Featherweight Fanatics Archives

October 1995

Sunday, October 8 - Saturday, October 14

Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 21:05:26 -0800
Subject: FW 221 light bulbs

Hi FWFanatics

I saw a posting about FW lights flickering.  The bulbs Singer now sells are
different than the old ones and may not make good contact in the socket,
hence the flickering or no light at all.  The bulb is of the bayonet type,
meaning it has two small pins on opposite sides that fit into slots in the
socket.  To insert the bulb, line the pins up with the slots and push until
it stops, then turn to the right (clockwise), to lock it in place.  To
remove the bulb, do just the opposite, push in to unlock, turn to the left
(counter clockwise), and then pull out.  Sounds simple enough, but these
bulbs are very difficult to remove and install.  Let me explain why.

The electrical contacts in the socket are two spring loaded brass pins of
small diameter.  The contacts on the bulb (old one), are two spherical
drops of solder.  When you try to install or remove the bulb, the brass
pins gouge into the soft solder instead of sliding over the surface of the
solder.  This causes the bulb to hang up and not turn properly.  The new
bulb, Singer item # 2118, has lower profile contacts, designed to slide
over the brass pins easier without hanging up. However, the new bulb does
not always make good contact because of this lower profile.

So whats the solution?  You can buy a GE #15T7DC appliance bulb, available
at hardware stores (this bulb is similar to the old bulb). Or, if you are
handy with a soldering iron, you can add a little solder to the contacts on
the Singer #2118 bulb.  Lets hope you don't have this problem.  Generally,
the new bulb works fine.  In any case you will find changing the bulb a
trying experience.

Date: 08 Oct 95 01:15:39 EDT
Subject: FW Purchase??

Donna, after reading your message I'm wondering how you went about making phone
calls to track down machines.  Did you call antique stores, respond to newspaper
ads, or ???  I always thought I would just run across a FW someday, but now that
several years have passed I am thinking I should get a little more proactive
about it -- at least actually see one up close, for heaven's sake!  Am hoping
someone answers your questions as I will certainly have the same ones if I ever
actually find a FW for sale.
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 08:51:17 -0400
Subject: I greased the motor

OK, I greased the motor with Singer Lubricant in the white tube.  I stuck the
stuff in the 2 ducts I found.  I don't hear any difference, but I do have
this prominent "squeek, squeek, squeek."  Blackie (my matte finish FW) has
always had this noise.  I haven't bothered with it, because it never seemed
to bother Blackie, but I think I might try now.  What do you think it is?  I
figured I'd start with the belt tension as the noise is high pitched and
sounds like a squeeking sneaker.
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 12:39:39 -0800
Subject: Thread jams

This is a note to address Susan R's problem, how to clear thread jams.
The most likely reason for thread jams - turning the hand wheel backwards
(always turn the top of the handwheel towards you), and not holding the
thread tails when starting to sew.

For the procedure that follows, refer to Fig. 11, page 12 in the
instruction book for your Singer 221.  That's the little green book that
came with your Featherweight or if you don't have one, refer to page 55 of
Nancy Johnson-Srebro's book "Featherweight 221 The Perfect Portable".  On
page 55 is reprint of the Singer book page 12, including Fig. 11.

First, determine what kind of thread jam you might have.  Some jams can be
cleared by gently pulling on the exposed thread ends while rocking the
handwheel back and forth.  Using a pair of tweezers helps.  If you have
determined that there is a piece of thread behind the bobbin case base,
then removal of the bobbin case base is necessary.

Start by removing the throat plate, the shiny plate held down by two screws
that the feed dogs protrude through.  While the throat plate is off is a
good time to remove the lint that accumulates around the feed dogs. Now
position the machine on its handwheel end so that you have the view shown
in Fig. 11. Remove the bobbin case, with bobbin.   Now rotate the handwheel
until the small screw shown in part B, Fig 11, is positioned at 2 o'clock.
Nancy J_S uses 5 o'clock, but 2 o'clock allows for easier removal and
replacement of the bobbin case base.

Remove the small screw with a appropriatly small screw driver.  I recommend
doing this in a place with a smooth floor, not carpet, so if and when you
drop the tiny screw, you can find it.  If you loose the screw, you may
have trouble finding a replacment.  OK, now pivot the cresent shaped
retainer (part B, Fig 11), as far to the right as you can. Now rotate the
bobbin case base, the part with stud (A, Fig 11.), until the position
finger( A2, Fig 11.), is at about 7 o'clock.  You can do this only if the
throat plate is removed.

At this time you should be able to remove the bobbin case base with your
fingers. Sometimes you need to rotate it slightly from the 7 o'clock
position and sometimes the thread jam holds it tightly and you need to pull
harder.  In any case, use only your fingers.  I don't recommend using
pliers, it's too easy to damage the part, and a small nick on the surface
will cause the thread to catch.  Believe it or not the needle thread passes
entirely around the bobbin case base along with the bobbin case (containing
the bobbin) during the forming of the stitch.

After the culprit threads are removed, reverse the procedure to reassemble.
With everything in the same position, the bobbin case base should drop
into place.  You might have to rotate it back and forth from the 7 o'clock
position again.


When you replace the throat plate, be sure the position finger (A2, Fig 11)
of the bobbin case base enters the notch (B2, Fig 11.) on the underside of
the throat plate.  If the position finger is not in the notch, the machine
will not sew!!!  This caution is covered on the bottom of page 12 in the
newer Singer instruction books.  The early books did not have this caution.

Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 15:52:02 -0400

l farming town so last week I told/asked her to
keep her eye for a FeatherWeight or a treadle machine for me when she goes to
auctions.  She just called to say she didn't find a FW but bought me a
treadle machine.  Cabinet in good condition but painted and the drawers were
full of accesories etc.  She and her friend messed with the treadle and it
seems to work as far as they could tell.  She paid $22.50 for it.  And wanted
to know if that was OK?.  When I got back up off the floor from the shock I
told her to go find another one.  :)   Still looking for my first FW and with
her luck it won't be long. :):)  WOW!
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 15:57:54 -0400
Subject: FW Attachments

  I got a bright idea today and went looking for attachments for old
Singers-after all, you never know, might even find another FW while I'm
hunting.  I am now the somewhat puzzled possessor of two boxes of
attachments-total investment $9.  The first box cost me 4 because the lady
wasn't sure all the attachments were there.  It is a dark green box, with
silver lettering-says Rotary Attachments.  Stamped on the box are the letters
1BR.  This one, thank God, came with a direction book, enabling me to
identify most of the contents.  These attachments are stamped Greist.  Had
three different hemmers, edgestitcher, binder, attachment foot, cloth guide
and a Ruffler (drum roll!).
The second box has a marbled paper finish-could be blue or green-hard to
tell.  No instruction book.  Again the box says Rotary Attachments and the
stamped id is 31W.  This one had:cloth guide, binder, ruffler, edge stitcher,
2 hemmers and what I think are two quilt guides. 
 That much was easy.  It also has some very peculiar items: Something like a
4" long tweezer/clip combination.  The tweezer part is topped by a sort of
clip with 1/8" segments marked off-up to 2 inches.  No mfg name on this one.
 It's driving me nuts.  In the box were three other totally unidentifiable
attachments.  The second one,  made by Singer,  has a sort of large U shape
to it-there are two screw knobs on the right side if you lay it out as if it
were attached to the machine.  Between the two screw knobs is a metal clip,
marked off in 16ths (8 of them). The third  attachment may be some sort of
quilt guide-It is a presser foot with a halfcircle cut out on the right.
 Next to that is a curved metal rod-looks sort of like a quilt guide and it
is adjustable with a screw.  The fourth one has a curved section like a
hemmer foot to the right .  To the left and in front is a screw holding down
a metal clip over a half curve.  I know this sounds crazy but I've done the
best I can on descriptions.  Gordy?? Anybody.  What the heck do I have here.
 Any info as to use, date-you name it-would be helpful.  I also bought (for
$5) a 1960 Singer buttonholer  #489500-came with instruction book and 9
templates.  I have no idea why I bought this-except I felt sorry for it.
 Threw out the stray buttons and threads.  It also had a bobbin that fits my

And joy of joys: I may be on the track of another FW.    But whether I find
that or not, this particular shop has stacks of attachments for sewing
machines in storage-also motors etc.  When he gets a chance the owner is
going to look for attachments.  He mentioned in passing that he had at least
3 sewing machines-portables.  Wasn't sure exactly what he had-his grandfather
died and left him the contents of about a four car garage full of various
things.   Whatever they are, he is sure they will be in perfect running order
because Grandpa was a perfectionist.  Stay tuned.
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 1995 19:40:44 EST
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics Digest 10/7/95

>like a portable.  If I buy it and my husband threatens to commit me, what is
>the going resale rate for these things?  Anybody know?

