Dating a 319W...records lost?

Old 06-26-2015, 06:21 AM
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Default Dating a 319W...records lost?

I fiddled with my newest toy last night but got so engrossed in trying to research it that I ran out of time and never even plugged it in! Seems like the evenings when I have the least free time are the evenings when I've just gotten a new machine.

I don't even have my own pictures yet; here's a couple of 'em from the eBay listing. My newest darling, a 319W:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]523533[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]523534[/ATTACH]

Dating this thing...and figuring out where it's made...has been difficult. I'm finding conflicting information on what the "W" in 319W stands for - one source said it was some city in Germany; another said it was for "Wheeler & Wilson" because it was built in an old W&W factory. Not sure if it's from the US or overseas, not sure how old it is... The serial number starts with a W too, and no listing on ISMACS or the Singer site for W serial numbers. Some sources say the machine was only made from 1957-1960; then someone else has a receipt for one bought in 1953?

CD - I ended up on YOUR website at some point in my Google journey, I see you have a couple of these too!

I'm guessing records were lost at some point, but does anybody have any ideas about how old this machine is and where it was made? Or is it just going to have to remain a mystery? I don't REALLY need to know, of course, but I like knowing that sort of thing about my machines.

I like it. I think it's really neat, I LOVE those levers on it. I can't believe I let myself run out of time searching online rather than playing with it last night, I can't wait to sew with it! Everything moves nicely by hand, it appears to have been well maintained (or just not used much) and the bobbin case doesn't look too beat up either and hasn't been modified. It has a 206x13 needle in it, and I've ordered more.

It has named itself "Verne" for some reason - I think for Jules Verne, probably because those key-levers look kind of steampunk to me. And maybe a touch of "verdigris" because of the green color.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:37 AM
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It's lovely! It must have arrived safely since I hear no sign of tears in your voice. I'm sure you will enjoy playing with him? Is it a him? I am eager to receive my 306 and have no idea whether it takes cams or not, since the photo only showed the machine from the back! Apparently some do and some don't!

If you find more information please share links with me. I'll be wanting to find out more about mine too and they are sisters of a sort.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma
I'm finding conflicting information on what the "W" in 319W stands for - one source said it was some city in Germany; another said it was for "Wheeler & Wilson" because it was built in an old W&W factory.
Wheeler and Wilson factory in New York. The serial number is underneath the bed. Tilt it back and look underneath on the left side. Go to ISMACS, look up the number and you'll know much more. 1957 sounds about right. I've only ever seen the handle on the earlier ones.

You don't have to use a 206x13 if you modify the bobbin case. Google "modify 319 bobbin case".
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by manicmike
Wheeler and Wilson factory in New York. The serial number is underneath the bed. Tilt it back and look underneath on the left side. Go to ISMACS, look up the number and you'll know much more. 1957 sounds about right. I've only ever seen the handle on the earlier ones.

You don't have to use a 206x13 if you modify the bobbin case. Google "modify 319 bobbin case".
I think you skimmed my post. I did look up the serial number - it starts with a "W" and there are no listings for "W" serials on ISMACS or the Singer site.

I'm ok with using the proper needles - I prefer to keep the machine as original as possible so I'd rather not modify my bobbin case since I can still buy the 206x13's. In limited sizes, it seems, but that's OK - I don't really use a lot of specialty needles and I have 15 other machines I can use if I need to.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. SewNSew
It's lovely! It must have arrived safely since I hear no sign of tears in your voice. I'm sure you will enjoy playing with him? Is it a him? I am eager to receive my 306 and have no idea whether it takes cams or not, since the photo only showed the machine from the back! Apparently some do and some don't!

If you find more information please share links with me. I'll be wanting to find out more about mine too and they are sisters of a sort.
Yes, it arrived safely! The shipper didn't double-box, but he did stuff the case with blocks of syrofoam to keep the machine still and put some pretty substantial hunks of styrofoam around the outside of the case too. I was a little worried when I got home and saw that the corner of the box was all smooshed in, but the case and machine were both safe. He even saran-wrapped the machine itself and then the outside of the case, so I didn't have to pick styrofoam crumbs out of everything.

I thought all 206's took cams! I'll be interested in hearing about YOUR new toy, too! We don't live THAT far apart, some day we'll have to meet at a halfway point and show off some machines or something.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:48 AM
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That’s a very nice-looking Singer 319W that you have there!

