Featherweight Fanatics Archives

October 1995

Sunday, October 22 - Saturday, October 28

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:52:43 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95

Saw a sewing machine in a pawn shop today - a Fristen &Rossmore Shuttle
(hand cranked) for $100.  Anyone know about this machine?  Is this a good

Also, saw an old Singer today - portable, but I don't know the old models
(only FW's of course).  Its serial no. is EL704616, it's black with the
ornate gold scroll that FW's have but comes in a case like an old piece of
luggage and is heavier than the FW.  It's tension knob is the same as the
later version on the FW.  It looked pretty nice actually.  Is this one of the
99's I see people write about?  Can anyone give me an idea about them?  He
wants $119.00, is that a good price?

My e-mail doesn't seem to always get through to you, hope this one makes it.
 My AF is skipping a few stitches after it goes over a seam.  How can I fix

Appreciate the help.  

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:54:54 -0400
Subject: First time FWer

I'm new to quilting, and have been reading how so many quilters use a
Featherweight.  (At first I didn't even know they were talking about a sewing
machine!)  Then two week weeks ago I saw a FW advertised in a classified ad
mailer and was lucky enough to get first dibs on it.  It was owned my the
daughter of the original owner who was aware that she could've gotten much
more for it, but she wanted to sell it to someone "who would really use it"
and she was asking $185.  It has a black case in excellent condition,
original green attachement box full of them, and instruction book, but no oil
can.  It is black with gold art deco looking decoration and is in great
working order.  The serial number is AL, which I know is mid fifties.

Would someone be kind enough to give the phone number to call Singer about
birthdates, and the publisher of the book about this machine?  Is it
customary to give one's sewing maching a name?  I am about to piece a
tumbling blocks quilt for my 8 yr. old son with the FW.  After that, I'll
know whether I am a fanatic too.

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:37:12 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95

Does anyone have information (oh, "Gordy" Can you help?) regarding 
shuttle/lockstitch mach with the name "Favorite"?  This machine 
closely resembles the Grover&Baker machine illustrated in Carter 
Bay's book, Fig.2-84 and the New Home, Fig. A-28.  My "Favorite" has 
the fiddle base like the Grover &Baker, but the cabinet with the 
wooden box cover favors the New Home.  Could this "Favorite" be some 
sort of generic?  I doubt it's a reproduction because the machine 
look very used, but not abused.  Any help from any subscriber's here 
as to a model year, number, etc., would be appreciated.  

Also, I am having trouble with the revolving hook of a toy SEWHANDY.  
It doesn't seem quite justify right enough to catch the needle's 
thread below the throat platform.  I'm considering loosening the 
screw to see if I can engage the hook further to the right.  Before I 
do, I will wait for replies here for advice.  If all else fails, I 
will take it to my local sew tech for help.
Regards to all,
Since there has been a request to identify ourselves not only by name 
but by location, I will close with. . .

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 23:17:17 -0400
Subject: Re: The Singer 800 number

Hi gals,

I need the Singer 800 nuber to find out when my "princess" was born, please.
 All I know so far is that she is somewhere between '53 -'55 for her

Thanks and love this Digest - THANK YOU SUE!!  We love you.

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:49:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: I just got a black one

I am so excited.  I went to an estate auction and stood for 3 hours, two
in the rain and got the black fw.  There were no women bidding, just 2 men
who were probably dealers.

This is an AM with striped faceplate and in perfect condition.  My first
one is white.  It came with the original manual and box of attachments and
a buttonholer in a plastic box.  I also got a Singer sewing book from the
50's.  The FW is now oiled and the case is Armoralled and the machine runs
like a dream.  No sign of thread tangles.  A few pin marks if you look
closely.  Perfect paint.

Can't wait to find out it's birthday.  Had to share my news.

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 13:56:21 -0400
Subject: Pat Dunbar's Santa's Helper

Sorry to try to get to you this way Pat, but I tried to email to you and AOL
wouldn't recognize your address.  I've got a great machine for sale.  Email
me and I'll send you the details.    Lynda
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:29:43 -0500
Subject: researching treadles...

My dh remembers reading that the Minnesota treadles were made by Davis for
the Sears, Roebuck Catalog.  I am looking at an illustration of a
"Minnesota in treadle cabinet Circa 1906-1910, made for Sears, Roebuck, by
Davis", Figure 158 on page 175 of Sincere's History of the Sewing Machine,
by William Ewers &H.W. Baylor with H.H. Kenaga, published by Sincere Press,
, PO Box 10422, Phoenix, AZ  85016; copyright 1970.

I got this book out of the local library, along with "The Sewing Machine,
It's Invention and Development" by Grace Rogers Cooper (Smithsonian book). 
Between these two, his opinion is that my Franklin was made between 1920
and 1930 by White, under the name Franklin, for the Sears, Roebuck Catalog.

I hope this is helpful...Susan R
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 15:43:40 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: More about oilcans

Well, I seem to be "stuck" on this oilcan thread!  I found two 
rectangular Singer oil cans, green in color, serial number 489520, with 
the 30cent price printed as part of the decor.  Would these have been in 
machines at one time--or purchased separately?  These look like they 
might fit inside the case of a FW, so I guess that's why I'm interested.  

Any oilcan experts out there?

Mary Jane
Subject: Responses
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 95 14:41:44 -0500

  Ruth A.:  The Smithsonian book lists six machines named 'Minnesota' but
one is a "Minnesota A9-3500000".  Davis Sewing Machine Co. manufactured
sewing machines in Dayton, OH between 1889 to about 1924 and they are listed
as the manufacturer of this machine.  Other 'Minnesota's' were mfg. by
Standard and by New Home.  Davis did not make all their own cabinets as at
least one in my book says it was made by an independent in Cleveland.
  To Blndbuff:  If what you have is a 99K, $105 is great as I have seen them
in Phoenix for $300 with or without a cabinet.  Call Singer Customer
Relations @ 1-800-877-7762 for a copy of the manual.  Have your serial
number handy.  

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:53:27 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/21/95

Saw a really used looking FW today.  It's an AE, the black isn't shiny and a
good deal of the gold paint is gone.  No case or attachments and the foot
pedal is not the original.  The owner said he'd take $175 for it.  I
personally think that's high, but I thought I'd put it out for anyone who's
just looking for an inexpensive machine.

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:55:28 -0500
Subject: fair prices

I was wondering what you all would call fair prices for your average,
working fw.  I have paid as much as $220, and as little as $5.  I find
prices upwards of $300 rather much, but this is only my opinion. 
Personally, I could not sell one for more than $250, as that is what I have
ultimately paid, including shipping.  No, I am not in the business of
buying and reselling, but if I were, I still couldn't justify a higher
price (maybe it's just me..)

Also, having interest in how these machines run, I have taken apart all of
mine, and done much cleaning.  If I were to do this as a sideline, what
would be a fair price?  Again, I am not out to make lots of money.  I just
like to tinker with fws, and am curious about how much others are paying
for getting their fws serviced (cleaned up, lubed and oiled).

Anyone interested in responding can e-mail me directly, or else put it on
the digest.  I'll bet others are curious about what things cost in their
areas also.

Susan R
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 17:28:47 -0400
Subject: new member of the group

Hi all:

My husband recently placed my name of your list for the Digest, and I got my
first one today and I know I'm going to love being part of this group.  I
have a friend who got me started in quilting a short time ago and she just
got a FW ( AG527051 which is about 1941) and I dug out the one my Mother
gave me years ago without ever knowing what it was.  

Much to my surprise, it is in fantastic condition, including case with two
keys and accessories (original oil can and lubricating grease and all kinds
of attachments that I don't even know what they are),  the only problem is I
need a bobbin case and the wiring in the foot pedal  sounds like the
insulation is cracking.  Does anyone know if and where I can buy any of the
original wiring?  Can Singer stores still supply original parts for these
beautiful machines?  

Please answer ASAP as I want to start using my machine tomorrow if I
possibly can.  

Thanks for any help.

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 17:36:38 -0400
Subject: My FWs

Hello, fellow FW lovers!  Enjoy reading this digest; like all the mail.

I have 3FWs, acquired over the last 2 yrs.  The orphan white one (EY) was
found at a nearby antique-flea market barn, $100, no case or anything else,
but in great shape!  My mom gifted me with an AJ in near-mint condition for
my 50th birthday, bought in South bend, IN, where she lives; it came with
everything, including a coupon book for free sewing lessons which the
original owner never used.  It has a green cover, about the size of a
checkbook.  Does anyone else have one of these.  The 3rd FW is an AE, found
by a neighborhood repairman for $240.  The gold scrollwork is worn in front,
but it sews well and I wanted one with the fancy end plate.

I'm always on the lookout for FWs, have found 4 or 5 for fellow-quilters, the
last one at the Georgetown (DC) flea market last Sunday; it was a centennial
FW, bought by a delighted friend who was born in 1951!   Price was $300.

SUGGESTION:  Please enter your city &state when you write, so as to give all
of us an idea of how far-reaching this digest is and to gauge prices &
locations of currently-owned FWs and new purchases.

Keep on writing!                       Marie
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 17:47:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: knee levers vs. foot pedals


Someone in the Sunday FWF digest commented that she didn't like the knee pedal
and preferred a foot pedal instead, and asked if it could be converted. 
Probably some very elderly sewing machine repairman type who works out of his
basement would have loads of spare parts and know if it is possible. 
Personally, I love the knee lever, because I have problems with my lower back,
and "cocking" my foot back to use the foot pedal puts pressure on the sciatic
nerve or something and aggrivates my back.  The knee lever is operated with my
other leg anyway, and uses a sideways motion.  So for me it is a plus.  Good
luck getting the conversion done.  Please let us on the list know if it turns
out to be possible/plausible, and what it wound up costing!
Ruth A
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 22:50:58 EDT
Subject: Hello

Hi fellow fanatics (and finaticettes)?
I have read several notes about finding featherweights at
bargain prices. My son called tonight to tell us that he
rescued a featherweight from somebodies trash! They don't
get any less expensive than that (unless you can find
somebody that will pay you to take one)....Just thought I'd 
share this with you all. We can't wait to see it.

Joe &Wendy
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 18:59:19 -0500
Subject: FW Fanatics 10/23/95

Administrative Note - 
Sorry for the delay in getting the digest out today.  Our router decided to act 
up at 4 am this morning &didn't get fixed until 5:30pm.  No router means no 
mailing list : ( unfortunetly.  

And now a few exciting things about the FW Fanatics home page on the WWW  
(http://ttsw.com/FWF)  I'm currently working on putting up the complete copy, 
including diagrams, of the manual that I found with my 1920 National cabinet 
model machine (sorry, I don't know the model #)  and the handbook that came w/ 
the Griest attachments.  I hope to have that up this weekend.  I have a picture 
of my 1950 featherweight there, but I'm also going to add pictures of the rest 
of my (growing) collection, 8 to date.  If anyone would be interested in adding 
a picture of your machine(s) to the page, please e-mail me.  I for one would 
love to see some of the other "babies" : )

Your tired, never enough time to play w/ the "babies" hostess, Sue T
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 09:10:28 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/21/95

For Ruth A:

Be warned, hunting attachments can be very addictive.  However, almost any
old Singer attachments will fit your FW.  As will a lot made by Griest.  With
the Griest sets, you need to find an attachment foot.  Basically, this fits
on your FW in the usual way-and lets you slip the Griest foot onto the front
of it.  Sound worse than it is.
Price:I have bought 3 sets of Griest:$4,$5, and $7.  The 7 dollar set came in
a beautiful metal box with lots of gold leaf scrolling over the outside of
the box.  I have also found a Singer set-in its box-for $5.00.  Finally,
thanks to Gordy, who told me to look for one, I have gotten a fascinating
wooden box-lined in velvet.  Its very ingenious-when open it lays perfectly
flat.  The patent date on the box is 1889.  There was an assortment of
attachments inside-including a couple from pre WW I.  Gordy, I did pay more
for this one-$22-but love does strange things to people.
Seriously, go to flea markets and antique stores and ask about old sewing
machine attachments.  Here in York Co, PA, the dealers frequently get a
machine thrown in when they buy the contents of a room or house.  Two
different dealers have told me that they really know nothing about
machines-so you might be able to cut a deal.  And if you should get VERY
lucky, you may stumble on a machine as well.