Your husband or the sewing machine???

			Jo R
Subject: Model 31-15
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 1995 19:12:51 -0400

I just acquired a model 31-15, AD-serial number, for $35. It came attached to a
large heavy table, with a 1/5 hp motor. It has a treadle that serves as
the footpedal to run the motor, and a knee-lift. The veneer on the table
(blond wood) is warped in places, the metal parts of the table have a
bit of rust, and the cords are a bit frayed, but it
is in otherwise good condition, and seems to work. Any info or
suggestions for how to restore the table would be appreciated. My plan
is to use it for machine quilting.
Lois F
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 1995 19:24:31 MST
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics Digest 10/7/95

Just got back after being out of town for a few days and have really
enjoyed reading the digests...I got my FW a few weeks ago and spend a
couple of hours cleaning and oiling it last weekend...purrs like a kitten.
Tomorrow I am going to phone Singer to see what I can find out....it's
serial number starts with EF...it is black...the booklet says made in
(whoops PRINTED in Great Britain) but on the motor, it says made in
Canada...now I don't know maybe the motor was made in Canada and the
machine head came from Great Britain...I am beginning to wonder about
the reliability of the Singer information..There is also a number you
can call in Canada so think I will try both and see what happens...The
call to the Singer people in Canada will have to wait till Tuesday as it
is our Thanksgiving weekend.  Anyway, it's great to meet all these
dedicated FW owners out there...I'm saving all Gordie's advice and
putting it into a binder...never know when it will come in handy....
Sandra M
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 8:23:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: love my fw and what did I find?

I am the proud owner of a fw, I absolutely love it, I wish I didn't have to
be at work today, I am having TOO MUCH FUN making a flannel quilt for my 
friend's daughter who is due soon...anyway, now that I am a proud owner, I
have a couple of questions...is there a walking foot for the 1938-41 version
of these sweeties?  I tried the one I have for my "modern" Singer ( a machine
that has virtually been abandoned since the arrival of the fw) and it doesn't
fit..I tried machine quilting with just the regular foot and it is working 
2 layers of flannel and Warm "n Natural batting..I just lengthened the stitch..
sorry if all these questions have been brought up before..also, I think I read
about someone recommending a way to preserve the wonderful gold scrolling..could
you repeat that...I bragged about my new machine so much a fellow quilter wants
one now (can't blame her !!)  I went to a couple of yard sales/auctions this
weekend  but all I found was a green Singer..it's a portable, but at least twice
as heavy as a fw, it was made in Canada (the instruction book is in French)
It has some accessories ...the number said 185J..anyone know about this machine
he wants $50.00 but I think I could talk him down to $40.00
thanks so much, I love this thread!!
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 08:37:32 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/7/95

   I have a little bit of info on the Franklin treadle machine from my sewing
machine history book: the first treadle machines sold by Sears were made by
Davis and around 1925, White succeeded in getting Sears's account and the
machine was renamed Franklin.
   I was given the Singer address after I tried to get info on more than two
machines from a woman at the 800 number. She said to just make a list of the
serial numbers I had and they would fill in the line after them. The address
is: Singer Consumer Affairs, P.O.Box 1909, Edison, N.J. 08818-1909.
  I also wanted to try to provide some info about removing threads from the
bobbin area. The machine I bought was used very little because the woman's
engineer brother had tried removing the bobbin case holder the wrong way and
broken off the finger and it's expensive to have replaced. The directions in
NJS's book don't seem detailed enough to me, so I thought I'd quote from my
book and hope it helps some of you:
  "If there is any one thing to plague the user of this almost perfect
machine, it is the tendency to lock up. The tolerance is so close in the
bobbin case-hook assembly that a single thread or piece of lint can lock it
 1. To correct, remove screws and lift away the needle plate.
 2. Remove pressser foot.
 3. Remove the bobbin case.
 4. Loosen screw (as in NJS's book) and move retaining shield outward.
 5. Remove bobbin case holder (the part with the position finger) and clean
the area thoroughly. Check the track (groove) inside hook.
 6. To replace, reverse above steps (Use caution when replacing the small
 7. Replace remaining bobbin case components and position bobbin case holder
with position finger UP.
 8. Replace needle plate with slot over position finger of bobbin case

  The man who fixed my featherweight said he often saw the finger broken off,
so BEWARE. I think the most important part is to remove the needle plate
first and I don't think NJS says to do that. Sue M.
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 09:55:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: FW Belt

This is the first posting I look for in my internet messages.  Gordy, I 
really enjoy your info about the history of the machines.  I am a 
relatively new collector and half the fun is finding out about the history.
I stopped at my Singer store to get a new bulb, which I needed, and a 
belt (which I thought I'd like for a spare).  My Singer guy said that 
he had a Japanese belt (for about 1/2 of what the Singer replacement belt 
cost) that makes the machine sew faster and better than the original.  I 
bought it because I only wanted a spare.  Does anyone know if this could 
cause any problems with my FW?

I also found a Singer Model 20 toy at an auction!  The machine is in 
excellent condition (actually it looks new).  There were two books (not 
the original box).  One was for a 20-10 and the other Singer Sewhandy 
model 20.  Can anyone tell me (is there a toy sewing machine collectors 
group or mailing list or expert?) how to determine which machine I have?  
There was also no thread holder and it didn't look like there ever was 
one - my DH thinks this just may have been a salesman's sample or a 
factory mistake.  He collects toy trains and when it is a factory 
mistake, that makes them more valuable - could this be the case here?  

TIA for any info you may have about the belt or the toy.

P.S.  Can anyone tell me where to find a new (replacement) handle for my 
FW case.  This is from a 1936 machine (are the cases different?)  Enough 
questions for one day!

Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 10:53:54 -0400
Subject: re;1951 FW

Can anyone tell me about the Centennial FW's?  My (had to marry him to get
the machine) FW has a birthday of October 31, 1951.  It was given to my
Mother in Law  for Christmas in 1951.  However, it has the solid gold seal,
not a blue/gold seal that I have heard about.  Were the Centennial machines
made only for a few months?  Any info please--also approx value of a
Centennial in mint condition-

Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 10:55:45 -0400
Subject: wanted-fw

I am beginning my search for my first FW.  Based on what I have read online,
many people seek specific years-so I am looking for a 1947 machine.  I live
in Peekskill, NY (westchester county) if anyone near me has a machine to be
seen.  Otherwise I will order by post, providing returns are allowed.  thanks
a lot to all
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 11:55:05 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/6/95

Could you provide us with more info on Jim Slayton in CA who you spoke to?
I'd love his address so I could get more info on my various Singers. As well
as my "real" ones, I have two toys, a tan cast iron one and a tan one from
the 60's. Does anyone know if the Singer 800 # provides info on toy machines
also? Sue M.
Subject: FWF list
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 95 10:57:00 PDT

Sue, please add me to the FWF list.

I've read the archives for the month of September and have learned a lot 
about my little black beauty.  I hardly wait to see if my buttonholer has a 
throat plate that will cover the feed dogs so I can machine quilt more 
easily.  I am blessed to have been given "mine" from my mother in law.    My 
MIL received it as a graduation gift from her mother when she graduated from 
nursing school at the Mayo Clinic.  MIL had lent it to her daughters but 
they couldn't bear to use such an 'old and limited' sewing machine.  Their 
loss is my gain.  And now I'm working on an anniversary quilt for my MIL 
completely stitched on her FW and by my hands.  How heartwarming!  So, 
please add me to the list; I can hardly wait to learn even more! Mrg S
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 12:46:14 -0400
Subject: Singer 99K

I have one of these beauties for sale but do not know what value range might
be.  I assume value is less than FW's..  Can anyone help? Thanks. Millie
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 15:13:08 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/8/95

Reading this list has had me interested in venturing out beyond my beloved
FW's.  I recently spoke to a gentlemen who is liquidating his grandmother's
things.  He has two sewing machines, one a Niki and one a White Horse.  They
are electric but that is all he knows about them other than they are old.
 Does anyone out there know about these machines and what a fair price for
them would be?  Are they worth anything?  I am interested in reselling them
if they are.  Thanks, Debi
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 18:32:52 -0400
Subject: re:Fw Found

I found a later model (mid 50's) FW today at a Pawn Shop.  He was asking
$200, which was fine, but found that the bobbin case was missing.  He is
trying to find one for it.  Included in the case is a feed dog cover made by
Singer for the 221's (still attached to the original card)  How much is this
worth? Can I find a bobbin case?  Are the feed dog covers hard to find?
 Thanks for the help!!

