Sunday, November 5 - Saturday, November 11
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 1995 09:35:10 EST
Subject: Socio-economic Status
Looking for FW's in poorer neighborhoods is a good idea, based on my
experience. I haven't actually found one that way, but my childhood
experiences confirm the idea. My mother bought a FW in 1953 or 54.
She was supporting 2 kids on a minimum wage clerical job, so she
certainly qualified as "working poor". I was about 8 at the time.
She paid for the machine on time-payments. The Singer dealer
encouraged her to buy a cabinet, as they probably made a good profit
selling cabinets. But she couldn't afford it, and we didn't have
room to put one in the home, anyway.
In my recent experience looking in estate sales in older
neighborhoods, the prosperous homes usually have a cabinet model,
frequently a Singer, but I have also seen Domestic, Kenmore,
Husqvarna, and White machines from the 50's. I was very tempted by a
Singer 201 in a cabinet painted Williamsburg gold. It was purchased
about 1949, and was in a very substantial home in Arlington, VA. I
finally did find a FW in a nice retirement condominium in Arlington.
The owner had probably lived in a modest home, until she moved to the
condo. It's a lovely Anniversary model. I paid only $95 for it,
because the estate sale people probably didn't know what it was.
Someone else has mentioned finding 2 machines in Arlington. Since we
have a large number of military and diplomatic families who travel
frequently, the portability of the FW may also be a factor explaining
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 09:57:03 -0500
Subject: 99's, etc.
Hi everyone, DH and I love this list, we have learned so much. We are
searching for a FW, thought one was coming from SIL in IL but alas, it was a
301 with a FW book. She bought the 301 in 1958 but we think that we might
sell it, any suggestions as to what we should ask? It is tan and is in its
case. It has attachements and extra bobbins. We were disappointed that it
is not a FW, she couldn't tell from our careful description on the phone, oh
well. We will keep the book, a 1955 ed.
We have 3 99's now, didn't know what they were when we bought 2 of them on
vacation in Oregon a couple of weeks ago but loved the wonderful wooden
"lunchbox" cases. One is a centennial with a matte finish. We paid $75 for
it and it runs beautifully. The other is older, has a knee lift and needs
work, $45. We reluctantly passed on a hand crank version and a few others,
how many can you take onto the plane with you afterall? We found another at
home for $24, matte finish. He came home yesterday with a 66 (we think),
very ornate sphinx decals, very old that he picked up at tag sale for $25.
This is bigger than our 99's but is in the same rounded wooden case. Does
anyone have a book for the 99 they would be willing to copy? E-mail me with
We saw a Singer treadle in an antique store and hope that someone can let us
know if $100 is a good price for it. It is very old, needs a new belt and
the treadle base is painted a ghastly white but it has the book, old thread,
some of the long bobbins, and lots of attachments in a little wooden box that
folds flat. I've seen postings about that box on the list. I think we could
refinish the base, the machine looks like it is in good condition. The
dealer is firm on his price. Should we go for it? We will be contacting
Singer about the birthdates of the collection and DH will be adding to it in
our search for a FW.
Thanks for the hours of reading pleasure from this list and for all of the
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 16:21:57 -0500 (EST)
Al: you wrote> Another brochure is dated 1937...It shows the
Featherweight in 2 versions, the first being the Model 221-1 and the second
is a Model 24-80 which is a chainstitch for women who prefer this stitch. It
fits in the same case as the 221-1.
My husband was thrilled to find out that there is another version of the
Featherweight that I now have to have. I also spoke with a Singer
repairman who said he has seen a Featherweight that has a marble inlay
between the throat plate and the head. I love a quest.
> There is also a really cute Singer bank from the 30's. It's shaped
> like a book and is covered in red leather.
The story I heard behind these banks was that Singer would give them to
women who put machines on lay-away so they could save their pennies in
the bank til they could make a payment.
There are also two banks that are tin. One looks like a wooden dome top
case sitting on a table and the other is a black machine on a table.
They have the red Singer "S" logo. They are both only a few inches tall
and apparently are quite scarce and command high prices> I'm on the trail
of one for only $400, but I know a dealer of tin banks who sells by
auctioning off his merchandise through catalogs and he showed me that he had
sold one of each for over $1000 a piece.
> This book says Rev 1177 and may be a reprint. The
> machine appears to be white but is gear driven, has the longer bed
> extension, a toggle light switch and a different bobbin winder than the
> others. The face plate is painted like the standard 221K. The case is
> like the standard 221K except that it has 2 closure latches. I think it
> is for a model 221K5.
This sounds like the 221J in tan, one of which I am now the proud owner
of (thanks, Gretchen!). This machine seems to have been a transition
between the black and white machines.
May your Featherweights hum happily,
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 15:38:23 -0600
Subject: Silent Bid for Featherweight
I am a member of a guild in Louisiana called Ozone Layers. We have a
wonderful member who obtained 2 featherweights in a recent garage sale and
is willing to auction the 2nd featherwight to the highest bidder. The
proceeds are to go to a needy family. (One of our members had discussed the
circumstances of a student she teaches and had asked our help at an earlier
meeting.) The featherweight is in good but not excellent condition.
We were all in Houston this weekend and discussed the auction ending on
Tuesday. I informed our members of this digest for featherweights and got
their permission to post the bid to the Internet because, after all, the
proceeds are going to good cause. If anyone is interested in bidding, please
send your silent bid to me privately at my E-Mail address before Tuesday
night 7:00 CST. Thanks.
Date: 06 Nov 1995 11:34:49 GMT
Hi all FWfanatics,
For everyone who wants to take up our q block challenge offered by the
Lindsay Creative Quilters' Guild, in Ontario Canada, mentioned earlier in
these digests, (as entirely do-able on your trusty FW's) Please e-mail me
your complete snail mail addresses SOON. The deadline is not till 1st March
'96 but I would like to get back to using my beautiful FW's. and DH would
like the computer back.
The replacement drive belt for my 221's is part #194144-001 have not seen
this # refered to before. Have not been able to get one yet. !!
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 08:56:41 -0500
Subject: Treadle belts
Did you know you can purchase New Singer treadles and leather belts for them
from Lehman Hardware in Kidron, Ohio? They cater to the Amish and put out a
very interesting catalog called the NON-Electric Catalog. The number is
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 09:28:14 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/5/95
I hit the flea market near Mirabel airport in Canada this weekend. Alas, no
featherweights, but I did find a Singer Adjustable Zig Zag attachment #121706
in it's original green and white box. It has it's little booklet too and it
is copyrighted 1937,1938, &1939. This one is a keeper for me. I also found
a few items I am willing to sell.
1) Instruction manual for Singer Buttonholer #160506 by Singer Mfg. Co
Copyright 1948 - one corner is chewed up but very readable $5 postage
2) Green metal box which says Sewing Machine accessories on it. It has a
bunch of attachments in it but nothing I recognize. Asking $20 postage
included. (Does not say Singer on the box)
3) Singer Buttonholer #489500 or #489510 (according to manual) In original
green plastic bullet shaped box with near mint instruction booklet and 8
metal buttonholer forms. The booklet says The Singer Co. 1960. I am sure
this will fit a fw but I have no need for a buttonholer. I think this was
hardly used as it is in really nice shape $25 postage included.
4) Singer Hemstitcher &Picot Edger (For Lockstitch Family Sewing Machines)
Marked #121387 with oval throat plate #121388 - In older dirty looking green
and white cardboard box with original instruction manual which is dated March
1933. I would keep this but I believe it is for the Class 15 machines (see
rest of post below) $25 postage included.
Regarding the manual for # 4, the back page has a list of the Hemstitcher and
Picot Edger attachment numbers and throat plate numbers listed by class of
machine which I thought might be valuable for those desiring to look for
numbered attachments for their old sewing machines.
Class 15 machines take a #121387 attachment with thumb screw numbered #51347A
and a special throat plate #121388
Class 66 (except #66-1) takes a #121387 attachment with a screw #51347A and a
throat plate #121389
Class 99 takes a #121387 attachment with a screw numbered 51347A and a throat
Class 101 takes a #121387 attachment with a screw numbered #51347A and a
throat plate numbered #121390
Class 127 &128 take an attachment #121387 with a screw numbered #51347A and
a throat plate numbered 121391 including an additional screw numbered #202J
Class 221 machines take an attachment #121387 with screw #51347A and a throat
So it looks like they all take the same attachment except for a 66-1 machine,
but take different throat plate numbers. The throat plate in number 4 above
is for a class 15 machine. Now I have been told that a fw is a class 15
machine but by this list the 221 is listed as a seperate class by itself.
Hope this helps somebody out there.
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 09:19:02 -0500
Subject: 221 Featherweight motor repair
Margaret in NJ, I
would like to ask you some questions regarding the repairs you had made on
your featherweight motor recently. Please e-mail me your telephone number or
address so I can find out info about your "Turbo" motor.
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 07:47:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/5/95
Let me start by saying if the machine runs 100 is good for a
treadle we sell then for 200, but they are mechanically together and we
are in southern CA. Krisi if you are interested in any of the machines I
am going to post then there is always layaway. I'm not trying to get into
the hard sell just want you to have what you really want, and what year
is that? I will post again today what I have left for sale and will be
going to dealer today to get a machine sent out and pick up what is new
if there is any new. I plan to put a treadle on layaway I must have it. I
NEED it as my young always says. Tonight I will take my FW to class and
let my students get the fever!
The following FW's are still for sale.
1955 Singer FW AL20 with home made case $450. Comeplete with attachments
'50 FW $450 with case complete
'55 FW AL$ with case complete $450.
FW's white in color, 2 left with case $375.
'41 FW Complete $500.
'38 FW Complete $500.
Again let me state that theses are mechanically wonderful unless
otherwise noted and also 20 for shipping, and tax for C.A. residents. If
you are interested let me know in private email. Piece! Zsux
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 13:10:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Not FW
Well, I bought a machine at an auction and I'm not sure what it is. I
called Singer with the serial number and they tell me it's a Model 24,
9/6/21. It is a cute little machine - in a bent wood case,
with a knee lever, no bobbin (looks like one doesn't belong).