If all else, fails, e-mail me.  I have some duplicates and I may be able to
rescue you.  Passing thought-about 5 weeks ago, someone included price lists.
 Ruffler was supposed to be going for 75.  Strange as I have more of those
than anything else.
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 09:33:14 -0400
Subject: $10 featherweight...

Hi all,
I had a visit from my dear quilting friend Nicole this weekend.  She called
to say she had a surprise to show me and then showed up at my house with a
featherweight she had picked up over the weekend.  She has a friend who was
cleaning out one of those storage lockers that people rent.  The friend told
her she had a sewing machine to get rid of.  Apparently, she had taken it to
the other two antique stores in town and they wouldn't even give her five
dollars for it.  She told Nicole she could have it for $5.  Nicole could
barely contain her excitement when she realized that it was a fw.  She then
told the friend that she would pay her $10 for it since it was in such nice
shape:)  It is an AJ, 1950 with the oil can, case, attachments and all.  It
runs beautifully.  I oiled it all up for her and I was so excited for her.
 The only thing I said to her was that if this person was really her friend
she should have paid her more for it.  But since Nicole is on a tight budget
she said that she just couldn't.  So where am I when deals like this are
happening?  Just thought I would share this story as it proves that there is
hope for all of us out there for some great bargains.  We just have to keep
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 09:53:51 -0400
Subject: Sticking presser foot....

aaaaaack; sewing merrily away tonite, and when I took my big toe off the
presser bar; the machine KEPT ON GOING....  panic setting in as I am mitering
a corner.......
Gave the foot a swift pop, and it stopped.  

Is it okay for me to take the case apart and oil something or other to keep
this from happening again???

Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 09:50:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: data base

Could someone email the data base questions to me?  I just got the
birthday of my new black FW.

To Joe and Wendy --  What was your son doing in someone's trash?  Just
curious.  I should be so lucky.

On the question of where to find FWs and who bought them -- That run down
neighborhood was probably a very good neighborhood 40 or 50 years ago.

I think it is a great idea to include a name and area so we know where the
FWs are turning up and what the prices are so I am...

Date: 23 Oct 1995 09:03:09 GMT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/21/95

     I think the questions about "did I pay too much" or "is this a fair
     price" are very interesting.  The first question i always ask myself
     (with any purchase of any kind) is:  can i afford it? and how badly do
     i want it?  Then i find out how much other people have paid for the
     same thing (i'm talking houses and trucks in particular here, but the
     FW Fanatics makes great reading to educate all of us about how much
     each of us has paid for our machines and where we've gotten them).

     I paid $20 for my 1929 model 66 (in original cabinet) 20 years ago.
     Now that was a deal! (my boyfriend's mother who was a great antiquer
     found it in an antiques barn up in Massachusetts)  I paid $100 for my
     1957 model 99K two years ago. Some of you probably have found the same
     machine for a lot less, but i feel good about the purchase--it was the
     machine that i wanted (since i didn't feel like i could shell out the
     $450 that the same dealer wanted for a 'fully loaded' FW) and it was
     convenient --clean, ready to go, and at a quilt show where i could
     just pick it up (grunt, and discover, oof, groan, that it for sure
     isn't a featherweight!) and drive it home.

          To Blndbuff@aol.com who wanted an owners manual for her 66 (1948)
     and 99k (1923).  I have a Singer manual that i ordered through a Singer
     dealer in 1974 when i first got my (1929) 66.  The booklet was copyright
     in 1954, but was helpful for me to figure out how to thread and clean my
     machine.  It's helpful for my 1957 99K, too--the innards of these machines
     are very similar.  Would you like a photocopy?  I haven't seen Nancy
     Srebro-Johnson's book about featherweights yet, but i'm sure that it is
     very good.

     Sue--would you consider putting the Singer 800 number on the FFW homepage?
     It seems that every time someone joins the list she asks for the number!

     Paula R
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 07:20:49 -0800
Subject: Singer 301

Oil cans ---  FW oil cans are oval in cross section, hence the oval shaped
spring clip in the bottom of many FW cases.  I have one about 2" tall, with
a 1" spout and says SINGER SEWING MACHINE OIL in white letters. The can is
dark green with orange trim. I have seen oval cans about 4" tall also.

Someone asks about the Singer 301 again.

This is from Singer 301 manual copyright 1956


SMOOTHER STITCHING than ever before possible with this new, gear-driven,
lock-stitch machine.

QUIET, fast and efficient-- it whispers at high speeds.

FULL-VIEW work area. Inclined Needle Bar places work in your direct line of

PERFECT CONTROL -- even at "hand-stitch" speeds.

BALANCED MOTION of the new SINGER 301 prevents vibration.

EASY STARTING -- No coaxing necessary -- lightly press the knee or foot
control and your 301 starts to sew.

SIMPLE THREADING --no complicated diagrams are needed.

REVERSIBLE FEED for sewing either in a forward or backward direction --
easy to back tack and to fasten ends of seams.

PREFOCUSED LIGHT illuminates working area -- prevents eye strain.

CALIBRATED STITCH REGULATOR permits finger-tip control of stitch length.

STITCHING GUIDES, with graduated markings to guide seam width and turn
square corners.

VERSATILE --use it a a portable or cabinet machine.

EASY TO CARRY -- convenient handle is concealed in top of head.

LIGHT WEIGHT --full-sized aluminum head weighs only 16 pounds.

SELF-SETTING NEEDLE makes it impossible to insert needle incorrectly in clamp.
FEED THROW-OUT DEVICE permits darning and embroidering without attachments.

RECESSED BOBBIN WINDER --equipped with automatice stop -- it can't break or
tangle your thread.

HINGED BED EXTENSION permists quick and easy removal of bobbin.

HINGED FACE PLATE --Simplifies cleaning and oiling.

DIAL TENSION takes the guess work out of upper tension setting.

FLEXIBLE SPOOL PINS -- bend but do not break -- thread unreels smoothly and

COMPLETELY ENCLOSED motor and principal working parts insure maximum safety.

Subject: Responses
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 08:51:23 -0500

  Happiness is finding the FW Digest in my mailbox early Monday morning. 
What a way to begin the day!  Thanks Sue and Eric for a great page and also
for making the layout so concise.  Yesterday I used a half ream of paper
printing out archives from a "nameless" source and 75% of it was headers and
nonsense.  I REALLY appreciate solid info line-for-line on this digest.  
  Corinne:  About your "Favorite" treadle machine...Davis, New Home,
Standard and White Sewing Machine Companies each made machines using this
name.  Sorry I can't find more.
  Marilyn:  I'm glad your 2 hr. wait in the rain ended in a winning bid for
the FW.  A friend and I waited most of a hot day in East Helena, MT (1986)
waiting for the auctioneer to reach the FW.  He deliberately held it to the
end, then he threw the bid to the only other bidder who, we believed, was
working for him.  We saw his people hauling stuff away in his trucks after
the sale.  His next auction had lots of antique toy sew. mach.;  I sat
through half a day and left.  Found out later that he didn't put them up for
bid until the 2nd afternoon.  Haven't been to an auction since.
  Mary Jane:  In re FW oil cans.  My FW (#AM) has original green oil can. 
It is oval which fits the shape of the O.C. holder in the FW cases.  It's
part # is 120862; holds 1 1/3 fl. oz.; "Singer Household Oil, Price 10
Cents" is printed on the can and it is for vacuums, too.  The tip has
threads where a cap once was.  Hope this gets you through the oil can
  Gail:  If you don't find original Singer cord for your FW, go to the
hardware store and purchase a med. weight black cord and a new wall plug.  A
friend has replaced it on several of mine at $10 each.  Don't get a thin
cord (like on lamps) but don't get it TOO thick or you won't be able to re-
close the plug that goes into your machine.  Be sure to put an extra long
length of cord between the machine and the wall plug so you don't have to
resort to using extension cords in classes.  (One of mine accidentally got a
longer cord put onto the foot pedal and it drags all over the floor!   :-0  
 I giggle each time I think about it!) 

Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 10:46:22 -0400
Subject: owners manuals

I have 3 manuals for sale:
Singer 15-125 manual  -  1956 copyright
Singer 66-1 manual  - 1905 reissue
Singer 115 manual  -  1944 copyright

Singer box with 8 attachments 'for class 301 machines'
2 featherweights
1 99K machine

Email me for details. Millie
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 08:10:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

  I've been interested in reading the prices that all are picking up the 
FeatherWeights and other antique machines. I got mine for 400. it was 
born in 1947, that was my birthyear and wanted that machine. Perfect 
condition, manuel, buttonholer, manuels and purrs like a kitten. It has 
the tubes of lubricant and the oil can.  Daughter can't keep her mitts of 
this machine. She's organized all the paper work in special keeper 
envelopes because the original manuel is brittle to say the least. But 
the funniest of all is yesterday while cooking she found some cinnamon in 
a green can and said look this must be as old as that Singer oil can. I 
had to LOL on that one.  I will say that 400. now seems high BUT I really 
like the idea that my dealer always has his mechanic go over the machines 
and they are tried, tested and true. Of course I've had friends looking 
for FeatherWeights at garage sales for years but no one has run across 
one, also the dumpster has never offered up a prize, Marilyn congrats on 
the auction sale.
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 08:10:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

  I've been interested in reading the prices that all are picking up the 
FeatherWeights and other antique machines. I got mine for 400. it was 
born in 1947, that was my birthyear and wanted that machine. Perfect 
condition, manuel, buttonholer, manuels and purrs like a kitten. It has 
the tubes of lubricant and the oil can.  Daughter can't keep her mitts of 
this machine. She's organized all the paper work in special keeper 
envelopes because the original manuel is brittle to say the least. But 
the funniest of all is yesterday while cooking she found some cinnamon in 
a green can and said look this must be as old as that Singer oil can. I 
had to LOL on that one.  I will say that 400. now seems high BUT I really 
like the idea that my dealer always has his mechanic go over the machines 
and they are tried, tested and true. Of course I've had friends looking 
for FeatherWeights at garage sales for years but no one has run across 
one, also the dumpster has never offered up a prize, Marilyn congrats on 
the auction sale.
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 11:55:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