Date: Mon, 09 Oct 1995 20:29:18 EDT
Subject: FW cases

Hello- If anybody is replacing their FW carrying case
because it is in not very good condition, I would like to
purchase it! I am trying to devise a method for restoring
those old not-so good fw cases and could use some to
practice on. E-mail reply to FRXV68a@prodigy.com

Thanks, Joe
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 1995 20:24:55 EDT
Subject: Memorabilia

Hi- I have several pieces of sewing machine memorabilia for 
sale, as follows:
A victorian "New Home" cutout type ad, has a little girl
riding a greyhound dog, says light running New Home on
front. No date, but very old and colorful. Made of light
cardboard, dog is missing part of tail &back foot, but is
nice piece for it's age. $5.00 ppd.

Victorian style Singer advertising cards for Model 27
treadle machine, dated 1904, printed in french, colorful and 
good condition, have 2, $9.00 ea. ppd.

Old "penny postcard" advertising "The Free" treadle sewing
machine, in color, with list of features on back. Nice
condition, unused. $7.00 ppd.

RARE FIND- For all you Singer centennial model owners! I
have a couple of Singer tape measures, brand new in original 
boxes, with the "A century of sewing service, 1851-1951"
Singer medallion, in gold, with blue ring and red S in
center. Case is heavy blue plastic, approx 2" in diameter,
about a half inch thick. These are really nice and well made 
and would make a nice companion for any Singer centennial
model machine! $59.00 ea, ppd.
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 21:45:17 -0400
Subject: Featherweight Fanatics Digest

I am interested in Featherweights (do not own one YET!) but I am also looking
for any information on Singer 301s.  Are they worth having?  Friends are
giving me one that belonged in their family.  Of course, I am going to take
it but wonder if it is a good machine.
ESP Evie
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 18:59:22 -0400
Subject: History and Misc.

     How EXCITING!  My DH (does that mean darling husband?) discovered FWF on
the Internet yesterday,  printed the 55 pg. Oct. Archives and I was up until
midnight reading.
I haven't been this happy since I found my first FW in early 1984.  I have 8
black FWs from 1930-50s, one white FW from late 60s, a fiddle-based
hand-crank Singer beauty from mid 1800s in wood case, over 50 metal antique
toy machines, one FW table, Singer 2010 and a 6768, Bernina 1530 and 1630,
Bernina embroidery machine, and two sergers.       I can trace this obsession
back to childhood when I was given a Singer toy Sewhandy 20 beige in the
50's.  Mom forbade me to touch her machine but one day while watching her
sew, I bit down on the cabinet edge and left teeth marks along  1 in.
(frustration??).  The first thing I bought when I left home was a Singer zig
zag.  Wasn't allowed home ec in school so I was STARVED for the sewing
experience.  My favorite picture is me at 11 sewing on my aunt's machine on
her front porch in Missoula, MT.
     Does anyone collect sewing machine salt n pepper shakers?.  I have
several sets I'll describe in the future.  I won't pay the high prices for
the toy machines now but the shakers are still very affordable.  They are
     The following excerpts are from an article on FW  I wrote for the Helena
(MT) Quilters' Guild Newsletter in 1988.  My source was SINCERE'S HISTORY OF
THE SEWING MACHINE by William Ewers and H.W. Baylor which I got through
inter-library loan as it is out-of-print.  
     "College girls loved them which helped to increase sales at the start of
every term.  Manufacturing of sew. mach. ceased at the start of WWII so this
fact was incorporated into the sales pitch.  Unsuspecting women believed the
salesman when he said he would 'throw in the case the machine came in because
this is the last 221 until after the war.'  To this day many women believe
they truly bought the last machine before the war! 
     As they slowly became available after the war, they were once again a
best seller.  Due to quotas, women had to put their names on a list and wait
months for a new FW.
     Singer was commissioned to make a special tool for the Medical Corps
[during WWII].  It was a needle for sewing bone and muscle injuries on the
battlefield.  The instrument was made of a bakelite handle with a 221 FW
bobbin which was fed to a curved needle at the end.  They used pig knuckles
to demonstrate the instrument and to teach medical personnel in its use."
     ....I sold Singers in 1972-73 and one repairman told me that when he
would travel to rural homes and take in a treadle machine as a trade-in, he
and other guys would throw these off a cliff so they wouldn't have to haul
them back to the shop. (Too horrible to contemplate!)  In my 1988 article, a
retired Singer shop owner said the red and white FWs were sold briefly after
the black ones ceased production in 1956 and they were of inferior quality.
 I attest that my white FW doesn't compare to blacks  but is a beauty.  
     Thanks for the great forum.  I will have more FW input, questions and
responses to previous letters tomorrow.  

Terry S
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 02:20:37 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/8/95

Last week I went shopping for belts.  One shop recommended the "701" 
replacement part and another shop suggested the "Bando".  I bought 
both in order to experiment with Gordy's advice.  What would we do 
without Gordy?

To "Nancy in Parma". . . I believe "left to right" is accurate on the 
99K.  The needle inserts with the flat side right so the groove is 
left.  Unfortunately, I cannot be absolutely certain as of this 
posting since I just grabbed mine at a recent sale and it's 
dismantled for cleaning up.  After I get her back together, I will 
give it a go with hand motion and see.  The cord is badly rotted and 
I wouldn't dare plug in for fear of bringing the whole house down.  
Now all I need is to replace the motor/cord/light.

Is the 99K truly considered a "portable"?

For those tired of waiting on the 800 Singer line, I receive my data 
sheets from the following address:
SINGER SEWING CO., 135 Raritan Center Parkway, Edison, NJ 08837-3642.

Encouraged by the information posted daily here, I am taking 
grandma's treadle (1908) to an antique specialist for an estimate for 
restoration.  The cabinet needs more work than I am willing to tackle 
on my own.  Would anyone care to offer suggestions for a price range 
I should stick to?
This treadle has an attachment #26192 (rolled hemmer????), another 
that closely resembles the operation of a ruffler (there's a large 
"S" to the right with "INGER" written vertical through the "S" and 
USA across the bottom)  Besides the straight foot there's a huge 
attachment #26088 with lots of measurement markings, a screw and a 
spring mechanism.  Some kind of binder????? Please help!

Looking forward to hearing from all . . .

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 07:34:17 -0400
Subject: silly foot pedal

On QuiltArt Lucille  describes her foot-pedal as having two square buttons
the same size right next to each other. 
begin SNIP  
*What do you do if you can't control the speed of the machine. I have a very
old Singer, not a featherweight. It is the only machine that will tolerate
the nylon thread, but I can't seem to control the speed. The main problem
though, is the foot pedal. Who ever
designed this thing needes his/her head examined. It has a stationary block
smack next to a moveable pressure foot. They are almost of identical size.
You can hardly touch one without the other. I find myself using my toes or
the ball of my foot, off kilter, to run it . The speed is changeable. I am
either racing or doing a stitch a second, no middle ground. I have asked my
sewing shop if they can provide me with a different foot pedal. They said
they will look into it but it dosen't sound promising. I have even developed
shin splints from the awkward manner in which my foot is positioned to use
the dang thing. 
Has anyone else out there had this type of foot and what did you do?*  End
This is what my FeatherWeight has and it is sort of peculiar.  The way it
works for me is not to use my toes - that gives me a cramp - but to set it up
so the foot pedal is to my right and the accelerator button is on the left
side and then I drive with the edge of the ball of my foot - with sneakers on
or barefoot.  What do you think the purpose of the solid button is?  Whoever
designed this should be forced to endlessly sleep in motel rooms with faulty
heating systems and no quilts.  Henrietta
Date:        Tue, 10 Oct 1995 09:27:56 CST
Subject: problem with 1938s?