Instead of a normal thread spindle, the spindle is on an angle at the
top left - a long thread like metrosene (?) fits on it and then an
end cap at the bottom of the spindle to keep the thread on.
The end plate is plain. The sewing plate is square. If anyone could
help me with this rather strange description I have given, I would really
BTW, I also found (for $30) a Model 99, born 4/2/31, with a knee lever.
We plugged it in and it ran great -- pretty amazing for a 60+ year old
It is OK to post about other than FWs I hope. I do have 3 FWs, and the
more I find about these old machines - FWs and others, the more I am
fascinated and look forward to finding out the history of them. It's
such fun to have others to share with. I'm usually on the receiving end
of the information, but hope that I'll be able to help someone out
Thankfully, my DH is also fascinated by them and makes sure they are safe
to run as well as cleaning them so they are pretty, too.
Soon I'll need to look for a bigger house!!!
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 10:51:38 -0800
Subject: FW conked out!
Help! Yesterday I was sewing happily on my FW and noticed that the speed was
more variable than the pressure I was putting on the foot pedal. Then the
slower speeds conked out altogether. I could still sew, but I had to push
the pedal way down (1/2 way? more??) and then it would only go too fast for
me to control. I tried lubing the lube points (I'd oiled the machine only
last week!) but it had no effect. I had to put the FW away and get my noisy
old Kenmore out (which I've since concluded that it needs oiling or some-
thing -- it clacks! -- before I use it, so there's more delay. Do you know
how many screws I have to unscrew to oil the thing? X-P).
What happened? Can I fix it, or do I have to drop my baby off at the FW doc-
tor's? Please advise, if you can, so I can get my baby going again! :_(
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 12:41:37 -0600
Subject: Maintenance Class
I took Gordy Jones FW Maintenance Class yesterday. What a good investment!
I learned a lot about my machine and other older machines as well. I'm
terrible about machine maintenance but Gordy made it fun and interesting
for me and the other members of the class, too. Learned a lot of history,
too. I was so wired after the class that I went home and pulled maintenance
on my old Bernina and the Serger, too.
It was held at one of the best area quilting stores, Going to Pieces in
Pleasanton. They were wonderfully accoomdating and supportive, even when
our classtime extended passed their normal closing hours.
Jo Ann R
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 1995 17:53:27 EST
Subject: Hello Fanatics
Just wanted to let you know about the latest acquisition-
Found an AE in an antique shop in good condition. They
wanted $125, got it for $110. The case is a total wreck.
I also saw the world's worst FW over the weekend. Most of
the paint had come off, somebody slopped black paint all
over it with a brush, many parts were missing, no case, rust
on the remaining parts, etc. The tag said "it runs" (I don't
see how), and they wanted $85 for it! Needless to say, they
still have that one.
We are still searching for an original manual for our 222k
free-arm. If you are talking to your local Singer dealer,
please inquire, somebody must have one!
Have been cleaning up the AE that my son found in the trash.
Looks like it is going to be a nice machine.
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 19:48:04 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Old Singer Treadle
One of my favorite cable television shows is Personal FX, which is a
collectables show on the FX channel. People from all over the country can
bring in items to be appraised. On a recent show, a lady sent a
photograph of her Singer treadle machine in a wooden cabinet. It was
obviously a very *old* treadle, with the beautifully decorated machine
and the word "Singer" in very large letters.
Imagine my surprise when the appraisers began to laugh! One actually
commented, "These machines are more common than salad shooters." They
advised the lady that she *might* be lucky to get $100 out of it--but
probably not since the belt was broken and there was minor damage to the
cabinet. (From what I could tell, the machine itself looked in very good
shape--colors still bright, no signs of rust, etc.) Then the appraisers
told her to close the cabinet and put a centerpiece on top!
With appraisals like these, we should all be able to find affordable
Subject: Model 24-80 Singer Chain-Stitch Machine
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 95 20:08:04 -0500
>>Al: you wrote> Another brochure is dated 1937...It shows the
Featherweight in 2 versions, the first being the Model 221-1 and the second
is a Model 24-80 which is a chainstitch for women who prefer this stitch.
It fits in the same case as the 221-1.
My husband was thrilled to find out that there is another version of the
Featherweight that I now have to have. I also spoke with a Singer repairman
who said he has seen a Featherweight that has a marble inlay between the
throat plate and the head. I love a quest. (Krisi)>>
I copied the above paragraphs from this morning's digest. This evening U.P.
S. left a package which contained a book I ordered online called "Machine
Sewing: A Treatise on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines and Their
Attachments". It was published by Singer with the copy. date on this
version 1950. On page 49 is a beautiful closeup picture of Model 24 and it
is darling. It doesn't look anything like a FW, but more like a large
version of the Singer toy sew. mach. from 1950s only more rounded. The base
of the machine is like a pedestal which is where the oval Singer logo is
mounted. The balance wheel is very low on the machine. The thread spool
feeds horizontally from the left back of the head toward the right side of
the machine, around a tension disk and back to the left.. I own over 50 toy
machines and have seen many old adult machines but have never seen anything
like this one. I WANT ONE!!! It appears to be the typical black with
decorative gold decals but this book is in black and white so I'm only
guessing. I'd love to know how many of these are out there. My bet is that
they are rare. And are they hiding in FW-like cases or in something else?
This book is fantastic. It goes into repairing motors and covers all the
machines up to the 221s. It is much more detailed in every area including
maintenance, every attachment we've discussed, even pictures the different
styles of cabinets. The book sold for $1.00 (free to teachers) and I had to
pay $30 but it is worth it for someone who wants to know about operating
Singer machines. I'll pass on anymore good info when I get a chance to read
it more closely.
Saw an ad posted on a quilt shop bulletin board for a Singer 15-90 in a 4-
drawer cabinet for $325 including manual and attachments.
Subject: Other old machines &should I buy the 128?
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 95 01:03:00 PDT
F> We don't have a lot of machines but the ones we do have are rather
F>neat. First is a Model 24-50 made in 1906 which is a chain- stitch treadle
F>and is really cute because the treadle stand is smaller than what you
F>usually see. Next is a Model 27 treadle made in 1909, then a Model 66-1
F>treadle made in 1919, then a Model 128- 13 in a bent-wood case made in
F>1923, then a Model 221-1 made in 1946, then a Model 66-16 in a desk made in
F>1948. The left drawer on the desk has a built-in ink well. Next is a
F>Model 99K28 portable made in 1955, then a Model 201 made in 1957, and last
F>a Model 222K1 made in 1959.
You do have some neat machines! I have quite a few old machines myself.
I have 2 New Home NLC's, which everyone, including New Home, tells me
don't exist. They say they must be NLB's. I even have the manual,
which in great large letters says NLC. The machines are a beautiful gold
color, as opposed to the rather dull brown NLB. It's too bad New Home
doesn't have records of their old machines. All they could tell me was
they had to be manufactured sometime in the early 40's. I am on a quest
to find feet for them...I have a few, but not all. They use the Greist
feet which slide in from the front...BUT they are high-shank, 3/4"
rather than 1/2". I have 2 full sets of the low shank feet,
sigh....one of them is even in a new home box. Apparently some of the
older treadles used low shank feet. Interestingly, it can use the
I also have a model 15. I still have to get the exact date and model #
for it. My local oldsewingmachineguru says it must be a 15-13 because
it doesn't have a drop in bobbin, and it has the tension adjustment
around on the front. It's a centennial model and it came in a cabinet
that is like a treadle cabinet with legs instead of iron.
Of course there is my princess, a 1941 221.
I also have my personal favorite looking one, which is my 500A. It
reminds me of something out of the rocketeers. It is SOOOOO 60's! I use
it quite a bit for decorative stitching. Above mentioned guru says it's
the last good machine Singer made.
I have a model 66-4, not sure of the date, gonna have to check. I have
a hard time getting through to Singer from this area. It's the pretty
redhead. I got it at a thrift store in an ugly 70's box. It had been
converted to electric. Above mentioned guru found me a beautiful treadle
cabinet which someone had painted white (ugh). I have to get to
stripping it eventually. This is the 1st old machine I got, and it got
me hooked. My mother gave me the featherweight shortly thereafter.
The mother of a friend of my husband gave me the 1st NLC. I found the
other one at a thrift store for $5.00, along with a Brown NLB which I
used for parts.
My charity case is a 66 treadle I got at a thrift store for $5.00. The
cabinet is in very very sorry shape, and the machine is rusted solid. I
am currently stripping the yellow paint (why do people paint beautiful
oak?) off the cabinet my 15 came in and am going to remove the legs and
mount it on the treadle iron. Then I have another model 66 which I
picked up for 8.00, in a cabinet at my favorite thrift store. I am
taking that machine and converting it to treadle using the spoked wheel
from the goner (I was going to try and fix that one, but it's tooooo
rusted) and when all is said and done my mother will have a treadle
sewing machine for christmas.
The model 15 is going into the cabinet the 66 is coming out of, which I
am also refinishing. Boy it is a lot of work! I will save the cabinet
which was originally on the treadle iron. You never know, I may find
some drawers to replace the ones missing, or decide I want to learn to
replace veneer. I could always put the legs I took off the other
cabinet onto it.
On a final note...(I know, finally it is coming to an end:)...I was at
my guru's shop to get a treadle belt and ask him if the above mentioned
crazy scheme would work (he said I was crazy, but it would work), and he
pulled out a model 128, with a serial # of AD something, in a bentwood
case, with beautiful painting on it. He said he had just taken it in
trade and would sell it to me for $50 if he didn't have to deal with it.
It has the large spoked wheel on it, which makes him think it was a hand
cranked machine which was converted to electricity. Especially since
there is no hole in the front of the case for the knee control. The
wiring job looks old and homemade. The machine is beautiful...