Hi all,
	I'll bet you thought I took your statistics, and ran.  I put 
a note on both Quiltnet and the quilting newsgroup about the 
Featherweight survey, and have been busy sending out copies, and 
inputting what I've received.
	Anyway, I finally have some time, so this will be rather long...
	I spent a lot of time on the phone with Dale Pickens one 
evening last week (so get your survey responses in quick because 
my DH is going to kill me in a month when he sees the phone bill) 
and one of the interesting things we talked about was figuring out how 
many Featherweights were made. Singer would do runs of machines. Those of 
you who have gotten back data pages from Singer when you asked for 
birthdates will know this already. In Nancy's book she says that two 
machines with consecutive serial numbers might not be the same model 
of machine. This is true, but only at the beginning and end of runs. 
Runs (at least what we know about then so far) seem to be anywhere
from 3000 to 20000 machines. Now I challenge you to follow this:
	The first AJ machine was made 12/9/48 (not necessarily a 221) 
and the first AK machine was made 11/10/50 (also not necessarily a 221).
This means Singer produced 1,000,000 machines in 23 months. Which means 
they made an average of 10,000 machines each week for those 100 weeks. 
This averages to be 2000 machines per day if my math is close,  for a 
five day work week. So, if Singer tells us in the data sheets that a 
particular machine is part of a 10,000 run, was this run really a week 
long?  Or did Singer manufacture parts at certain times of the week, 
month or year, and then do assembly runs that could put out this vast 
number in such a short time?  So far, we have about ninety responses 
to the survey, and have multiples with the same birthdate (but I'll get 
into that more when I get a little more info, I have sent to Singer for 
any birthdates that the owners didn't know, and will let each owner know 
the results) we also have a couple instances where the birthdates are one 
or two days apart, but I don't know if they are considered part of the 
same run. Maybe those of you who have read the book mentioned recently 
about the Singer employee have more insight into the manufacturing.  
What my goal is here, is to understand the process, so we can make an 
educated guesstimate on the total production number of Featherweights.  
If any of you have register ranges on a data page from Singer, please 
let me know.  They are going to prove invaluable.
	Dale also said that he is doing some of the footwork for Nancy's 
next book and is particularly interested in xeroxes of original bills 
of sale.  If anyone here has one, let me know and I will get you his 
address if you don't have it, and would like to contribute. One of the 
reasons there is so little hard info available is that Singer is not 
making any of the info they have readily available. According to Dale, 
they are not at all helpful, even to Nancy S-J. I guess they look at it 
as promoting an item that they can no longer profit off of, and it 
creates more demand on their employees to look up the birthdates of 
our machines all day.
	Someone on this list asked if anyone had seen any good original
advertisements for Featherweights, and according to Dale, Singer had a
paper sign that they had available to their dealers ( now probably 
extremely rare, but worth hunting for) that showed among other Singer 
machines, a Featherweight which it said originated in 1932. Keep in
mind, the World's fair it was supposedly introduced at was in 1933. 
The sign also showed the bird's eye maple cabinet for the Featherweight.
	I have to retract something I said some time ago. My husband told 
me he knew of someone who had a table that matched their machine. I took
this to mean that the serial numbers matched, but I was wrong. He just 
meant that they were purchased at the same time. This is obvious by the
tables that have been sent in to the survey. The serial numbers are 
either one letter followed by six numbers, or three numbers followed by 
one letter. So far there is no consistency in numbering the tables.
	A Canadian dealer my DH bought a machine from recently told him 
a couple things I thought were worth passing on. He said that freearm
machines were never sold in the US. This explains why they seem to pop 
up more in Canada. He also said that Singer has just come out with a
reproduction of the Featherweight manual. He is sending us a copy, but 
I didn't realize they weren't available before. I read about people 
with older treadles getting manuals from Singer. Couldn't you get 
Featherweight manuals too?
	One last thing for now, I promise. I figure I'll embarrass 
myself and show you just how crazy my DH and I are about these 
machines. When we first started collecting these machines a few 
years ago, we were at a quilt show in West Virginia and saw a 
colored Featherweight. I have tried and tried and can't honestly 
remember what color it was, just that I was thinking: Yuck. My husband 
insists that it was green. True green. Now everyone else insists that 
there is no true green, but that the white British machines look mint 
in the right light. So, when my husband found someone with a green 
Featherweight foot pedal he paid $30, yes, $30 for a foot pedal 
just to prove to me he was right. And it is green, a few shades 
darker than the white machines, I guess I'd call it sage. Now, for the 
big question...did Singer ever use this same foot on other model 
machines that we all know did come in green?  This is not like the 
white machines foot which is hardwired, it is just like the later black 
machines with the two plastic knobs.  The wire is slightly darker green  
than the foot and plug-in pieces. We have been told about a couple 
green 221's lately, but have yet to actually find one. But we haven't 
given up yet!

	Also, please let me know if anyone needs a copy of the survey
again! And please pass them on to any one you know with a Featherweight!
May your Featherweights all hum happily,
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 12:29:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: wanted, fw

if Pat Dunbar will post her e-mail address, or e-mail
me directly,  I think I can help her with the 
wanted item--I tried the one on fw fanatics but it bounced back to me 
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 10:31:08 MST
Subject: Not...much

Just called Singer and my machine was born on May 25, 1949...it's
serial # starts with EF....they also gave me the telephone number of
a woman in Florida who wants to sell a FW - no case or attachments...
I'm not interested but if anyone else is, please email me and I will
give you the woman's name and telephone number.  I don't think she's
on this list.
Sandra M
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 13:11:55 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

Well, I found out that the Singer I saw is a 99K born Oct. 2, 1956.  I
misunderstood the guy selling it - he wants $199.  It does look beautiful but
I think that's too much.  What is a good price??  Same guy has a beautiful AL
for sale, attachments, keys, case (no manual).  He wants $300.  Seems about
right but of course I'm always looking for a great deal.  

Singer # is 800-877-7762 for those who were asking.

Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 13:20:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: bobbin case replacement ?

I heard about a fw for sale near me so I went to check it out yesterday--it
was in this guy's garage, case was in BAD shape, front of fw had some black
paint missing --there were a few attachments and it was one of the older ones-
he only wanted $30.00 for it BUT it didn't have a bobbin case--a little voice
said "you probably shouldn't do this " but I did nayway--I took it home and
switched bobbin cases and I ended up having to take it apart because the thread
was jemmed down in--however, I did get it running, nice even stitches, and at
least it has found a good home--but this morning I called the Singer guy and he
said bobbin cases are hard to find and very expensive--HELP!!  anyone (Hi Gordy)
know of a reasonable solution to this mess I got myself into?
Date: 23 Oct 95 14:49:33 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

Hi, Susan R 

Could you please email me so I can get the format of your address correct?  DH
trashed my address book last week (accidentally, of course), and I'm doing
something wrong when I specify your address.  Thanks.

Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 15:30:57 EST
Subject: knee levers vs. foot pedals

Someone in the Sunday FWF digest commented that she didn't like the knee 
pedal and preferred a foot pedal instead, and asked if it could be 

I sure wish I could get my Viking #1 converted the other way...I grew up 
with a knee press Singer and a knee press no-name from Wards and I just 
can't get used to the foot pedal on my new Viking. :{

Dawn E. N
Subject: Attachments and Part Numbers
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 13:56:45 -0500

  Ruth A.:  You've been asking for a list of attachments and part #s for the
FWs so I went through three of mine, two which seemed to be complete and
unused.  I'm going to print this list onto card stock, laminate it,  and
carry it with me for future treasure hunts.

ATTACHMENT BOX                                   160481  or 160809
	Foot Hemmer                             120855  or 35857 
	Adjustable Hemmer                   35931
	Multi Slotted Binder                    160359
	Edge-Stitcher	                  36865  
	Gatherer                                    121441
	Ruffler                                       120598
	Zipper Foot                                161127 (this is not shown in the
	Seam Gauge                             25527
                "            "      Screw                  No number
	Lg. Screwdriver                       25537  (black)
	Sm. Screwdriver                      120378 (silver and black)
	Singer Motor Lubricant 1/2 oz. No number
	2 extra felt circles for spool pin (red or black)
	Two green pkgs. needles: three 15x1 size 11 needles; three 15x1 size 14

FOOT PEDAL                                            194584
BOBBIN CASE                                           45750
OIL CAN                                                    120862
KEY TO CASE                                           No number but replace
with Ilco T60 at the locksmith shop.
6 BOBBINS                                                The older ones have
an extra hole near the center; some 1950 ones do not.
Other attachments to look for are:
HEMSTITCHER                                         121387
ZIGZAG ATTACHMENT                           #_____________
BUTTONHOLER                                       #_____________
BULB                                                       Replace with
Singer #2118 or GE #15T7DC

  Sorry I don't have numbers for the last two attachments.  All the others
were either marked SINGER or SIMANCO and USA or GR. BRITAIN.  Does anyone
else have # or additional things to add to this list?  What about you free
arm FW owners?
Hope this helps to put it all in one spot.  (And I hope it doesn't break up
during transmission.    8-(       )

Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 17:52:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: cost to clean

Hi-  Regarding the cost to take a machine apart and clean and oil it- right now
having this done at sears (for a fairly new Kenmore) is running upwards of $50,
and they claim that having a $40 service contract is therefore a bargain.  I'd
say that $30 or $35 or even more is reasonable for a thorough cleaning and
oiling by someone who knows what he or she is doing.

BTW, I did some paper piecing with my FW last night and was thrilled at the
accuracy, it stopped on a "dime" (on the very stitch where I wanted it to). 
Hard for me because the only foot I have is a zipper foot! but it is exactly
1/4" from the needle to the foot edge, so I treat it like a "little foot"

Someone please put the Singer cust. svc. # on the digest - a lot of us need it. 
Thanks!   Ruth A
Subject: FW Birthdays    

According to Nancy Johnson-Sbrebro and her book which is a reprint of the
original instruction book for Featherweights the following dates apply as
to the production date of your machine:

     AD    1934
     AE    1936
     AF    1938
     AG    1941
     AH    1948
     AJ    1950
     AK    1952
     AL    1955
     AM    1956
     AN or higher - unknown
     AI    Skipped

I am enjoying all the info - please keep it up.  This reprint of the 
original book is available from Clotilde.

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 01:25:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Noisy Bobbins/Pedal bag/old Treadle

My friend just bought a 1951 Centennial fw.  Excuse me if you've already 
discussed this subject, but her bobbin case rattles.  Does this mean she 
has a Japanese replacement bobbin case?  Any information would be great.  
She got it in pieces--someone had taken it apart and probably couldn't 
get it back together again, but works now.  What's the trick with the 
emery cloth and a matchstick??

I made a little bag out of cheater cloth for my foot attachment.  It slides 
right in next to the machine (and won't scratch it), is pretty, and leaves 
more room in the tray for supplies.  I also like the tip about putting 
something distinctive (like colored yarn) on the handle to show it's yours. 
Reminds me of a (true) story on an airplane.  The plane was leaving NY 
for Washington when the attendant announced, "Did someone leave a bag of 
bagels at the departure gate?"  About 30 heads bobbed under their seats 
to check to see if it was their bag!  (This was before the advent of 
bagel shops on every street corner--when it was unique to NY.)
I can imagine the same thing happening with a featherweight!  (But who 
could leave it?)

I've loved this list--learn something new everyday.  I haven't seen a 
group of people so excited about something OLD in a long time!!

One last thing.  I saw a vintage Singer treadle machine with all the 
beautiful gold scrollwork on it at a used furniture shop recently.  I 
had actually gone in hoping to find a featherweight.  I was ready to 
pounce on it but another woman had already BOUGHT it (for $150).  It was 
beautiful (and gets more beautiful every day).  Get this...she was going to 
use it in her dining room to hold her decanters and some wine glasses.
She wasn't even a quilter.  She didn't even plan to open it up!

If I ever find any, I'd love to start collecting the toy machines next.  Are 
they ever found at yard sales, or are they definitely "collectibles" that 
everyone knows about (read:  command high prices)?  After spending $350 
on my 1950 f.w., I can't afford too many more "toys."  (Although I do USE my 

Barb T
Date:        Tue, 24 Oct 1995 16:02:20 CST
Subject: Fraternal Twins!!!!