Hi.  I just picked up a mint condition (the gold paint is perfect!) 1938
FW.  I'm puzzled by a mention in one of last week's digests (ok, ok, I'm
way behind} about problems with 38s.  Can anyone tell me more?
On another note, my DH and I went to the What Cheer flea market this
sunday and we found a Model 99 machine, which looked to be brand new.
The curved wooden case is in perfect condition; it even has all the gold
paint in the "singer" lettered on the front.  The thing that puzzles me
is that it is a model 99-13.  hmmm.  Any idea about how the 99-13s are
different from the 99Ks.  It has Madein Great Britian painted on the
top.  It also came with a manual and attachments in a box.  He bought it
for me for our 3rd anniversayr which is coming up ont he 17th.  This
machine is the centennial 1951 model which made the present seem
particularly suitable. Now if I'd only been botn in 1951 instead of
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 95 18:07:56 0500

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 16:07:37 -0400
Subject: FW

Dear Sue,

I hope you get this message - this is the first I heard
about Featherweights, but they sound great!  Where can
I look for one, is there a better one than another???
As you can tell, I'm totally ignorant about them.

I have a Singer console and a Brother portable, plus a
Baby Lock serger.  Have just started getting very 
serious about quilting, and the featherweight sounds

Enjoyed your newsletter -

Carol W
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 95 13:52:02 -0700
Subject: FW Books &Singer Model 99K

Happy Tuesday, FW Fans!

It was another interesting week-end in the life of a FW junkie.  
Actually I took a slight detour in the road and found a model 99K 
(born 11/55) in VERY good condition--original case with good 
electric wiring/foot control--how does $45 sound for it? Did I do 
pretty good?  I was able to get a reprint of the original manual 
from a local dealer for $8--wasnít someone recently looking for 
one, too?  Send me a note, personally, if you are still needing 
the 99-manual.

Can anyone tell me - is $900 too much for a FW freearm?  While I 
am sure we will all agree it is quite a lot of money, is that 
what a freearm costs?  Is that what one has to expect to pay?  It 
is good condition, original case, some attachments, etc.  I need 
to know if this is a  decent price.  I am resisting until I have 
a better idea of itís value.  I know I donít find many, so that 
would force the price up.

Sue M.--thanks for the tips about the books.  Iíve been able to 
track all of them down through my library.  Since they were 
published right here in AZ, I am going to try to find copies 
locally, even though they are probably discontinued.  Iíll let 
you know if I have any luck, since you like them so much.  Wish 
me luck!

And, a great big thanks to Gordy who takes the time to help us 
all--you are a great teacher! Thanks to everyone else who imparts 
their own valuable information and personal and (sometimes) funny 
stories.  This is the best Web-site ever--applause to Sue for 
making it happen in the first place.  We are totally in your 
debt--all of us who appreciate vintage sewing machines, and 
especially our little FWs. 
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 17:33:26 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 

Someone asked about the bobbin case for the FW, others have asked about the
green boxes and I have found a sewing machine store here in Kansas City that
has both.  It is Missouri Sewing Machine Store.  Curt is the third generation
owner and is very knowledgable about these machines.  He has a love for them
just as we do.  He has an 800 number and I will post it.  I am only a
satisfied customer and wanted to find a place where we could get parts and
etc.  His number is (800)257-4989.  They have been in business since 1932.
 He said he would be glad to send parts, answer questions, etc.  

Secondly,  someone asked about a 301A machine.  It is a wonderful machine.  I
carry mine on the plane in a soft sided case and place it under the seat in
front of me.  It is gear driven so there aren't any electronic parts to mess
up.  The stitch is perfect and I am sure you will love it as well as I do.  I
want a FW but I don't want to give up my 301A because I am just attached to
it as everyone seems to be about the FW.  I bought mine 301A last summer for
a 30 Anniversary trip.  My husband love RC airplanes, so we went to Galveston
to a RC show for a week (My idea) and I was able to sew all day, no phones,
dishes, beds to make, errands to run, etc.   Can you believe that was a
blessing for me to be able to sew from morning to night looking out a picture
window at the ocean while I sewed.  I think it is time for another trip.  

I really love this digest and my sewing machines.  I have 8 now and my SIL
makes fun of them but I just tell him I am looking for my daughter one just
like mine and he groans. He is a real joy and I am glad we have a great
relationship.  Judy H
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 20:43:13 -0400
Subject: FW Even Feed Foot

     Several people have mentioned problems with walking feet.  Singer sells
a walking foot for a low shank machine (which the FW is).  It is called a
Smooth &Even Feed Sewing Machine Foot and used to retail for under $20.  I
use mine for machine quilting straight lines and also sew all the binding on
my wall quilts with it.  Works terrific.  Singer's top-of-the-line machines
all had a walking foot as a standard accessory BUT those machines are slant
needle hence that foot will not work on the FW.  Hope this helps.
     About some of the FW copies of recent years.  Back in the mid 1980's
some shops were selling a copy dated 1987 for $299 called Mal's Mini Classic.
 They were produced in Los Angeles at 6316 W. Third St. and the shop owner
claimed to me that this company had purchased the original dies from Singer.
 The machine certainly looked like the original FWS but was of very inferior
quality material, the light was mounted on the motor, the front decal said
"Mini Classic", and it had a 1/16 HP motor.  It sewed like a nightmare!!
 I've seen mail about the little Giant and the FW copy at Costco so watch out
that you don't get fooled into buying one of these fakes.
      Anyone having problems with their foot pedals sticking should remove
the four corner screws. Lift the top off and oil the moving part(s) inside
and clean out the dust.  I was able to get several to work smoothly again.
 Did someone say that the little rubber circles on the foot pedal can be
replaced?  Is there a source other than the sew. mach. repair shop?  Thanks
and I have learned so much from all your mail.  Spent $7 copying and mailing
the Sept. Archives to a FW friend in California who can't get the Internet.
 She literally begged me to send the stuff to her but it was already on my
to-do list.

Terry S.
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 95 20:44:55 EST
Subject: Re: Model 15

Hi there...

Does anybody know anything about the Singer model 15 and its value?  I saw 
one at a flea market on Sunday (along with another one of those green 
canadian singers), and I was wondering if it is worth buying.  He wants 
$100 for it.  It's a cute little thing...bigger than a featherweight, but 
smaller than the full size machines.  Any help would be appreciated.

Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 09:45:19 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

Gordy, what are the "Singer data sheets" you spoke of when you gave the NJ
address? Are they info about specific machines? Love the info you and
everyone else provides. Sue M.
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 06:54:10 -0800
Subject: old toy machines

If anyone has any old metal toy machines they would like to sell please
contact me.  Will consider any offers.

Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 11:40:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Portable machine

This list is great...and so inspiring.  I am fortunate to have my MIL's 
1948 FW.  She used it regularly for mending, but I have used it for 
quilitng and it is a dream.  After reading all you posts about other 
portables, I remembered a Singer my husband bought at an auction several 
years ago. It has a wooden case and is labeled Singer Portable No.128-13
with a 1935 operating manual.  The knee control is missing, but all the 
attachments are included.  Can anyone tell me about this machine.  Thanks.

Susan B
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 12:05:53 -0400
Subject: Adoption Anxiety

First I'd like to echo Terry's comments of yesterday regarding the nightmare
machine Mals Mini Classic.  I too owned one of those pieces of junk at a time
that I did not think that I would ever own a Real Featherweight.   It does "
 Look like a Featherweight" but thats as close as it comes.  If you ever see
one,  run the other way, it is a complete waste of time and money.   
Today I'm trying to be patient while I await the arrival of my first ever
mail order Featherweight.  I'm somewhat anxious because its expensive and I
don't know if the seller and I have the same expectations as to what is an
almost mint machine.  Every time a truck drives up my street,  I'm running to
the window.  I know its comming, I just don't know when.  I'm going to have
to find an awful lot of $20 Featherweights to make this one average out. (ha
ha ha)   Wish me luck    Lynda
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 13:46:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Wonderful old book by Singer . . . .

I haunt bookstores that carry old, used, tattered books.  Love the things.
Addicted to 'em.  I look especially for old sewing and  housekeeping books.
I have here a book I bought some time ago--I thinnk I paid a dollar or two
for it--that I wouldn't give up for anything!  However, I will be glad to 
look up things for my best friends--the ones who like old Singers and FWs.

