The Singer Model 221 “Featherweight” Sewing Machine
HI: BEFORE I get started this week I want to say THANK YOU! for all the great Emails of encouragement Leo and I have been getting from you Fine People. I personally want to Thank Leo for all the Time and Effort he has spent to get this web site up and running and all the Beautiful 221's he has created. I personally own a 1935 AD SERIES that Leo has rebuilt, and it is simply breathtaking to look at a 75 year old 221 that is showroom new and perfect in every detail. If you are looking for a true heirloom that can be passed on and on, I don't think you could go wrong with a 221 FEATHERWEIGHT...IF you think they are popular today, I can't imagine what they will sell for when they hit Antique status at 100?
FROM 101 TO 221 TO THE CHICAGO WORLDS FAIR
HI FRIENDS; This week LEO and I are going to tell you about a Singer machine that few of you have heard of. This machine is where Most of the ideas come from and went into building one of the most successful machines in Singer history the 221 FEATHERWEIGHT.
FIRST I want to say that the Singer Designers and builders were nothing less than Professionals, and I admire them. BUT! I look at the 221 and I see TWO very AMATEURISH MISTAKES that are built into the 221. (1) The Wiring Plug is Upside Down and (2) The Face Plate was designed to mimic the Decal design, and it is wrong...THIS tells me two things. The 221 was copied from another machine, and it was done in a hurry. COULD that hurry be the CHICAGO WORLDS FAIR?? And what machine was the 221 a copy of or from?
WHEN you look at the 221 Face Plate, You will notice the Decal Design stamped into it? This is to mimic the Decal Design on the machine bed, BUT! When you get to 3 and 9 o'clock on the face plate, you see the Design Changes. WHERE Did this Design come from, IT'S Not on the FEATHERWEIGHT, OR is it ??????????
LEO's and my next step was to find a machine who's Decal Design Matched the Face Plate on the 221, OR had the Same Parts that were on the 221, Not and easy task.. Our search led us to JULY-12-1920. This is when all the Dots began falling into place....
WHAT LEO and I found was Singers First MODEL 101 sewing machine, and on it were the IDENTICAL DECAL Patten that is on the 221. Well almost. PLUS we found the Decal Pattern that Matched the 221 Face Plate. READING in the Manual we find the MODEL 101 is especially designed to run on electricity with a built-in motor, not as a secondary consideration like most treadle machines that simply added an electric motor at a later time. And one statement in the manual that popped out was ".. except that heavy parts are made of aluminum which reduces the weight of the machine to the minimum so that it is easy to carry".
NOW! We had Discovered the REAL machine that had most likely led up to the development of the 221. Things were now adding up. Just about everything was taken from the MODEL 101 and fitted to the 221.
NOW! I want to show you what Singer did with the DECAL, And how it NOW fits the Face Plate.....
WHAT Singer did next was to Remove this area of the Decal because the 221 was so much shorter. Singer took the Design from both sides of the MODEL 101 Spun them around dressed them up and presto! the 221 Now has a Bed Decal...
Singer 101 bed decals
Singer 101 bed decal
Singer 221 bed decal
NOW you may recognize the Decals on each side of the SINGER on the MODEL 101. THEY were Moved to two places on the 221 Arm, Later one was Removed..
SINGER also used the School Bell style BOBBIN WINDER TENSION from the MODEL 101 and placed it on the 221, I think this is the only two machines in Singer history with this style Bobbin Winder Tension.
Singer 101 bobbin winder tension - Notice the Wrap-Around 221 style decal too
Singer 221 bobbin winder tension
You will also notice Singer went with a STAGGER LEG Scroll face plate on the 221 for the first five years before going to the EVEN LEG Like on the MODEL 101. I think this was done on purpose, to prevent a logistical nightmare from misidentification.
There you have it, now you know a little more history about our beloved FEATHERWEIGHT
Singer 101 (background) & 221
Singer 101 (left) & 221
COPYRIGHT (0810) LEO & JJ
HOPE! You enjoyed the article, Please look at the Beautiful 221s LEO has on his web site? They are TRUE WORKS OF ART Built by a MASTER...........GOD BLESS
Contact me at: Leo@TheFeatherweight221Factory.com