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The Singer Model 221 “Featherweight” Sewing Machine






Are there other 221 Manuals out there that are different? The answer would be YES!  Here are Two (748) JULY 1948 221 Manuals one with FORM 19657 and one with FORM 20327.



The 19657 has a 1941 Copyright Date while the other one has a 1947 Copyright date. They appear to be the same but back toward the last pages the Manuals are very different. Flipping through the Pages the books are identical till you get to page 35, from there on out they are totally different. SO! There is another 221 Manual to look for. Since all my other (748) Manuals have FORM 20327 on them, I'm guessing the 19657 is the rarer of the two......WHICH is really the Rare one? We'll let you decide.  ;o)



While writing the second Question of the Week, way back in November 2009, I wrote that the NOVEMBER 1933 manual was the ONLY manual showing the Singer Type 1 case, since my JANUARY 1934 manual showed a Type 2 case. Soon after publishing that Question of the Week, Leo contacted me saying Nope! You are wrong! The January 1934 manual that he had in his possession also showed the Type 1 case, so I went digging through my collection of manuals and sure enough, I too had January 1934 manuals that showed either the Type 1 or the Type 2. So, which is the rare one? That was DISCOVERY #1.


This was pretty much forgotten about until one of our new Featherweight collector friends, J.C. Elliott, contacted us with his new acquisition; a beautiful 1933 model with serial number AD549015, which had a January 1934 manual. I wrote asking about page 7 of the manual and whether is showed a Type 1 or a Type 2 case. When J.C. went to check for us, he noticed that page 7 felt thicker than the other pages, so J.C. held the manual up to a light and low and behold, what he found was truly another first to be published here and shared with all of our Featherweight friends and collectors! Singer had pasted a new page 7 into their “older” manual! The pasted page contained an illustration of the Type 2 case, which was placed directly over the page that illustrated a Type 1 case. So far we have been able to find one more like this, so we know that more must exist out there. So keep your eyes out for this rare manual! This is a TRUE Featherweight story, no myth or rumor here! Just facts with photos to back it up!


photo credit: J.C. Elliott


photo credit: J.C. Elliott
Copyright (0510)     JJ & LEO







We know for sure SINGER made at least FOUR different needle threaders.



The First threader, (there were two), showed up AUGUST 1915 and cost a dime! I'm sure that was still a high price at the time. ONE was marked SINGER #36806, and ONE was marked SIMANCO #120328.

The SECOND threader, #121150, showed up APRIL 1935, and I’m not sure of the price, but today this is the Rarest one to find and it will probably set you back a few dollars.



The THIRD threader, #121634, showed up (737) = JULY 1937, and was made until at least (548) = MAY 1948. This is the most popular one found today, and is a MUST if you have a Corduroy Organizer Case.



The FOURTH threader, #121632, showed up ABOUT (741) = JULY 1941. Today any and all Singer Needle Threaders are a welcome item to any Singer Collector; there are even COPIES of them being made from China, SO! Before you lay out the money, make sure you look for the SINGER Name.





COPYRIGHT (0510)   JJ & Leo


If you would like to download a .pdf copy, click here:
Needle Threader Instructions

HI again and welcome back to this weeks Question of the Week. This week Leo and I are going to show you Decals used on the American 221s.  Of all the information put out on the 221, they forgot to write about the decals. SO! Grab your paper and pencil, and your 221 Manual. Leo and I are going to share some of our 221 secrets.


Here are your questions:


How many different decals were on the BED of the 221? Most people think just two!


How many different locations are the "SINGER" decals found? Most people think one or two!


What, rare 221 decal is NOT in any manual? 


What, rare 221 decal is in EVERY manual? 


And, “MADE IN USA” and “M.R.” What do they really mean?


So, let's get started!

In 1933, on about the first 200 or so machines, they had a plain bud decal on the machine bed.
To my knowledge, the 1933 bud decal is NOT shown in any 221 Manual.