I didn't buy it, but he said it isn't going anywhere for a while, cause
he won't put it out on the floor until it is cleaned up and rewired or
had a crank put on it, and it's not high on his priority list. I am
REALLY tempted...it sounds like a GREAT deal. Is it? Can I justify
this too my husband? Am I crazy if I don't buy it?
F> It's gratifying to see that some of you appreciate some of the older
F>machines besides the featherweight. If the house were burning and my wife
F>could only save one machine it might be the 99K rather than the
F>Featherweight. It's the one she uses more than all the others put
I think it would be my featherweight, just because I couldn't carry any
the treadles, or the 500A. Besides, the featherweight will always
have a special place in my heart because my mother gave it to me.
Well, I have rambled on enough....
Subject: Mail gone astray!
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 95 21:22:58 +1200
Well it seems two of my emails to this list over the weekend have gone
astray so here they are again....
More FW search ramblings.....
I went into a second-hand shop a few days ago that was so choc-a-block
full of stuff I had to hug my hand-bag and walk sideways so I wouldn't
knock anything off the shelves! As I was walking around the very large
table in the middle that was piled high with all sorts of junk I spied a
sewing machine under the table with boxes and old jars and plates on top
of it. After much manoeuvering (and a couple of wobbles behind me in the
wall cabinet) I pulled it out to find that is was an old hand-cranked
machine, no model number but with (I think) a serial # of ECetc, it was
so dark I couldn't make out if it was an E but I could see the C! It had
beautiful coloured scroll work around the top of the handle-cover (?)
and a gold S plate, plus the usual gold scrolling. The handle seemed to
turn just fine but I can't remember now if the needle went up and down.
No attachement, no manual, the woman told me it had a lid but I couldn't
see it, she wanted $75NZ (about $US50) for it, the jury is still out on
A couple of days later I found an advert in our local trade &exchange
paper, that said - Singer portable $50 - so I rang on the off chance,
thinking well the paper has been out for nearly a day it won't still be
there if it's an FW! The woman who answered told me her husband had put
the ad in the paper without telling her about it, I asked if she knew
the model number, no but she'd send her dh to have a look, she proceeded
to tell me that it was a small machine and quite old, her mother had
given it to her daughter (38) a few years ago and it had been sitting in
her cupboard all that time. Trying very hard not to fall off my chair in
excitement I said could I come to look at it tonight, well I don't know
if it's working properly dear are you sure, I'm not worried about that
says I, I have a dh that can fix anything! Made all the arrangements
(she lived about 20 mins drive away) and was about to hang up when she
said hang on dear here's my husband, the model number is 99k! This time
I did fall off the chair - in disappointment :(
Oh well there's always tomorrow - there's yet another school gala day in
the morning.....(AND our quilting guild's yearly exhibition in the
(PS I JUST missed out on a tan 301 sewing machine at the school gala,
sold for $10!!)
* * *
A few interesting things picked up whilst net surfing tonight:-
Welcome to the Classified Flea Market
FOR SALE: SEWING MACHINE SINGER circa 1900 $100 510 685-1257
SINGER SEWING MACHINES Featherweight and Portable w/ Round Top
* * *
You can also look in the library for books about old sewing machines.
There's a book available through the Santa Clara County Library
(Cupertino branch) called _Machine Sewing_ by the Singer Sewing Machine
Co. and published in 1923 and updated to contain all Singer machines
through 1938. It tells you everything you'd ever want to know about
those machines and their attachments. Get it on interlibrary loan if
you're interested. (Santa Clara County library system, Cupertino branch,
Card catalogue # 646.21 SINGER)
* * *
Southeast Sewing Products
We carry a large selection of new and used sewing machines, parts, and
needles. If you are in the market for anything related to the sewing
industry please E-mail us or contact us at the address and phone #
Southeast Sewing Products
485-c Commerce Park Dr
Marietta Ga., 30060
Please direct all inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or use our email
* * *
Restoring Antique Sewing Machines
An excellent article from Diane Barlow Close
plus 'So, Just What is a Featherweight, anyway?'
plus some historical facts on FW's etc
(plus lots of gifs of machines)
Antique Sewing Machine FAQ
* * *
Date: 07 Nov 1995 06:16:06 GMT
Subject: In Search of: FW bobbins
Now that i'm the proud owner of a FW, i realize i need some bobbins,
because the ones that fit my 66 and 99K don't fit it! The machine
came with two, but that's not quite enough. Does anyone know where i
can get some more FW bobbins? Thanks!
Date: 07 Nov 1995 08:38:08 PST
Hello, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful information obtained through
these listings and mailings. Reading these is a definite highpoint in my day!
I have recently acquired an old machine my mother had in her basement. I calle
d Singer and was told it was a Model 66, made in January, 1911. It has one of
the bullet shaped bobbin cases with a long bobbin. Unfortunately it really ne
eds work - rust and so on. My service person indicated he thought it could be
restored to working condition. It has red and gold art work on it. I would be
very thankful if anyone would contact me with info about this model and especi
ally info about a manual! Some attachments were still with the machine. They
needed cleaning. The service eprson told me to spray them with Simple Green an
d scrub with steel wool to remove rust. I also used an old tooth brush. Then
I air dried them and my husband sprayed them with WD 40. I hope this was the r
ight thing to do!!! If anyone has other suggestions, I would be most appreciat
Please e-mail me privately with info, or post to list if y
ou think others are interested. I would be happy to summarize info I get about
the machine too. MANY THANKS.
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 15:26:29 -0500
I've been going through my old magazines and came across a picture of an
older black Singer in a cabinet that to me is about the ugliest thing I have
ever seen (Quilters Treasury June 1994, p. 18). It has a little brass and
black tag below the medallion that looks like it says 301. I also looked in
my very old (1958) encyclopedia and it shows what looks to be the same
machine but in a lighter color and this one is portable. It showed a luggage
style case and the machine had an extension table like a FW. The caption said
it weighed only 16 lbs. If FW's looked like this, they would sell for $10
max. Anyone know anything about this one? Hope I didn't offend anyone here...
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 10:03:55 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: Is there a singer model list?
Thanks to Sue for reposting Sunday's digest, seems like I wasn't the
only one that missed out on it.
I went to the school gala on Saturday and just missed out on a tan full
size machine for $10, dh heaved a sigh of relief .
I'm wondering if anyone has a list of all the Singer models ever made,
plus maybe colours and the years they were made although this isn't
important, or know where I could get one from? Is there such a list? If
not maybe we should start compiling one? I'd volunteer.....
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 16:26:53 -0500
Subject: cleaning up a war veteran.
I am happy to say I found and purchased a featherweight. Now for all my
The machine came without a case. It seems to have been near a source
of water because the bottom paint is flaking off. Also there seems to
be a salt like buildup on the aluminum under the machine. In no way did
this get in under the main removable plate. The inside of the machine is
VERY CLEAN, looks great. Now for my questions:
1. How do I get the buildup off the bottom. It almost looks like the
water buildup that builds up on a shower window it is whitish and covers
primarily one corner of the aluminum bottom
2. How do I stop the flaking of the paint on the bottom rim of the machine.
This flaking paint is visible but I don't care, just want to stop the
constant little black specks all over everything.
3. The thumbnut on the bottom of the plate has a sponge like washer between
the thumbnut and the bottom plate. (this is the plate you remove to lube
the gears of the machine)
What is this spongy washer. Mine is rusty and I want to replace it. I will
naval jelly the thumb screw itself, what do I use to replace this
4. My machine is a AF with chrome flywheel, and fancy endplate. A friend
, a fellow FWFanatic, came to help me play with my machine. Hers is a
later model and has a spring at the thread spool holder. Mine has
no such spring. Even the NSJ book doesn't show one. What is this
spring and do I need it?
(i apologize my ? key is sticky and not printing. Replace most . with ?
for a more grammatically correct note)
TIA for any and all information
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 16:59:22 -0500
Subject: Wanted: FW Black Case
My poor AH FW case finally bit the dust... :(>
Is it possible to get one either used or new?
Thanks..I really enjoy all the messages. There is just so much too learn
about these jewels!
`9_ 9 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' .'
(il).-'' ((i).' ((!.-'
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 15:08:26 -0800
Subject: book setup
okay, gang... i've sorta organized the past fwfan digests into some kind
of logical order (or so i think). the 'chapter' setup is as follows:
A. Dating your Featherweight
C. Bobbin Information
E. Copies of Featherweights
7. Feet/Foot Pedal/Cords
H. Seam Guide
II. Model 66
III. Model 99
IV. Model 301
V. Model 328
VI. Miscellaneous Machines
B. Miscellaneous Singers
C. Franklin Treadle
D. Frister and Rossman
VII. History, Miscellaneous
right now, the 'chapters' are in separate files (simple text files).
if anyone wants a copy, i can email it. i'll be trying to keep
up-to-date as more digests come out...
Date: 07 Nov 1995 15:46:15 PST
Subject: Model 127 or 128???
With respect to my earlier note, I do not have a model 66 after all. It was po
inted out to me that with the bullet shaped bobbin case (vibrating long shuttl
e, really), I either have a model 127 or 128. Does anyone have any info they c
an share with me regarding this Singer machine??? SInger thinks it was made on
March 9, 1924. What is the difference between a 127 or 128? I was also told
it is a 3/4 head machine.
Thanks in advance for any help and info you can provide to me.
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 15:05:18 -0800
Subject: smithsonian book
if the smithsonian book that is being mentioned is "the sewing machine,
its invention and development" by grace rogers cooper, it's not out of
print. i have it on order (after reading about it on fwfan) at the
bookstore locally. it's supposed to take 2-6 weeks. if it actually does
get here is probably another story... with my luck, they'll be out of
Subject: Buttonholer For Trade
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 95 21:27:35 -0500
Today I was lucky enough to find a second buttonhole attachment #160506
(will fit FWs) in good condition in the original green plastic case with 6
templates, throat plate, screw and screw driver. The manual is missing but
I could provide a copy. I would like to trade this for a FW zig-zag
attachment if anyone has an extra.