For the past few days, I've been calling Customer Relations at Singer
(18---4-singer ext. 3) in order to find out when my machines were made.
They can give out only two "birthdays" at a time.  Yesterday I found out
that one of my Featherweights (with marked throat plate, gold and clack
seal, scroll end plate AL160234 ) was made on December 12, l952.  Odd
because the scroll plate is one of the older ones.  Either it was a
replacement after manufacture or Singer had a left over.  Today I called
about another FW (AL169553) also with a marked throat plate, black and
gold seal but with a striated end plate.  It too was made on December
12, l952.  Wow!! I was so excited about the first one because I was born
in 1952, but when I found out that these two were made on the first day,
I got really excited.
I've always wanted twins.  These aren't identical given their different
end plates, so I guess they are fraternal twins.  Singer couldn't tell
me when my 301a was made other than by telling me "sometime between 1953
and 1959".  Wonder why.
I also found out that my white featherweight (EV935283) is a model 328K
made on May 13, l964.  Does this mean it is NOT a featherweight?  Hmmm.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 17:06:21 -0700
Subject: join fwfanatics please 

My name is Trudy.  Please sign me up to receive the E-mail postings.  I 
have recently purchased a featherweight and would like to learn more 
about them.  The machine is in good shape.  However, the case is in 
need of repair.  The material on the bottom of the case needs to be 
replaced.  I would like to find replacement material (close to 
original).  Thank you very much. 
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 23:03:36 EDT
Subject: Hello

Hi Fanatics-
To: Marilyn Root......My son was just driving down the road 
when he spied a FW case sitting out with somebodies trash.
He came to a screeching halt, jumped out and found that the 
case was empty, but the machine was a few feet away on the
sidewalk. He has since called back and the machine is an AE 
in nice condition, but case is a mess.

We are still looking for an original 222 free-arm manual.
Would also be interested in purchasing original manuals for 
221, 99, 201, 301, &401. Please E-mail if you can help.
Thanks, Joe &Wendy
Date: 24 Oct 95 23:46:52 EDT
Subject: The Search !!

Hi everyone,

 This digest certainly is addictive.  I have now decided to begin my search for
a Featherweight!  I can't wait to get my hands on one!  My question is this: 
Besides my handy FW Fact Sheet, what else should I take with me on my search? 
I thought I saw someone mention a kit she put together but I missed the main
part of the thread.  I can imagine I would need Singer needles, perhaps a
bobbin, thread, fabric scraps, and .... what else??  I would appreciate any
suggestions to help make my search more productive !!

 Also, I learned to sew on an old Singer (not a FW) with the knee bar.  It
belonged to my grandmother and my mom believes it might have been purchased
around 1919.  It is in excellent shape and has all attachments, manual and
case, etc.  I have been hounding my mom to send me some information to help me
determine what model it is.  I would love to be able to tell her it's
birthdate!  I have already told her NOT TO EVER THINK OF SELLING IT! I want
it!!! I'll let everyone know when I find out what it is.  Thanks to everyone
for all the great information on these beautiful old machines.

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 12:31:49 -0400
Subject: Fristen and Rossmore

P.S. I'm still hoping someone out there with their antique sewing machine
books will look up this Fristen and Rossmore Shuttle for me.  It's a pretty
cool looking machine.  THanks,  Debi
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 21:59:26 -0700
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/23/95


About that green machine,

>big question...did Singer ever use this same foot on other model
>machines that we all know did come in green?

It may have been a Spartan. I saw one at a flea market, it looked a LOT
like a FW. But when I picked it up, it seemed to weigh about 50 pounds. It
was definetely sort of an icky, sage green. Kind of the green you might
associate with a very old dentist's office. They wanted $50 for it. Since
it wasn't a FW, I turned my nose up at it.

More about your survey. I sent you the details of my machine but, I am
trying to round up all the details of my MIL's FW. She bought it new in
1948. It is her only sewing machine. She has a table, wooden top and legs.
She also has the sewing chest that Singer sold to go along with it. It
looks like a little nightstand with lots of drawers. (In fact, it IS the
nightstand in the room where we sleep when we go to visit.) About the oil
can, she says it came with the machine but, she's not quite sure of its
current whereabouts. She still has the original bill of sale so I will see
about getting a copy, or at least the details. She gets a chuckle hearing
about FW prices but, she does point out, that even when she bought it, it
wasn't cheap.

Happy FW hunting,
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 12:30:29 -0400
Subject: AL for sale

Okay everyone, this guy keeps calling me - very hot to sell his AL.  I've
promised to go take a look at it tomorrow.  He says it is in perfect
condition, case in perfect condition, all attachments and keys to the locks
but no manual.  He wants $300 for it which is a reasonable price if it is as
good as he says.  Does anyone want me to buy this machine for them?  I just
can't justify adding another at full price to my "collection" of 2.  But I
would be willing to pick it up and help get it to someone who wants it.  If
you're interested, e-mail me and I'll give you my phone #.  I'm planning on
taking a look at it tomorrow.  He also has a very nice 99K for $199 - that's
probably a negotiable price.

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:34:27 +1000 (EST)
Subject: top tension on my new (old) machine

Hi all!  I'm really flying in the dark about my new (old) Reynolds Sewing
Machine, my father refers to him as "Mr Reynolds, a retired sewing
gentleman in a black suit with silver braid" (but then, my dad also
collects vintage and veteran CARS, which makes my sewing machine obsession
seem Quite Reasonable!)

I have gotten Mr Reynolds to sew but I'm doing something wrong with the
upper tensioning because the top thread lays on top of the fabric instad of
locking nicely in the middle of the fabric.  Can anyone help?

I've tried taking the tension discs and their adjustment dial off and
cleaning them; I have yet to try stretching the spring which pushes on the
tension discs.
Mr Reynolds looks like he retired a LONG time ago - there's not even any
pin scratches on his lovely black deck and silver border! He has a lovely
scroll-y face plate, and the needle goes in SIDEWARDS (ie the eye faces out
towards the faceplate, not to the front as it does in my other machines Is
this right?
Thanks for your patience, everyone.
from Caitlin in Canberra Australia, where it's a beuatiful spring day
unless you suffer from hayfever......                                     

Subject: Adapting a Used Cabinet for a FW
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 95 09:01:08 -0500

  Although I do have one of the original FW tables, it is too large for my
studio space so I adapted a used cabinet and just love it.  I found an old
Singer for $36 but it was the cabinet that caught my eye.  Everything that
isn't oak is mahogany to me so I guess this is mahogany.  :-}  It has one
drawer to hold FW attachments, two boxes of bobbins and manual.  My little
parrot likes to get in it and play when I sew.
  To adapt this for my FW, I simply set the FW into the existing hole cut
out for the old machine.  I measured from the top of the bed of the FW to
the sewing surface of the cabinet and it was exactly the height of the
thickness of a 2x4.  Not owning a table saw, I used a handsaw to cut two
lengths of 2x4, removed the FW, screwed the 2x4s to the metal bars down in
the hole (depending on what is IN the hole one could simply epoxy the 2x4s
in place), and then simply set the FW on top of the 2x4s.  
  There is a space to the right of the FW which nicely accomodates the 3-
prong plug.  I moved my FW as far forward in the hole as possible so it is
flush with the top of the cabinet and I have a smooth sewing surface.  There
is a 2" gap behind the machine where, if one had a scroll saw, one could cut
a piece of wood to fit the space and it would fill in.  Many modern sew.
mach. have a plastic insert to fill in this area on cabinets.  My solution
was to cut a piece of hard styrofoam (leftover from computer packing) to
wedge into the space and cover it with black, shiny electrical tape.  It
matches the finish on my FW, removes easily for machine cleaning, but stays
in place when sewing for a smooth, flat surface.  You can't imagine how neat
my FW looks in its little cabinet.  
  This cabinet's original machine has a wood curved cover so that the owner
could convert it to a "portable".  One mistake I made was not to refinish
this cover when I refinished the cabinet so that it could cover the FW when
not in use.  Many times I was going to give the old machine away or haul it
to the dump but that cover stopped me.  After reading this digest I am
anxious to see if that ugly grey thing actually sews, what model it is, etc.
 It has a boat bobbin and is electric.  But that will be another day.
  Hope this sends some of you looking for cabinets to convert.  There are
plenty of junk machines sitting in shops that they can't give away so ask
yourself if the cabinet isn't worth the price.  The stuff you usually find
in the cabinet drawers is always like a treasure hunt, too.  Good luck!

Terry  where the FWs are singing so I was up at 5:15 a.m. paper-
piecing a sewing machine design in black polished cotton.  Will make a cute
miniature wallhanging.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 95 09:15:49 -0500

  Well, I finally decided to drag this old Singer out of a dark corner of
the garage to see what the heck it was.  It came with the cabinet I
refinished for my FW and I completely forgot about the machine until a
friend was visiting this summer.  I now understand why the memory was buried
so deeply.  Where was the Singer Board of Directors when this thing came off
the assembly line?  If Featherweights looked like this, owners would be
paying US to take them. 


----Elizabeth, New Jersey would be upset if they knew their name was on this
----It's so ugly, I'm thinking of disguising it with a wig and glasses.
----If the neighbors knew this was in my garage, they'd call the police.
----If I'd thrown this in the dump, the EPA would have declared it a toxic
waste site.
----The manufacturing plant would have heaved a sigh of relief if an
arsonist had paid a visit.
----It weighs so much that if it had been aboard the Titanic, she would have
sunk BEFORE she hit the iceberg.
----If I put this thing on the front porch on Halloween, kids would run in
----If I drove to Yellowstone Park and threw this in Old Faithful, Mother
Earth would spit it right back out.  
----Forget using kerosene to clean out this machine.  I'm afraid I'd be
tempted to light a match.  
----I'm afraid to bring it into the house for fear of what might crawl out
of it.  
----I'm thinking of naming it Godzilla because the Japanese would empty
Tokyo if this thing ever got loose.
----Any girl who learned to sew on one of these must be in therapy for child
----If Jack Nicholson had wielded this instead of a hatchet in "The Shining"
, Shelley Duval would be dead.
----How well does it run?  Worse than the Denver Airport.

  Well, I'm feeling better after getting this off my chest.  Thanks for
listening as it saved ME a trip to the shrink.  And, by the way, the serial
number is AJ610386 so if you have a machine anywhere close to this number,
have it checked for rabies.
Sue, when you get tired of running that picture of the World's Worst Quilt,
how about running the World's Ugliest Singer Contest.  I think I have the
winning entry.

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 11:34:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Attachments

I found a box of attachments - with no identification on them.  Do all 
Singer attachments have the Singer name on them?

Also, about a 301.  What do they look like?  Can you identify them 
without having a serial number?  Am I right that the bobbins and bobbin 
case are the same as the FW?  I thought my Singer guy told me that, but 
I'm not sure.

When I was in Tennessee last week at a craft fair, a gentlemen told us 
that Davis stopped making machines was that Singer 'burned' them out.  It 
seems that this was the way to eliminate the competition -- at least in 
the early days of Tennessee.  Has anyone else heard of this?

I really enjoy this group and wish I had some new FWs to tell you all 
about - especially a bargain find!  Oh, well.

Bye for now...........Pat
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 13:06:55 -0500
Subject: Feet, my FW story

I love this list.  It has sent me back to my FW, upon which I rarely sew.  

My FW was given to me two years ago by my dear mother in law who picked me
instead of either of her two daughters and two other daughters in law (all
of whom sew occasionally), because as she said "you care about sewing,  they
just sew.  And besides I bought it at Uncle Merle's Singer Store in Cadillac
when I was pregnant with your husband."  I didn't even know she had one
until she hauled it out of the closet and gave it to me.

It has two serial numbers on it.  The plate reads AK988414 but next to it
written on a piece of tape is AJ 104268.  I need to ask her if she remembers
why. Nancy's book puts AK in 1952 and AJ in 1950, but my DH was born in late
49 so is MIL's memory is correct?  One of these days I need to call that
Singer number.

The case is in good condition complete with two keys.  I have the
buttonholer complete with manual in a green box.  The feet were loose in the
tray.  I had trouble identifying the various feet until someone (a complete
stranger, one of those other mothers hanging out during library story time)
gave me a photocopy of part of an old Singer manual.

It is a photocopy of pages 36 to 63 of something, the photocopied section is
headed "Instructions for Using the Attachments"  It is very detailed, with
several pages of instructions, ideas, troubleshooting for each foot.  It
covers these feet, all of which I have except the first listed:  (This is
similar to the list someone sent in today's digest.)

the foot hemmer
adjustable hemmer
multiple slotted binder 160359
edge stitcher
It also includes instructions for using optional feed cover plate No.32622.

