been silently lurking and not writing for about a month, so I better take my turn and jump in with some FWF tales.  I haven't been idle the last month, though.....been out looking every free minute, and it's been pretty fruitful.  Two "new" FWs followed me home a couple of weeks ago--an AE model that is in very good condition for it's age.  But, I think someone along the way re-wired it's power cord.  Maybe someone can tell me if a FW "ever" had the power cord hardwired and coming out of the little hole in the base--right below the cord socket?  What do you think; should I have it restored to the original wiring configuration, if this isn't original?  Advice welcome and needed, please.  Then the second FW that followed me home is a beautiful-condition Centennial model--great case and all.

I was scouting an antique shop recently that is relocating, so they were having
sales in most of the booths, and "what to my wondering eyes did appear" but the
unmistakable green of a Singer attachment box, sitting right in the middle of
the floor in one booth!  All tied up in pretty pink ribbons, it was a box of 221 attachments, even with the mid-1950's blue-cover FW book tied beneath the box! Makes you wonder how it got separated from it's FW, but it did somehow.  It was price-marked separately, so it didn't just fall out of a FW case.  The same day I also found the Singer sock darner that some FWFs have written about, and let me say that it looks more like a medieval torture device than a sewing tool.  Wicked looking gadget, but nicely stored in it's own original green Singer box.  Isn't this fun?!

Also found a 185J, and it is such a nice little machine, in defense of other
FWFs who own and love them!  It's quickly becoming my third favorite Singer,
right behind the 221 and the 301!  It's tiny little case is about the same size
as a late-version FW case, only about an inch taller.  But, one big difference
from a FW,  besides being "very green" is that it's as heavy as the FW is light!
The little dickens weighs in at a hefty 25 lb., which surprises you when you
first pick it up.  Another great old Singer I've discovered is the 319W--that
most unusual green machine with the top levers and cams.  Any other Fanatic have
one of these who would like to discuss them?

One last request....can anyone please tell me if Singer published a specific 222
manual to go with the freearm (convertible) model?  I would think they did, to
explain the freearm and the drop feeddogs.  I am sure it's too much to hope to
find an original manual, but I'd be most grateful to get a copy of one.  Please
e-mail me privately, if I may buy a copy or trade some other manual copy for it.
Thanks very much!   Shirley
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 1996 20:40:07 -0800
Subject: repair books

Today DH wandered off to a swap meet and came home with a Singer with a 
wooden rounded top cover and knee control and a top loading bobbin. We'll 
call tomorrow to try to get it identified with Singer. DH wants to know 
if there are any book available to help in the care and repair of these 
old machines. This swap meet find will weigh 3 lbs. less once we get the 
dirt off. The machine sagged to the bottom of the wooden case because 2 
corner wood pieces had come unglued and were in the bottom along with the 
bobbin cover plate, some feet, a few screws, a lead curtain weight and 
some picture hanging hardwear! Looked like the kitchen junk drawer!
DH is excited about trying to pretty up this baby, but would feel more 
confident if he had some sort of book to help him along the way.
Thanks for the help...
Subject: new find

Well, I ran into another machine this weekend that I couldn't live
without.  It was such coincidence, that I figure she was meant for me. I
was at a garage sale, and asked if they had any sewing machines, since I
collected old ones.  They said no.  As I was walking away a woman
stopped me and asked what kind of sewing machines I collected.  I told
her mostly older singers.  She then told me she had a little singer she
got from some old lady, and had never used it, and that she would be
willing to sell it to me for what she paid for it, $15.00.  My blood
pressure went up as I agreed to follow her home.  Well, it wasn't a
featherweight, it is a 185K3, olive green with prison wall green
highlights.  She came with her case, manual, and best of all, a complete
set of Singer attachments in the little cardboard box.  Amazingly
enough, the box of attachments is in absolutely mint condition, as far
as 50 year old cardboard boxes go, I'd give it a 10!  I would have
gleefully paid the 15 bucks just for the attachments!

Anyway, I took my new find home to clean her up.  I don't think it's
been used in a loonnnggg time, and I don't think she had EVER been
cleaned.  It took me an hour, with tweezers, canned air, and a mini
vacuum, to get all the dust bunnies caked around and under the bobbin
area!  There are some scratches on the bed and on the face plate.  After
I cleaned and oiled her, she runs fine, though much more noisily than a
featherweight. I need to get a new throat plate for her, since it has a
chunk missing from it.  I think the original owner was a very frustrated
seamstress. I've heard of breaking a needle, but I think you would have
to try REAL hard to break a throat plate.  It seems to have a lot more
power than the featherweight.  The manual is copyrighted 1958.


Does anyone have any ideas where I can find a throat plate for her?  I
am going to try my localsewingmachineguru tomorrow, but if I strike out
there, where should I try next?

I just love this little green machine.  The colors are sooooo classic
for that era!


I also found a box of attachments at an antique store.  They are low
shank attachments, made by Greist, in the cute little black tin.  There
is also an old shuttle case in there...Don't know what kind of machine
it fits, but who knows, maybe I'll run into one it fits.  Is there any
way to find out what the shuttle fits?

The hemmers are different than any I have seen before, instead of
being a presser foot, they screw down onto the bed of the machine and
you use the regular presser foot.  It took me a while to figure it out.

I was also thrilled to find a tucker in the bunch of goodies too.

Well, anyway, I had fun..and amazingly enough my husband wasn't even
annoyed, even though I just bought a bunch of Singer Cards from Alton.
He actually fell in love with the Singer cards as much as I did, and
told me we needed to start a collection of them...oh darn...permission
to collect, whatever will I do?  Hmmm...maybe I can get away with buying
that monogrammer.......

happy stitches!

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 08:51:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Smelly Fw's

I don't know about anyone else, but I love the smell of the Fw's.  It
symbolizes to me how old and special the machines are.  I tried to get rid of
the smell when I got my first one, but it came back and now everytime that I
walk into my sewing room and see my three babies sitting there(and I smell
them too!), it reminds me of how much I love them and what a great time I had
finding them. Laura
Date:        Mon, 01 Apr 1996 09:12:39 CST
Subject: 99k

Hi all.
I found a 99K this weekend with an EK serial number.  It was made in
1953 (judging by copyright in manual) in Great Britian.  It was in great
condition; no scratches, all gold paint intact and came with
accessories.  The thing that puzzled me is that it was in a gray and
black cardboard like case, not the curved wooden cases I thought 99s
came in.  Can anybody give me feedback?  Is this the original case?  I
left it at the antique store where I saw it, but I've been wondering
about it ever since.

 Also, I'm curious if anyone else has a 403.  I bought one a few weeks
ago and it came complete with cams, attachments and manual.  It is a two
tone model with a cream top and tan body.  Michele
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 09:05:28 -0800
Subject: Featherweight Fanatics

I have been away for some time, so this may have been answered
before....please bear with me.  I am looking for extra bobbins, and the
spring that goes on the thread holder of my beautiful little FW.  Does
anyone know where these might be available, or what can be substituted?

Thanks for your help.

Date: 01 Apr 96 13:06:55 EST
Subject: Contribution

To Diane

Firstly let's decide just what your machine is. The 285 K has a lid that snaps
down over the machine. The 221K lives in a box.
The 285's bed sits into a base which when the lid is on forms the actual bottom
of the box. The 221 's base is a one-piece metal casting. 285 has a fold-down
wooded extension table. 221 has a metal fold-down extension pined to the base.
285's base has an accessory box on the right.

Singer 800 has also got the date wrong. The EV series ran from Dec 1962 to July
1964. The prefix ;letters were changed when they got to 999,999 so yours in
going to be pretty late in the sequence  -- say June or July 1964.

Anyways, the 285 didn't start production until a year later.

To Sherrie 
Not sure I should talk with you after that dig at engineers. The Merrit is a
very different thing to the Singer Merrit.The Merrit was one of those made for
mail order machines from the 20s and 30s with the name chosen, I guess, to
suggest quality. The Singer Merrit came about because this was Issac Singer's
middle name (also the name he bigamously married under).

To all
Would someone out there please buy and send me a copy of the Srebro book and let
me know cost and posting to London England please.

To Martha

AT the risk of upsetting any SewMore fans, hold back and wait for a

To all

Part of an e-mail; sent to a FWF that may interest others -- The question
concerned a British-made Taylor Bird machine

The Taylor Bird is another story.It is now very rare -- heh, I'm just winding
you up a little, It is rare but only because it was the biggest dog ever foisted
onto the market.

It was one of the first machines available after the war and a few sold at this
time. Long-time dealers will tell you that they always kept a Taylor Bird in
stock and would offer this to any novice sewer as a first time purchase. When
the young lady returned to the shop in tears a few days later it was easy to
take back the Taylor Bird in part exchange for a machine at double the price
that actually worked.
One dealer told me recently that his Taylor Bird (they only had one each) was
responsible for over 500 sales -- of other brands.

I guess the problem was poor materials and the manufacturer's belief that after
years without new machines the public would buy anything.

Graham F
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 14:58:55 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/31/96

People keep asking me if I collect old sewing machines.  My answer has always
been " Not really".  However I've come to the decision/realization that if a
person doesn't know how many machines they have it's a good sign that they

I have an unknown Singer that I bought at a flea market a few years ago. It's
been in my storage room, I forgot I had it.   Only $25, not in great shape.
 Missing some enameling,  but most of the gold decals are fine.  I looks like
it spent a good bit of time in the barn.  There's a great deal of rust but
everything moves.  The Serial # on it is G7268237.

I went to an antique show Saturday.  The only thing I came home with were the
Carter Bays and Slaten books.  So, according to the Slaten book I think this
machine is a 127-3 (pg134), but the decals are more Baroque than Egyptian.  I
also realized that I have a little New England??,  but it's in a box
somewhere so I can't be sure.

Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 17:55:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/29/96

On Sat, 30 Mar 1996, Louise wrote:

> Also, both this machine and my FW have two holes to the right of the throat
> plate, and the FW shows a slight circular wear pattern in a 1-3/4" radius
> from the hole farthest to the right.  What are the holes for?  What kind of
> attachment was used?  I have some attachments but none that fit that pattern.
That's probably from the seam guide -- at least, the old Singer I learned
to sew on  years ago had the same wear pattern, and it was
from rotating the seam guide out of the way without taking out the 
screw (which fit into the hole to the right.)  I don't remember if
I ever knew what the hole to the left was for -- maybe another attachment,
or another position for the seam guide.  

I'm really enjoying this newsletter -- although it's got me scouring the
Houston area for yet more sewing machines!  (This, at least, is a vice
my husband can understand better than the fabric and needlework stuff
I usually spend discretionary funds on!)  I do have another question
to ask:  I used to have one of the Singer buttonholer attachments
that uses the cams (I know I've seen a lot of discussion about this
lately) that I foolishly gave to an ex-sister-in-law.  About eleven
or twelve years ago, I was in a chain fabric store (a Joann's or
a Cloth World, I think) and I saw a new one just like the one I
had.  ARe they still making these attachments?  If not, how long
were they in production?  I'm asking this because I'd like one --
it made far better buttonholes than my far newer machine does -- and 
I just wondered if I can order them any more from Singer or somewhere
else.  The one I gave away had a dozen or more cams -- I'm still
kicking myself over it!


Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 3/31/96 Part 2 of 2
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 14:57:53 -0600

Jean, my local repair man (singer shop) ordered a new bobbin case and  
raceway and told me that it costs about $55.  He had to pay for it,  
since he sold me the machine in (supposedly) good condition!

My DH has been hitting the pawnshops again, looking for FW, and in the  
last stop, the dealer said that he had FW for sale in the past, white,  
black and GREEN.  Is the green one really a 185J?  Does it look just  
like a FW?  I now have decided that I want a Spartan and a 301, since  
y'all keep raving about the 301 (the spartan is becuz my mom had one).   

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 96 14:53:29 CST
Subject: Information

Hi Everyone,
I read my posting of last week and noticed some information was left off, by me 
I think. I have enjoyed reading the featherweight stories and getting info on 
what to look for when I go shopping. I hope to be the proud owner of one someday 
soon. I am leaving the group here in Austin and going with a group at MOS 15, in 
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. That`s the Raliegh/Durham area. I would 
like to hear from some of you who live up that way. I have never lived where it 
snows so I know I am in for a treat next winter. Where are the best (less 
costly) antique stores, flea markets, quilt stores, and such. I hope I have 
access to the web after I move. Anyone in the area know about housing give me 
hints on what to look for. Thanks in advance to everyone.
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 1996 17:42:09 -0500
Subject: Re: 301 and table purchase

Dear Natalie;  What a great buy!!! And a great machine, too.  
You'll probably discover that this machine, unlike the FW can 
have its feed dogs lowered. . . a great advantage in free motion 
quilting.  To acquire all the attachment as well, is certainly a 
bonus.  My 301a came with a case, no foot petal or power cord 
and no manual nor attachments.  It was, at the time, as close to 
a FW that I could find.  However, I can second your thoughts as 
to how dangerous this list can be.  :)  Four FW, 2 
Singer treadles,  1 15, 1 66, 1 127 later  and uncounted others, 
I went to an antique mall on Saturday.  After looking around, 
and not seeing any FW, I asked the attendant (who turned out to 
own the place with her husband) if she had any old Singer 
portables.  She told me that she had one at the desk that a 
dealer had said he wanted but he hadn't come by to pick it up.  
Did I want to look at it?  OF COURSE!!  It was in a lovely 
bentwood case, with its key.  It turned out to be a 15-90, and 
with attachments knee lever and two manuals.  The only drawback 
is that they are both in GERMAN!!  Needless to say, it is a 
language I can't read, but that didn't stop me from getting the 
machine.  She needs some new wiring but for the $25.00 price 
tag, I think she was a bargain.  THIS is the machine that I 
think my son will get to use (he's ten) this summer.  My heart 
was not all that steady when he was using my FW.  This baby will 
hold up to a boistrous 10 year old.  Well, that's my story for 
today...Let's hear from all of our other FWFanatics.   P.S.  
Anyone willing to copy a 301 and 15-90 manual for printing and 
postage costs?  TIA  Claudette 
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 17:25:38 -0600
Subject: Etc.

First of all, for Sandi :

According to a book I have called "Toy &Miniature Sewing Machines: An
Identification and Value Guide," your Betsy Ross in the red simulated
leather case is probably from about 1950.  It was featured in the 1950
Montgomery Wards Christmas Catalog, on page 104, and sold for $18.95.  It
could be worth $75 to $95 now. The machines were apparently manufactured by
the Betsy Ross sewing Machine Corp. in Chicago OR the Gibraltar
Manufacturing Co., Inc. of New Jersey.

Another oil container came my way last week.  I was in Portland, OR,
attending a professional conference, and took time out after lunch on
Friday to wander through a small antiques mall near the light rail line.
My radar was on, I guess..... I found a 1/2 full glass Singer oil bottle,
probably from the 20's if the woman behind the S logo is any indication.
And only $3.50!!!  I was delighted.  It made my week, and I nearly forgot
the nasty cold I came down with on the first night of my stay.

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 17:46:32 -0600 (CST)
Subject: "New" 99K

Hi, everyone:

I found a new machine, but I think it's been tampered with.  At any rate, 
I think it is a 1954 99K.  It's in great condition, but the case is 
dead.  I'm working on replacing that.  I don't have a manual, but a copy 
is on the way.  I always need a reference before I start sewing with 
these great old machines.  One question I have is whether or not the 
footpedal that is on it is original.  It is a Mercury Electric and the 
motor is CAT. BZ 15-8.  The lamp is attached above the motor on the 
back.  Just checking its pedigree.  Also, what attachments do I look for 
and is this a high shank machine?   Thanks for all of the help 
you provide.  I hope pretty soon I'll be able to offer more advice and 
assistance to other beginners. 

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 16:59:20 -0800
Subject: Must be Karma!!

        Recently, my mother decided that she just had to have a
Featherweight to carry to quilting classes.  She happened to ask an old
friend if she knew of any, and lo and behold, her friend had one sitting in
her closet.  This machine belonged to her grandmother's sister; otherwise no
sentimental value.  My mother's friend does not sew, nor does her daughter.
Her friend tool Mom that she could not give or sell the machine to her, but
my mother could use it indefinitely.
        Well, from reading quilting and Featherweight information that I get
on the Internet, Mom decided to call and find out the date that this
particular machine was made.  She called me at 6:30 (THAT'S AM) to tell me
that she got through to Singer.  This little machine was manufactured on
March 20, 1935--the same day that my mother was born.
Thanks in Advance
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 16:59:20 -0800
Subject: Must be Karma!!

        Recently, my mother decided that she just had to have a
Featherweight to carry to quilting classes.  She happened to ask an old
friend if she knew of any, and lo and behold, her friend had one sitting in
her closet.  This machine belonged to her grandmother's sister; otherwise no
sentimental value.  My mother's friend does not sew, nor does her daughter.
Her friend tool Mom that she could not give or sell the machine to her, but
my mother could use it indefinitely.
        Well, from reading quilting and Featherweight information that I get
on the Internet, Mom decided to call and find out the date that this
particular machine was made.  She called me at 6:30 (THAT'S AM) to tell me
that she got through to Singer.  This little machine was manufactured on
March 20, 1935--the same day that my mother was born.
Thanks in Advance
Subject: Featherweight Safari Hunters...FS::Featherweights.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 20:30:09 -0600

Hello All!  My Mom and Dad are in Baltimore this week....so if you need a 
featherweight, be sure to call  Dad has been selling a lot of 
featherweights lately.  Apparently,Nancy Johnson-Srebro has been having some minature quilt classes, and everyone asks, "Where can we get those featherweights?"  Nancy, gives out my Dad's name and phone number.  So 
on Mondays and Tuesdays,
Dad has been getting a lot of calls from her classes.  (Sold some too!)  Mom and 
Dad just this past week
have sold some Singer Oil cans all the way to Alaska.  

If you have a chance, I've updated my homepage just a little bit.  I've 
consolidated the featherweight information
all onto the main page.  The rating of FW's, the mustly smell-how do I get it 
out?, the oiling and maintenance 
of the FW now stands out on the main welcome page. Click on over there!  And 
couldn't do this page without
your words!!

Gail P
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 21:30:54 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/30/96

To Beth:

That listing of the attachments for the FW are in the 1/22/96 archives.  We
just printed them so they are up to date.  Hope this helps you in your spring
garage sales!
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 22:55:30 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/31/96 Part 2 of 2

I would like to purchase bobbins and any extra attachments (especially
buttonholer) for a 221K Featherweight made in 1948.  If anyone can help,
please let me know.
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 00:59:24 -0500
Subject: FWFanatics

In yesterday's FWF, I forgot to mention: For Sale:
Greist paper - Sewing Made Easy with Attachments - A Greist Educational
Service.  A yellow 8.5 x 11 folder with sheets of instructions dated by years.

If anyone wants me to purchase THE PERFECT PORTABLE by Nancy Johnson-Sebro
for them, I will do so for cost of booklet plus postage.  I know it is
easier for some of us to drop into a quilt shop than it is for others. Email me.

Regarding the breadbox/curved/bentwood/etc. cases, I do believe they are all
the same. Domed, I don't know about that one.  I have purchased models 99,
66 and 128 all in those lovely cases with character!  The model 66 is much
longer to accomodate the larger machine base.

I thought I could get away with the above response, but my conscience
stepped in and I went downstairs to get measurements.  The 99/128 case is 14
inches long.  The 66 case is 20 inches long.  Of course, the FW case is 14
inches long.  I carry a tape measure with me at all times when out shopping!

As for dates, the machines in bent wood cases I have purchased ranged from
1921 earliest thru 1950 latest.