Terry who has a house filled with salad shooters.
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 21:53:31 EST
Hi Fanatics- We are looking for a tan colored featherweight
in excellent condition. Please E-mail if you can help us
Thank you, Joe &Wendy
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 07:44:16 +0001 (EST)
Subject: Singer Repair in Washington DC area?
I've inherited a lovely FW with an AH serial number. Although it seems
to run fine, it has sat unused for 30 years. I'd like to get it checked
out, greased, and oiled but am reluctant to trust it to a repair shop
simply found in the yellow pages. Any suggestions on who in the
Washington DC-Baltimore area does well by FWs? Thanks!
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 09:20:09 -0500
Subject: Items for sale
I have sold the hemstitcher, buttonholer, and buttonholer manual I listed for
sale yesterday. I still have the green metal box with the attachments in it
for sale for $20. I guess I should tell you what is in the box
There is a big attachement that looks like a ruffler that has no numbers on
it as to attachment number but does have 3 settings numbered 1, 6, and 12,
there is a throat plate numbered 171285, There are 2 flat feet that have a
single hole through them, There is another foot that says Singer 161455,
there is a zipper foot #161127 that says Singer Great Britain, there are 8
other feet unnumbered and 9 bobbins (that will not fit a fw) There is also a
type of adjustable bar thing that I think is for machine quilting. Hope this
helps those who may have been wondering what was in the box.
Thanks in advance for your time
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 09:27:56 -0500
Subject: Replacement cases &FW Prices
Last Christmas, DH purchased a very nice replacement case for me and my FW,
because I take her to classes and wanted to keep my original case in good
condition. He purchased it at the Pincushion Boutique in Davis, CA for $75.
It is a wooden case, the size, shape and weight of the original. The number
for Pincushion Boutique is 916-758-3488. Everytime I take my machine out
with this case, other owners ask me about how to get one. I am sure the
cordura bags are nice, too, but this case is as classy as FW.
I also wanted to comment on the price trend for FWs. IMHO, the prices have
more to do with the growth of the quilting industry in general, than Nancy's
book. Look at the growth of the market and selection for cotton fabrics.
Quilters, NOT home seamstresses, are responsible for most of the fabric
industry. Five years ago, I could only find one quilting show on PBS. This
week, I find myself taping seven different shows on three networks. Quilting
is big business, and its no wonder that the Featherweight, little darling of
the quilt world has achieved its current status. You only have to sit next
to one in class to want one for yourself.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 06:28:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/7/95
I loved the reference to "do FW's run on generators". I am trying to
organize a trek to the bottom of Death Valley, CA. I thought it would be
fun to tame a few burros for the Adoption Program and pack. Decided the
generator would be needed to run the sewing machines, but then decided
the handcrank would be more practical and give the kidz something to do.
I got the honor yesterday to sell a 1941 scroll faced princess. I
called her a doll, but because she is so regal princess is the word.
Today I want to get up to the second story and roam the treadles. I
really appreciate the organization of the digest and thought it was very
well done, the outline was wonderful! Zsuxxa
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 11:42:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Old Singers (Part 2 of 3)
I also want to tell you about the treadle machine I acquired from my
husbands grandmother. It is a Singer Model 66/1 in beautiful condition.
When I got it, it had some spider webbing on the black enamel but I just used
singer sewing machine oil and shined it right up. It was made around 1922 (i
lost my paper that had the exact date, I'll have to call singer again). The
gold decal is very fancy, red, gold and green decaling. The cabinet has 7
drawers and it had a box of original steel? needles in one of the drawers.
The box of needles says, Excelsior Torrington - 100 needles for singer
machines - Cl. 71X1 Size 14 round - Made in the USA by The Torrington Co. -
Torrington, Conn. The machine runs beautifully and I am planning on teaching
my boys how to sew on it (my 8 yr old first and when my youngest is older (he
is 3.5) I will teach him too). The other singer I love to sew on is my old
faithful Model 201 straigh stitch that I paid $100 for it. I think its
birthdate is somewhere in the 40's. Oh by the way I make quilts and that is
what I use my machine for if you couldn't guess by now. Ladies who are in
search for their 1st machine, keep your hopes up. They are still available
and are not that scarce. A quilting friend of mine has about 10 for sale
ranging from $300 and up. When she gets all of her information together, I
will post a note for her. Karen
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 11:40:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Old Singers (part 1 of 3)
Well I just bought on a featherweight on 10/31/95. It was very clean,
birthdate is Oct. 26, 1950. It has the original book, a tube of motor
lubricant, 5 bobbins, about 5 attachments, 2 keys no broken latches, striated
plate, case very clean and of course the bobbin case. I paid $250 for it at
an old singer sewing machine dealer (his father started the business in
1910). He told me someone had traded it in for another machine! Can you
beleive it? I am glad I waited because I was sorely tempted to buy one that
I didn't have the money for a couple of weeks ago. I had posted a message on
this board for her. Hers was in mint condition, maybe used all of 5 times
and she wanted $500 for it. I talked myself out of it because I didn't want
one that I was going to put on the shelf for looks. The machine I got has a
little worn spot on the gold decal near the stitch length regulator. But I
didn't care, I just wanted one that I could cart around to classes.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 21:00:11 -0500
Subject: Survey Results
I'm still waiting for Singer to send me birthdates of machines, which I
bring up some interesting facts. And in the mean time I thought I'd pass
along some other
interesting items that have come up through the survey. I'm not including
any names, just
in case someone might mind.
* The two closest serial numbers are only 5 apart! AF 381620 and AF 381625 !
* Out of seventy people that responded 20 have accounts with America OnLine -
nothing to do with sewing machines, I just wish I had stock in that company
* The manual dated 1/34 had a separate manual for feet.
* Some of the very last American machines had a red plastic accessory box on
side inside the carrying case.
* One person mentioned that their foot pedal on an early AD is metal with
but only 5" long. Do other AD owners have this short foot pedal also?
* One person bought their machine from a Singer representative who said they
dealers that are hoarding Featherweights with many hundreds in storage.
* The AD's and early AE's had the bobbin winder guide attached to the
vertical surface of
the base, instead of on top of the base like the later models. Because of
this, the gold trim
goes all the way to the right (it doesn't stop at the bobbin winder) and then
makes a ninety
degree turn towards the back, and stops next to the light switch.
* One woman has two Featherweights and the gold on one is darker than the
has a slightly raised feeling. I asked one sewing machine expert about this,
and he thought
that if a machine is cleaned with something that takes a layer of the clear
exposing the gold, that the gold might discolor due to cleaning chemicals or
to the air. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
* A couple people mentioned that their motors say "Made in Canada", but the
are either American or British. Are these replacements, or might Singer have
parts when running low?
* Two people said that the metal on the stitch length indicator is a brass,
not a silver
* One person's MIL bought her machine new in 1949 for $140, and a table at
time for $22.50.
* A group of women from Nova Scotia compared their machines and found that
worked all 5 cases!
* The flat finish machine that I have (AF 589229, born 8/15/40) has a regular
faceplate. The shiny black machines didn't get the striated faceplate until
between June and August of 1947. The earlier flat finish (AF 387943, born
owned by another member has a black matte faceplate with 3 striations down
On both machines there are three parallel lines tooled on the edge of the bed
machines have gold trim. At least on mine, maybe on both, the only shiny
black paint is on
the side of the chrome balance wheel, the light switch, and the bobbin
winder. Even the
motor is flat black.
* The anniversary medallions (for Singer's 100th anniversary in 1951) seem to
put on machines with birthdates as early as 8/23/50, and were also used on
machines that year.
* And I saved the best for last. I just got a survey back yesterday that has
a medallion I
had never heard of. It is brass with a medium blue border and it says
Exposition, San Francisco 1939". There is only one machine (AE) born in 1937
(6/17/37) on the list, the next machine is the Golden Gate (AF born
10/10/38), then the
next machine is an AF (2/15/39) with a regular brass medallion. So it's very
hard to tell yet
how long this medallion was used. Maybe it only went on machines sold at that
Please e-mail me if you want to participate in the survey!
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 21:09:55 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics
Fellow FW Fanatics:
Found several interesting quotes in "The Smithsonian Treasury AMERICAN
QUILTS" by Doris M. Bowman...which has recently been reprinted.
"But the Sewing Machine is an American invention. Machinery is the grand
necessity of the United States, for population has not augmented to a point
which renders the number of needlewomen adequate to the demand upon their
industry. America almost denudes Germany of her Sempstresses, and still
production falls short of her requirements. She is thus compelled to employ
Steel and Iron to do the work of humanity...." quoted from "On Stitching
Machines" Journal of the Society of Arts, London, January 20, 1854"
A fascinating perspective, but I am sure glad that the sewing machine,
in all its various forms, WAS invented!
Another quote (from the same book):
"Quilting on a Grover &Baker's sewing machine is no trouble at all,
and the rapidity with which it is accomplished enables us to apply it to many
things which would cost too much time or labor for hand sewing." The
Ladies Hand Book of Fancy Ornamental Work by Miss Florence Hartley
According to The Smithsonian Treasury AMERICAN QUILTS "The
invention of the double-threaded chain stitch is attributed to William
Grover. In 1851, he and William Baker received a patent for a machine that
sewed with this stitch. .... In the 1860's, the Grover and Baker
double-threaded chain-stitch machine succumbed to competition from lockstitch
machines that used one-third the amount of thread and made less bulky seams.
The lockstitch remains the standard stitch of home sewing machines to this
On pages 64 &65 of the book, there is a photo of a quilt in the
Smithsonian collection which is partially machine quilted, with a double
threaded chain stitch, estimated date of origin, 1860. Ther is also a small
reproduction of an advertisement for Grover &Baker Sewing Machines, and a
photo of one of the machines in a wooden cabinet.