I have one other mystery foot I can not identify.  Any ideas?  It has two
front crossbar type pieces, each marked and numbered 0 - 8 on different
scales.  The front one is larger and tweezer like and may have gone up and
down with the needle.

My MIL still has the FW table she bought with her featherweight and still
uses it for her current sewing machine.  I keep offering to buy her a new
card table or table of her choice but she resists.  It is promised to me

Love this list.

Connie Ozinga in Seymour, Indiana
Connie Jo Ozinga, Director             Voice: (812) 522-3412
Jackson County Public Library        Fax:  (812) 522-5456
303 West Second St.                     cjo@hsonline.net                  
Seymour, IN 47274       http://www.hsonline.net/seymour/jcpl.htm

"So, as fast as I could, I went after my net.  And I said, "With my net I
can get them I bet. I bet, with my  net, I can get those Things yet!."  The
Cat in the Hat.
Subject: Thanks Sue Traudt.
Date: 25 Oct 1995 17:53:15 GMT

Hi Fellow Fanatics,
Many thanks to Sue for this group.   These are always the first messages I
read each day,   I am new to thi list and this is the first time that I am
participating by sending a message too.
How old does a sewing machine have to be to be antique ?   I ask because I
have a love of anchient Elna's (40 yrs old at least), second of course to my
love of FW's.  Must confess to a battalion of each.  Elna was ahead of the
times, and I could do a blind stitch,--- same as the applique stitch, &
lorded by the computerised machine today,-- forty years ago !.  I have a
wonderful Janome or NEW Home 8000, but it is the older machines that I prefer
to use every day.  It is a FW that I take to workshops, because my dependable
old FW are so friendly, and light to carry.

I also have a hand crank Frister &Rossman machine.  Someone was asking about
that make of machine.  It works well and was brought over from England by my
mother-in-law to Montreal in the mid '50s.  She used it most cleaverly, but I
have got used to needing both hands while I sew.  If anyone is contemplating
aquiring a F&R
I think getting machine needles for this could be a problem.  They are
somewhat different to the flat sided ones we use.   I sent to England for
several packets several times to keep her humming, but I don't know if they
still exist.  If anyone is really interested I"ll delve thro my things for
addresses etc.  Incidentally this F&R machine was bought in the early 1920s. 
The FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95 did not have any messages !  What a
disappointment.                 That's my 2c worth for now.            GRETA
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 18:41:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: That Crazy Lady

Yesterday, several teachers at our school met together to discuss making 
classroom flags to encourage better attendance at our elementary school.  
The idea is that when a class has 100% attendance, they can "post" the 
school flag next to their door.

Anyway, after we cut out the patterns and applied wonder-under to the 
stars, the lady in charge asked if anyone would volunteer to sew together 
some of the flags (35 in all.)  Feeling guilty about having my own 
sewing room, I volunteered.  Then she asked, "And what kind of 
machine do you have?"   You can imagine her expression when I answered, 
"Well, I have four machines."  

Total silence!  You could (literally) hear a pin drop.  Five women sat 
there in total silence, staring at me!  Finally I said, "Well, I have a 
Featherweight, Singer Quantum, 99-13, and Bernina 1000."

Five pairs of eyes blinked back at me, and no one said a word.  Finally I 
said, "I like to quilt, and I like antique sewing machines."

Yes, folks!  They think I'm crazy!  And do I care?  Not really because 
I'm in great company with the people on this list.  Just wish I could have 
answered, "Well, I have 149 machines....."

Mary Jane
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 09:54:00 EDT
Subject: fyD: data base address

Could someone please post the database address that is being created for 
Featherweights?  I finally have all my info ready and now do not have the 

I love the list!  I read bits and pieces of it to my family so they will 
understand I am not totally alone in my passion for the little guys.  AH...guys 
as a definition..they are usually referred to in the female gender aren't they?

I must give credit to my DH, he likes them every bit as much as I and encourages 
me to seek them out.  I have 3 daughters that will recieve one each, as soon as 
I locate one more.  I presently have 3, but I must keep one for myself.

Karen P
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 20:30:35 -0400
Subject: Remember the squeek?

Remember I complained about that squeeky sneaker noise in my featherweight?
 Now,  this one I purchased from a dealer who claimed to have cleaned it
up......  And, I know I have oiled and lubed it up.....   Well, I decided to
find out what that blasted noise was.  It sounds to be coming from under the
throat plate.  So I ripped it to shreds.  No I didn't find the squeek, but I
did find that this guy had never (and neither had I) cleaned inside the cover
under the thread spindle.  Inside was some horrible brown axle grease type
gunk which had hardened to little pellets!  UGH!!!!  Well, I cleaned it out
nicely and figured while I'm at it, I'll just de-grease the entire machine.
 After it was all cleaned, re-oiled, re-lubed up, it ran so nicely, but it
still squeeks.  By this time I'm about to pull out my own hair!

Jill, regarding, cleaning the outside, I've looked at lots of different metal
polishes, most of which say not for use on laquer.  I did find one, and used
it on a lovely treadle, without the kind of result I was looking for.  I've
also tried Armorall Bug and Tar remover (for use with any finish), again
without the result I wanted.  Some gunk did come off--but not enough.  I also
sprayed the machine with WD-40 (a degreaser).  I've also tried plain
degreasing Dawn dishsoap and water with a soft bristle brush and have gotten
some gunk off, but again, not enough.  I did find that scraping with my
fingernail (a nice soft thing) did help somewhat.  I wonder if scraping with
orange sticks would be a good idea.  I finally just said "the heck with it"
and turtle waxed it (noticing that some dirt came off when I rubbed off the
turtle wax).   One of these days, I'll try some Kerosene (just hope I don't
get mad enough to put a match to it!).  Can we get a little help here from
someone in the know?  How do you cut through that resinous crusty crap that
creeps out of nooks and crannies and across this lovely gilt?

Susan, regarding prices, you realize that the "worth" of the featherweight is
what the market will bear.  There are so many levels on which to evaluate the
price.   On one level, the present market price of $300-500 is not terrible
considering the original price and inflation and the fact that these machines
are so handy and such nice stitchers.  Just look at the prices a new middle
level modern name brand is fetching (BTW, my "new" machine needed service
after only 1 year!  I'm appalled).  On another level, how badly does one
really want one of these machines?  People are probably willing to pay more
for the first when they think they really "need" one or if they are giving it
for a gift and need it by a deadline.  What really bothers me is that I saw
rather worn looking featherweights going for $400 + at a recent show, and
"very good" condition machines being advertised on message boards for
$300-350.   You also ask what prices should be charged for cleaning.  My
repair man seems to charge about $60, but he also can repair my motor at the
same time if it needs assistance.  I doubt he charges by the hour, but more a
flat fee, cause I can't get out of there for under $45.  Now, more often than
not the motor does not need assistance, but I would hate to pay (were I the
buyer) and then find I needed a repair job on the motor and had to engage an
additional person.  

Finally, would Rayna from NJ email me?  Sorry for the bandwidth, but I've
lost your email adress and telephone number.  Lets go the guild meeting on
11/13 as Harriet Hargrave is speaking!

Date:        Wed, 25 Oct 1995 19:50:34 CST
Subject: looking for 301

I'm looking for a Singer 301 or 301a machine.  I'dlike it to be in good
condition, have a manual, a case, and a set of attachments all forone
low, low price!  (And I'd like to be Claudia Schiffer for a day too).
If you know of one for sale, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 09:16:37 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/22/95

I had to share my latest acqusition with this group because my family sure
doesn't understand and I thought you might. At an auction on Saturday I
purchased a turquoise singer model 338 in a danish modern cabinet. The
instruction book is dated 1964 and the machine is the epitome of that era. At
$15 I couldn't resist, but it sure takes up a lot more room than my
portables. It has cams to do various kinds of zigzag patterns. The belt seems
to slip at times and I hope someone here might have some suggestions as to
why. I've decided to limit my collection to Singer machines, unless of course
I find a really good deal on another brand. Sue M.
Subject: Misc.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 95 21:26:01 -0500

  BARB T.:  You wondered if your friend's FW had a replacement bobbin case. 
The number 45750 is stamped on my original bobbin case.  I'm still waiting
to hear the details of the emory cloth/matchstick trick, too!
  And yes, toy sewing machines are still found in garage sales but those in
antique shops command prices between $50 and $250 in the west.  Metal toys
of any kind are valuable so dealers are really after them.  
  MICHELE:  Your story of fraternal twins cracked me up!  I have an AK992740
born 8-11-1952.  Is that any closer to your birthday?  Also, I have a white
FW serial #EV977100 and it is definitely a FW.  Don't know it's birthdate
yet but everything I have been told or read says these were only
manufactured between 1968-1970.  Now I'm puzzled....
  CHRIS IN DALLAS:  Add a screwdriver to your FW Search Kit.  Be sure to
check under the spool pin, throat plate and bottom of the machine for rust. 
Also make sure it can actually wind a bobbin.  I got burned once by not
checking that.  Things can be fixed, of course, but if the seller sees
something is amiss, he/she may lower the price for you.  
  RUTH:  I have one of those velvet-lined oak boxes that flattens out.  Like
a dummy I gave away the attachments as they didn't fit any of my machines. 
Ditto for some Griest attachments and now you tell me they would fit the FW
if I use a special adapter. Darn!  I just wanted the tin attachment box. 
And, thanks for the tip about using the zipper foot for the 1/4" seam.
  SHARON:  Your foot pedal can be oiled to keep it from sticking.  I have
removed the cover from several of mine and cleaned and oiled the moving
parts with success.  
  ZSUXXA:  Please tell me the whole serial # on your 1947 FW and the full
birthdate.  Thanks.

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 22:47:14 -0400
Subject: advertisements

Today I went up to a place that has scads of magazines and spent the day
looking for Singer ads.  Found one only---at least, that is one that is of
interest to me.  It occurred to me while I was there that I sure went about
this backward; I forgot that I have this resource.  

So now I ask what I should have asked before I went:  does anyone know
where/when Singer ads were concentrated?  Most of mine have come from the
early thirties and have found few.  There are few sewing machine ads in
general, considering the number of ads for other household appliances
(stoves, washers, etc).  Anyway, I am going up again in a few weeks; maybe
this time I will be armed with helpful info.

On a related subject, twice recently I have seen notations to the effect
that Singer never referred to the model 221 as a Featherweight.  However, I
have ads from Singer which use that word in the ad.  

One of my ads is doublesided:  on one page is a letter from wife to husband
about what she wants for Christmas stating that she will mark on the next
page the item she wants.  Turn the page and that space is the Singer machine
ad showing 2 cabinets and a Featherweight.  Pretty clever.  I think that one
is 1934.

Susan Jane
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 09:29:52 -0400
Subject: FWFanatics Digest 10-24-95

Just want to say again much I am enjoying the digest.  I posted a couple of
weeks ago, but was so excited about finding the group that I forgot to ask
about some info.  :)

My little FW was born March 18, 1935, Serial number beginning with AD, and I
found her for only $75.00.  She has no attachments or case, but is in great
condition and runs beautifully.  I just got her in July of this year here in
California, so keep the faith......I think the good bargains are still out

Now to my newest aquisition, which I found at a pawn shop for $25.00.
 According to Singer, the old gal is a Model 128, Serial number beginning
with AA, born November 11,1924.  I have seen information on several other
models that I didn't even know existed, but nothing on the model 128.  The
machine is beautiful, with lots of ornate gold, green and red decaling.  It
has a beautiful "grapevine and grapeleaf face plate and another little round
plate on the back with the same pattern.  The cord is badly frayed, so don't
know if she runs or not, but I have a Singer factory very near me and they
say for about $70.00 they will guarantee that she will run, and that includes
any necessary parts.  So we'll see.......  The case is a beautiful round top
wooden treasure with the Singer "letters" on the front all in great

I would appreicate any info anyone has on this machine.

