The Singer Model 221 “Featherweight” Sewing Machine
Hello again and welcome to this weeks Question of the Week. Hope you have been enjoying the site; Leo and I have been hitting the notes here lately. This week we're going to start with the Machines, as we have pretty much covered the Manuals, the Cases, the Motors and the Foot Controls. Many of you only own one or two 221 machines, and when you hear the words SPLIT BASE or SOLID BASE Machine, or TWO SERIAL NUMBER BASES you probably don't have a clue what we are talking about, and for 77 years it has never been put into print until now. THIS is why Leo and I started this History about the 221’s; it’s time it was told. And WE think you will agree. In 1933, when the First 221’s started to roll off the assembly line, the machines were SPLIT BASE Machines. This is an easy characteristic to spot as the frame housing stops on each side of the Electrical Plug. They had one Serial Number BASE or location, and it was under the Oil Drip Pan. See machine # AD541757:
You can also see on this machine where someone wrote the serial number by hand so they didn't have to remove the Oil Pan. SINGER soon learned that this was not a good place for the serial numbers.
Sometime between machine AD542322 and AD542685, Singer ADDED a SECOND Serial Number BASE, and sometime thereafter the serial numbers were moved to the new location. This is where you hear the term Two Serial Number machine. SO a Very Early AD machine will have One Serial Number Base, and from about AD542246 onwards, will have TWO Serial Number Bases. These machines are also SPLIT BASE machines.
Then in 1936, around the AE216XXXX Era, SINGER stopped making the Split Base machines, and they were changed to Full BASE, with a hole or opening in the housing for the electrical hub. Still, the machines maintained the TWO Serial Number Bases up until around 1937 in the AE54XXXX Era, when SINGER removed the Extra Serial Number BASE. SO Now you know a little SINGER History, And what a Two Serial Number and a Split Base machine is.
Split Base Solid Base
NOW! Before we end the Question of the Week, Leo wants to show you one of the Biggest Secrets in the History of the 221. From time to time a 221 will show up with a Forged Serial Number. SINGER was so aware that they even mentioned it in Singer ads:
We have Two Examples below:
The only way to see the number would be to remove the arm from the machine and check that serial number against serial number on the bottom of the machine. REMEMBER you have seen and read about it First Right Here........STAY Tuned LEO and I have just begun.......COPYRIGHT (0310) LEO & JJ
HOPE you’re enjoying our articles, and you come back often. Next week we're going to show you some 1933 Decals most of you have never seen. TAKE CARE, GOD BLESS. And if you in need of a NICE 221, look at the MAGIC OF KUJAT
COPYRIGHT (0310) LEO & JJ
Contact me at: Leo@TheFeatherweight221Factory.com