The book is a collection of photos and supporting information on 60+
quilts from the Smithsonian's collection. I found the references to sewing
machines quite interesting.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 17:47:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/7/95
First, the bad news. I called Singer Customer Service today and after
being on hold for about 15 minutes, they looked up the birthdays of two
of my FW's. When I asked for documentation they said they could no
longer do it - it took too much time. I even offered to pay for the
service and the answer was no. Just last week I had requested the
documentation for two others and received it in the mail. It is
fascinating. I'm glad that I got it for two, sorry I didn't call earlier
on the other two. :-(
Nancy Slater - Sign me up! I'd love to receive the compilation of FW
facts. Thanks for all your time on this project.
Katy - I don't know that I would call 301's the worlds ugliest, but they
are not a thing of beauty like the FW. I have a special place in my
heart for them because they run so beautifully; they are a big sister to
the FW with the same bobbin and mechanism and I guess I identify with
them because it is not the outside looks but the "guts" and performance
that come through. (Isn't it funny how I personalize my sewing machines?)
Dawn Scotting - I've been looking for a list of Singer machines as well
and have as yet to find it. Let me know if I can help on this project.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 22:37:47 -0500
I found a guy that has a little old black Singer Spartan for sale. He says
it doesn't have a case or any attachments for it but that it does run. I
don't know anything about this model. Can someone tell me what it looks like,
if it sews well, what I should expect to pay for it? Is it anywhere close to
a FW? Is anyone interested in it if I'm not? I need to call him back this
week on it so I would appreciate it if anyone can help me out here.
BTW, I found 3 FW's at the local antique mall here in town. I've never seen
any here before. Price was $295 firm on all three even though they were
offered by different vendors. Still beyond what I can afford to pay at this
point. None had the green box with attachments, one had a manual but it was
also the one in the worst shape. The others looked pretty good but the cases
were pretty worn.
One more question, I have looked at a few FWs but can't remember, is the
model number on the machine somewhere?
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 21:19:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Success at last!
Finally, I am a Featherweight pamperer!
After nearly a year of serious looking, and closeted interest long before
then, I have a Featherweight of my own! I'd asked my daughter in Lincoln
to call the old downtown sewing machine store, and she zapped a note back
that he had one for sale. DH took one of the boys to the Husker game on
Saturday (GO BIG RED! sorry...couldn't resist...) and stopped in to look
at it. He called from the store and said he thought it looked pretty
good, sewed really quietly and smoothly. I'd given him a whole page of
questions to ask and things to check, since he's *not* Mr. Experienced
when it comes to sewing machines. Of course it was wa-a-y more than we
wanted to spend (still looking for those wonderful bargains on forlorn,
forgotten Featherweights you all write about!) but he thought it'd be
worth it in the long run, particularly if it got me to de-obsess for a
So he brought her home! She's an AF model, born 10/10/1938, with a blue
border bearing "Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco 1939" around the
medallion. Really nice shape, some minor wear from use--looks like her
previous pamperer wore a ring on her right hand. The case is good,
though I might check with the shoe-man to see if the handle can be
replaced. Has the tray and original foot-pedal, judging from the shape
of the plug. Alas, missing the oil can and the keys, and the only extra
foot is a zipper foot. The manual is in fine shape--a couple of oil
spots inside but not dog-eared at all.
So, ye of great experience... I don't remember anyone mentioning the
Golden Gate Expo before, with regard to fw's anyway. Is this good? bad?
Any specific watchouts for me? I have one year's free parts and labor,
including one checkup/tuneup--and *this* is one machine I'll be sure to
take in for that checkup!
DH said the fellow in the shop kept saying how overpriced fw's are right
now, blaming the antique dealers who are hoarding them. He kept telling
DH that he had NEW machines that were good ones that could DO LOTS MORE
than the fw and cost LESS, but he apparently didn't feel so bad about the
situation than he'd come down on the price at all. He said he had a
sister in CA who *really* wants the fw...sorry, sis, if you're on this
list! Now, I just need to find a couple bargains to improve my
average...you all keep talking about how finding one fw leads others to
A gal in my small quilting group has an old treadle--gorgeous, lots of
red and green and gold on it, really ornate cabinet--she's thinking of
cleaning up and fixing up. In one of the drawers is a velvet-lined wood
accessory box, the kind that has 4 sections that have triangles at the
ends and it all sort of rolls up into a box (like TV's plastic
sewing-room-in-a-box dealie)--full of all sorts of accessories held
safely in their own spots. Anybody familiar with this?
Enough for now... *love* this list!
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 8:43:13 GMT-10
Subject: FW 11/4/95
I am still searching for a FW and have placed an ad in our
local paper this week. I am the proud owner of a Vickers
Treadle (1920) made under licence from Frister and Rossman so it
was interesting to read the info. on that company the other
week. I also have a 99K which I use all the time for my
patchwork blocks and I recently bought a 201K which I don't
have any info. on but I could'nt resist. It reminds me of a
submarine with it's square lines.
Keep up the good work, the chat on FW is fabulous.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 95 03:06:00 PDT
FF>>>Al: you wrote> Another brochure is dated 1937...It shows the
FF>Featherweight in 2 versions, the first being the Model 221-1 and the second
FF>is a Model 24-80 which is a chainstitch for women who prefer this stitch.
FF>It fits in the same case as the 221-1.
FF>Sewing: A Treatise on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines and Their
FF>Attachments". It was published by Singer with the copy. date on this
Where did you order this book? I WANT ONE!!!
FF>Saw an ad posted on a quilt shop bulletin board for a Singer 15-90 in a 4-
FF>drawer cabinet for $325 including manual and attachments.
OOOHHHH....I have one of these...in the 4 drawer cabinet, I paid $20 for
it in a thrift store. I have been stripping the cabinet, someone
painted it ghastly yellow. The cabinet looks just like a plain treadle
cabinet with legs attached to it instead of iron. I was going to mount
the cabinet onto a treadle iron I have and put a treadle machine into
it. Then I was going to put the 15-90 into another cabinet. Maybe this
is a bad idea? Do you think it's the cabinet that makes it worth
something, or the machine? Mine is an anniversary machine. Do you
think it is really worth that? Or are they dreaming. maybe I should be
re-thinking my plan...sigh....I really didn't want to try and fix the
original treadle cabinet, it's a MESS.
Date: 09 Nov 1995 11:55:58 GMT
Hi fellow fanatics,
Went to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in
Toronto last Monday. All state of the art sewing machines
being promoted there of course. So just for fun I got talking to
one of the oh ! so elegant sales people at the Singer booth
about our FWs. Would you believe it,--- she didn't want to know !
It did become obvious however that she knew about our digest.
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 07:58:06 -0500
Subject: FW Prices
I can see the trend now:
>Three purchased 1990 and 1991 for average $167
>Nancy J-S's book published 1992
>Nine purchased 1993 for average $231
>23 purchased 1994 for average $260
>32 purchased 1995 for average $229
FeatherWeight Fanatics List started by Sue Traudt
200 purchased in 1995 for average price of $600
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 08:12:46 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/4/95
Spent yesterday looking through all the thrift shops, pawn shops, etc. and
found one machine that was really interesting. There was a Wheeler Wilson
that was a treadle (foot shaped iron bottom) and it was mounted in a strange
cabinet type box. The 'cabinet' had several sliding drawers and the top
folded down to cover the machine. When folded down, the cabinet became a big
wood box with legs-- The machine was not a typical head as we know them,
smaller, thinner and more curved. Does anyone know anything about these or
Also saw a "cool" looking "ATLAS" by Deluxe. It was so ugly it was neat! It
was all metal, it was pink, with painted gold and black globes where there is
usually gold trim, and in the middle of the bed was the man holding the
globe. The Atlas tags and Deluxe tags were a brassy plate attached to the
machine. Tempted to pick this one up and hide it in the attic, the family
will think I have really lost it!! Price is $35, probably negotiable--
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 16:24:35 -0400
Subject: Featherweight Party!!
Hi - I just got home from my quilting bee(we are known as the
"Piecemakers"). Everyone who had a FW brought it to bee and we did Krisi's
survey. Five came to the party, 2 were otherwise engaged! It was fun to have
all the machines in one room and to do the survey together. Of the 5, 2 were
EF's, 1 was EG and 1 was EH. The other was an AH. They are all in excellent
working condition. I found out that I had 2 keys in my accessories box and
they locked all 5 cases!! The prices ranged from $15 to $150 and those are
all Canadian dollars!! Two had oil cans and they were both quite different.
One was about 2" in diameter at the base with a long spout. The other looked
like a miniature flask. Does anyone know what the original oil can should
I will forward the survey to several other FW owners and I will send all of
ours via "snail mail".
Thanks to everyone for all the great reading everyday.
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 06:18:08 -0800
Subject: Singer Repair in Washington DC area?
Earlier this year, I noticed that my FW was slowing down; then, at a
weekend workshop, it wouldn't work at all when I stomped on the pedal.
Like you, I didn't know of a recommended FW repair shop in the DC area,
so I took it to a place near my home. Turned out it needed a new power
cord -- they fixed it and it runs like a charm now. Cost me about $50.
Recently, I needed a new lightbulb for it and they had them in stock,
for about $1.50.
The place I went to is Arlington Industrial Sewing &Vacuum, located at
4103 Columbia Pike in Arlington (between George Mason Drive and Glebe
Road), telephone 703/521-8808. The phone book says they also have a
Waldorf (Maryland) location, telephone 301/843-3020.
I wouldn't take my Bernina to them for repair, but I can't complain
about the service on my FW!
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 06:46:34 -0800
Subject: smithsonian book
sorry, bad info on the book "sewing machines, its invention and
development' by grace rogers cooper. got a card from the bookstore
yesterday that the book IS out of print. i knew it was too good to
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 95 17:04:33 PST
Subject: golden gate
I was fascinated by the report of the special Golden Gate Exposition
seal. Since I'm at Stanford, near San Francisco, I figured we'd have
something in the library. Looked it up - 26 citations on Golden Gate
Exposition!! Will let you know if I find anything on the machines.
This might have been one of their big intros into the market.