I guess now would be a good time to say that I have the following machines
for sale: models 27, 128, 99-13, 66, 15-91, 192K/Spartan and 185J.  Please
email me for details.

Is there really such a thing as a Featherweight handcrank?????

Also I have sent out files to 'newcomers'.  Would you let me know if you
were/were not able to grab those 2 files successfully.  Also, if you asked
for the files and never heard from me, email again.  Thanks.

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 23:06:19 -0800
Subject: Bobbin Case

I read your posting of 3/31/96 on FW Fanatics regarding the need for a
bobbin case for a Singer 66.  Just today, I received a catalog and brochure
from "A Stitch Back in Time."  They may have what you are looking for, as
well as items that others on the FW Fanatics have indicated a need for.
They sell feet, bobbin cases, bobbins, and plates for old Singers, as well
as a lot of other neat things.  It shows a bobbin case for a Singer 66-4
although it's a little pricey at $59.95.  You may want to look aroung
awhile, but as a last resort it would be a way to get your baby working.
The bobbins are $1.59 (4 on a card).  They also sell motor belts for the 66
for $4.65.

I am copying this note to the FW Fanatics, so I'll probably give you much
more info than you want, but since I'm on a roll, I'll mention other items
in case others would like to contact this company.  There is a variety of
pressure feet, depending on whether you need one for a low, high, or slant
shank machine.  They have a blindstitch foot, adjustable zipper foot,
walking foot, shirring foot, welt foot, darner, overcast, button foot, a
ruffler, and a flower stitcher.  These are probably not original singer feet
(very inexpensive), but will work with them.  They also advertize a "Ruby"
automatic zigzagger and a "Ruby" buttonhole attachment for straight stitch
machines.  I wonder if they are referring to OUR "Ruby?"

They have leather belts and lights for hand crank and treadle machines,
shuttle bobbin cases, shuttle carriers, tension springs, and long bobbins
for the vibrator shuttle bobbin case (I read someone was looking for these
since she only has one bobbin).  Also have the book "Featherweight 221, the
Perfect Portable" that I've seen mention here, as well as many other books
about old sewing machines.

Well, I've rambled on long enough except for the most important information.
You can request a catalog by contacting:
        A Stitch Back in Time
        3815 50th Street #41
        Lubbock, TX 79413
        1 800 352-1174

This is a great source of information.  I hope that it helps you find what
you're looking for, as well as anyone else that may read this.
Thanks in Advance
Subject: zippers
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 96 00:04:00 PDT

Has anyone had any luck sewing zippers with their featherweight?
Granted, I have an aversion to putting zippers in on any machine, but I
couldn't do it with the featherweight.  Much to my dismay, I had to dig
out my Viking to do the deed.

Fearless Featherweight tried, but she kept on skipping stitches when
asked to sew close to the invisible zipper....could it be an invisible
zipper and a featherweight and her trusty singer zipperfoot are not
compatible?  Granted, I am usually not overly compatible with sewing any
type of zipper, but alas, my pattern called for a zipper, and an
invisible one was the only one I had in black.  I couldn't believe I
only had 1 black zipper amongst the piles and piles of zippers I have
collected in thrift stores over the years.  Considering I probably have
100 zippers, I certainly wasn't going to go buy another one...hehehehe

Anyway, anyone have any featherweight zipper experience?  Should I just
pull out the viking for them?  I really hate to admit the Viking is
better at anything than my featherweight, except possibly zig
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 10:00:26 -0500
Subject: Singer 403


I sew on a 403 all the time.  My grandmother bought it probably in the
early 60's and it was my inheritance when she died in 1966.  I was the
grandchild that sewed.  I don't really use all the cams that came with it. 
I know my grandmother did because the manual has all sorts of notes on the
pages describing the various stitches.

The sewing machine repairman says that these are the last of the "good"
Singers and normally pretty trouble-free.

I have a FW to take to class because the 403 is in a cabinet(I can remove
if I want to) and fairly heavy to lug around.

Date: Tue, 02 Apr 1996 09:07:26 -0600
Subject:  99K

To Karen - I too have
a 99K and absolutely love it.  I've had mine over 20
years and never had a manual until a couple of months
ago.  I didn't have a light on mine until a week ago!  I
didn't have attachments until I started reading this
digest and discovered I had a set of attachments that
came with another machine that will fit my 99K.  I didn't
have a buttonholer until a few weeks ago.  And I didn't
have a zigzag attachment until I bought another
machine a few months ago and a whole bunch of
attachments that don't even fit that machine came with
it!  The 99K is a low shank machine.

I don't know about the foot pedal, but I'll check mine
when I get home tonight (if I remember) and let you
know.  If you're ever in Des Moines, e-mail me.  Maybe
we can get together and compare machines.  I hope
you enjoy your 99K.  Mine is still my favorite.

BTW, to all -- I've talked a couple of times about my
new Pella baby that I've yet to pick up.  Well, I'm
planning a trip there Saturday so hope to have more to
tell you next week.  My friend who's giving it to me has
no idea what it is but it was her grandmother's!  I'm
praying for a FW or a treadle, but will take anything. 
After all, the price is right :-).

Subject: model 185
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 96 00:06:00 PDT


FF>checked out the machine I keep there.  I had gotten it at a garage
FF>sale on the island for $20.  It's a Singer 185, in a cabinet with
FF>stool, has manual, attachments, and a mint condition buttonholer,
FF>16506.  The manual is dated 1953 or 58, can't remember which now.  


FF>Also found a 185J, and it is such a nice little machine, in defense of other
FF>FWFs who own and love them!  It's quickly becoming my third favorite Singer,
FF>right behind the 221 and the 301!  It's tiny little case is about the same 
FF>as a late-version FW case, only about an inch taller.  But, one big 
FF>from a FW,  besides being "very green" is that it's as heavy as the FW is 
FF>The little dickens weighs in at a hefty 25 lb., which surprises you when you
FF>first pick it up.  Another great old Singer I've discovered is the 319W--that
FF>most unusual green machine with the top levers and cams.  Any other Fanatic 
FF>one of these who would like to discuss them?

It seems a couple of other fanatics have one of these lovely green
machines...the one I found last weekend is in the plastic carrying case,
and it definitely weighs a ton!!!  It does sew well, except the throat
plate has an extra large needle hole in it due to a previous owners
REALLY BAD sewing day.  I have heard of breaking a needle, but breaking
a throat plate?  I am hoping to find a replacement for it, as I do like
the machine, and it is the most likely portable candidate besides my

My manual is dated 1958, and has lots of lovely pictures of 50's era
housewives, looking enormously happy.  It took me an hour to get all the
packed in dust bunnies from under the throat plate...I would be willing
to bet the above mentioned dust bunnies were at least partially
responsible for the bad sewing day the original owner had....

Since I have finally gotten around to working on one of my sewing
machines, I feel much better....

Happy hunting!
Date:          Tue, 2 Apr 1996 10:09:56 +0000
Subject:       This and That

Natalie: You got a tremendous deal on the 301! I'm a little green 
right now. I love my 301. 

Karen: The pedal on your new 99k does not sound original. I have two 
99s, a 1955 and a 1949. Both pedals are different but bothe clearly 
say Singer. The light will also, it is a little round spotlight. This 
is a low shank machine and most FW attachments will work on it.

Michele: I wouldn't be surprised if the case was original. I don't 
think the last series of 99s (those made in the 50's) came in the bentwood 
The ones from that era that I have seen all have the case that you describe. 

Stevii: Look for a copy of the Sincere's Sewing Machine Service manual. It is 
the best. Your machine sounds like a 99. This book is extremely 
helpful. Unfortunately it is out of print. Check the library.

Fran:  What a deal! The attachments are definitely worth that much 
and then some. 

Claudette: Again great deal! I'd say $25 is a good price to pay for a 
99 in a bentwood case. I saw two last weekend at an antique mall, one 
missing a knee lever was priced at $195, the other with knee lever at 
$225. These people are out of touch.

Judy: Neat story!

Happy sewing and hunting everyone! Katy
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 13:19:51 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/29/96

In a message dated 96-03-30 18:14:59 EST, you write:

>here is a method that I have used pretty successfully to eliminate the
>dreaded "Featherweight Odor".

You might want to try kitty litter.  I have put kitty litter in musty
smelling suitcases and it works!   I would air the machine outside on a nice
dry day first to get rid of as much musty smell as possible.

Also, you might check out some of the products one uses to get rid of doggy
odor. I have two dogs &two cats and believe me I *need* an odor control at
times -- especially in skunk season. 

Good luck!
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 10:51:17 -0800
Subject: Reponse to 4/1/96 


I am new to the newsletter and am fast becoming an addict. I own a Model 27
Singer born 02/08/01! Still runs well. It was bought by my Great
Grandmother, and given to me by my Grandmother after she had a stroke and
had to move in with other relatives. It needs some cleaning up but was well
used and was never in storage. I am buying a 1954 FW and hoping to buy what
I think is a 99 from an Aunt.

To Terri:
Re: Singer Buttonhole attachment
While I can't answer whether Singer is still making these attachments I
know other Company's are. My Mother traded her old Singer (she wore it out)
in for a top-of-the-line Viking. She hates the built in buttonhole on all
the newer machines. She special ordered the 'Keyhole' buttonhole attachment
for the Viking. It is basically the same thing as the old Singer attachment
that went with Mom's original machine - except it is plastic instead of
metal. (Has the knob on top-cams loaded into the bottom.) She happened to
keep her Singer attachment and found out that it will work with the Viking
and it works better! Find a Authorized Singer dealer and ask for it or keep
looking those old Singer buttonhole attachments are still around - you may
find one.

