The Singer Model 221 “Featherweight” Sewing Machine
HELLO 221 FANS!
Question Of The Week
Leo and I want to welcome you back to the FEATHERWEIGHT FACTORY, And another exciting QUESTION OF THE WEEK. Some of you may have noticed, Leo got way behind on his 221s over the summer, with his moving and customer machines he's been building? Well, Leo just informed me, he has several 221's up and ready to go. So! Don’t forget to stop by and look at all those beautiful 221s Leo has. Just remember Christmas is not that far off....
1836~1936 TEXAS CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION
After the Brave Men of the ALAMO, the massacre at GOLIAD, and the victory at SAN JACINTO, Texas won its Independence in late 1836 and later became the 29th State.
After many years of planning, from as early as 1900, the people of the Great State of TEXAS were ready to host its Texas Centennial celebration.
The Centennial was held all over the great state of TEXAS, with the main Exposition held in DALLAS, TEXAS from Saturday JUNE 6, 1936 to Sunday NOVEMBER 29, 1936.
At the height of the great depression, this was to be the first Worlds Fair / Exposition to be held below the Mason Dixon line. While other Expositions lasted a year, (CHICAGO and SAN FRANCISCO) Texas would only last six month's.
You can drive by the Dallas Fair grounds today and many of the old 1936 buildings are still standing. Or you can visit the State Fair of Texas every October, and walk through and see these great old buildings and imagine the crowds of 1936; with folks holding tight to their young kids and a few quarters in their pockets.
Today the 1936 TEXAS CENTENNIAL is all but forgotten, except for a few small collectable's and souvenirs, bought by people attending the Centennial celebrations. Some of these souvenirs today are rare and sought after by Centennial collectors.
ONE ITEM being sold at the CENTENNIAL was more of an item of necessity than souvenir. With probably little or no thought of EVER becoming a collector item. That item was sewing machines from the SINGER MFG CO.
For six months of the Exposition, mothers both young and old must have walked past and only dreamed of owning one of these SINGER beauties. While the hubby counted a few quarters in his pocket and wished for better days, never paying much attention to the TEXAS CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION 1836~1936 badge that these machines wore. Never knowing that one day this machine would become, not only a collectable, but one of the VERY RAREST 221’s SINGER would ever produce.
TODAY! We only know of only TWO of them in the 221 Class (If anyone knows of, or owns a 221 Texas Centennial, we would certainly love to hear from you with some photos and the serial number!)
AE214411 born JULY 1936. Today we have no idea who owns this machine or where it is at. We do know from the serial number it had to have been sold during the last days of the Centennial.
The second 221 was: AE061724 born December 1935. This 221 machine was one of the early, if not the first to be sold at the 1936 Centennial.
Today this Beautiful and Historical Family Heirloom belongs to MRS LYNNE ROWE of VANCOUVER BC. When we asked about the history of the 221 this is all we were able to find:
“A collectable's dealer who travels the Florida area spotted the Texas Centennial at an estate sale. He spoke with the woman selling her mom's estate; she had several Featherweights for sale, all of which he bought, but he'd never seen the Texas Centennial badge before. She said her mom purchased it at the fair and used it right up until 2000. I have a copy of the last servicing bill dated 2001. Not long after the 1936 fair, her mom moved to Florida.
That's all the info I have about this Texas Centennial's past life. His future life promises to be a very luxurious one, including of course 24/7 access to the television remote control, central air & heating, fresh clean air, non-smoking environment, and a very loving & attentive sitter for when I'm away at work.”
MRS ROWE, who after purchasing this 221 sent pictures to Leo, asking his opinion about refurbishing this machine. Leo, knowing that I am very picky about this sort of thing asked me my opinion. When do you wax and when do you restore? I could see right off the bat that the original owner had used this machine for what it was built for, and that was to sew, and sew a lot. The machine was in need of a serious restoration job.
MY REPLY To Leo was. That he was to the 221 what Norman Rockwell was to the canvas. I said to Leo: “You have a piece of History. DO IT RIGHT!”
I THINK IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
MRS ROWE...SINCE YOU CALL THIS MACHINE A HE? A NAME KEPT COMING TO ME, WHILE WRITING THIS: COLONEL NICK ROWE.
COPYRIGHT (0811) LEO & JJ