I have had problems contacting Singer for the birthdate. Can someone
send me or repost the 800 number? I fear I may have the wrong one.
I still haven't gotten a bobbin case, but will probably order one
from Dale Pickens. Am dying to use my new machine.
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 1995 20:10:18 EST
Subject: New FWFan
Thanks to all of you for so much great information. I got my two
mahines dated -- the one that my mother had was born three months
before I was, 1/29/51; and the other on is 4/22/47. I have lots of
attatchments and will have fun playing.
I went to a quilt show here in Mass. last weekend, and several of the
vendors had featherweights to demonstrate their products (a lot of
paper and muslin bases for piecing). The machines were getting more
comments and conversations started than the products. The one I spent
the most time near was very noisy -- needed some work.
One thing I hadn't seen mentioned on this board was a series of 4 books
I found in an antique shop. They were published in the twenties and
thirties and the titles are "How to Make Draperies", How to Make
Dresses", How to Make Children's Clothes", and "Short Cuts to Home
Sewing". The latter has quite a bit about attachments that seem very
similar to the ones for the FW, but obviously pre-date it. They are
quite well written. Does anyone know if there are any more in the
series? Obviously a precursor to the Singer Sewing Library of today.
These four are in excellent condition, but I think published at
different times as they are no two alike designed front covers.
Although all have similar ads in the middle. Anyway, I read them all
cover-to-cover and learned a lot.
Thanks again for all the great information you all are sharing.
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 20:36:56 -0500
Subject: Mimi Vaeth in print Horray!!!
Be sure to check out the new issue of Quilting today. There is a great
article in there on care and feeding of featherweights by my personal guru
Mimi Vaeth. Lynda
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 17:57:40 -0600
Subject: Silent Featherweight Auction
When I went to my guild meeting on Tuesday, and advised the girl who is
donating the Featherweight that I put the message on the Internet, she
decided to push the date back to November 30. She did say the dealer
advised it is in great condition. She does not know the date of the machine
but is suppose to call me with the numbers. I will advise everyone at that
time. Anyone wishing to bid, please E-Mail me privately.
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/8/95
Katy-Flip the FW upside down and you will see the serial
number there. After selling and doing inventory yesterday, I have a new
list of what's available at the shop. I did some real digging and tried
to clop over all mountains of machines to get to some that were not
previous noted. No doubt there are a lot more around and in fack there
was one laying in pieces on the floor, bosses daughter wanted to sell
that, but boss put a slap on those hands he had this out for parts.
2 AL- 1955 $400, attachments
1 Al $450, case, attachments and manuel
1 White $375 - no case, attachments
1 AJ- 1950 $450- case complete
1938- scrolled faceplate, xint condition $550, case, manuel, accessories
This machine is in top condition, and if I didn't have four kids and the
holidays coming I'd take it home to live at my house!
I will get down to try and get into the backroom and scout out some more.
Again these machines are throughly inspected by the mechanic and brought
up to speed with swatch of stitching included. Shipping in US is $20, and
out of CA pays no sales tax.
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 18:53:53 -0500
Subject: FW for Sale
I have an AG Featherweight for sale with case, no attachments or manual.
Case has one broken lock and FW has most of gold paint rubbed off on the
front portion. Recently serviced. $325 plus shipping. E-mail for further
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 1995 15:13:54 PST
Subject: Reproduction Featherweight Table
I found a flyer advertising reproduction featherweight tables at Houston but
saw a booth displaying one. Thought I'd pass the information along anyway, in
anyone wanted to pursue it. The flyer says the table was "desihned from
Singer "Featherweight" table Model 312"
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 1995 15:20:09 PST
Subject: Reproduction Featherweight Table again
Ok, here's the whole message-sorry for the error.
I found a flyer advertising reproduction featherweight tables at Houston but
never found a booth displaying one. Thought I'd pass the information along
anyway, in case anyone wanted to pursue it. The flyer says the table was
drom original Singer "Featherweight" table Model 312" and is all wood with a
natural birch top. Black enamel rame and legs, 31"x31"x27 1/2" high. Specify
if for black or colored model 221 machine.
The name and number to contact is given as Andy Fields, 913,566-3788 (Pomona,KS)
Has anyone seen one of these? No price given...what do the originals go for?
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 15:27:42 GMT
We can make almost anything work..need to know how the elec. cords connect. How
many prongs etc and the shape. I can probably look it up but no promises. Our
store is in MD, where are you? Sometimes we can work from a good sketch of
machine showing how bobbin loads and where dials are etc. Some machines are
generic versions of others. If interested let me know, I'l do a little
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 08:07:23 -0800
Subject: fw book
i have finished compiling the digests up to 11/07/95. i'll be trying to
update my files as i get the digests daily, but probably at most once a
week. so if you want an updated copy, just send me an email.
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 14:58:56 -0500
Subject: Zigzag attachment
Several people have mentioned buying and owning the zigzag attachment for
the Featherweight, but I haven't seen any postings by anyone who has
actually used one. My repairman here in Pittsburgh predicts that if I buy
one, I won't like it.
Would someone with experience using the zigzag attachment please tell about
whether it's easy to use, whether it works satisfactorily, etc?
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 14:12:34 MST
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 11/9/95
Was teaching a class at our local shop last night and they let me have a
look at the Sewing Machine Blue Book...(they are a Bernina dealer)...anyway,
absconded with the following information.
Letter in Serial number/Country of Origin"
C - Brazil
G - German
J - Canada
K - Great Britain
M - Italy
U - Japan
W - U.S.A.
They also had a whole list of the various models and the years they
were produced...From previous postings on this list, I picked the
301 - 1953-1959
185 - 1960-1962....this is the machine I picked up last week it was a
185J so was made in Canada...there is also a 185K
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 18:12:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Singer phone # reposted
Hi- The Singer # is 1-800-4-singer. Then press the # of the choice for
customer service (or consumer affairs..). Good luck getting through.
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:54:55 -0800
Subject: wooden replacement case for Featherweights
> Last Christmas, DH purchased a very nice replacement case for my
> FW, because I take her to classes and wanted to keep my original
> case in good condition. He purchased it at the Pincushion Boutique
> (916/758-3488) in Davis, CA for $75. It is a wooden case, the size,
> shape and weight of the original. Every time I take my machine out
> with this case, other owners ask me about how to get one. I am sure
> the cordura bags are nice, too, but this case is as classy as FW.
I just called Pincushion, and they do not sell these anymore.
However, they are going to find out if they can get them in
stock or let me know who makes them (someone in southern California).
Also, the $75 was a markdown. She believes the original price was
between $125 and $200 (!!!). I'll let the list know more when
I get a call back from them.
Do any of the southern California list members know about this?
I was hoping that this would be my Christmas present but at that
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 20:59:09 -0500
Subject: Open Mouth Insert Foot
Okay, I told you all how ugly I thought the 301s were and now I own one! I
found one at a garage sale today and left it but late this afternoon I went
back and bought it. I have no idea why. My kids helped me oil it and clean it
up and it now sews quite well. I am impressed with how quiet it is. They are
begging me to keep it as they have fallen in love with Mr. Singer. It is a
black one and came in a cabinet although I discovered that it doesn't have to
be in the cabinet. The bottom is enclosed like the FWs. Is the serial number
for these on the bottom too? I'd like to find out when it was made. It has no
manual or attachments but is in pretty good shape. Katy
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 21:16:57 -0500
Subject: Singer "Industrial"
Help please! I hope this gets to all in time. I am going on Saturday to see
an old Singer "Industrial" machine. The lady says its a wonderful machine,
only straight stitch, electric on a table with a treadle base(?). She says
it is an industrial machine. She wants $50 for it. She also says it is in
excellent condition. Does anyone have any idea of the value of this machine
or any information on it at all??
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 08:25:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: more Singers
We went to thrift stores Wednesday. Bought a 329K we had seen the week
before. The lady in charge couldn't get it to work and we wanted it for
parts anyway so got it for $10. Well, it won't be used for parts. The DH
laid hands on it and it runs beautifully. It's another tractor look
Then we found a sweet little machine called a Spartan. Pam has been
asking about these. It's in like new condition except the tension spring
didn't look right. We got that for $30. It really is spartan. No light,
no case, no gold trim. Looked really familiar so at the next day we went to
the store where we saw a 99K. Looks like they said, "Let's make a cheap,
affordable machine. We'll use the dies from the 99K and make it really
plain." Probably the light and the case were options. The previous owner
of ours had thoughtfully put it in a larger case to keep it clean.
The man who runs the repair shop was just back from the hospital. When
his wife was there, there was no dealing. She wouldn't even look for a
screw for you. So we dealt and we got the 99K. The 99K and the Spartan
are sitting side by side in our living room, waiting for me to try out the
tension. The DH followed pictures in Nancy's book and took apart the
thread tension on the Spartan and made the spring look right.
I called Singer. Their facts(????) on the British machines are really
bad. They told us the Spartan which clearly says 192K is a 185K made
7-27-59. They said the 329K (also clearly marked) is a 328K made 7-19-28.
1928 is a hoot because this is clearly a 50's machine. Couldn't get
through yesterday to check the 99K. BTW I asked for documentation and
didn't get any argument. I'm sure this service is going to come to an
end, though, because there is nothing in it for Singer.
Our gift treadle machine sewed a fine seam last night. The cabinet is
ready for a new finish. Believe it or not the old finish was scraped off.
The DH knew that old varnishes would come off that way so he didn't have
to mess around with messy finish removers. You have to have a steady hand
with a paint scraper. The ironwork just had surface rust that made it
look light brown instead of black. He sprayed that with Extend which
turns black when it meets rust, so the iron work is black again and
beautiful. We know what a jewel we have because we saw a treadle in
terrible shape for $169 at a thrift shop. Don't know why they had it
priced so high (original price was $299 but they were having a half price
sale), because the gold was gone, the presser foot was missing, and some
of the veneer had been broken off. The cabinet had only 2 drawers while
ours has 6.