Happy quilting and sewing to all!

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 07:36:13 EDT
Subject: For Sale

     A friend has decided to sell his two FW 222K's.  These are the rare
free arm model.  They look just like tthe regular FW221 except that the
base is removeable to reveal the free arm.
     The first is in excellent condition with exceellent case, manual,
attachments, motor lube and keys.       $1550.
     The second is in "MINT" (read show room clean).  Looks as though it
has been used only a few hours at most.  Complete with a full set of
attachments, manual, embroidery hoop made for the 222K and keys.    $1950.
  Both machines have been serviced. Interested parties should e-mail me
with your phone number so that I may put him in touch with you.  He is not
on line at the moment.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 07:53:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: FW and knee pedals


After reading Ruthie's message abut the knee pedal, I thought about
a portable machine I got at a garage sale for $5.00.  It was in a
wooden bentwood case with a Jenny Lind type handle and a key that
locked the top onto the machine.  It was a portable with the knee
pedal that clipped into the top of the case when the machine was put
away.  This machine was made in 1923 and is beautiful.  It ended up
being a present to my daughter who also has the treadle singer I had.

Just found my FW at a sale along with the table for $25.  It did not have
the manual or oil can but did have the lubricant tube in the green box.
The attachments were not in a box, but in a brown envelope which was the
original envelope.  Also was a paper from the Singer company included, but
off hand I can't remember if it was something like inspection marks or
what.  Will have to check that out again.  The case has what appears to
be the original piece of cardboard in the bottom with the corners cut out
for the bottom of the machine.  The machine is in excellent condition and
with a little cleaning and oiling, it purrs like a kitten.  Just made a
50th birthday gift on it with beautiful stitching.  The apron had a pieced
star in the bib.  The table has had use as a card table and has chips, but
the machine fits in it and makes it soooooo convenient to use.  It has
5 extra attachments with it.

My baby's birthdate is Sept. 16, 1946.

I also have a Singer, model 201 (?) that was made in May of 1940 and I
have been doing almost all of my sewing on it.  I use a Viking ankle and
Viking 1/4 inch foot on it that I tried on the FW and was extremely
pleased with how it worked on the FW.  I have a little foot, but do not
like it near as well as the Viking one.  I also have a Singer 404 with
only straight stitching (was my mother's) made in 1960 which is a work
horse.  And another machine just a little older than the 404 with zigzag
for machine applique.  My 10 year old Kenmore does not do too bad of a
job, actually was the one used for a wall hanging that took a blue ribbon
at our fair but gets very little use (usually for workshops that need the
zigzag feature).  Anytime I can take my new FW, it will be used.  For my
straight stitching, bet the FW will be in frequent use.  Couldn't be more
please with that machine and am even more please we have this fantastic

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 22:56:53 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: A few old books.....

I went to visit the homepage on old hard-to-find books that Terry was 
telling us about and found a few that someone might be interested in. 
Darn it, I forgot to write down the info on where to order these books 
from but I can always find it again if anyone needs it.
All prices quoted are in US dollars.
Machine Sewing:  Treatise on the Care and Use of Singer, '55, 
Teacher's textbook, 221 pages, specially prepared for teachers of Home 
(8470)         $30.00
Operating Manual:  straight stitch sewing machine, (no trade name 
mentioned), '65, 32 pages
(17394)        $7.00
Official Price Guide to Sewing Collectibles, Clement. House of 
Collectibles, paper, '87, 328 pages, buttons, thimbles, historical 
facts, buying tips, guide to museums, sewing collectibles.  $9.95
My Bernina Guide, model 830 and 831, 66 pages, illustrated manual
(17444)        $8.00
Necchi Model BO, Instructions and Maintenance Guide, 93 pages, 1951, 
fully illustrated
(13645)        $15.00
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
Know Your Pfaff Hobbylock by Baker and Young, Chilton Books, paper, 192 
pages, 8 in color, go with two experts in serging beyond the basics. 
Confidence building lessons, Creative serging options in a machine 
specific format ideas for the busy sewer
(12288)         $17.95
Know Your Sewing Machine, Dodson.  Chilton, '88, paper, how many ways 
can you change to fabric with a machine:  answered with 12 chapters and 
39 step by step lessons, fully illustrated, published at $12.95, 
now             $4.50
Know Your Elna by Dodson with Ahles, Chilton, paper, 224 pages, authors 
have perfected hundreds of techniques, features a whole chapter on 
popular French handsewing
(9972)          $14.95
Know Your Pfaff by Dodson with Griese, Chilton, '89, 224 pages, paper, 
precision stitching is a breeze with this book, authors tell how to 
combine automatic decorative and utility stitches for truly original 
(9973)           $14.95
Instructions for Operating the Singer Portable Electric Sewing Machine 
No. 128-13, Attachments 120604, with Knee Control, lock stitch for 
family use, 1934, 36 pages
(13650)          $16.00
Instructions for Operating the Singer Portable Electric Sewing Machine 
by No 99-13, attachments 120360 with knee control, lock stitch for 
family use, 48 pages, 1925, illustrated, with original bobbin
(13651)          $16.00
Instructions for Use and Care of Domestic Rotary Electric Sewing 
Machines, Model Number 151, 25 pages, writing in booklet indicates 
machine was purchased in 1951
(13643)          $15.00
Instructions for the Care and Use of the Necchi Model BU, '49, 39 
illustrated pages, world's finest sewing machine
(1337)           $15.00
Instructions for Operating the Franklin Sewing Machine by Sears Roebuck 
and Co., 32 pages, fully illustrative
(13644)          $28.00


If replies to this email should bounce over the next couple of weeks
please try again and keep on trying until you get through! There are
huge software/hardware changes going on and we may be down for short
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 08:27:08 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/25/95

In a message dated 95-10-26 08:15:29 EDT, you write:

>Subject: Fristen and Rossmore
>P.S. I'm still hoping someone out there with their antique sewing machine
>books will look up this Fristen and Rossmore Shuttle for me.  It's a pretty
>cool looking machine.  THanks,  Debi
I have the Smithsonian book on loan from the library but it didn't have this
machine listed in it. I have a book on hold at the library called Veteran
Sewing Machines. I'll pick it up today and let you know if it is in there.
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 08:31:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: odds and ends

I, too, heard that Singer did not call the 221 a Featherweight, but I just
got an AM (6-10-55) with the original manual and it says Featherweight on
the cover.  

Armoral is great for the case, but don't do it in the kitchen.  Even a
small amount will make the floor slippery.

Now that I have a black one I see that the bed on my white one is shorter.
Also, when I got the documentation for the white one, it said that 50,000
were made.  That can't be right.  I don't have the documentation for the
black one yet.

Joe and Wendy -- If I have an accident, it will be your fault.  I've been
driving along looking at the trash on the curb.  Actually a couple years
back I got a brand new typewriter table that was on the curb on trash day.
In August my daughter and I bought 3 sewing machines at an estate sale. 
The base for one was really ugly and we put it on the curb the night
before trash pickup.  It was gone within an hour.

Left my name at the local thrift store yesterday in case they ever get a
little black Singer.

Subject: Re: one more try
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 10:05:15 -0500

Hi Michele,

Received your message!  I hate to admit this and haven't in the Digest yet,
but about 10 years ago I sold one of my FWs but removed the decorated face
plate and gave the buyer the straight-lined plate.  I only had two machines
at that time and of course wanted that fancy plate.  Perhaps other sellers
have done the same.  I certainly never dreamed there would some day be a
data base with all kinds of questions flying about on these things!  I
wonder how many others have done what I've done?  Also, if I was buying a
new Featherweight in the 1950's with a straight-lined face plate and there
in the shop sat a used Featherweight with the fancy plate, I KNOW I would
have asked the salesperson to switch them before I completed the sale. 

Well, now that I've gone to the bother of confessing my FW sin, I guess I'll
just copy this to FWF and get this off my conscience!!!!!  Boy, do I feel

Date: 26 Oct 1995 10:27:10 PT
Subject: FW Fanatics 10/25/95

*** Reply to note of 10/26/95 05:25

   Sorry to take so long answering. Been away from my office for a few
days. About the matchstick and emory cloth trick to make those japanese
bobbin cases work. This was told to me by Dale Pickens and I don't know
which hole to do it in. You can call him at (405)765-6125 and ask. I
was also told by a lovely old local gentleman that used to buy and
sell featherweights that you could grind down those new bobbincases and
get them to work well. He pointed to a place on the side of the case
near where the thread came out. I had the impression that he had never
actually done that, but had been told that from someone else. It sounded
like it didn't take much grinding to do the trick.
  As for prices, from the people that I have talked to that sell FW's
a lot, you can get $500 for a machine in top condition, retail. My guess
is that $300 would be bottom retail. The local gent that used to sell
them, sold them for $450 and they sold quickly. This would be for a
machine with original bobbin case, runs well and carrying case. For this
you may not get a manual or a handle on the carrying case. Personally I
would consider anything under $300 to be a good price, anything under
$150 to be a great price.

I actually don't have a FW yet. Since it isn't a nescessity, I've just
been looking for one in that 'great' price range.

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 13:53:29 -0400
Subject: Commiseration

So many success stories, but I need to share my sob story and have you all
commiserate with me since I don't know anyone else who will.  You'll remember
I posted a notice about a guy who kept calling me to come see his FW (AL).  I
dragged my feet a bit, didn't need another FW, etc., I knew he had let other
quilt shops in town know about it and since he still kept calling I wasn't
rushing out to see it.  Well I went to see it yesterday and it was the most
beautiful FW I've ever seen.  It was absolutely perfect.  The black was sooo
shiny and the gold scroll - I didn't know it could be so GOLDEN!! I truly do
not think this machine had ever been used.  I didn't have my checkbook and
was having a hard time thinking about spending the $300 (Icould have bought
for $280 then and there), I hemmed and hawed, I went home and talked to DH
who said, "It's up to you!", and then decided I'd go back today to pick it up
and maybe sell one of my other FW's to justify it.  - - - Well, as you've
probably guessed, he called me at 5:00 p.m. yesterday to tell me he'd sold it
to one of the local quilt store owners because he sent someone down there
with the machine so she could see it herself.  So, I just wanted everyone to
feel sorry for me (LOL!) because I was such a dummy!  I'll have to learn to
strike while the iron is hot!!

And thanks for the info on the Frister &Rossmore, a very cool looking
machine, maybe I'll go to that pawn shop and see if they'll let me have it
for $50,  then I'll just have it to have it I guess!  Ohmygosh, I think I'm
hooked . . . . . .

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 15:16:34 -0400
Subject: Re:Frister and Rossmmann

This company produced sewing machines in Berlin, Germany from bout 1870
to1925. Most surviving machines of this name are of the New Family type. They
were imported to England beginning in 1883 and sold there. Between 1925 and
1963, Frister and Rossmann machines were built by Gritzner-Kayser of
Karlsruhe-Durlache who also offered machines under their own name. This
company was taken over by Pfaff in  1963. According to this book, it is
difficult to deduce anything from serial numbers for these machines since
many older models have higher numbers than newer models. 
This info was taken from Veteran Sewing Machines, A Collector's Guide by F.
Brian Jewell, 1975. It appears to be an interesting book but only covers
machines up to 1925. Hence, no FW info. Hope this helps. Katy
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 21:29:08 -0400 (EDT)

Michelle-Twins-Too Cool. I have twins also! AK996181 and AL000663 both 
born on 8/11/52. Amazing they are finally together again.

Also you mentioned Singer told you your white Featherweight born on 
5/13/64 was a 328k. Two others on this list also have white 
Featherweights born on that day and were also told they were 328's. 
Singer obviously has put the wrong model number down for that run.