To Fran:
Re:Greist Attachments

They sound like the attachments for the Model 27 Treadle with the
"vibrating shuttle". My manual shows a box full of attachments and it looks
like a tin box. (My machine came to me with a folding wooden attachment box
lined with green velveteen.) That shuttle is a precursor to the modern
bobbin we are used to. The later Model 27's (maybe a 28?) changed to the
top loading bobbins. I have seen these threadles in Antique stores and they
are almost identical except for the bobbin mechanism. Are there any
'bobbins' for the shuttle included? they would look look like (--------)..
like a very skinny spool of thread. Regarding using the tucker, ruffler and
other feet - you will have to try them  - they may not work a modern
machine- sometimes they just don't line up correctly and it's lots of
broken needles or material won't feed right.

Susan M.
Subject: What is it.
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 13:54:43 -0600

This is Sherrie's DH.  I was out pawn shopping and anti 'Q hunting for a 
featherweight (with the baby).  No luck today.  But I did find a Singer 
hand crank portable in a domed wooden case.  Attachments included, the 
case was in so-so condition.  The machine was a "6 or 7",  The bobbin 
were in good shape and everything worked.  I sorry to say that I left 
without it.  I could not see paying for something that Sherrie will not 
use until the next nuclear attack. 

Any ideas as to what it was and what it is worth, they were asking 
US$100.  The Serial number began Y85.....
Any interest? 
Date: 02 Apr 96 17:37:10 EST
Subject: Contribution

To Brenda

Your Ideal treadle could have been made by The Davis SM Co, the White Co or the
New Home SM Co -- all produced machines branded Ideal. It's nothing to do with
the small portable nickle-plated machine with the same name which was made in
England in the 1920s and 30s
The Goodrich machine dates from the mid 1920s to the mid 1930 when they were
made in Chigago.

To Sandi

 Betsy Ross toy machines were made first by the Betsy Ross SM Co of Chicago from
the end of WW2  and then by the Gibraltar Manufacturing Co Inc of Jersey City
until about 1971
Machines were usually a blue/green colour and an electrified model was available

To Judy

Can't say I apprive of your second book purchase. When all the quilting is done,
curl up in front of the fire one evening and compare the prices from the
"experts" in both books. Better than TV comedy any time.

To Karen

Congratulations on the 99K. Would you mind telling me if the tensioner has
numbers on it. 1954 and 55 were the last years of production. If it has the
numbers it's a 99K31, if not it's a 99K26.

Graham F
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 21:02:55 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/3-96

 I went scouring antique stores here in Southern California yesterday-went to
eight!  I found two Fw's, but passed them up.  One was an AM in terrible
condition for $400-I laughed-and the other was an AJ for the same price in a
litttle bit better condition.  It was fun finding them, but they were really
overpriced.  If anyone is interested, they were found in Los Alamos, Calif- a
tiny town with only a few antique stores. Laura 
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 20:25:08 -0800
Subject: Featherweights

        My mother (Jeannette) said that you called her in response to my
message on FWF.  I admit that I do not know much about Singers, except that
I bought one in 1975 and absolutely hated it; got rid of a year-and-one-half
later.  I really wanted a Bernina, which I got then. It was top-of-the line
and I used it every opportunity I got (made all of my clothes, my husband's
shirts, and all of my three daughters' clothes) for 17 years without EVER
being in the shop.  I traded it in two years ago for the 1630 and am just as
happy with that.        
        However, when I was in highschool, I did sew on a couple of Singer
treadle machines and they were great--would love to have another one.  I saw
an old Singer (in a dombed wooden case) at a foundation piecing class that
had a crank handle.  I fell in love with it and would love to find one to
use on our sailboat (even though it is not a FW) to repair sails, sew
windsocks, and any other thing I might like.       
        My mother said that you were very familiar with Singers and
Featherweights, so I have an important question to ask.  I just received a
catalog from "A Stitch Back in Time" that showed a hand-crank that could be
used to convert a motorized Singer.  Can this be used on a FW or am I just
wasting money and time.
        As I said, I want something that I can use on a sailboat when I'm
away from shore power.  My DH wants to sell the house and take a left at the
ocean.  This sounds great to me, except that I can't imagine not having a
sewing machine--especially when I'm out in the middle of the ocean with no
wind, no books left to read, and bored out of my mind.
Thanks in Advance
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 21:43:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Good things!

Just had to share my story of finding friendship and sewing machines via 
the Internet.  Contrary to all the stories that Ann Landers prints about 
the Internet breaking up marriages, there are occasions when it brings 
couples closer together. 
Last week my DH had to make an unexpected trip 
to Phoenix for his fathers cardiac bypass surgery.  I had been "chatting" 
sewing machines with Shirley of Mesa for the last few months and shared 
my concern about him being there and asking him to check out 
some of the sewing machine places for me.  She offered to show him some 
places and I actually got my very shy husband to call her while he was 
there.  The end of the story was that when he came back, he's been raving 
about how nice Shirley and her husband were, how much she knows about 
sewing machines, how neat it was to see so many different types, and on 
and on!!  It really gave him a renewed sense of the goodness of people at 
a time that was very difficult for him.  It also increased his interest 
and knowledge in the older sewing machines and his understanding of my 
love for these machines.  I can't say enough good things about Shirley 
and her husband - they are wonderful people!!
The best part of the story is that he came home with TWO sewing machines 
- a 99K he says is his and a tan and cream 301A that completes my 301 
collection, and the news that his dad is recovering nicely.  
I was so worried when I sent him off and now that he is home safely and 
has good memories of his time in Phoenix, joy is bringing tears to my 
Sorry to be so long, but wanted you to know there is a special prayer of 
thanksgiving going to Shirley, one to Sue for bringing us together, and 
for all of you who share so generously.
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 21:45:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Manuals

For those who need:  I can make photocopies of the 301 manual for you.
I need:  A copy of the 99K manual from 1951 or vicinity.
Date: 02 Apr 96 12:26:21 EST
Subject: post

For  Marci...  We  carry  bobbins  and  many  parts for FW machines. 
Bobbins  are  $0.50  each...  Chris 
Date: 02 Apr 96 12:27:52 EST
Subject: 127 Bobbins!

For  Laurie... We can supply you with bobbins and other parts 
for   your  Singer  127!  Bobbins  are  $1.50  ea.  A  copy  of  the 
Instruction  Manual  or  Service  Manual  are  $4.00 ea. Other parts 
available  include  Bobbin  Case  ($20.95), Feed Dog ($5.95), Needle 
Plate  ($7.50),  Check  Spring  ($1.00), Leather Belt ($7.50), etc., 
etc.  We  can  ship  C.O.D.  or  accept  your Visa or MC. ...Chris
 PS: try WD-40 to get rid of the gunk...
Date: 03 Apr 96 08:24:53 EST
Subject: Pending

True Story (4)

He arrived at the shop looking like a street bum. He'd obviously not washed or
shaved for days and the rucksack over his shoulders probably contained
everything he owned in the world.
He opened the conversation by revaling that he was from Holland and that he had
arrived especially to buy antique sewing machines. 
Did we mind if he ate his meal as we talked? What can you say?
From the rucksack came a wedge of curled sandwiches which he munched between
asking the prices of the most expensive machines on offer.All the time he was
making notes on the sandwich wrapping. After around 10 minutes of this I began
to make hurry up noises. He then declared that he would buy five of the most
expensive machines on offer and, again delved into the rucksack to bring out a
fat wad of bills.
He paid up and we carefully packed the machines into the rucksack and the two
bags that had been inside it.
He announced that he was now going straight back to Holland. We asked if we
could we take him to the airport or rail station.
No. He was going to hitch-hike bcak home and hoped to do it quicker than the
three days it had taken to get to us.
I had to ask. "Why, friend, do you travel thus when you can clearly afford to
journey a little more comfortably".
He looked amazed. "It's simple, he replied,"every guilder I save like this I can
spend on sewing machines".
Maggie and I call him The True Collector.


Next weekend we have the ISMACS Convention with 160 sewing machine collectors
coming from all over the world for the three-day event in London and then some
continuing on with me for a tour of German and Dutch sewing machine museums. I'm
about three days behind with the paper work, the hotel is overbooked by 23 rooms
and I'm one stage off of panic. Therefore please forgive me if answers to
historical questions don't get posted or e-mail replied for a couple of weeks.
I shall keep all mail and make a point of answering comprehensively when I'm
back in action.

I hope all FWFs have an enjoyable Easter break

Graham F
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 10:53:27 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Professional Buttonholer

I have (2) almost brand-new Singer  "Professional Buttonholers"and I 
would like to sell one.  It fits *slant* machines 301...401...and newer.  
This BH is similar to the regular Singer BH's, but it is larger, and the 
cams are different.  It comes with 6 cams for straight buttonholes, 8 
cams for keyhole BH's, and 6 cams for bound buttonholes.  It also does 
round eyelets.  This is a *lot* more buttonholer than the standard ones!

There is a comprehensive manual showing a huge variety of jobs that this 
BH can do, and I have the raised feed cover plate if you have the 
"magnetic" type plate on your machine (most 301/4xx machines have feed 
dogs that drop or cover plates that raise for buttonholing).  It is in 
the original box.  Email me if you are interested.