We are lusting after that treadle someone found in Chicago that looked
like a piece of furniture. I guess we won't drive to Chicago. The kids
probably think we are certifiable already and we need a new house if we
get any more. Now we have 10 machines and a serger. We've been lucky in
that everything but the treadle is in great condition and it will be soon.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 09:42:02 -0500
The news is this ----- I found another featherweight yesterday!!!!! This is
a sickness you know!!!! I got tired of being at the office yesterday so I
left at 3:30 PM and went driving around to the antique shops. The last place
I stopped was at the shop a friend of mine owns. I looked all around in
there not even thinking about sewing machines - then when I was about to
leave I just mentioned to the guy that if he got any sewing machines to call
me. Well, sure enough he had one tucked away for a very reasonable price.
Apparently, another friend of mine was in there last weekend and saw it and
told the guy to call me - so the guy put the machine away - then forgot to
let me know about it. It is a 1948 (AH) with the scrolled faceplate. It
was extremely filthy. I spent about 2 hours cleaning it and oiling it. It
makes a great stitch but is so noisy I can hardly stand it. It also needs a
new belt and the bobbin case has a little rust which makes it hard to get the
thing in and out easily. I took some emery paper to the rust and got rid of
some of it and now it fits better but I am going to take the machine over to
Singer this morning. I'll let them put the new belt on and see what is so
loud. It is only loud when the sewing mechanism is engaged not say, when
just the motor is running. I think there may be some hardened gunk around
the gears or something. I'll ask the guy to see what he can do. I may keep
it or I may sell it. DH is all for selling it. He doesn't see why I need
more than one machine. (This would make five machines) It has some black
enamel missing just around the base and it does look like it was used a lot.
All the gold is there but the black enamel is dull in some places and there
are a few chips off the flywheel. When I was cleaning it, I actually found a
straight pin inside the faceplate where the mechanism is. One thing
interesting is that it has two unusual feet in the case - they are both 1/4
inch wide and one has a slot for the needle on the left and one has one on
the right. I think these may be for 1/4 seams as there is no seam guide on
the throat plate. I have never seen feet like these before. I checked the
Nancy Srebro book last night and she says that the post war machines such as
the AH all had the striated faceplate. This one looks to be original. One
thing I noticed when cleaning and oiling it is that all of the parts are
stamped Simanco and a serial number in the metal. This is on the faceplate
inside, and inside the bottom on some of the parts etc. My other machines,
as far as I know, do not have that much marking on them, if any. The case is
in good but smelly shape. It has both locks and a good leather covered
handle and the foot control is in nice shape. There was no manual, oil can,
or additional parts. The fabric on the bottom of the case is starting to
peel off probably due to being stored in a damp place, but the rest of the
case is fine. It did have a few extra bobbins and the two feet mentioned
I have a list of people who are looking for reasonable featherweights so if I
decide to sell it, I'll go to that list first. This makes seven I have found
in the last year and a half (have sold 2) so there must be a lot around
here. I have one I am hiding at my office so DH doesn't know about it and I
am still thinking about selling that one too. It is really in nice shape and
just purrs when it runs but it doesn't have many attachments with it,
although it has a manual. I paid a lot for it since it was in good shape so
that is why I can't decide whether to keep it or not.
This has been the featherweight news from sunny, 50 degree Plattsburgh NY
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 95 09:36:35 CST
Kim, I found your mention of the Wheeler&Wilson machine interesting.
Recently, in Waynesville, Ohio, I purchased a beautiful, carved oak box
with "Wheeler &Wilson Sewing Machines" in a center medallion. It opens
flat and has red velvet lining. I was convinced it was for sewing machine
attachments, although I had never heard of those machines. I probably
paid too much ($35) for it by most people's standards (mine, too!), but
I couldn't resist!! Our tv remote control fits in it perfectly, so it's
prominently displayed and I get to enjoy it all the time. (It won't
fit my fw case, so there's no temptation to put those attachments in
it--besides, I like the little green box, too!)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 10:23:19 -0500 (EST)
Forgot to mention in my last note that I got a darning foot with the 99K.
When the dealer gave me the darning foot, I said I would need a feeddog
cover with it and he gave me one.
In all my years of sewing (you don't want to know how many) I have never
used any attachments. Did buttonholes and hems by hand until I got a
machine with buttonholer built in. Now I'm getting attachments with all
the machines I bought this year and I am going to see if they work. I
bought a nice old cotton tablecloth at a garage sale and I'm going to cut
it into towels and hem them, using various machines. (These towels will
be great for baking, covering a loaf of bread or putting the hot cookies on.)
I'm also going to try to ruffle and bind. This, of course, has a bigger
priority than housework.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 19:31:51 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: More bits and pieces
>Where did you order this book? I WANT ONE!!!
Machine Sewing: Treatise on the Care and Use of Singer, '55, Teacher's
textbook, 221 pages, specially prepared for teachers of Home Economics
Machine Sewing, Singer, 1930, 158 pages, a treatise on the care and use
of family sewing machines and their attachments, New York, cover
slightly worn, otherwise good text (2596) $25.00
Hard-to-find Needlework Books
96 Roundwood Rd
Newton, MA 02164-1217
617 969-0942 Tel/Fax
She takes Visa or Mastercard
* * *
> Spent yesterday looking through all the thrift shops, pawn shops, etc.
> and found one machine that was really interesting. There was a
> Wheeler Wilson that was a treadle (foot shaped iron bottom) and it was
> Does anyone know anything about these or their worth?
I've just been reading through all the FWF digests making a list of
model #'s, I remembered reading this in one of them:-
Singer never put any name but Singer on a machine he manufactured, with
one exception. In 1905, Singer bought out the Wheeler and Wilson
company and continued to use the Wheeler and Wilson name on some models
for a short time.
The man who is recognized as having contributed most to the mechanical
development of the sewing machine is Allen Benjamin Wilson. He invented
and received a patent for the rotary-hook stitch forming mechanism in
1850. He developed the four motion feed (motion of the feed dogs), and
received a patent in 1854. All modern sewing machines use a rotary hook
and four motion feed. A. B. Wilson formed the Wheeler and Wilson
company (Wheeler had the capital), which was second only to Singer in
numbers manufactured from 1850 until 1880. Wilson was in poor health
and had to quite the business, otherwise the company would most likely
have been number one. I have a Wheeler and Wilson #8, made about
1880. It's a delightful machine.
* * *
>I found in an antique shop. They were published in the twenties and
>thirties and the titles are "How to Make Draperies", How to Make
>Dresses", How to Make Children's Clothes", and "Short Cuts to Home
>Sewing". The latter has quite a bit about attachments that seem very
>similar to the ones for the FW, but obviously pre-date it. They are
Found this one in Betty's hard to find book list, it's not from the
20's but it could be something similar:
Sewing Skills Reference Book by Singer, 1954. 52 pages, machine
principles, stitching for line, contour, fashion stitches (18803) $12
and another three I haven't posted before:
Singer #32-64 by Singer Manfg, 1942. 16 page booklet illustrating parts
of machine by numbers, no text. (13640) $14
Singer Sewing Book by Picken, 1949, cloth, dust jacket, 288 pages, over
1000 easy to follow diagrams (9779) $12.50
Slant-o-matic 401 by Singer, 1958, paper, 96 pages, instruction manual
* * *
Yet more FW search ramblings.....
Another weekend, another garage sale, ANOTHER machine, another $5
bargain! This time it isn't a Singer but a Jones Family CS machine, made
in the Guide Bridge Factory in Manchester England. It looks just like a
black singer with lots of gold decals all over it, is powered and has a
foot pedal and a lovely wooden case with no handle (there never was one
by the look of it). It looks very old, has lots of chips and scratches
and has been well loved/used at some stage, and needs lots of work but
it does go. It has no model # with a serial # of E555990. Lo and behold
in the little compartment I found a few attachments, 4 little spanners
and an operating manual! Titled: Directions for Operating the CYLINDER
SHUTTLE Sewing Machine - Jones Sewing Machine Co Ld. Guide Bridge, Nr
Manchester (I'd be happy to photo-copy it for anyone). It also came with
the account for it's last service on 8/4/65 - for 17 shillings (about
$NZ1.70 or $US1.00)! Also included was the bottom half of a mint green
plastic attachment box with quite a few brand new attachments including
what I think is a ruffler, I suspect that these weren't originally with
this machine. They all look brand new and one of them is still covered
in oil, there's also a packet of needles wrapped in oily paper that
includes a little spanner that says Simanco! And there's also a brand
new needle plate (is that what they are called, the one under the
needle) that is far too large for this machine, if anyone needs one and
would like to send me shape, size, dimensions etc we'll see if it might
fit your machine. I'm so excited about my find and can't wait to get
started on cleaning it up. I'm going to read up on Diane Barlow Close's
story on how she cleaned her treadle, anyone else have some little
cleaning tidbits at all?
Gordy: I see you have a couple of Jones machines, do you have any
information at all on them please?
Thanks to Fran I found out that my 99k was born on May 2 1960, so I've
named it May-Francine! For goodness sake don't tell my dh, he thinks
I've finally popped my cork as it is!
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 11:40:57 -0500
Subject: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
On Fri. Nov. 10, Katy asked about her new 301:
<< The bottom is enclosed like the FWs. Is the serial number
for these on the bottom too? I'd like to find out when it was made. It has no
manual or attachments but is in pretty good shape. >>
My Blue Book says the 301 is a flat bed straight stitch/slant needle machine.
It came in either black or tan. Made in USA from 53/59.
You collectors might be interested in getting your own Blue Book, to date
machines. Dealers are notorious for not sharing theirs. I am new to this
list, but in case this information has not been posted recently, here it is:
The Sewing Machine Blue Book comes out every two years.The last one was for
94/95, so you might want to call and inquire when the new one will be
available for sale. I use mine all the time to date and appraise machines I
see in the Classified section. (just out of curiosity, mostly) Price for the
94/95 Blue Book was $7.50, including shipping. Here's the address:
167 Elizabeth Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307-2557
Phone: (404) 880-9400
Fax: (404) 880-4103
BTW, this may get me kicked off the list, but I sold my FeatherWeight (AG, I
think) because it was sitting in my closet unused. I did piece a couple of
crib size quilt tops with it, and liked the "ticka ticka" noise it made as it
sewed, as well as its cute size, but......... when it came down to it, I
prefer sewing on my more modern machines that have the added features I like.