About the green "Featherweight" foot pedal: Terry suggested it might be 
"army green". And mentioned a post about Featherweights used by the 
military in WWII. I can see the expression on the face of the lady at 
Singer when I call her up to ask the birthdate of my foot pedal, because 
I need to know if it could have been born in time to be drafted. Dale 
Pickens said he heard the flat finish black machines may have been 
produced for the military, but the birthdates on the two in this group 
are 12/5/39 and still waiting on the second, but somewhere around end of 
1940. Unless the military stocked up really early, the dates don't work. 
Also Dale's wife said the military wouldn't have bought Featherweights, 
they weren't expensive enough :)
Lynn suggested the green foot pedal might have belonged to a Spartan. Was 
this machine made by Singer? The foot pedal says Singer on the bottom. 

Terry: My DH never reads FWF, just relies on me to pass on the important 
stuff. For some reason he read it today and was rolling on the floor about 
your "Ugliest Singer". He said if every digest is like this one, no wonder
I spend all my time on the computer. ALso, it looks like you are the 
official FWF Foot Facts Finder. I'll do an inventory on my feet (sewing 
machine feet) and pass it along.

Susan Jane: Singer did use Featherweight as a name for the 221 and the 
222 in print. On page 3 of my 222 manual dated 1/60 it says 
Featherweight* Portable Sewing Machine with the notation that "*" was A 
Trade Mark of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. This is why Singer has the 
rights to call that new white plastic machine they have a Featherweight, 
and the other machines on the market that look just like Featherweights 
have to be called something else.
Also- the ad you found for the Featherweight- can you tell what magazine 
it was advertised in ? Or the date of the magazine? If we knew that we 
could all make a mad dash for our local used book stores!

Finally, My DH is taking me fishing tomorrow. What does that have to do 
with Featherweights? I finally get time to pour over the survey results. 
I hope to get a lot posted in the next couple days. However this doesn't 
mean I don't want any more responses! Just the opposite! This is just the 
beginning. For each interesting fact, I have at least two more questions! 
Please email me if you or someone you know needs a copy of the 
questionairre at santilla@umd5.umd.edu
May your Featherweights hum happily,
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 13:38:42 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: Bits and pieces...

>Sue, when you get tired of running that picture of the World's Worst 
>Quilt, how about running the World's Ugliest Singer Contest.  I think I 
>have the winning entry.
OH no you don't Terry, I have! Well at least I've seen it, last week in 
a local secondhand shop, the ugliest brown and cream PLASTIC Singer 
machine you've ever seen! A 327P model, asking price $90 - no wonder 
it's still sitting there!
                            * * *
>The FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95 did not have any messages !  What a 
>disappointment.   GRETA.
Greta, is that the one with the heading: 
         Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95
or the one we would have received on the 20th (at least your 20th, it 
would have been the 21st here, confused? Me too!)?
If so mine had messages in it, I could send it to you if no-one else has 
                            * * *
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, I don't recall it from 
having read September's digests (haven't seen the start of October's 
digests yet) but I thought it might be of interest if it hasn't. Ann - 
another FWFanatic who lives not far from me - sent me a copy of an 
article about FW's from a magazine, Patchwork Quilts July 95, that is 
very interesting. Not sure but I think it's a US magazine, how can I 
tell? The spelling of course....
Cheers....Dawn (still looking for her first FW!)
Subject: ATTACHMENT UPDATE and Misc.
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 20:32:02 -0500

  Jeri sent information on a FLAT PLATE with screw #121309 that came with
her FW.  Can anyone identify this?  Also, I have another attachment, a
TUCKER which does not have a part number on it.  It is the one Connie
described in this morning's digest with the two crossbars scaled from 0 to 8
.  It is used for sewing a tuck along the edge of folded fabric while at the
same time marking a line for the next fold (hence the two scales).  And in
two Singer sewing books a CORDER is demonstrated.  It looks like a general
purpose foot that has been bent to the right at a 90 deg. angle.  Does
anyone have part #s for these?  Perhaps Sue (hint, hint) would print our
completed list on the FW Home Page for a reference for future members.  
  CAITLIN:  You said your upper thread was laying on the surface of fabric. 
Instead of dismantling your upper thread tension, try tightening the screw
in the bobbin case.  When the b. case is at the proper tension, you should:
insert a full bobbin and thread it through the case; let the bobbin and case
hang freely while holding only the protruding thread; the unit should slide
down the thread about 8-10" each time you gently yank the thread.  Think of
it like a yo-yo.  If the whole thing slides to the floor on the first yank,
you know the tension is too loose, thus it will not pull your upper thread
to the "center" of your fabric.  
  PAT:  All my Singer FW attachments have #s except my tucker.  Also,
according to the Smithsonian book, the manufacture of Davis sewing machines
was taken over by H.M. Huffman Mfg. Co.  In 1924 National Sew Mach Co
purchased all rights to Davis and names associated with it.  Maybe Singer
competition drove them out of business but National actually bought them.  
  MARGARET:  Maybe a loose screw somewhere could be causing the squeak in
your FW.  

Terry, Owner
World's Ugliest Singer
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 07:33:35 -0400
Subject: Domestic

Hi All,
Yesterday I saw an old Domestic sewing machine at a sale. The lady said it
worked and she had extra bobbins, the long skinny kind. I looked at the
bobbin case, looks like a bullet type.From what I've read, this machine must
have been pre1924 because that is when the co. was sold to White.The cabinet
was much newer, no manual or attachments. Pretty plain looking compared to
the old Singers. She wanted $45 for it but it didn't call out my name so I
left it. It was neat to see though. Just thought you might be interested.
Thanks for the info regarding where you have found your FW"s. I may begin
redirecting my search somewhat now. 
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 08:45:23 -0400
Subject: Western Electric Machine

TOday while searching for a featherweight I found an old and abandoned
western electric sewing machine. It is a luggable, and has a walnut or
mahogany case. The machine itself is about twice the size of a featherweight,
same general shape. It has really pretty red and yellow designs on the machine
bed. The dealer thought it was one of the first electric machines. It
needs a lot of work. Looks like it was in a barn because it is FILTHY. It
also has rust on the metal pieces that make up the "workings" of the
machine.  The motor swings in and out of position. 

I need to decide today if I want to buy it. He offered it to me for $15. Now
I just want to make sure I am not biting off more than I can chew. Any
clues on how to clean such a machine up, any information on this machine:
i.e. when they were manufactured, and any good ideas on stripping a 
flaking, painted wooden case?

Any and all help appreciated
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 09:50:53
Subject: Accessories

I found at the local Thrift Shop, a box of accessories.  The wooden box 
unfolds with what appears to be a velvet or good felt lining.  There are 
probably 25 attachments.  The asking price is $35.00.

Neither the manager or I could figure out what make/model of machine they 

Any ideas...she will hold it for me for 10 days.

             `9_ 9  )   `-.  (     ).`-.__.`)
             (_Y_.)'  ._   )  `._ `. ``-..-'
          _..`--'_..-_/  /--'_.' .'
         (il).-''  ((i).'  ((!.-'

                                         "The walks and talks we have with our
                                          two-year-olds in red boots have a 
                                          deal to do with the values they will
                                          cherish as adults."  --Edith Hunter
                                              (stolen from the Internet)

                                 Barbara F
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 07:16:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/26/95

  I had promised to post machines  I have for sale, this first posting 
will be the antiques and Saturday I will post the Feather Weights for 
sale, but first have promised other interested buyers in first pick.

HOWE- early 1800's-Treadle- $3,000

Singer fiddle base treadle converted into an electric, 1800's $300

Davis Long Shuttle-1800's Treadle top Walking Foot-Complete, Restored $500.

White Treadle full Skirt Cabinet-$300.

White Treadle- Early 1800's $200.

Singer Treadles- 2 available, early 1900's #300. each

Singer 404 Slant Needle Straight Stitch-1950's era. 10 available at $125. 

There will be a shipping and handling fee, but no tax for those out of 
the state of CA.  If you are interested in any of these machines please e 
me and I'll assist you in any way I can. Again on Saturday I will list 
the FeatherWeights I have available.

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 12:14:42 -0500

............DATELINE MONTANA:  It has been reported that the World's Ugliest
Singer has received a marriage proposal from Ugly Brown and Cream PLASTIC
Singer in New Zealand.  Thoughts of offspring sent the owner on a frantic
search for a sledge hammer.  A spokesman promises a statement Sunday morning
to calm the public's fears..........
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 13:32:05 -0400
Subject: Birthday surprise!

Hi to my fellow and fellowites FWF!

I called the 800 Singer number yesterday and found out that the Birthday of
my FW is 10-14-53 and my own B-day is 10-10-53!  My machine and I are almost
twins!  Isn't that a scream?  LOL
(laughing out loud)  A special thank you to Karen for selling this little
precious machine to me!  XOXO

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 17:10:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 99k

I found an 99k machine in good condition with everything except the knee 
"level"? that used to be in the top of the case.  Does anyone have any 
idea where I might find a replacement?  Thanks.

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 02:00:00 PDT
Subject: slipping belts

Sue M.:

FF>I had to share my latest acqusition with this group because my family sure
FF>doesn't understand and I thought you might. At an auction on Saturday I
FF>purchased a turquoise singer model 338 in a danish modern cabinet. The
FF>instruction book is dated 1964 and the machine is the epitome of that era. At
FF>$15 I couldn't resist, but it sure takes up a lot more room than my
FF>portables. It has cams to do various kinds of zigzag patterns. The belt seems
FF>to slip at times and I hope someone here might have some suggestions as to
FF>why. I've decided to limit my collection to Singer machines, unless of course
FF>I find a really good deal on another brand. Sue M., Castleton, NY

I know what you mean about family not understanding.  Most of my family,
except my parents, have always thought I was slightly touched.  Now that
I boast 9 sewing machines, they are sure.  I guess you have to be an
addict to understand.

That singer sounds like a neat find!  I have a singer 401....whoops!  I
have been plattering about my 401, and I decided to go peak at it...it's
not a 401, it's a 500A.  I'm not sure of it's birthdate, I need to find
out...somewhere in the 50's or 60's.  It is really neat looking.  Looks
like something out of the rocketeers.  You'd have to see it to
understand.  Besides my featherweight, it's my favorite machine...well I
like them all...it's hard to pick favorites...after Princess that is.

Anyway...about the belt slipping.  Try oiling the machine.  It may be
binding a bit from lack of oil, which makes it take more umpf to get it
going, and more likely to slip.  The belt may also need replacing or
adjusting.  Actually they will slip more if they are too tight than if
they are too loose.

Congrats on your new addition!
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 15:36:01 -0700
Subject: send your questions to me!

I'm taking a Featherweight maintenance class next Thursday
from the Quilting Bee in Mountain View, California. The 
teacher is Corinne Baumbach. I'd like to go armed with a
bunch of questions, so I thought ya'll could supply me with
some!  Please send any of your Featherweight questions to
me before 11/4, and I'll try to ask the instructor. Please
make them detailed, because I'm a Featherweight newbie. (I
just bought mine recently and don't want to use it until
I go through this class.)

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 17:57:34 -0700
Subject: FW parts

I've just started to "lurk" at this site and am glad I found it. There are so
many people that are hooked on FW as is my wife and myself. What I would like to
ask of your members is a source for FW parts. Does anyone know of a good source?
This could be either wholesale or retail source. My needs at present are
switches. That's the black toggle switch that controls the light. I would even
buy a non-working machine just for the parts. Thanks......John
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 16:51:23 -0700
Subject: Featherweight for sale

I found a Featherweight for sale. $350 is too expensive for me,
but someone else might be interested.

San Jose Sewing &Vacuums
San Jose, California

I haven't seen the machine so I can't tell you its condition.

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 19:39:35 -0700
Subject: green foot pedal

The little green Spartan sewing machine was indeed made by Singer. I seem
to remember that it was made in Great Britain. If I get a chance this
weekend maybe I can go and see if it is still there.