Also....to Beth, Marci, and others:  I have rounded up all of my extra 
feet and other attachments for the ** FW's ** and I have a lot of extras 
that I could sell.  I have the Singer part number list to determine which 
attachments came with the machines when new, so we could set up a genuine 
original set.  Please let me know.
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 13:24:37 -0500
Subject: Identification/dating of machines

Here's the latest from Singre Cunsumer Affairs on 3 of my machines - any and
all coments are welcome, as I am totally confused at this point !
  SN#01401132-treadle in stand w/ iron base (Singer in iron on cross-piece),
straight-edged base, Egytian decals in gold - winged Sphinx, fans, snake,
   Singer says this is a Model 2-Vibrating Shuttle, part of the series
998550-10235499, mfg'd. Mar. 3, 1891
  SN#8660107-originally a treadle, but converted by Sewing Machine Exchange
in B'ham, Ala - has Universal motor on it, base is fiddle-shaped and is in a
portable carrying case - machine fits into base of case, the top comprising
the sides and top w/handle. Singer says this is also a Model 2-Vibrating
Shuttle, part of the series 8647000-8746999, mfg'd. Apr.27, 1889
  SN#AB113401 - side load bobbin, floral decals, knee lever, in newer model
stand. Singer says this is a 66-6, mfg'd July 8, 1926 -one of the models made
between 1902-1933, the 66-19, they say, was mfg'd between 1902-1960.
 Does this agree with or contradict the information other FWF members have?
Does anyone have any extra parts,accessories for these machines? Any guesses
as to their value? I am wondering if they are worth insuring.
  Judging from the excellent input so far, I'm sure my questions will be
Keep up the good work - I finally found The FWF Home Page - how very
intresting and informative!!
Becky S.
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 14:18:00 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/2/96

To Graham - -

We've already talked about this, but I wanted to share with everyone

I went antiquing with my parents a month back and stumbled across a treasure.
 A treadle machine made by The Free Sewing Machine Co. of Rockford Illinois.
 Serial # C206393.  This baby has beautiful gold decals, bird motif, in near
mint condition.  It comes with a black box of attachments that includes
needles, extra shuttles, and the original book.  Now for the best part.  It
is in a Mission Oak cabinet. I have never seen a Mission style sewing
cabinet. I LOVE Mission style furniture.  She had it tagged at $395.  When
she saw me opening the cabinet and looking at the machine she said that she
could come up with a better price.  She came down to $295.00, helped me find
the serial #, showed me the book (no date) and attachments that were under
the counter.

Graham's response....
No  SN  data has survived for the Free Company.  All I can tell you is that
the business started in Rockford Illinois in either 1897 or 1898.  The
Smithsonian book says 98 but I have some factory correspondence dating a year
earlier.  There are links to the  St. John SM Co of Springfield Ohio founded
in 1870 and the Royal SM Co of 1890.  One William C Free joined the Royal Co
in 1890.  Eventually he was made president and the company took his name.
 Free amalgamated with New Home in 1928 and was bought out by Janome of Japan
in 1958 who continued production for a couple of years from a Los Angeles

I called her back today to see if it was still there.  It's a little game I
play with myself.  If I'm not 100% sure that I want/need/have to have
something I'll see if it's still there a few weeks later.  This gives me time
to think about the purchase in a neutral place.  If I've decided that I am
interested and the item is still there, then I was meant to have it.  I knew
the machine had been sitting in her rather cramped shop for awhile before I
saw it last month, so I offered her $250 and she took it.

Can't say I approve of your second book purchase>>  

I assume you mean the Slaten.  Not to  worry, I remember what you said about
it earlier.  Just got it for the pictures. ; )  My goal is to get everything
for less the $100, no matter what ANY price guide says : )

Date: Wed, 03 Apr 1996 13:33:37 -0600
Subject: FW Fix

Well, I thought I had really broken my FW until my MIL came to visit and
fixed it for me.  My 8 year old often sews on my FW (endless odd shaped
little pillows which she also stuffs and handsews closed by herself) while I
am sewing at the next table on my Pfaff, and somehow the machine jammed on
her.  I took off the plate over the feed dogs, saw thread down there and
thought Ah ha!

I got out the Johnson-Sebro book  and carefully followed the instructions
for removing the bobbin works.  When I got to the part about pulling out the
mechanism, only the front round piece which sits right under the bobbin
shuttle came off.  I thought the whole mechanism would slide out, as having
just this piece off did not expose the thread bits I knew were down there.
While the book describes it as just pop it  back in, this piece did not pop
back in for me.  I fiddled with it for a couple of days and had about
decided it would have to go the Singer store 20 miles from here.

Then my dear MIL came to visit and offered to take a look at it, after all
it was hers for 35 years.  She popped that bugger right back in there but
described it as more of a turn, slide and pop.  Those of you who have made
this repair please comment as the book is not clear.  What exactly is
supposed to have come off here?  Also, I got the thread out from above by
removing the plate and using a tweezers.

During this period of FW deprivation I really wanted to use my buttonholer
(#160...) and had this moment of inspiration that it would probably fit any
short shank machine.  It wouldn't go on the Pfaff because even when disabled
the builtin walking foot feed is in the way, but it fit nicely on my Singer
Stylist 477 with the feed dogs down and the stitch length set at 0.

Connie O
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 14:42:46 -0500
Subject: FWs for sale


I've been lurking on the list for several months and have enjoyed
it and learned quite a bit.  My wife has been buying and selling
Featherweights for several years, and currently has eight for
sale.  All of these machines have been tuned up by a retired Singer
repairman who is a real craftsman, and are in good running condition. 
We have done mail order on a number of occasions, and offer a
money-back guarantee.  Shipping usually runs about $25 and is not
included in the following prices.

AM181495    1956    $475    Case excellent. Paint nice. Striated face
                            plate. Marked throat plate. New belt. Very
                            clean. No book or accessories.
AL549976    1955    $450    Paint and case excellent. Striated face plate.
                            Marked throat plate. Thread spring. Book,
                            extra bobbins, original cord.
AL761519    1955    $400    Case OK, pitted hinges. Paint slightly
                            worn/chipped. Straight face plate. Marked
                            throat plate. Nice book, accessory box
                            w/ accessories. Extra bobbins.    
AL015779    1955    $375    Paint OK. Case nice (w/ tray). Striated face
                            plate. Marked throat plate. Book, some
                            accessories. Includes a buttonholer.
AJ351630    1950    $375    Case OK, side mount tray. Paint nice. Striated
                            face plate. Some accessories, extra bobbins.
AH344039    1948    $375    Paint good. Case good (monogram on front),
                            w/ tray. Striated face plate. Key, accessories,
                            original oval oil can. Manual in excellent
AH823850    1948    $300    Paint rough. Case has rough corners. Striated
                            face plate. Foot pedal rewired, new belt. No
                            book or accessories.
AF381708    1938    $275    Paint poor. Case very bad. Scroll face plate.
                            Chrome flywheel. Pedal rewired. Bobbins.

Drop me a note if you're interested in any of the
above machines.


Brad F
Subject: new baby nightmare
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 11:42:49 -0600

Ok.  The treadle that is my DH's GREATgrandmothers is a 66, according to 
Singer.  It has no reverse and a screw for the stitch length.  The new 
baby I bought yesterday is a 128.  It was filthy.  I did something weird 
to the motor.  I was trying to clean out the grease holes, because it 
was making the grunchy I-don't-have-any-lubricant noise, and kept 
pulling out big (well, relatively) wads of some sort of fiber.  This 
stuff was really packed in!  What was it?  There was no way the 
lubricant could get through, so I just kept pulling.  Now that the holes 
have been packed with lubricant, it seems to run better.  It is also 
noisy - is that normal?  Anyone got a manual?  I have no idea where to 
oil the shuttle.  Anyway, it runs nicely, even though noisy, and makes a 
nice stitch.  I also put the tension back together backwards - it has 
the old -FW type, no cover.  I fixed that, too.  Ugly white light 
attached to the back, but its wired into the motor, so have to replace 
all at once.  DH was putting on the new belt, and took off about a spool 
of thread wound around the hand wheel (under the belt, of course).  This 
woman/man (not to discriminate any more against Graham and the other 
guys) knew nothing about her machine!  Also a little spring (tiny) was 
lying in pieces inside the body (where you clean) when I took off the 
faceplate.  What did it go to?  Is it important?  This reminds me of 
putting together computers and coming up with extra chips, screws, 

Date: 03 Apr 96 18:24:22 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 4/2/96

Hi, I've been lurking here and now I have a question. I have been looking for a
FW and I have not found one. I did find the strangest sewing machine I have ever
seen. It is really old and it looks like an old victrola set in the middle of a
tredle sewing machine table. At first I though it was an old record player. It
had a price of $650.00 on it and it was in very good condition. It said it was a
"rare find". I know this is a vague description but does anyone know what I am
talking about. The shop owner was not around and no one else knew anything about
it. Thanks Connie
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 17:17:48 -0800
Subject: FOR SALE

Morse Fotomatic 4 Model 4400 sewing machine. Auto zigzag and button-holer.
All metal snazzy "Cadillac" model. A real work horse. I want $60 cash; you
pay shipping 
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:26:10 -0600
Subject: FW purchases in So. Cal.

I am a dealer of antique quilts and FW's when I can find them at reasonable
prices.  At the cuurent time I have none in stock.  Last summer I bought a
mint as in never used FW at the Santa Monica Airport Flea Market for $35.
Several booths away was a well used machine with only some of the pieces
and no case for $250 firm.  Go figure.  In other years I have found
machines in Old Town Pamona for $150 average condition.  Downton Glendora
produced a $250 machine in very good condition.  Both were in antique
malls.  Also found a sewing machine/firplace shop on Santa Monica Blvd. in
Culver City that cleaned and adjusted FW's for $50.  Did a good job and
knew where to find parts.  Bobbin case was $50.  Around here they are $85.
I shouldn't say that "I" find the FW's.  My wife seems to get ahead of me
going through shops/makets and finds them.  I think she can smell that
unique aroma that every FW case has.

The other thing I've noticed is that when I am NOT looking or least expect
it a FW or really good toy machine shows up.