"Machine Sewing; A Treatise on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines
and Their Attachments, specially prepared for teachers of home economics."
Published by Singer Sewing Machine Co., Inc., Singer Building, New York,
copyright 1923, revised June 1930.  

the Chapters are:
1.	General instructions for the care and operation of family sewings.
2.  Stitch formation by the varioys types of singer machines most commonly 
used (note:  all four types, with clear drawings and pictures of the mechanisms
and their threading.)
3.  The binder and its many uses as applied to family sewing
4.  The foot  hemmer and the adjustable  hemmer
4.  The practical use of the tucker
6.  The ruffler
7.  Special labor-saving attchments for sewing machines
8.  Electric machines, motors and lights
9.  The "student" model Singer electric.

Folks, it's all here!  Everything you ever wanted to know about your old
Singer and some you didn't want to know.

Nothing about the Featherweight, of course.

Now, to the chase:

Kilda@aol.com sent out a request last week for information about some
attachments she'd bought.  I think I have found them in this book.

1.  A 4" long tweezer/clip combination.  I think this is something called
the "bias cutting gauge"  It fits on a pair of scissors.  You then slide the
bias piece (folded) into the clip to the measurement you want, and start
cuttingbias strips!

2.  A large U-shape with two screw knobs on the right side.  this one may be 
something called an "underbraider"  which "is used in sewing braid to the 
material by stitching through the center of the braid.  Braiding is an 
attractive trimming for woolen or sild dresses and is applied easily and 
perfectly with the Underbraider.  As no basting is required, a dress may
often be braided within an hour or two."

3.  A presser foot with a halfcircle cut out on the right.  No pictures
of this one.

4.  Curved section like a hemmer foot to the right.  to the left and in front
is a screw holding down a metal clip over a half curve.  I think this might
be the "adjustable hemmer" but I am not entirely sure.  

I am the happpy possessor of two fw's and a 99, as well as a workhorse and
nearly-worn-out thirty-year-old Sears machine.  Also a little play machine
from the 60's and one of those tiny old black toy ones that clamps on a table
and looks like an old, old machine!

Betty S
Date:          Wed, 11 Oct 1995 15:48:46 CDT
Subject:       Quilt Show

I attended the Eureka Springs (Arkansas)  Quilt Show last weekend and took my FW 
along for Mr. Pickens to "baby".  He was wonderful!  If you get a 
chance to have him check out your machine you'll find his prices very 
reasonable and his information valuable.  You'll also find someone who will love 
FW just like you do!  I bought an original manual from him and got 
advice on how to repair my case.  He (and his wife) also had several 
FW's for sale, from $250-$500 depending on the condition.  There was 
one other booth which had FW's - comparable prices.  Mr. Pickens had 
one free arm which I got to look at - I don't think it was for sale 
but it was interesting to see.  The other booth had one tan one.  As 
an added bonus the quilts were great, and the vendors very 
reasonable.  It was a great way to spend an anniversary (a first for 
us as the 30 before this were spent at football games!)
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 17:05:37 -0400
Subject: Got Another One!!!!

My husband has purchased me a FW for my birthday!!!!!!   Yipppeeee,
 Ya-hoooooo!!!!!! It is being shipped to me so I haven't seen it yet, but I
talked with the person who is sending it and they told me it was an "AH"
serial number.  According to Nancy J-S's book, it would be a 1948.  Also
noted in Nancy J-S's book, she states that any serial numbers AH &higher
would have the straited plate.  BUT, the person I talked with said that this
machine has the Scrolled Face-plate and also the older carrying case.  Does
anyone know about this?  I guess I'll know for sure when I get it, huh?

Had to pass on my excitement!!!
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 19:18:11 -0400
Subject: FW Foot Pedal Cords

Here is a tip on replacing foot pedal cords.  I purchase a good quality black
cord at the hardware store.  I get the same length already used between the
plug and the foot pedal but buy a length at least three times longer for use
between the two plugs.  This way I rarely have to use an extension cord when
I go to classes.  Just be sure to have someone who knows what they are doing
install the new cord as switching wires can cause problems.  I got a guy to
knock $25 off a FW because when he showed it to me each time he ran the
machine the light would turn off!  Luckily I knew I could have it fixed with
new wiring (thanks to my friend Doug in CA). 

Well, I'm off to a Bernina 2000DE serger class.  Only had it 9 months and
haven't changed thread cones or the stitch!  Chicken.            Terry S..
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 00:01:40 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

Hi All,

I love this digest! I have 4 FW's and a whole bunch of hand cranks and
treadles. I'm learning so much!

Corinne said "a huge attachment #26088 with lots of measurement markings, a
screw and a spring mechanism.  Some kind of binder????? Please help!" That
sounds like a tucker to me. My first FW came with tons of attachments AND the
manuals. If you want instructions for the tucker e-mail me your address and
I'll send you a photocopy. 

My Mom just called (has collection of 145 machines!) to tell me of someone
who wants to work a trade. She thinks he's on the net and might be on this
list. Is there a Bob Santilla among us? E-mail me if there is, we MUST talk!

Date: Wed, 11 Oct 95 22:12:40 PDT
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

Hi Everyone,
I have been doing some machine hunting.  I found a treadle @ an antique shop.  I
probably paid to much $125.00 she went down $40.00.  I have to get two belts the
Singer dealer said about $15.00. and clean it up.  It's a Singer 66-1 (original
book and some attachments.)  I will need some cleaning.  Just would like to know
how to clean the machine.  I was told that the decals (the ornate kind with the
gold and red designs) will come off easily.  I was told by another antique shop
to wash it with soap and water.  Is there anything to clean the chrome.

Also looking and found 2 General Electric (green) machines they look very
similar to the Sew Handys.  One is complete with case (etc.).  The other is just
the machine and xeroxed book.  Also the tension button is missing.  It shows
that the tension can be fixed or the machine used for parts.  My question??? Is
it possible to get tension fixed.  Is this machine worth getting.  Is $75.00 to
much for it?  Thanks.  karen t. 
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 17:33:26 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 

Someone asked about the bobbin case for the FW, others have asked about the
green boxes and I have found a sewing machine store here in Kansas City that
has both.  It is Missouri Sewing Machine Store.  Curt is the third generation
owner and is very knowledgable about these machines.  He has a love for them
just as we do.  He has an 800 number and I will post it.  I am only a
satisfied customer and wanted to find a place where we could get parts and
etc.  His number is (800)257-4989.  They have been in business since 1932.
 He said he would be glad to send parts, answer questions, etc.  

Secondly,  someone asked about a 301A machine.  It is a wonderful machine.  I
carry mine on the plane in a soft sided case and place it under the seat in
front of me.  It is gear driven so there aren't any electronic parts to mess
up.  The stitch is perfect and I am sure you will love it as well as I do.  I
want a FW but I don't want to give up my 301A because I am just attached to
it as everyone seems to be about the FW.  I bought mine 301A last summer for
a 30 Anniversary trip.  My husband love RC airplanes, so we went to Galveston
to a RC show for a week (My idea) and I was able to sew all day, no phones,
dishes, beds to make, errands to run, etc.   Can you believe that was a
blessing for me to be able to sew from morning to night looking out a picture
window at the ocean while I sewed.  I think it is time for another trip.  

I really love this digest and my sewing machines.  I have 8 now and my SIL
makes fun of them but I just tell him I am looking for my daughter one just
like mine and he groans. He is a real joy and I am glad we have a great
relationship.  Judy H
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 14:38:34 -0800
Subject: Misc FW notes

Hi from Livermore,  the birds are singing in my back yard and the weather
is beautiful.

Just finished reading todays FWFantics digest, I really enjoy this digest.
I have info for several of todays postings.

There is a catalog called "A Stitch Back in Time" that will be of interest
to most of you FWFantics.  This catalog has sewing collectibles, books, and
gift items.  It contains books about antique sewing machines, including
Nancy Johnson-Srebro "Featherweight 221, The Perfect Portable", two books
on toy machines, and many others.  It contains some parts for straight
stitch sewing machines, such as bobbin cases for the FW 221, $72(Kim take
note), long bobbins for Singer 27, 127 ($.75), pressure feet for various
machines, etc.  It contains accessories, such as leather belt for treadle
machines, "Ruby" automatic zigzagger and "Ruby" buttonhole attachment.  It
also list needles for various old machines.  Also has the #1712 (pink)
belts, $4.50.  Pat is your spare belt a tan or pink toothed belt, probably
a 1712 Bando belt.

Penney Gurrola  runs the business, and has recently moved to Texas, so I
don't have the new address, but her phone no. is 1-800-352-1174.  I just
talked to her this morning to get permission to post her number so know its
correct.  Just give her a call and request a catalog.

