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Thread: How much did the original Featherweights cost?

  1. #1
    a regular here countrycottage's Avatar
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    I keep reading discussions about how much is "too much" to pay for a Singer Featherweight. Does anyone know how much a new one sold for back when they first came on the market?

  2. #2
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I believe I read somewhere they were around 99.00. That may have been in the late 40's though.

  3. #3
    manley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countrycottage
    I keep reading discussions about how much is "too much" to pay for a Singer Featherweight. Does anyone know how much a new one sold for back when they first came on the market?
    Very good question. I would like to know that also.

  4. #4
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom
    I believe I read somewhere they were around 99.00. That may have been in the late 40's though.
    Assuming purchase year was 1948, that's $886.58 in 2010 dollars, adjusted for inflation.

  5. #5
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I bet the Featherweight Yahoo Group would know. I haven't signed up but thinking about it.

  6. #6
    Super Member mhunt1717's Avatar
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    I read on a blog that they cost the same as a car costs now... Found it: http://brooke-johnson.blogspot.com/2...nd-sewing.html

  7. #7
    MTS
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    Here's a closed eBay auction with a receipt from 1941 - for $77.04 total ($1,127.47 in 2010 dollars).

    http://cgi.ebay.ph/SINGER-221-FEATHE...-/160628134845

    As you can see, the auction finished at $56.88 in July 2011. :shock:

  8. #8
    Super Member Sunnie's Avatar
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    Another interesting question would be - What would it cost to manufacture a Featherweight today? I think we couldn't afford it.

  9. #9
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    I know it was a fraction of what we pay today. But since they were sold from the 30's to the 60's it would be difficult to come up with an exact amount. But someone must know.

  10. #10
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Scroll down for Featherweight information. Courtesy of Graham Forsdyke:
    Subject: Trade-in info pt2 Machines.

    As promised here is the final installment of the Trade-in information from
    Singer to their dealers. Unfortunately, they didn't see fit to list the
    dates of manufacture for the Featherweight.

    Dates of manufacture of various Singer machines.

    Treadles--
    9-W-7................................................. ......1909 to 1913
    115-1................................................. ......1912 to 1935
    15-30................................................ .......1895 to 1933
    27-4................................................. .......1889 to 1913
    127-3................................................. ......1913 to ----
    66-1 (Egyptian (green) Ornamentation........................1902 to 1906
    66-1 Scroll (red) Ornamentation.............................1906 to 1923
    66-4................................................. .......1923 to ----
    Portables
    128-3................................................. ......1917 to ----
    128-13................................................ ......1917 to ----
    66-13................................................ .......1920 to ----
    99K5.............................................. ..........1924 to 1925
    99K10............................................. ..........1922 to 1924
    99K13............................................. ..........1924 to 1924
    99-13................................................ .......1925 to ----
    101-10................................................ ......1922 to 1926
    101-11................................................ ......1925 to 1929

    Electric Tables
    66-6-19................................................ .....1921 to 1925
    66-6-20................................................ .....1923 to 1926
    66-6-305............................................... .....1925 to 1925
    66-6-306............................................... .....1928 to 1931
    66-6-40................................................ .....1925 to ----

    101-1-17, 18, 19............................................1920 to 1925
    101-2-20................................................ ....19?? to 1926
    101-3-40................................................ ....1925 to 1930
    101-4-40................................................ ....1929 to 1937

    Average Cash Price of Treadle Machines
    1906 - 1912 $36.80 to 41.60
    1913 - 1917 $39.60 to 44.40
    1918 - 1920 $44.40 to 55.60
    1921 - 1928 $60.80 to 67.20
    1928 - 1935 $72.25 to 85.00
    1935 - 1946 $84.00 to 115.00

    Average Cash Price of Electric Portables
    128 99 221-1
    1922 - 1934 $59.50 $77.00 **
    1934 - 1941 59.50 85.00 $88.00
    1946 - 1946 69,50 95.00 105.00

    Average Cash Price of Electric Consoles
    66 101 201 15-91
    1920 - 1925 $120.00 $140.00 ** **
    1926 - 1935 140.00 178.00 ** **
    1936 - 1946 155.00 ** $175.00 $150.00

    ** Not produced during this period.

    Everything above is copied verbatum from the list that Singer published. I
    am not responsible for the accuracy of the information. The date listed
    above with the two ?? (Model 101-2-20) indicates that I was unable to
    decypher the numbers on the original document.