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 11:11:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Found a 328
We were looking for FWs all day yesterday, hitting garage sales, thrift
shops, sewing repair shops, and antique shops.  No luck on the FWs.

But we did find a 328K at an estate sale.  It was so cheap we bought it
although I don't really want it.  But I was thrilled to find it because
328K is the model Singer is telling us we have when we call in the serial
numbers of our little white FWs.  Now I know what one looks like and
believe me it looks nothing like a FW.  Some bad mistake in record keeping.

This thing was filthy.  My husband spent hours cleaning it up and oiling
it.  He even fixed the foot pedal because it had 2 speeds - nothing and
flat out.  Now it sews very well.  

It has cams for decorative stitches.  It has adjustable needle position. 
Some attachments came with it and a practically unread manual.  One of the
things in the attachment box was a Griest zipper foot.  It can't be used
on this machine without a shoe of some sort.  There was also a "King"
embroidery foot in the original little brown envelope.  First time I've
seen one of these.  

Saw quite a few treadle machines yesterday.  One was a Howe.  One had the
beautiful red and green colors as well as gold.  We saw a 99K for sale in
nice condition.  Didn't see a top for it but it might have been there.

I guess Singer wouldn't have any interest in trying to straighten out
their records because we aren't buying anything from them.  But it is
frustrating to be looking at a white FW and be told its a 328K.  Got the
printout for my AM.  It says 50,000 were made.  That's got to be wrong.

Waiting for my newsletter today.  It's addictive.

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 18:47:41 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/27/95

I paid 22 for my wooden box.  It didn't have nearly as many attachments as
this one seems to have.  What does it fit?  Hard to say.  There should be a
patent date on the wooden box.    Mine is 1889.  It's a great collectible-but
I'm not sure you can actually use any of the things.   You might want to look
thru the attachments and see if any of them have Singer or Simanco on them.
 If so, they are probably usable on your FW.  Let me know what you do.  I
seem to have acquired an addiction to attachments.
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 09:50:06 +1300
Subject: Feed dog cover

Hi all,

Thanks to Millie, I have been reading my "new" 99 manual over breakfast this
morning!  Can anyone help me find a feed dog cover No. 32622, please,
please, please?????

I have been reading the instructions for using the ruffler - what a
complicated gizmo!! But I think I'll have to try using it.

TIA - Happy stitching

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 21:26:54 -0400
Subject: ads

I will be gone for a few days but when I get back will look and see where
the ad is that has in it the word "Featherweight".  

I will be going back up to the place which has so many old mags in the next
few weeks and hope to be able to spend the day there snooping for more ads.  

Has anyone seen advertising cards for Singer?  I find them all the time for
other companies, especially New Home and White, but have yet to find one
from Singer.  Some of the ones I've found are really nice, but I have so far
resisted.  But if I were to find one with a FW on it . . . . 

Have found precious few Singer ads at all in the pre-1950 time slot, which
is my major interest.  And especially have found fewer since we moved to
Maine some years ago; don't know whether there weren't as many here or they
are just getting harder to find.  Would be interested to know the situation
in other areas.

Susan Jane
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 18:47:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/27/95

  This is my current list of FeatherWeights that are FOR SALE.

FW 1955 AL20 with Home Made Case, all attachments. $450.

FW 1950 AJ00 with case and complete  $450.

FW !953-55 AL4 with case complete  $450.

3 White in color, FW's $375. each

FW  1941 AGS Complete $500.

FW 1938 AF58 Complete $500.

FW 1948 AI Good Condition, no case, with attachments, and manuel $400.

Subject: Odds and Ends
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 95 19:59:26 -0500

  DAWN:  Thanks for the great list of books.  Too bad I didn't keep the
Internet address for the bookstore in my "favorites" icon.  I did hunt
around a bit, found it, called the owner and ordered a Singer care and use
book (200+ pgs. from the early '50s).  She didn't actually have the
teacher's textbook (8470) which I wanted but will keep an eye out for one. 
Her E-mail address is:  needlewk@tiac.net     
  MARILYN, JOE, WENDY:  They do not allow trash at our curbs except that
which can fit into our special issue garbage container.  How lucky you are
to be able to pick up these things off the street.  You're saving landfill
space in my opinion.    One of my sister's drives a semi on several dump
runs a day for a major city sanitation dept.  A couple years ago she walked
into an office at the dump and on this guy's desk was sitting a mint
condition Kay N EE metal toy sewing machine with case.  He, of course, had
found it in the trash. Upon telling him of my collection, he gave it to her
and she, in turn, gave it to me for Christmas.  Wouldn't you just love to
stand at the entrance of the city dump and ask the dumpers (dumpees?) if
they are throwing out any sewing machines?  
  KRISI:  Your green foot pedal needs dog tags!  Seriously, I've had in mind
for awhile to have metal I.D. tags made to hang on the handles of each of my
FW cases.  It could include the serial number, birthdate and my name and
would look nice in silver to match the locks.  
  I've also been considering taking one of the throat plates to an engraver
to have the seam allowances marked and my name and machine birthdate
engraved.  Of course this would be on a machine I would never sell but even
so, I'd love to have the original owner's name on a machine.  Those of you
with the history of your machines are lucky.  Love hearing those stories.
  If anyone is interested in address labels, there is a company called
"Colorful Images" which features a picture of a black Singer sewing machine
which I really think is a 99K.  Just a bit of the top of the cabinet shows
with a box of thread, etc. sitting next to the machine.  I've had some for a
year and never paid attention to the machine until now. Very colorful.  The
toll free number is 1-800-458-7999.  You can either ask for a catalog or
order 144 labels @ $6.95 plus s&h.  Ask for Stitch in Time labels #Q09. 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 19:25:59 -0700
Subject: 99K

Just got back from a great day on the old antique trail. Saw 4 FWs. They
were all in the $300-$400 range. (BTW, this was is the Niles part of
Fremont in the San Francisco Bay area). None were nicer than the one I
already have but, they were all acceptable.

Every store we went in had at least 2 sewing machines. There were some
really old treadles (1870's) and as well as some beautiful later ones. I
came across a little toy Singer "For Girls" - a heavy black machine with a
hand crank, there was no manual but, the box was there with it. The box was
Singer green with a red "S" and carried the message "As the twig is bent,
so the tree will grow." The price was $150, is this good? I really wanted
it but I walked away to think about it; there were still a few stores left
down the street.

DH spotted it. A two-tone brown and cream luggage style case. We opened it.
A beautiful machine that looked like a slightly big FW. Price $109. It was
marked 99K, serial #EN156415. Machine made in Great Britain, motor made in
Canada.  I asked the person in charge if that was the best price. She
checked the tag, then she checked a list and said that this dealer would
give a 10% discount and then offered to call the dealer at home to see if
we could do better. Final price: $75.

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 1995 23:12:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Survey results, Part 1

Please keep in mind that this is only as complete as the information I've 
received so far. The more Featherweights we find out about, the more 
correct this will be. If anyone would still like to participate, e-mail 
me at santilla@umd5.umd.edu and I will be glad to send you a survey form.

53 people responded to the survey with information on 115 Featherweights.
This is the breakdown:
35 people have 1 machine.
9 people have 2 machines.
4 people have 3 machines.
2 people have 4 machines.
1 person has 5 machines.
1 person has 9 machines.
1 person has 26 machines.

The following is the number of people who responded by state: AZ-1, 
CA-11, GA-3, IA-2, IL-3, KS-1, MD-2, MI-2, MT-1, NC-1, NM-1, NY-3, OH-5, 
OR-1, PA-2, SD-1, TX-1, UT-1, VA-5, WA-1. We also had one person from 
Alberta, Canada, one from Ontario Canada, and one from New Zealand.

The statistics, however, were done with 132 machines, based on machines I 
know of, people who sent in statistics for friends, and information I got 
from FWF archives.

The following is the breakdown of machines based on serial# prefix:

Black American:
AD-9, AE-6, AF-16, AG-7, AH-12, AJ-13, AK-15, AL-14, AM-13
The earliest one I know of (which is not yet on this database) has a 
birthdate of 10/5/33. The last one on this database has a birthdate of 
1/20/57. These are all standard 221's with two AF's in the flat finish.

Black British:
EE-1, EF-2, EG-1, EH-1, EJ-1, EL-1, EP-1, ES-4
The earliest one that I have the birthdate for (EF) is 5/25/49. Still 
waiting on Singer for the EE. The last one on this list also doesn't have 
a birthdate yet, but will probably be 1/10/61, because the one before it 
is only 2300 machines away. This includes two #222 freearms (EL &EP).


EV-7, EW-1, EY-1, FA-3 


So far I have very little information on the colored machines.

Most of the questions asked on the survey were asked so that I could put 
changes into a timeframe. SOme of these changes I can just about pinpoint 
the exact time they were done, and others are not that easy. For example, 
The tension knobs are all numberless up to #AE307347 dated 11/5/36, and 
they are all numbered after #AE543290 dated 6/17/57. Any AE machine 
surveys sent in will help to narrow this gap. ANd yet the faceplates I 
can take an educated guess on, but can't pinpoint for sure. Since they 
are so easy to change, I'm sure a number of these are not original.

Anyway, I'm going to do my best, based on the survey to explain how to 
date a machine without looking at the serial number.

Black American machines:
The earliest machines that were in our survey have no numbers on the 
tension knob, a chrome balance wheel, a stamped stitch length indicator, 
an early scrollwork faceplate, no seam allowance guide, a case with lift 
out shelf, ornate gold trim on base, a brass medallion with no model 
number riveted below, and a foot pedal with silver metal knobs but: 
If the foot pedal has two black plastic knobs the machine is around or 
after AE215594.
If the faceplate scrollwork is the later design the machine is around or 
after AF246321 and around or before AH129338.
If the stitch length indicator is black and silver it is around or after 
If the balance wheel is black it is around or after AG883080.
If the faceplate is striated (stripes) it is around or after AH211012.
If the case has a metal compartment on the left side it is around or 
after AJ638804.
If the medallion is the Anniversary one it is around or between AJ812022 
and AK764238.
If the medallion has a black band painted on it the machine is around or 
after AK767112.
If there is a seam allowance gauge it is around or after AL004158.
If there is a riveted plate below the medallion that says (221-) it is 
around or after AL426382.
If the gold trim on base is newer art deco version it is around or after 

Black British
All black british machines so far have a black balance wheel and a 
numbered tension knob. The earliest ones have the second version of the 
scrolled faceplate, a brass medallion, ornate gold trim, and no riveted 
model number plate, but:
If there is a striated faceplate it is around or after EF284937.
If the gold trim is the newer art deco version it is around or after 
If there is a riveted plate that says (221K) it is around or after EJ215767.
If there is a seam allowance gauge it is around or after EL181488.
If the medallion is brass with a red "S" it is around or after EL181488.

If you have a machine, that doesn't quite fit here, keep in mind a part 
may have been changed over the years, or I guesstimated where there were 
conflicts. This is also assuming that Singer had specific cutoffs when 
using a new part. But that isn't necessarily so.
Let me know if you have any questions, comments or updates.

Well, this is enough for now. If the kids pick up the phone I'll lose 
this and have to retype it all. I'll tell you more about the white 
machines, tables, accessories, prices, twins, etc. later.

Also, when I start getting back birthdates from Singer it will really 
get interesting. Which reminds me, would anyone care to volunteer to 
write to SInger with serial numbers? I'm afraid if I keep asking for too 
many they will get an attitude. For those of you who didn't respond I 
hope you are feeling guilty about now :)  But that's ok, the next time 
you go to use your Featherweight, I'll have hidden the footpedal.(I had 
to try, similar threats always work with the kids :)
May your Featherweights hum happily,

Featherweight Fanatics Page * Main Quilting Page