Sue M. asks about Jim Slayton, you most likely mean Jim Slaten (sp) - I
bought two sewing machines from Jim last year, so have met the man face to
face several times.  Jim's business card reads "Singer Dealer Museum,
Authorized Singer Dealer, Restoration &Appraisals"  He has two places of
business, one at 3400 Park Blvd., Oakland, CA 94610, PH: 510-261-0413, and
the other at 1589 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA, PH: 510-527-0140.  He is the
author and publisher of the book "Antique American Sewing Machines, A Value
Guide by James W. Slaten".  He claims to be the oldest (number of years)
independent Singer Dealer in the country.

As Karin T. in Alaska found out, he can be a little unpleasant at times.
The first time I visited him, he was pleasant enough, another time, he was
a bit nasty.  I was trying to buy an antique Singer fiddle bed machine and
we differed about the price.  He has an extensive antique sewing machine
collection but wouldn't show it to me.  He also collects literature about
sewing machines.  In the last page of his book he states: "If you have a
sewing machine not listed in this book and would like to know its value,
you may obtain a free appraisal by sending your name, address, and a photo,
if available, to : SINGER DEALER MUSEUM, 3400 Park blvd., Oakland, CA
94610".  So you might want to get his book before you ask for a free
appraisal.  His book is OK, a lot of the material is the same as in the
Smithsonian book.

For those of you that want to know about toy sewing machines, heres the
book for you: "Toy and Miniature Sewing Machines, An Identification $ Value
Guide", by Glenda Thomas.  This is a beautiful book, large format, with 531
color pictures, over 250 pages,  50 pictures of just Singer toy machines.

Collector Books
P.O.Box 3009
Paducah, Kentucky 42002-3009
@$18.95. Add $2.00 for postage and handling.

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 95 09:13:33 EDT
Subject: FW Dates

I have started collecting lore and info about FWs for a fact sheet I maintain,
and I've had several reports from FW owners of significant discrepancies in
the accepted dating wisdom. Apparently some scrollwork faceplate models were 
issued after WWII. I know of one dated 1947, and apparently Judy Godwin's 1948
has the scrollwork plate. Singer made a transition to the striated
plate after the war, but must have had some of the older plates they used up.

If anybody wants a copy of my fact sheet (some of the info for which has been
provided by the wise ones on this list) just e-mail me at rholland@atlanta.com.

Rob H
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 10:41:14 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

I was at a quilt show this past weekend and telling someone about this list
when they mentioned one called Featherheads.  Or maybe Featherbrains.  At any
rate, it wasn't us.  Anyone know anything about these poeple?

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 11:08:05 -0400
Subject: fw - misc

Began reading this newsletter a week ago and I love it!  Thanks to all who
participate.  Just some notes re: prior items:

Someone referred to the AL machine as 1938.  My understanding is that is a
1955 machine.

I read in a sewing machine book to use an artist oil called Grumbacher on the
machines.  Does not remove the gold paint.

I too question some of what Singer told me on the 800 line.  One  black FW
machine I have says 221- and Made in Great Britain on it.  Singer said it was
a model 15 made in 1908!!!  I think I will try again but this time in letter
form - see what I get.

I was nervous about using up a lot of online time to read my mail, so I have
worked out the following process:  Establish a MAIL/FLASHSESSION 

Keep up the great job, Sue!
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 11:18:34 -0400


I have established a process for myself to eliminate (1) excessive online
time when reading my mail and (2) necessity to print FWF's for future
reference.  Here is what I do:

Establish a MAIL/ FLASH SESSION to read all mail at once.

As I open each piece of mail, do a FILE/ SAVE AS to create a .TXT file  with
that message.  I use an A drive diskette so that I do not fill my hard drive
too quickly.

Go to word processor and convert/read .TXT file there.  I use Microsoft WORD,
but the concept will work with other word processors.

I created a file called FW-INFO.DOC.  When I come across paragraphs of info
in the FWF's which I want to be able to quickly reference, I do a COPY and
PASTE it into this info file.

I hope this will help others of you.  Can you tell I have a systems
background??  By the way, if you print your mail to read it later, read in
the word processor and eliminate the printing.  Also, mail a diskette copy to
a friend instead of sending printed pages.  

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 13:23:29 -0400
Subject: Response to Prev. Posts

     To B. Spaulding:  I second the motion about good machine attachments
info in old sewing books.  I have a "Student's Manual of Machine Sewing" by
Singer, Rev. July, 1941.  It gives 'special features of the 15-91 and 201-2
machines' and 48 pgs. of attachment info with large pictures.  These Singer
Educational Publications and Singer Sewing Library books cover many topics
and are 5 1/4" X 8 1/4".  Also look for old books by McCall, Butterick,
Vogue, etc. as many feature detailed attachment pictures and instructions.  
     To Dawn:  Those "green canadian singers" sound like a new species of
canary!  Hope they fly this way.
     To Sue M. and Pat E.:  E-mail to me a description of your Singer toy
machines and I will try to identify them from my copy of "Toy &Miniature
Sewing Machines" by Glenda Thomas.  There are 10 pags. just on Singers.
 Also, Pat, try a luggage or shoe repair shop for FW case handle replacement.
 Of course, it won't be the real thing but might be better than the handle of
bright blue tape covering rope on one of my cases.
     To Corinne:  I, too, have a spring on the spool pin of my AK 1951 FW.
 Mine is removable, however, so I can transfer it to my other FWs.  It's a
great device but tends to stick inside the spools so I bet many are missing
from FWs because they were tossed in the trash hiding inside the empty spool.
     Haven't seen any chat about spiffing up FW cases.  I clean the leather
with a damp cloth, touch up all scratches and marks with permanent black ink,
and then Armor All the whole outside.  All my cases look like new.  A friend
uses leather polish.  Any other good suggestions for cases out there?  Thanks
for all the other wonderful tips.     Terry S.
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 13:03:45 -0800
Subject: Singer model 99

Michele asks about the model 99-13, and how does it differ from the 99K.
According to the Sewing Machine Blue Book published by Bobette Industries,
Singer manufactured two model 99's.  The 99-13, manufactured from 1920
until 1953, and the 99-28, manufactured from 1954 until 1957.  The "K"
after the model number simply denotes country of manufacture, and as
Michele noted, the machine was manufactured in Great Britian.  The main
difference in models is reverse stitch.

Here's the entire list from the Blue Book:
C       Brazil
G       Germany
J       Canada
K       Great Britian
M       Italy
U       Japan
W       USA

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 18:57:11 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/11/95

Still hoping someone out there knows something about White Horse and/or Niki
sewing machines????

Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 19:19:43 -0400
Subject: Thank yous &More

THANK YOU to all who took the time to answer my question about the 99K. I
don't get a chance to go online every day (where does the time go?) so I
usually am several days behind everyone else. (A quilting friend was visiting
for two weeks - and we are both now broke from our shopping binge.) I passed
the information along to my friend - and Gordy, she wants to know where she
can get the proper manual? I don't have a clue. My FW  is my mother's and it
has the original manual with it - although a little greasy from the oil can
leaking I guess.

On a completely different subject, I am looking for a treadle mechanism
without the sewing machine. I want to turn it into a seed sorting mechanism (
I am in the flower/wildflower seed business) that you move by using the
treadle. If anyone knows of such a beast (and it shouldn't be worth anything
as a "collectible" as it will not receive TLC, let me know.

Gordy - does your wife know anyone in Parma? I have only lived here 5 years
so I may not know them, but I will pass along a hi if she wants. Thank you
again for all your help to all of us. My father was a mechanical engineer, so
I love all the old machines - and am constantly nagging my friends about
keeping their machines clean and oiled. I can hear my FW ask for oil quite
plainly, and I clean the lint out from everywhere every time I wind a bobbin.

Off to a quilt club meeting  - someone's got to do it ;)
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 21:38:44 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

I purchased a Spartan machine made by Singer in Great Britian with model #l92
on the front plate.  Serial # begins EP on the underside.  It is about 20%
larger that a FW but has the lined end plate.  Can Anyone tell me what I have
and a fair value price.  It runs well. Was very plugged with lint but all
cleaned out.  There seems to be a permanent piece of red felt in the bobbin
area secured within a spring.  Is that suppose to be there.  Please E-mail me
if further info is needed.  Thanks much--Jan
Date: 12 Oct 1995 23:10:19 -0700
Subject: High Priced FWs

        Reply to:   High Priced FWs

I just lurk on this list (have a FW, but have used my Bernina exclusively for
the last seven years) but I enjoy reading your posts.  It makes me want to get
my FW out and try it again.