    I hope this information is helpful
    ----------------------------
    From: Graham Forsdyke

  11. #11
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Wow! Why were they so pricey? That was a lot of money back in the day.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Essiescott's Avatar
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    I don't know about Featherweights---but I do have the original receipt from my 1899 Singer model 27 treadle. It was my husband's aunt's mothers. The receipt was for $50.00 paid cash on December 19, 1899. What I can figure out by looking at cost of living info, it would cost close to $1100.00 on todays dollar, but this was also dated 2005 info--and I am sure because of the recession and such---it could even be higher.

    Sibyl

  13. #13
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essiescott
    What I can figure out by looking at cost of living info, it would cost close to $1100.00 on todays dollar, but this was also dated 2005 info--and I am sure because of the recession and such---it could even be higher.
    Sibyl
    cost $50 in 1899 would cost $1292.70 in 2010.

    Handy little tool:
    http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

  14. #14
    Super Member tellabella's Avatar
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    I read that featherweights were $34.95..i don't know if that was the earlier ones or later on...

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    There was a TV show which showed the history of the sewing machine and it stated the before 1950 the purchase of the sewing machine was as important and the family car and in some places where they didn't need a family car it was the most important purchase.
    No wonder my grandmother lived so close to her mother, she didn't sew unless she had to. My mother learned to sew from my great grandmother, but her sister learned just enough to sew on buttons and to fix hems.

  16. #16
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Interesting that 99s, 128s and FWs were in the same price range. Now you can buy the first two for much less than a FW. I paid $35 for my 128 in a bentwood case.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnie
    Another interesting question would be - What would it cost to manufacture a Featherweight today? I think we couldn't afford it.
    AlphaSew makes a replica for $500. You can get a sweet ORIGINAL featherweight for much less.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jean1941's Avatar
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    I saw one at a quilt shop the other day and they wanted $475.00 for it

  19. #19
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    I have a receipt from 1956. $169.50. included stool. Zig-zagger was $16.95 Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Prices pencilled in on a brochure--127-3--$124. Cabinet 404--$149. 15-88 treadle --$149. 99K-13--$140( could be $114--too many notations to figure out the right price). 128-13--$89.50. 221--$145 (called Featherweight in the brochure. I am not sure of any difference in Canadian/US dollars back then.

  20. #20
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    My MIL paid $129 for her Featherweight (in Ontario) and $20 for the card table (discounted $10 because it was scratched) in 1950 and she still has the machine, table and receipt. She bought it to hem diapers for the new baby whe was expecting (DH). Her comment, "It was an awful lot of egg money".

  21. #21
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    My dad bought one for my mom for Christmas , in 1940 from a hardware store in Alexandria La. It has the hard case and all the attachments and the original book as well. He paid about $90.00 for it. I learned to sew on it when I was about 10 and sewed on it until after I was married when I got my own Singer. I am now the proud owner of mom's featherweight and it still runs beautifully.

  22. #22
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    my sister bought a featherweight in the 1950's she also got the table with it like little card table and she said seems like she paid 149.00 dollars for it if she remembers right

  23. #23
    Senior Member misscarol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom
    I believe I read somewhere they were around 99.00. That may have been in the late 40's though.
    Assuming purchase year was 1948, that's $886.58 in 2010 dollars, adjusted for inflation.
    Wow!

  24. #24
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    Lots of different prices for FWs. I got one with table for $240 and DH got at a garage sale for $50. Last year at an auction my cousin got one for $150.

  25. #25
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countrycottage
    I keep reading discussions about how much is "too much" to pay for a Singer Featherweight. Does anyone know how much a new one sold for back when they first came on the market?
    In August, I purchased a 1936 FW. Inside the case was the original Bill of Sale. It was purchased on Nov. 1, 1937 for $108.00 in Springfield, Ohio. They were given $8.00 for a trade in on another machine (don't know what kind). The payments were $3.00 a month. I have every receipt for their payments (they got behind in their payments twice) and it was paid off in 1941. It still sews like a dream! :thumbup:
    Forgot to add: I paid $220 and it is almost pristine...

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