One of these nights

I called the Singer Company yesterday. Based on my sewing machine’s serial number, they were able to tell me when & where it was made: September 16, 1946 in Elizabeth, NJ.

Not only do I think it’s cool that my machine is 57 years old and still going strong (it formerly belonged to my Great Aunt and then to my Mom), but I was really impressed by how quickly the representative on the phone retrieved the information. The whole interaction took about 45 seconds.

And my machine? It’s a Featherweight 221.

Update: I’ve learned that Singer birthdates are not as exact as they appear. They represent the date on which a range of serial numbers was assigned to a factory, not the date on which the machine was made.

One potential clue to my machine’s real age is that the faceplate is the fancier art deco face plate (like the one pictured here) — which is an older face plate used mainly before & durring WWII. However, even that clue is dubious as face plates are easy to change and the parts bins in the Singer factories were topped off with new parts — meaning that an older art deco face plate could have surfaced in a bin years after it was first deposited there.

Thus, while I can conclude that my sewing machine is no older than 57 years, but it might be considerably younger. There is no way to know for sure.

But I love it anyway.

Posted on August 6th, 2003 by Katxena