Anyone in the Houston area looking for a very reasonable great FW repairman
can e-mail for a complete name/phone for Mr. Moore and I think he is on
Chimmney Rock north of I10.  Really good work.  The last machine I had
cleaned and adjusted needed nothing else and cost $25.  One that needed a
plug and wire was less than $40.  I try to hold machines until I am in
Houston every fall for Quilt Festival.  He usually can do the servicing in
one day and has sent them with his wife when they come to the show.  Really
great for me!  Any machine I purchase I have professionaly gone over to see
if anything is needed.  It has surprised me how little they ever need,
including belts.  Also know of a good repair man in the Atlanta area.  He
is a retired Singer person and really knows the machines.
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 1996 21:15:05 -0600
Subject: New FW/Old 27

Just recently I found a FW in excellent condition, w/attachments, 
manual, and the case in excellent condition, too.  I paid $295 the 
seller was glad and I was pleased.  My AK has a birthday of 5-10-51.  I 
had been watching for a good FW for some time.  I learned to sew on a 
model 27 which was my Mother's, then my Grandmother's when my Mother 
bought a FW (new) in 1950 or 51.  My daughter has that FW which is in 
near mint condition.  Even has the envelope with keys, oil can, button 
holer, attachments and a neat little Singer seam ripper and needle 
threader.  Mom's wish was for my daughter (her oldest granddaughter) to 
have the machine.  My daughter well understands the quality of a FW, and 
does treasure it.  

On to the real reason for this post - my Grandmother's model 27.  At 
least I think it is a 27, there is a manual in the folding wood 
attachement box that says 27 on it.  The machine has a serial no. of 
G54894.  It is a treadle that folds down into its cabinet and an 
extension folds over to cover the machine.  It has a lot of gold designs 
on it that look like Egyptian figures. It has a drop-in bobbin case and 
uses long skinny bobbins (which I only have 3 of).  Is it a model 27?  
How old is it?  And does it have any real value other than being my 
Grandmother's and my Mother's and the machine I learned to sew on?

Just wondering -----

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 08:37:56 PST8PDT
Subject: Seeking information

I am new to this list (and absolutely love it)
and am desperately seeking your collective 
knowledge.  I recently purchased an antique 
sewing machine and have been unable to find any
information on it at all.  It was made by 
WJH &Co. Ltd., it has Harris Family No 2H made 
in Germany on the front of the machine.  It has 
a hand crank with a horizontal bobbin shuttle
and it sews very fine, even stiches.  I have 
looked at the library and consulted with my 
local sewing machine guru to no avail.  
Any information you may have would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks.

Jerri M
Date: 04 Apr 96 11:50:59 EST
Subject: Contribution

True Story 5

Visiting thw homes of people who have antique sewing machines for sale can be
quite rewarding -- and sometimes almost frightening.
The case I have in mind was in one of England's "New Towns" -- tragic 1960s
experiments in glass and concrete and universally known, by those who do not
live in them, as the "People's Republics".
A lady answered the door and we were nearly knocked off our feet by three
pit-bull terriers making an escape bid. She screamed their names at them
"Hitler,Goebels, Himmler"
I guess this should have given me the clue. Inside we examined the two machines
offered for sale and, harrassed by canine  representatives of Hitler's war
cabinet, got close on the price but failed to go the full nine yards.
"You'll have to speak to Frank", she said. "Go through to the back room"
It was the smell that go me first.Incense.There in the corner was Frank tending
the everlasting flame on a shrine to Germany's Third Reich. Around the walls
photographs of Nuremburg Rallies. In showcases, weapons and Nazi insignia. From
the tape deck, strains of Wagner.
I couldn't take it. Quickly backed out, paid the woman who thought nothing odd
about my sudden reluctance to haggle, and fled for my car.
It will be a long time before another sewing machine lures me into the People's

Graham F
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 1996 10:49:35 -0800
Subject: Antique Store Find

Hi all,

I'm new to the group.  I've really learned alot in these few weeks.  Well
anyway, I was out shopping in our local antique stores and I came across a
beautiful old Singer.  I need help in discovering the model type if anyone
can lend a hand.  It came in a squared wooden box with inlaid veneers of
different colors and an ornate metal handle.  Inside the box was an "S"
stamp.  The Singer machine is electric and has decals with lions and
scrolling on it.  The tension knob is not numbered and it has the long
shuttle bobbins.  It came with some attachments and extra bobbins but not
with a manual. If any one has a manual for a Singer with shuttle bobbins
please e-mail me.  The serial number is 891272.  I have not been able to get
through to Singer to find out the information on my machine.

Thanks for all the helpful information.

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 10:54:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: More Old Singers

I have to tell you all about my latest Singer purchase: a model 306 with its
cam holder on the front of the machine and a strange looking dial to adjust
stitches. The funny part about this machine is that I thought it was
chocolate brown, until I looked at one of the color ads I got from Shirley
in AZ and discovered it was supposed to be TAN! After looking more closely,
I could see some parts that were tan, so I guess perhaps it was owned by a
REALLY heavy smoker and it had a nicotine buildup (I'd hate to see that
person's lungs). That's only a guess of course, but hopefully I can get some
of the gunk off my poor machine. The last 301 I bought also had a yellowish
discoloration that I figure was from the same thing and it has cleaned up
fairly well. Poor old machines! Plus, it really smells musty - I had to put
it in the mudroom after my living room started smelling. My husband said he
started sneezing and getting congested from sitting near it. I'm still happy
with my new purchase and can't wait to get to work on it. There's always
another machine out there just waiting for me! Even if they aren't number
10's! Sue M.
Date: 04 Apr 96 20:30:27 EST
Subject: Thanks!

Thanks to everyone the the FWF list. I have learned a lot and receiving the
digest is a highlight of my day.

Graham, please keep sending your "True Story" posts. I REALLY enjoy them. Thank
you for sharing!

Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 4/3/96
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 20:08:19 -0600

To Connie O  - my FW has thread stuck in the same place, I'm 
sure. It came that way.  I have found no way to get it out!  I have yet 
to take it to the mechanic, since I feel that with those machines, I 
should be able to do anything.  DH says you need a special machine to 
get the "stem" and back of the bobbin case off (Graham, I know you're 
laughing at my terminology!),  I take off the throat plate and base, 
turn it upside down, shine a flashlight in, and pull with my serger 
tweezers.  Hemostats (surgical locking tweezers) work well.  Yes, it is 
hard to get the bobbin case back in.  took me about an hour the first 
time, and I called my mom long distance!!!  Sometimes it just slides in, 
sometimes it doesn't.  don't know why.
	Who said their DH couldn't understand the old machines when she'd paid 
Lots o' money for a new Pfaff??? My DH said the same thing!   Should 
have seen his face today ... I went to get the (long overdue and twice 
ordered ) straight stitch throat plate for my Pfaff, and when it wasn't 
in, harassed them into loaning me a 1475 with a straight stitch plate , 
and when I walked in the door with the 1475 his jaw dropped!  I told him 
that my 7550 was lonely and felt discriminated against with all the 
singers....I tried to tell him that I wouldn't have had this problem had 
I bought the 301 I saw this weekend, 'cuz I read in FWF that you could 
drop the feeddogs and quilt with that.  didn't work, yet.  So now I have 
this 1475 taking up space (until I finish the altar hanging for Easter), 
and I think I like it better than the 7550...

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 22:43:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Just stuff 

Re: zippers

I haven't actually put in an invisible zipper in quite some time, but as I
recall you use a foot (mine is plastic) that is made especially for an
invisible zipper, NOT a regular zipper foot.  Check out your local fabric
store to see if they still make such a thing.

Re: New Baby, as it were...

I posted a while back about a friend in my quilt group who has a 66-1
treadle that we looked at one night when we met at her house. 
Well....turns out that's not all she had.  A number of years ago she
acquired a Singer portable in a "round wooden case" so as to have a
portable machine.  But as she's gotten somewhat older since then, this
machine is really too heavy for her to haul around, and besides, she's
since gotten herself a FW.  So quilting was at my house last night, and
Margaret shows up with this "old heavy portable" in tow, and (are you all
sitting down?) she simply gave it to me because of my newfound interest in
old machines.  Based on Al's extremely helpful information on 127s/128s,
I'm fairly sure it's a 128-13.  It doesn't have a knee lever because it
doesn't need a knee lever -- the motor was replaced in 1965 (for $17.95 --
the service slip was in the bottom of the machine) and at that time it was
rewired to take a foot pedal.  Gorgeous "baroque" type decoration in red,
green, and gold.  So now I have a mother/daughter combination, and while
I'm not normally romantic about such things, I'm toying with the idea of
naming them after some famous mother/daughter combination.  The only one I
can think of so far is Naomi/Wynona, and since I'm not a big fan of
country music (and therefore can never remember who is the mother and who
is the daughter) I probably won't go with that one.

I did demonstrate the treadle last night, and everyone was suitably
impressed.  It sews a fine stitch, and the hardest part is getting the
treadle wheel to turn consistently.

Date: Fri, 05 Apr 1996 00:15:45 EST
Subject: New Baby Nightmare and Other Stuff

   The fiber stuff you were digging out of your lube tubes were the felt
lubrication wicks for the armature shaft.  The tubes contain a spring at
the top which pushes the wick down against the armature shaft to keep it
lubricated.  Since the motor requires very little lubrication, the slow
process of the lube filtering through the felt is sufficient.  Since the
felt is now gone, you should be careful to put very little lube in those
tubes or it will end up on the motor brushes which will cause smoking and
an odor.  All Singer motors which have lube tubes (including the
Featherweight) are constructed this way so hopefully no one else will
decide to clean out the tubes.
   The little spring you found behind the face plate was probably the one
on the tension release lever.  It should cause no problem as long as the
lever is completely free moving.  If it sticks, you might have tension
problems sometimes.

   On another note.  The daughter of one of my wifes quilting buddies
brought me a Featherweight that someone had given her and asked me to clean
it.  It appeared to be a garden-variety 1950 black machine but I noticed
that the serial number began with EG rather than A-something.  While
disassembling I noticed that all the numbered parts were marked SIMANCO USA
rather than Great Britain.  In fact, nowhere on the machine is there any
indication that it was made in GB.  It is like all the parts were
manufactured here and shipped to GB for assembly.  Anyone else ever heard
of something like this?  I guess I'll try to call Singer tomorrow.

Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 10:49:41 -0700

Hi - I've been lurking here for a while; I own only one FW, but I love 
it, as that's the type of machine I grew up sewing on.  My Mother was 
just ready to give me hers, and then she took a quilting class and 
decided to keep it, so she bought me one for my (our) wedding 
anniversary, and yes, my husband thought it was a great gift.  I'm 
looking for a couple more, for my daughters, (or to start a collection) 
but have had no luck in this mountain area of CO.  So, today I bought a 
Singer Stylist model 418, made in Gt. Britain, for my 11 year old to use 
in the meantime.  Anybody know anything about this machine which we 
should know?  It's a light gray/green and has a beautiful straight 
stitch, which, as a quilter is my primary interest. It was $35, so if 
you tell me it's junk, it was a small gamble - and I won't be too upset!

 I also have the little toy hand crank Singer which was mine  when I was 
small - in the late 40's, if you must know - and also bought a 
reproduction Singer toy very similar to it a few years ago.  I'm 
fascinated with all your postings - and will continue to enjoy.  Susie 
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 13:20:40 -0500
Subject: Resource

Is there a good picture book on antique sewing machine types.  I checked out
"A Capitalist Romance:  Singer &the Sewing Machine" by Brandon, thinking it
would have lots of pictures.  No.  I've been reading so much about your love
for 301s &Spartan, etc.  I'd like to educate myself.  Also, I bought "Scrap
Quilt: Strips and Spider Webs" by Marcia Lasher because of the antique sewing
machines throughout the book.  They weren't identified as to model type and
the Quilt in a Day company wouldn't give me any information over-the-phone or
otherwise.  Even though I now own a 221, 99-13, 128 and 70's-version Singer,
I'm still dreaming of that next find.  Thank you for helping me along.  I
really loved Graham's story about the older woman in carpet slippers.  DH did
too!  Happy Easter from sunny No. Cal. --Mari
Date: 05 Apr 96 13:38:06 EST
Subject: Model 27

For Evelyn  - Model 27. Your machine certainly
is similar to our #27, esp the Egyptian figures... Our serial
no., though, is 15516035. The last patent date on the needle
plate is Nov. 18, 1890. Our instruction manual is dated 1900.
This is the machine that Connie learned on and belonged to her
great aunt. An antique dealer in Savannah offered us $850 for
it, but it's sentimental value far exceeds that figure. I'm
starting to restore it now. BTW, if you needs parts for your
machine, give me a shout - I can get things like belts, bobbins,
springs, etc. etc. - Chris. V.
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 1996 16:29:09 -0500
Subject: New finds

I was out prowling today and found the following:

Portable Singer in a domed wooden case with a Knurled wooden handle
It was a Hand crank and nice condition  S# F6101395.  The paint was worn but
it was almost Pa. Dutch tulips in a chain around the edges. (Maybe a thistle??)
it has green, red and gold colors.  The center medalion was almost gone but
it seemed to be two birds with wings spread??

Cant wait until Graham returns for this one.  It was $95.  Is that good price??
Wooden case was in good condition, too.

I also found an AC678551 - electric motor but no knee crank to drive it
with.  The dealer didn't have a clue what I was talking about.  The
accessory case in the side was screwed shut.  Does it swivel or what??
Wooden case was pretty good but the machine was very nice.  Can you get
replacement knee drives?  He only wanted $69 and I think I could have done

I love the stories Graham tells - He should write a BOOK!

Date: Fri, 5 Apr 96 19:01:37 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/2/96

Thanks to FWF I just bought my 4th.FW.  The machine is a "9" with a new
looking manual and all the attachments.  The case has a tray and is about a
"6" but can be improved upon.  My question: The handle is thick leather with
two buckles.  Is this original or an "add-on?"  My other three have plastic
handles.  The SN is AE302028.  Will call Singer tomorrow and check BD.  Paid
$95.  How is that?  
Also, what does Graham mean by "ISMACS?"  Great Guy, great Source of
information.  Thanks so much.
Charlotte, the Sew-er, entered by DH, Gene, the computer operator, sewing
machine tinkerer and box rebuilder.
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 1996 19:20:37 -0800
Subject: Many thanks

I've been so impressed with the generosity of the folks on this list, I 
had to write and express my gratitude.  Thanks to Henrietta posting her 
info about the reproduction FW table, I am now 3rd on the list to receive 
one.  Because of Christine, I was able to order a FW manual at half the 
price I would have had to pay to another source.  Then there were all the 
other great people who mentioned people and services, or catalogs that 
have really been fun to explore.  Like my I love my FW pin, and my FW 
stamp, and my sewing machine return address labels.  The list goes on and 
on.  Dale Pickens who is a wealth of info, and Joyce from whom I've 
bought 3 FW, and am impressed each time with her careful packing for 
shipping so they come in perfect shape.  And of course a big thanks to 
Sue who has made all this possible.  Graham, you have really made my day 
many times with your True Stories.  Thanks to all of you!!!!

Now to other business....I have noticed many times that people have seen 
great sewing machines, in wonderful shape, except for the arm, which has 
numerous pin marks because someone has wrapped a hunk of material around 
it for use as a pin cushion..isn't that infuriating?  I wonder if that 
wasn't a Good Housekeeping hint of the month many years back, which sure 
wouldn't get my seal of approval at all.

Before I end this, I have to mention how envious I am of you lucky 
collectors who go out for a day of antiquing, and come back loaded with 
tons of sewing collectibles.  I go for months without finding anything, 
it's like the dealers in Idaho haven't heard that there really are folks 
who are interested in buying buttonholers, attachments, or anything else 
connected with sewing.  It seems Arizona and Florida are really gold 
mines for this stuff, maybe because alot of retirees settle there?? Any 
other plausible reasons for the bonanza?

 Well, thanks again to all of you who have so generously shared your 
wisdom, and sources, and input...

Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 20:57:18 -0700
Subject: I am TOTALLY confused

Needless to say, I am MORE than confused.  I thoroughly enjoy this list/digest,
however, everyone throwing out numbers has just sent my head spinning.

Is there anyplace one can obtain a list of the Model Numbers for ALL Singers
[pre-1950] with some sort of description of each model?

I have a nice little [but quite heavy] Singer portable [electric] in a domed,
wooden lid and case [light color wood, perhaps maple veneer].  I called 
Singer's 800 number....first time I called,
Bobbin is round, drop in from top - 1 slide plate for opening to get to bobbin
Thread take-up lever is on the front
Stitch length is a threaded screw

I was told it was a Model 66K - made in 1918
Today I called for another machine I acquired, and while on the phone, asked
AGAIN about the first one.....this time I was told:

It's a Model 99K; that this model was made for a four month period ONLY,
from March - June, 1918
The Ser. # is F8337001

So.....how do I know what model and date of mfg. is correct?
Then I asked about another one I got; portable, with domed, wooden lid for
carrying; very elaboratly decorated with red and gold scrolling
Electric - Machine Ser.# is AA145199

This carrying case and base looks like cherry wood veneers

Motor is a BU style - 100-110 volts 
                                     60 &DC cycles
                                Motor Ser. # 2352220
                                Amperes .6
                                Catalog BT7

Light on this looks as tho it is nickle, with the word SINGER  stamped into
the shade; has a leather belt.

Bobbin is bullet style bobbin; the bobbin goes in via the top of the machine
[vs. insertion from underneath]

There are three  bed slides - one round and two oblong
thread takeup lever is on the left side
Stitch length is a threaded, screw.

I truly would like to know how I will ever find out what I have!
Appreciate any replies.
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 20:28:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: rare treadle parts

I received a gift from my husband of a beautiful antique treadle machine,
without any identifiable manufacturer. And no shuttle or shuttle case. The
machine is enscribed in gold leaf across the arm "The Favorite" and has an
oval gold plate similar to the Singer with what looks like a large S, but no
other writing. The gold leaf depicts a lion with a sunburst behind it. I
have heard a machine called "Le Favorite" was marketed in France in the last
of the 19th century and that the machine was made in the US, but not by
whom. I have also heard that smaller manufacturers attempted to lure
customers by pretending they were Singers using logos that looked close but
not the same. The machine is in excellent working order, but needs the
shuttle and shuttle case (which runs side to side) to be useful. I have been
told the shuttle would be about a 1/4 inch smaller than later model Singer
shuttles and flat on one side. I am a quilter and I live in a mountain
community in Northern Calif. When we receive 22 feet of snow in three weeks
as we did three years ago the power goes out. My electronic Pfaff is of no
use. I need my treadle. Can anyone tell me a source for parts? Betsy N
Subject: Greist feet
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 96 05:02:00 PDT

FF>To Fran:
FF>Re:Greist Attachments

FF>They sound like the attachments for the Model 27 Treadle with the
FF>"vibrating shuttle". My manual shows a box full of attachments and it looks
FF>like a tin box. (My machine came to me with a folding wooden attachment box
FF>lined with green velveteen.) That shuttle is a precursor to the modern
FF>bobbin we are used to. The later Model 27's (maybe a 28?) changed to the
FF>top loading bobbins. I have seen these threadles in Antique stores and they
FF>are almost identical except for the bobbin mechanism. Are there any
FF>'bobbins' for the shuttle included? they would look look like (--------)..
FF>like a very skinny spool of thread. Regarding using the tucker, ruffler and
FF>other feet - you will have to try them  - they may not work a modern
FF>machine- sometimes they just don't line up correctly and it's lots of
FF>broken needles or material won't feed right.

It's definitely a shuttle, though it didn't come with any "bobbins".
Next time I am in mylocalsewingmachineguru's shop I will bring them with
me and see if he can tell what machine it fits.  I haven't tried the
attachments yet to see if they will fit any of my other machines...I may
actually get to doing that one of these days...perhaps the same day I
try out my hemmers and zig-zaggers...hehehehe...I keep collecting these
things, and just haven't gotten to using them yet...sigh...
Subject: Re:FW Fanatics 4/3/96
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 96 22:37:19 PDT

Potential find!

