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Thread: Is there a concise book, chart, or App to ID sewing machines?

  1. #1
    Member Caroline94535's Avatar
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    Is there a concise book, chart, or App to ID sewing machines?

    I learned through this forum that I have a Singer 15-91, and it is dated 1954. When I saw my first 66 and 99 at a thrift shop, I did not know how to tell the difference between the three. Now I know the 99 is the smaller, and the 15-91 has a "waist" and "ski sloop" profile.

    I know the 66s and 99s with a turn knob to set the stitch length do not have a reverse stitch. Is this correct?

    Is there an easy-to-use book that illustrates how to determine the model of machine you might find in thrift stores/garage sales, etc.? I understand the Singer 201-2 is a very useful machine, but I'm not sure I could walk up to an old, black Singer and say "Yes; this is the 201-2."

    I'd like a book to carry with me when I go on my summer jaunts. I'd love it if it carried descriptions of all the old sewing machine brands.

    Any ideas?
    "Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

  2. #2
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Boy, you did ask a very good question and I certainly would like to know the answer too.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/search/label/identifying

    Rain has some pretty good tips for identifying machines on his blog. The 15-91 and the 201-2 are about the easiest of the old black Singers to recognize when you see them, as least for me. Any black Singer machine that has the tension assembly on the face plate instead of the front of the machine is a 15, and if it has the potted motor it's a 15-91. The 201-2 can be spotted at a glance because it's the only full size black machine that has the light fixture directly on the front of the machine. Also the tension is on the front, it has the potted motor, and the switch for the light is white and on the front where the cords plug into the machine.
    I know there's a book about the history of Singer at the library but I don't know if it has the info you're looking for. I think the old Needlebar site had a chart for identifying Singer machines. I think most of us have learned by experience just like you are.

    Cari

    I know of no reference books or charts for foreign brands.
    Last edited by Cari-in-Oly; Today at 10:39 AM. Reason: Added info.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly View Post
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/search/label/identifying

    Rain has some pretty good tips for identifying machines on his blog. The 15-91 and the 201-2 are about the easiest of the old black Singers to recognize when you see them, as least for me. Any black Singer machine that has the tension assembly on the face plate instead of the front of the machine is a 15, and if it has the potted motor it's a 15-91. The 201-2 can be spotted at a glance because it's the only full size black machine that has the light fixture directly on the front of the machine. Also the tension is on the front, it has the potted motor, and the switch for the light is white and on the front where the cords plug into the machine.
    I know there's a book about the history of Singer at the library but I don't know if it has the info you're looking for. I think the old Needlebar site had a chart for identifying Singer machines. I think most of us have learned by experience just like you are.

    Cari

    I know of no reference books or charts for foreign brands.
    That is a great website. I have a couple of older machines that I could have used help in identifying them. I have lots more to read there.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  5. #5
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Hi,

    The best information is online rather in book form for sewing machine ID. Needlebar and Ismacs are the best I've come across and use frequently, especially the Needlebar Picture Library.

    Jon

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