Singer soon changed this by adding small arms to the bud decal. This became Singer's main bed decal till about 1953, When the NEW figure 8 style decal began showing up.

The figure 8 style, or "Prism" decal was used until the end of the American 221 production in 1957.

So, how many different decals were on the BED of the 221? Answer: Three!

SINGER also had not two, but THREE Decal designs on the leading edge of the 221.
We call the early pattern “CELTIC"


The first leading edge decal went ALL the way around the corner to the Light Switch, This decal was used from 1933 to ABOUT the AE53XXXX 1937 era.

Then it was replaced by the second design that was SHORTER, with the decal that stopped at the Bobbin Winder Guide.

This decal was standard on all machines until the “PRISM” design came out in the 1953 era.


Singer also had two different decals on the short side of the hand wheel guard.

The early design, which was part of the early wrap around bed decals, were shorter to fit the guard. When Singer eliminated the wrap around bed decal they also lengthened the hand wheel guard and the decal was lengthened to match.



This decal went away completely with the Prism decals in the later production years.


This arm decal was on about 4000 or less of the 1933 AD machines. Look through ANY 221 Manual and you can still find it. Also the 1933 Serial Number Plate is still in Every Manual. BUT! No sign of the new one; just a little history note.


This next part of Singer History is a little bit hard to explain and hard to put into words. SO! You may have to read this over a time or two, and try to remember what I'm saying on your next 221 hunting trip.


The first “SINGER” decal was HIGH on the light, from 1933 to around AF37XXXX, where you can find an AF37XXXX with both a HIGH or LOW SINGER DECAL. 

The next “SINGER” decal was on the ARM of the machine. First one I know of is AF169746 February 1939. These are pretty rare but they can be found in any 1939 year date. I have one recorded AF490190 from 1940, and if you are a 221 collector with lots of money look into the AF38XXXX Era, you can find the “SINGER” decal in ALL three locations, plus the first CRINKLE machines.

And lastly, the most common, is on the light housing in the low position.
how many different locations are the "SINGER" decals found? Answer: Three

These last two decals you won't see much of, BUT! They do show up from time to time on American 221s.


Singer built some machines for Export to countries outside of the U.S.A.  This “MADE IN USA” decal was on AG012399. About the only other thing I can tell you is; this Machine was not built in China.. ;o)  

Here is machine AH205668, a 1947 serial number with an “M.R.” decal and a CENTENNIAL Emblem. There have been many Myths and Rumors about what the “M.R.” stands for, but here is the definition, which we have abbreviated for sake of space.  


M.R. or Marcas Registrar definition:


The mark is the sign that distinguishes in the market, products or services of an industrialist. The words or combination of words, or images can be Marks, figures, symbols, graphs, letters, numbers, forms, etc. Its function is to differentiate and individualize in the market identical or similar products or services, as well as to identify its enterprise origin, and in a certain way to be an indicator of quality and means of promotion of sales.


Marca is a title that grants the right “exclusive”, to the use of a certain identification of a product or a service in the market. Therefore with the registry of a mark the State grants the exclusive right to him of its use in the Mexican Republic (most likely applies to other Latin American countries).


The ostentation of the legend “registered trademark”, abbreviations “M.R.” or the symbol ®, will only be able to be realized in the case of products or services for which the mark is registered.


The marks can be:

  • A name
  • A logo
  • A slogan
  • A packing
  • A combination of anyone of these

Therefore Singer needed to register the Singer name and logo to be able to use it legally exclusively.


Looks like these two machines never left the Good Ole U.S.A. O.K. there you have it.


You will notice we left out the Singer Manufacturing Co decal on the inside arm as this did not change. Now you have a little better understanding of the 221 and it's Great History....Don't forget Leo builds an Awesome 221, And there is no gift like the gift of giving...GOD BLESS and see you next time.....JJ & LEO                    



Contact me at: Leo@TheFeatherweight221Factory.com