(especially needle up/down -- can't live without that one) I both bought and
sold it for around $300. I must admit that reading this list has made me
question my decision, but I sold it to a nice lady in town who I believe will
*use* it, so it won't be sitting in my closet gathering dust. (You can all
start throwing rocks this way, now)
Date: 10 Nov 95 23:54:46 EST
Subject: Re: FW bobbin cases
Hi, the prices for FW bobbin cases from 'A Stitch Back In Time', are actually
$72.00. The prices keep going up from my supplier. I do have packs of 4
bobbins for $1.40. (800) 352-1174
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 15:31:27 -0500
Thanks to Al Davis for copying and sending the info on attachments for Model
27. Guess what, Al. You made it possible for me to identify one of my
mystery attachments. Turns out I have the ruffler to fit Model #27.
According to your manual it is serial #26156. The number is not on the
attachment. But the pictures are so clear that it was easy. It sure
doesn't look a lot like the later rufflers Singer made.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 17:25:21 -0500
Subject: New old machine
I'm new to all of this and today I bought an old Singer but don't know what
it is. Yesterday a lady at work said she was having a garage sale today and
I asked her if she had any old sewing machines. She said yes and described
it to me. I was quite sure it wasn't a FW because she said it was heavy but
I though it might be a 301 (I've seen one of them so I know what they are!).
She was asking $35 so I told her to hold it for me. I picked it up today
and it is not a FW or a 301. But I hope by describing it, someone out there
can tell be what I bought.
It is in a wood case (pretty good condition) with a rounded lid. The head is
black metal; the metal being rough textured. There is a light in the back of
the machine (it's almost as big as the motor which is also in the back). It
has a black metal knee control that fits into a hole on the bottom of the
wooden case where the machine sits. There are no attachments and no manual.
It works but there is no thread spool holder. I found a large metal darning
needle with a large eye under the machine and I suspect someone was using
that to put into the spool holder hole. The SN is AG24124S and the knee
control rod thing says for 99 and 128 machines or 201 and 200 sets.
The neat thing is that it came with a table (or should I say two). The table
is like I have heard some of you describe. It is similar to a card table
(wood with black metal legs) with a hole cut for the machine to fit into.
Then there is a second table with only two legs on one end and the other end
attaches to the first table. The table has paper instructions attached to
the bottom and it says it is a Singer Utility Table No. 311 and the other is
an extension table No. 311-1/2. The copyright is 1941.
I will call the Singer number to ask about the machine but think they are
probably closed on the weekends.
I am still looking for a FW, of course. I do own an old treadle, a White,
that belonged to my paternal grandmother. I foolishly painted it a
pinkish-beige when I was a teenager to match my bedroom trim at the time!!
Oh, how I regret that. Someday, I will strip it and return it to its real
self. (One nice person in an antique store consoled me once by saying that
sometimes the painted items are in better shape because the paint actually
preserves the wood somewhat.)
Enough of that. I'm so thankful for this digest. I really enjoy each
message and look forward to it daily.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 17:40:03 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/10/95
I've just done a swap for a zig-zagger ( had a neato pinker attachment). It's
on it's way in the mail. As soon as I get it and play with it I'll post my
experiences with it. If it is anything like the buttonholer I have it should
be really fun to use. I have the old buttonholer that has wingnuts and
sliders instead of drop in dials. It makes the most PERFECT buttonholes!
The fellow I'm swapping with (thanks Glenn!) says he hasn't used it so I just
have to wait.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 95 01:01:00 PDT
Well, I stopped by my guru's shop today. He had an entire set of cams
for the 319....but he wouldn't part with them :( He did manage to dig
up 4 extra ones in the back room for me though. One is the blind hem
cam, which he say is a good one, but hard to find....he almost kept that
one but I smiled nice, there is one that does alternating rectangles
(wish that one fit my machine), one that does diamonds, and one that
does kind ofddiagonallines. They are (in order) #'s 3, 9, 13, &10.
Chuck had said they were Singer's 1st zigzag, but Randy says they are
actually their 2nd zig zag, the 206 was the 1st. Chuck had said they
were finicky, but Randy says they are workhorses and a great machine.
They both agree it needs the needle with the shorter point below the eye,
unless the machine has been "maladjusted" to accept standard needles.
When I was at the shop, he pulled out his dad's (who was a singer dealer
for years) old salesman's book. It had pictures of several of the older
singers, including our princess', which at that time sold for $99.00.
He had 2 of those books, but he wouldn't part with either of
I did get a real cool attachment which I have never seen before: a
Singer Stocking Darner part #35776. It came in it's box with it's
instruction booklet. The booklet is copyrighted in 1953.
The booklet gives the part #'s for the feed dog cover for the model 15
and 221 as #160719; and on machines # 66,99 and 201 as 160720; and
machine #301 as 160823.
On singer machines 66 and 99 it shows the thread being passed through a
hole in the slack thread regulator (instead of under it like usual
threading). I always wondered what that hole was for.
This darner is really funny looking...I don't even think I could
describe it. It's got a spring around it, and some curved finger
The book also lists a Flat Work Darner N. 36088, which is oval shaped
and larger than the stocking darner.
I also found a greist buttonholer and a package of 8 buttonholer
templates at my favorite thrift store.
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 22:22:06 -0500
Subject: Wooden Box at Thrift Shop
Well today I went back for another look at the folding wooden oak box with
the varied accessories that was listed as $35.00. It is lined with royal to
navy blue velvet fabric and the hinges on the box are unique to say the
least. The hinges are imbedded into the wood and appear almost hair like in
On closer examination I noticed the inscription "Patented 1880". There are
19 attachments and the majority have Featherbone inscribed on them. They
seem to have screwed into some type of presser foot attachment, not a normal
presser foot from what I see.
I talked the shop down to $25.00 and still have a lovely conversation piece
if nothing else.
There are 3 metal thingys permantly attached that seem to be a type of
measurement guide, 2 different size scissor guides for bias or strip cutting
and 4 different bias feed dog foots.
Now, what is a Featherbone?
`9_ 9 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' .'
(il).-'' ((i).' ((!.-'
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 21:50:36 EST
Subject: FW Zigzag Attachments
If you would like to buy a Zigzagger for the FW, buy it only as a
collectible, and a piece of sewing machine history. It is not a tool which will
replace a modern zigzag machine.
I used my mother's Featherweight up until 1984. It had both a
Zigzagger and buttonholer. They both were quite heavy and attached with a
thumbscrew to the shaft. The screw tended to work loose, as the attachment vibrated
back and forth. Also, they tended to make the sewing machine vibrate, as they
were proportionally very heavy. The garment also moved back and forth,
which tended to make the stitching distorted. Back in the '50's the dealer told
my mother that having a table or cabinet would improve performance. Maybe so,
but I wish now that she had bought a table . Perhaps if I had known how to
use a stabilizer, or if I had used the feed dog cover with the buttonholer,
results would have been better.
Anyway, that's history. I traded the FW in '84 for a slick new
Viking, mostly because I couldn't make a decent buttonhole. And of course, I've
been sorry ever since Nancy Johnson-Srebro's book appeared. Just this year, I
found a FW to "replace" my mother's, but it doesn't have a zigzagger. I have
purchased a Ruby Zigzagger, a light-weight gadget, which gives fairly good
results. It came from the Sewing and Craft Supply catalog.
Subject: Singer Model List - v1.0
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 95 10:52:05 +1200
For Sale: from Betty's hard-to-find book list:
(Betty Feinstein 617 969-0942 Tel/Fax)
Latest Acquisitions-November 1995
Capitalist Romance: Singer the Sewing Machine, Brandon $35.00
Celebrating the Stitch, Smith $34.95
History of the Sewing Machine, Parton, 1867, $100.00
* * *
I've started compiling a list of Singer model numbers but please keep in
mind this is a VERY basic start. I've picked most of these up from our
digests plus a few advertisements in my local paper! I have absolutely
no idea as to the authenticity of a lot of these model #'s so any
forthcoming help would be appreciated.
Sandra M: thanks for your bit of info out of the Singer blue book
(whatever that is?), if you could get more dates the model #'s were made
sometime it would be great. I've added Australia (P) to the country of
origin list plus a B that I noticed someone had, no idea where it was
made though (it was a 221b that someone wanted to sell but the header
had been stripped out and she didn't give her name or email address, I
wonder if she received any replies?).
SINGER SEWING MACHINE MODEL #'s - Beta v1.0
Letter in Serial number/Country of Origin
B - ?
C - Brazil
G - Germany
J - Canada - St John's Quebec
K - Great Britain - Kilbowie Plant Scotland
M - Italy
P - Australia
U - Japan
W - U.S.A.
Model Years made Comments
24-50 treadle, small
28-4 hand-cranked, 3/4 size, vibrating shuttle
44kl3 1925 treadle
66 treadle, drop-in bobbin
99k 3/4 size, hand-cranked or electric portable
185j 1960-62 green portable
221 1926-56 featherweight
221b 1968-70 white "
221j tan ", beige
221k 1941-64 black ", off white
221k7 " white "
221? " blue, green ?
222k 1941-64 free-arm
301 1953-59 slant needle; straight needle
301a " tan
301a " beige
327p plastic machine
591 industrial, computer unit
Capri new, white
Toys - model 20 ?
In 1905 some Singer's were manufactured under the name of Wheeler
Queries: are these Singer machines?
Model #2 treadle born 6/26/1893
Toys - Shoe Patch 1912 ?
Little Giant ?
34, 36, 38 ? (are these model #'s)
Featherweight Fanatics Page *
Main Quilting Page