I went to the PIQF Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA last weekend and thought
you'd all feel good to know that I saw a black FW with striated plate for sale
for $625!  It was in a table selling for $425!  Can't imagine that anyone on
this list has paid that much, so everyone should feel good about their

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 09:30:33 -0400
Subject: re:fiddle base Singer

Can you tell me about the machine referred to as a fiddle base?  What is
their value? What mechanism are they (hand crank, treadle, electric?)   I
recently located two machines that are a Singer hand crank, with an odd
shaped bottom, mounted in oak cases.  Singer identified them as "new family"
models, one from 1873 and one from 1889.  What did I find, what might they be

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 09:36:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: "A Stitch Back in Time"

Gordy recently posted info about the above catalog (thanks Gordy).
Unfortunately, the 1-800 number is not operational up here in Canada. If 
anyone is talking to Penney Gurrola in respose to Gordy's posting, could 
you please get from her, her non 800 number and her address and then post 
it to the group.

Ted H
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 11:06:02 -0400
Subject: Re: The 800 number

I was a ding dong and deleted the 800 number to Singer to find out when my
featherweight was born.

I JUST got my lovely FW yesterday for my 40 mumble birthday from my darling
wonderful loving sweet DH!  It is an AL so I know that the B-day is between
'53 and '55.  We bought the machine from one of the generous gals on this
list.  (Hi, Karen!!)  It came yesterday and I spent the afternoon dancing and
singing!!  I'm still floating around!!!  Whee!!!!!!!!

I also have the Nancy Johnson-Srebro book which is a wealth of info!

Hugs, Debby 
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 12:01:47 -0400
Subject: Miscellaneous

Hi All,

I have the "Toy &Miniature Sewing Machines" book by Glenda Thomas and I love
looking at the pictures and collecting these little treasures.  Gordy gave
you the address and I thought I'd also post the telephone number for you
also:  1-800-626-5420 , hours are Mon-Fri 7:00am to 5:00pm CST,  the item
number for this particular book is 3892 but they will know what you're
talking about.  :-)

More toy stuff:  I have a couple of Singer Model 20s and I was offered
another one that is identical to one that I already have.  I probably will
not be interested (unless the price is too good to be true.. which usually is
*not* the case). If I don't purchase for myself,  I will let the group know
and I'll get it for you if you are interested.  I'll probably know and post
by end of today or tomorrow.  (by the way, it is a beige Singer Sewhandy
Model 20 in it's orginal box)

FW Date:  Rob, I called Singer yesterday and found out that my AH serial
number was actually made 6/26/47.  I was very excited to get it with the
scrolled plate since I already have one with the straited plate (a 52).  I'm
so glad that Singer had some leftover parts after the war so they could make
my FW to my liking.  :-)  I had a laugh with my husband on this one... I said
I could almost hear the conversation in 1947... "Ok, boys, let's use up this
scrap junk and then we'll start using the new materials". 

FW for Sale:  Someone near my hometown has a FW for sale (1950).  I don't
know yet how much she wants (second hand info, ya know).  I'll post to the
list if I'm able to get this one because I probably will not keep it.
YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just called this person before I sent this off, and
she wants $500 for it.  Gulp.... much much too rich for my blood, but if
anyone is interested I'll be glad to give you her number.  No, I take that
back, if you are willing to pay $500, I'll give you MY number and I'll part
with one of mine.  Seriously..... are some of you paying that much for a FW?
 Wow... am I out of touch or what?!?!

Saving Money on Reading:  Millie was telling how to do a logging session
which really does save the money!  What I use is a program called Way To Go
2.6.  It can be downloaded from the software section on AOL if you are using
that service.  The cost is $25 for the program, but it will automatically
retrieve your mail and go to any newsgroup or bulletin board you choose and
automatically retrieve those messages also.  Big money saver for me!

Books:  Gordy, I'm interested in the Smithsonian book that you have
mentioned.  Is it still available?  I recently purchased a book "The
Encyclopedia of Early American Sewing Machines" by Carter Bays.   I'm
facinated by the early models of sewing machines!  (Not that I'll find or
afford one)  Also, Gordy, thanks for the info about "A Stitch Back in Time".
 I may call for this one.

Featherbrain:  Uh, Kris, I might have been called this at some point in my
life but I don't know anything about an organized group  :-)     Can't you
hear this group now,  "Hi, I'm a featherbrain".   chuckle, chuckle,
bahahahahahahaha!!!  I'm sorry, this just cracked me up.... no offense to any
official Featherbrains out there.

Have a great day,
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 12:26:42 -0400
Subject: What Does a Featherweight Look Like?

     Someone asked this question and here is a neat way to see a FW
 including the box and accessories; a class 66 machine; a crank shuttle
bobbin machine; circa 1950 and 1960 Singer toys; and a Casige toy.  From the
WW Quilting Page go to Mailing List, then from there go to Tangled Threads
Home Page.  From this page click on Antique Sewing Machine FAQ and you'll see
some neat colored pictures and info.  Have fun!
     Well, I have her Imperial Royal Highness (AM 1956 FW) ready and we're
off to spend the day with a quilt group.  Her I.R.H will be sewing both a
miniature calico cat quilt and a basket quilt on foundation papers for Xmas
gifts.  She prefers to sew cloth dolls but that's life.  It's warm, sunny and
the fall colors are at their peak in Helena, MT.       Terry S.
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 12:34:04 -0700
Subject: introduction

I bought my first Featherweight two days ago!!!  I just
called Singer, and mine was born on June 18, 1948. I've been
looking at the archived Fanatics digest and hope to catch
up this weekend.

In my search for a Featherweight, I came across a woman
selling two in "mint condition". They're not cheap, but if
you're interested, email me privately for more details.
(They're located in the San Francisco Bay Area.)

-Lisa E
Date: Friday, 13 October 1995 4:04pm ET
Subject: FW Fanatics 10/10/95

I learned to sew on Mom's featherweight with the two-square-button foot pedal.
 I've been amused by the comments that people find those foot pedals
difficult.  Ever since I got my machine (a 99k), I've been wishing I could
trade the foot pedal with one of the square button kind.  This one scoots away
on me- and I gradually lose speed!  I think the trick is to wear shoes, set
your foot with the ball of your foot at the pedals, and tilt(right word?) your
foot to the left to sew.  The immovable button gives you leverage.

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 16:24:54 -0400
Subject: New Here

Hi All,

Just started receiving the digest last week and look forward to it everyday.

I bought my first FW in July of this year at an antique store for $75.00.  It
was only the machine, but it is in excellent condition and runs like a dream.
 The lady had NO idea what she had.  (Much to my delight).  I am now on a
constant quest.  I have been bitten by the FW Bug.  :)  I check the pawn
shops and junk shops as well as the antique stores. 

Last week, the lady at an antique that I was in sent me next door to a pawn
shop.  Said the man there had a FW.  Well, as soon as I saw it, I knew it
wasn't a FW, but it was a beautiful old thing.  I didn't know what it was,
but the man said the last person had offered him $20. and he wouldn't take
it.  I said "How about $25 and he said OK".  I know now (after calling
SInger) that it is a Serial series "AA" and the old gal's birthday is
November 11, 1924.  ( After reading some of the postings, I don't know about
the accuracy of Singer's dating.)  She is black with red, gold and green
scroll work.  The round-top wooden case is in really good condition.  There
was no foot pedal and the cord is so badly frayed where it connects to the
motor, that I have no way of knowing if she works or not.  I got it all
cleaned and polished and the wood on the cabinet treated and she is just
beautiful.  I'll keep it as a big old "paperweight" if nothing else.  I
contacted a SInger factory near me, and they said for $69.96 they would
guarantee to get her up and running, foot pedal, cord and all, so I may just
do that.

I'm afraid I'm in real trouble.  Gretchen, when I read that your Mom has 145
machines, I can see me headed right down that same road!!

Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful postings and to those who are
responsible for this list.  It is a real pleasure.  Please excuse the length
of this post, but I'm just so excited to get to share with other

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 18:26:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Database
 Hello all!
 	A few weeks ago I asked for opinions on a database for 
 Featherweights. I got only positive responses, with a couple "what are 
 your intensions?". I have decided to go ahead and see if with everyone's 
 help, we can establish a database. My hopes are that some of the 
 mysteries can be solved surrounding Featherweights. I find the tiny 
 differences between all the different years fascinating, and I hope we can 
 answer a few questions like "how long were the scrolled endplates used?" 
 (obviously after the war, my AH was dated 4/22/47). I am strictly a 
 collector, and will by no means profit from this, and will not give out 
 any names or e-mail addresses. I will post any interesting facts to the 
 Featherweight Fanatics list. You can respond just with item number and 
 answer, or cut this text and fill in the blanks, but please send to me 
 and not to the list. I hope you will all respond!
 Thanks, Krisi S
 Featherweight Survey
 Page numbers refer to pictures in Nancy Johnson-Srebro's "Featherweight 
 221" book. Please complete this survey for each machine you own.
 1. Serial Number:
 2. Birthdate (if known):
 3. Color:
 4. Chrome wheel? Y or N
 5. Numbered tension knob? Y or N
 6. Stitch length indicator
 	 (a.)stamped metal 
 	 (b.) painted black on metal 
 7. Case (a.) lift out shelf 
 	 (b.) metal compartment on left side
         (c.) neither or don't know 
 	 (d.) missing case
 8. Face plate 
 	 (a.) early scrollwork (right "leg" of scrollwork shorter than left,
 		 like p.23) 
 	 (b.) late scrollwork (both "legs" of scrollwork same length)
 	 (c.) striated
 9. Seam allowance gauge on throat plate? Y or N
 10. Is gold trim on base
 	 (a.) more ornate- like interlocking paperclips- p.24
 	 (b.) more art deco- no curves in design- p. 25
 11. Medallion (a.) brass (b.) Anniversary (c.) black band around brass 
	 (d.) brass with red "S" (e.) gold colored paper with red "S" 
	 (f.) other:__________ 
 12. Is there a riveted plate below medallion? (a.) none (b.) 221- 
	 (c.) 221k (d.) 222k (e.) 222j (f.) other:___________
 13. City, State, Country you live in:_____________________ 
 14. Accessories: Do you have (a.) oil can (b.) most or all feet (c.) manual
 15. Other interesting facts (for example: flat finish, free arm, French 
	manual, etc.)

Featherweight Table
 1. Serial number
 2. Color of top
 3. Color of legs
 4. Type of legs (a.)metal (b.)wood
 5. Other (for example: maple desk type, or folding with extension)

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 17:39:33 -0400
Subject: Singer Treadle

I found an old treadle machine in the paper for $100.  I looked at it and
decided to buy it. It came in a wooden case and had singer markings on it.  I
took it to work and took it apart and cleaned it.  No one at work knew
anything about it, but the lady I got it from said it had been her
grandmother's and she is a grandmother herself.  I called my local Singer
store and gave them the serial number on the base of the machine.  They told
me they couldn't say for sure, but they thought it was a fake because their
book didn't list any numbers in that series.

Not wanting to give up, I wrote to the Singer Co. in Edison NJ... They looked
up the machines serial number against their historical registry and found my
serial number there.  I have a Singer Model No.2, vibrating shuttle machine
made on Apr. 27, 1897.
They also gave me an address to order a set of decals for it and they sent me
a xerox copy of the original owners manual.

I would like to let you know that if you have a machine that you believe to
be a Singer and you would like some information about it, the address is :
The Singer Company
135 Raritan Center Parkway
PO Box 1909
Edison NJ 08818-1909

Also if anyone has any attachments for my machine, please let me know.  I am
interested in getting them.
Marie C
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 16:42:27 -0700
Subject: End of FWs

Ok, inquiring minds want to know, why Featherweights ceased to be manufactured?  
Was it due to poor sales, cost to much to manufacture?  Anyone know for sure?

Also, my 1937 (date of manufacture) apparently had some modifications done on 
it.  After I bought it I took it to a Singer service man who seems to know quite 
a bit about them, and when I picked it up he said he thought the tension 
adjustment (knob) had been replaced with a more modern version.  I have the 
original book, but happened to see the book, Featherweight 221, The Perfect 
Portable, in a quilt shop and looked at a picture of an early model.  The 
Tension knob is definitely different.  My machine has the old scroll work, the 
brass fly wheel, all gold seal, etc, but the tension knobs on the early models 
are "plain" for a better word and mine looks like the later editions, numbers, 
etc.  Does this make any difference to the value of the machine?  I know the 
machine belonged to one person, I bought it from an antique dealer who told me 
the machine belonged to the mother of a friend of hers who had passed away.  It 
came with the original book (she wrote her name in pencil !
 in the book), all the attachments,
 extra bobbins and a spare light.  The case is in good condition (also early 
version).  It's kind of a mystery, unless this person thought the numbers were 
better for her to set the tension by??  Was this sort of thing usual?

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 20:51:16 EDT
Subject: Items wanted

Hi FW people- I am trying to locate a toy Singer sewhandy
for a gift for my wife. Prefer one in good condition with
original box, table clamp and instructions.

Also, does anybody have an original manual for a 222k
free-arm? Would like to get an original, but would settle
for a xerox copy and will pay copying costs, etc. Also, how 
about the possibility of having it professionally
reproduced? Must be a market for them, haven't found anybody 
yet that has one!
Thanks, Joe
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 22:15:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AOL time charges

MillieMack gave a detailed example of how to cut costs on AOL by saving 
the file to disk and reading it later.  Good Stuff.
If you want to spend zero for your time online - try a freenet.  I spend 
two or three hours a night online for the cost of a ;ocal phone call. IE 
If you dont know about freenets, e-mail me a note and I'll give you a 
brief intro.

Joe R
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 14:04:12 -0400
Subject: Re: One FW for sale

I just went to look at a featherweight someone is selling in my area.  I got
her phone number from a fellow quilter in which this person is from her
church.  Here is the condition and details.

                       Black Singer Featherweight (221k)
                       AND RUNS PERFECTLY.
                       Singer was called and its birthdate is 6/1/1950
                       Has a case, very clean.  One broken latch, one little
fabric tear on one corner of the box.  Absolutely no mildew smells, or any
other smells.  The gold scrollwork is in perfect condition.  The enamel is in
perfect condition.  Contains 8 attachments, bobbin case, lady thinks she has
the manual for it but isn't sure.  The lady's name is Susan E
.    This machine belonged to her mother and she has had it in
the closet all of this time.  Susan's thinks that her mother used it all of
about 4 or 5 times.  This machine has alot of sentimental value to her but
she must sell it.  I think she is asking $500 and is probably being very firm
about it.

          Susan is moving in 2 weeks back to Oregon.  Call if you are

       By the way, I would love to have one to take to classes, but since my
debt is really bad I couldn't buy it.  I was so-o-o-o tempted to take money
out of my charge card but I didn't do it.  So I told her I would post here.

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 11:09:42 -0800
Subject: Singer Sewhandy

To Judy regarding Singer Sewhandy 20:  I'm interested in the toy machine if
you're not.
I'm  not able to get to people with aol accounts, for some reason so am
posting this here.
Please let me know.

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 19:02:02 EDT
Subject: Sewing machine memorabilia

Hi fellow sewing machine nuts!
I found 2 more interesting items that I will sell:

A small 12 page "Noble treadle sewing machine catalog", also 
includes a Noble trade card. Appears to be in perfect
condition, but very old. $12 ppd.

A Singer model 66-1 trade card ad, on other side shows some 
African tribe members using a Singer treadle sewing machine, 
in Lagos, Africa in full color. A nice collectable.
Please E-mail if you would like more info.

Joe in NH
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 23:43:20 -0400
Subject: Is it or isn't it a Featherweight?

I bought a Featherweight (I think) from a friend a couple weeks ago.  She
came in and said she had one for sale and asked if we knew anyone who was
interested.  Three of us jumped at her.  I was the lucky one.  I called
Singer with the serial number, and they told me that it wasn't a
Featherweight, but was a 201 born 5/15/41.  
I took it to my friendly repair people (the cord was bad, very bad).  They
thought it was a Featherweight.  While it was at the shop, the Singer
salesman came in.  They showed it to him and he said someone at the 800
number is nuts.  
So... I think it is a FW.  It looks like a FW, it sounds like a FW, it must
be a FW.
I just got the NSJ book.  After I figure out how to wind the bobbin and
thread the machine, I'll take it for a spin.  I have a class in a week, I
want to take my FW.
May your thread be tangle free,

Featherweight Fanatics Page * Main Quilting Page