Does anyone know anything about Wilcox and Gibbs machines?  There is one 
that will be sold at an auction around here next friday.  It is dated 1879, 
and is a treadle in Excellent condition!  How high should I go on this?  
The cabinet is also in excellent condition.  the machine is very small, and 
sits on top of the cabinet, which has a wooden box like cover that sits on 
top of the machine.  the machine is kind of circular looking.

Any info would be appreciated.  I absolutely fell in love with this 
machine, and so did DH (lucky for me!).  I don't want to pay more than it's 
worth though.  

Keep your fingers crossed that I can get a good deal on this machine!

Last night I found a 99 in the bentwood case in a thrift store for 20 
dollars.  It was missing it's knee control and slide plate, but I got lucky 
and my localsewingmachineguru had both for me.  He only charged me 10 bucks 
for the knee lever, a feed dog cover, the slide plate and a cute little 
singer tin.  The tin is an attachments tin, I would guess from the 60's.  I 
would have paid 10 bucks just for that!

If any of you live in the  Seattle area, Zielsdorfs Sewing and Vacuum in 
Lynnwood on Hwy 99 is definately the place to have your machines serviced 
and look for the odd part you may be missing.  He even has a box full of 
shuttles for old Shuttle machines!  He has lots of cool old machines in 
there too, and they are reasonably priced.  Much less than you would find 
them for in an antique shop.  Right now he has an old hand crank 27, with 
lots of painting on it, in beautiful condition, for 150 bucks!  I think if 
I can't get that treadle I will have to buy that one!
Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 10:33:26 EST
Subject: Paint for Brown 301's

Hi all,
   Got a brown 301A the other day.  It's a nice machine except a lot of the
paint was scraped off on the front below the bed where it was rubbing
against something.  I sanded that area down smooth and then took the
machine to our local paint store and asked if they could match.  With a
little experimentation they got it perfect but the smallest quantity of
paint they could mix was a quart so I now have an entire quart of oil-based
enamel paint for a brown 301A.  I did my touching up last night and this
morning it looks perfect.
   If anyone is interested in having some of this paint, I'll go to the
drug store and see if I can get some 2 oz glass bottles and you can have it
for the cost of a mailing box, postage, the glass bottle, and $1.00 for the
paint (probably about $4.00 total).
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 10:34:30 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Zenith sewing machines

Hello everyone.
A few days ago I was at a thrift shop and I found an old black  
Zenith sewing machine for $60.  It was priced using a blue tag and it was
just my luck that blue tags were 50% off that day!
Does anyone out there know about Zenith sewing machines?  Is it the same
company that made television sets?
The machine itself is called the Zenith de luxe and is black with gold
decoration and is very heavy.  It runs well but is slightly worn.  Did I get
a good deal???
Also, I am looking for a good, informative book about antique sewing
machines that has lots of info about different machines and what I should be
looking for.
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!   :)
Thanks,Charlotte in Cali.
( where temperatures are reaching the high 70's through the weekend.)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 15:07:13 -0600
Subject: WANTED Singer TEXAS Centennial Sewing Machine

In 1936 Singer manufactured a special centennial model to celebrate the 100
year anniversary of the State of Texas.  I do not know much about the
machines, e.g. model, etc., except lots of decoration and it says "Texas"
on the front.  Of course I want mint but will look at anything and
everything.  Please send condition and price or if you know where one is
let me know.  Thanks.
Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 16:29:42 EST
Subject: Zipper Feet, etc.

To the person who tried to put in an invisible zipper with a
Featherweight:  You would probably have better results if you
bought the zipper maker's special plastic foot.  It only costs
about $2, and it has a short-shank adapter which fits the FW.  It
was designed to hold open the zipper coils as you sew.  In
addition, make sure to use a sharp, new needle rated for heavy
woven synthetics like the zipper tape.  You may need to increase
the pressure foot pressure, also.  It's the screw on top of the
FW.  The manual says heavier pressure for heavier fabrics.
(Remember "Righty tighty, lefty loosy".)

I've also wanted to ask the quilters: "What's your favorite foot
for piecing on the FW?"  My favorite is the Vikinq quarter-inch
quilting foot.  It is a snap-on foot, but it fits the FW, if you
buy the Viking "Sew-Easy" ankle, which costs $8-9 from a Viking
dealer.  I've also tried several other, including the "Little
Foot", the Alphasew Patchwork foot, the Elna quilting foot, and a
Pfaff 6mm straight-stitch foot.  However, I like the Viking one,
because the plastic ankle give it a springiness which rides over
the seamline bumps very well. 
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 16:58:02 -0800
Subject: Antique Machines

I know that this is primarily a FW spot, but I have been reading so much
about antique sewing machines here, that I thought I would ask my questions
anyway.  First of all, I have not had any interest in Antique machines until
I started reading all of your postings.  Made my mom go out and get a FW and
a 127 (I think) Singer in the domed wooden case.  The FW had LOTS of
attachments including a walking foot and buttonhole foot.  She paid $382 for
both of them and she wants to know if she got a good deal.  I didn't eaven
realize that there was such a thing as a sewing machine with a crank handle,
but now I just have to have one (anyone out there understand this feeling???
;)  ).  
        Yesterday, my mother and I went on our first excursion (well
actually her second).  Mom found and old Singer oval oil can (her FW was
missing that) for $8 and a block box that just said Attachments for $4.  We
don't know what the attachments are, but the inside of the box was lined in
purple velvety fabric. 
        I found the head of a Franklin treadle machine (serial # 1Q8290) in
beautiful shape except someone took off the metal disk on the back (where
you access a part to oil) and covered it with black electrical tape.  The
gold designs on it are very ornate in in great condition except for a spot
about the size of a silver dollar on the back.  I paid $4--thought it would
be worth at least that if for nothing else than spare parts.
        I saw another machine that I passed up but coudn't stop thinking
about it, soooooo went back today and offered $125 (wanted $150); SOLD!!!!
It is a Willcox &Gibbs treadle.  The treadle foot has ornate work that
resembles a butterfly.  The wheel was frozen and didn't turn freely, but I
can see thread wound around it that may be the problem.  It is so different
looking, I just had to have it.  The cabinet has a bread box shaped lid that
sets over the machine.  The attachment box looks almost new and even had the
key to the cabinet in it.  This is a very small machine--almost looks like a
toy.  It does not have any kind of bobbin system and think that it makes a
chain stitch.  I found out this info from Gailee's Home Page which is mainly
about FW.  (So you see, there is some reasoning in me using this forum to
inquire about my new acquisitions.)
        My question is, does anyone know anything about these two machines?
I don't have a book for either one.  I don't even know what all of the
attachments are for.  Also, do any of you know a good place on the I-net
that has info about antique machines other than FWs?
        Just have to tell you of two more things.  This has really been a
good week.  On Thursday, I bought an old Sinder treadle cabinet (no machine)
that wan in good shape considering how old it must be for $75.  My mom had
an old Singer out in the shed she gave me (serial #B1231495 - again, no
book).  The cabinet is in terrible shape, so we were going to just trash it
until we saw what people do and charge for them, parted out.  I saw drawers
selling for $16 to @20.  I saw one old cabinet that was refinished, and a
new top placed on it.  No way you could put a machine in it now; just sit
one on top.  Dealer wanted $225 for that one.  As you can guess, Mom is
taking her cabinet back....but I'm keeping the attachments and the sewing
machine to put in the sewing machine-less cabinet that I just bought.  Rust
and gunk on it, so it is soaking in WD-40 as I write.  I learned that from
reading all of your input.
        Well, quess I'll quit jabbering (can you tell I'm excited??) and
give your eyes a rest for all of you that read this to the end.  Any
information on these machines or where I can find some will be sooooo
greatfully appreaciated.
Thanks in Advance
Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 20:03:14 EST
Subject: The Collection is Growing!

I brought home my latest addition to my FW collection today!  I went to
the Antique Spectacular here in Charlotte (big show with LOTS of
vendors from out of state--held two or three times a year), and saw six
FWs and two FW cardtables.  I came home with an Anniversary model (AJ)
with the 1851-1951 seal on it, and a FW card table in very good shape. 
The machine came with an original manual, most attachments, and a key
for the case.  Unfortunately the locks on the case have been replaced
with additional locks (original ones are still there, but the flip up
part has been removed (cut off???), and new latches screwed next to the
remainders of the old ones).  However, the key does fit my AF case
which didn't come with a key.  The machine rates about a 6, with the
gold in good shape, but some scratching on the black.  It needs a good
polishing, which I have started on using car wax, and a lot of elbow

I think I got a good deal, considering it is an anniversary model--it
was priced at $275 for the machine and $95 for the table, but I got
them both for $335.  I know the machines I see are usually in the $275
to $375 range, so aren't as high as the west coast machines seem to
run.  The others at the Antique Spectacular that were priced (most
weren't) were $290, $310 and $375 I think.  The other table was priced
at $150 and looked to be in very good shape.  This is my second table,
and the first really needs re-finishing as it has paint and gouges on
it, but I haven't tackled that.  The interesting thing is I think both
are the original finish, but one is definately more maple and the other
is more mahogany/cherry shade.  Definately darker.  Were different
finishes offered on the tables?  Both have the metal legs.

The other interesting fact I heard was that the first year of
production (would that have been 33 or 34?), the bobbin winder on the
machine was mounted more on the front of the machine instead on the
base of the machine.  Can anyone elaborate on that?

Thanks to Sue for all her work in keeping this list going and to all
you FWF for your contributions and stories.  I am always anxious to
read my mail every day!

Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 20:10:46 EST
Subject: It's a 99 -- I think!

Hi all.  I'm so confused and somewhat afraid to call Singer and become
more so.  My boyfriend found a Singer in a bentwood case with the knee
peddle at an auction for $5.  So he's already a super hero.  Now, it
has a tag from a repair shop that says it's a 99, a manual inside for a
66, and does not fit any of Millie's case measurements, as it is 17"
wide.  So once again, please, What's the difference between a 99, a 66,
and a 128.  Thanks.  It is gorgeous whatever it is.  Eileen

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