Yes, I have both an electric and a treadle Singer 319W. The treadle one was an electric until I converted it to treadle operation. They’re both green, so I’m keeping my eye out for a black one and a tan one. I haven’t ever plugged the electric one in. It came with a large group of machines that I bought, and I just squirreled it away. I use the 319W treadle regularly, or at least, as regular as a lazy old guy like me uses sewing machines. I mend jeans on it, and use 206x13 (2029) needles in it exclusively. I even have a couple of twin-needles (306x1-3) that I think will work in it (made for the previous 306 model), but I haven’t ever tried one of them.

I believe that the “W” simply means that it was built in the former Wheeler & Wilson factory at Bridgeport, CT, USA. Singer was building them in Scotland (“K” models) and Italy (“M” models) at the same time. During the mid-50s, Singer got serious about including the factory “letter code” on the model tags of their machines. They were getting many factories around the world, and not all factories built some models exactly like other factories, so it was probably an effort to keep down the confusion when parts were ordered. The letter code actually was begun around 1900, but not all factories used them on the physical model plates for the first 50 years.

As far as I know, the 319 was only made between 1957 and 1959. The 401A, that eventually replaced the 319, was being made at the same time (1956-1961) in the Anderson SC factory, and I would suspect that the 401A quickly became favored over the 319, and the 319 was discontinued. The internal motor of the 401A was probably what did the 319 in, as can be seen with the treadle-capable 401G made in Germany where treadle operation was still more prevalent than in the USA at the time. The 401G could leave the factory either as an internal motor electric machine, or a treadle-operated machine.

I originally nicknamed my treadle 319W as “Paddy” (green - St Patrick’s Day) but it didn’t stick, and I soon renamed it “Whiplash”, a play on the word “backlash” that I soon learned would stop everything when I let my treadle turn backwards even a little bit. The 319 is very unforgiving to turning the hand wheel the wrong way. It nearly always requires a cut-loose and bobbin case removal to get the tangle out. I didn’t want to call it “backlash” because it doesn’t ever do it except when I get to whipping around thinking that I know how to treadle well......

CD in Oklahoma
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:07 AM
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Thanks CD! I saw your "Paddy" on your site, I thought that was really interesting that you've turned it into a treadle! I STILL haven't sewn on a treadle but I'm convinced some day the right one will come along.

Thanks for the information - that jives with most of what I found online. I might email Singer to see if they have anything to add; if I do I will report back what they have to say.

From what I've read, needles that fit the 306 should fit the 319, but obviously I haven't tested that.

It IS a nice looking machine, I'm really pleased with it so far. The paint is nearly perfect and so far I haven't found any problems. It needs a new belt (which I have) and I noticed one of the screws that can limit the bight is missing, but that's not a big deal. I'm looking forward to sewing with it this weekend, hopefully the needle it has isn't too dull!
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma
I think you skimmed my post. I did look up the serial number - it starts with a "W" and there are no listings for "W" serials on ISMACS or the Singer site.

I'm ok with using the proper needles - I prefer to keep the machine as original as possible so I'd rather not modify my bobbin case since I can still buy the 206x13's. In limited sizes, it seems, but that's OK - I don't really use a lot of specialty needles and I have 15 other machines I can use if I need to.
Yes I did. Now I see that the serial number begins with W too. Sorry about that.

You can also buy new "15x1 ready" BCs if you don't want to modify yours.

EDIT: Bit more information here. They say "1911-" (not very useful) and that it was made in Bridgeport, Connecticut (bit more useful).

Last edited by manicmike; 06-26-2015 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma
Thanks CD! I saw your "Paddy" on your site, I thought that was really interesting that you've turned it into a treadle! I STILL haven't sewn on a treadle but I'm convinced some day the right one will come along.

Thanks for the information - that jives with most of what I found online. I might email Singer to see if they have anything to add; if I do I will report back what they have to say.

From what I've read, needles that fit the 306 should fit the 319, but obviously I haven't tested that.

It IS a nice looking machine, I'm really pleased with it so far. The paint is nearly perfect and so far I haven't found any problems. It needs a new belt (which I have) and I noticed one of the screws that can limit the bight is missing, but that's not a big deal. I'm looking forward to sewing with it this weekend, hopefully the needle it has isn't too dull!
Yes the needles are the same for models 206, 306, 319 and 320. CD, the 306x1-3 will fit any of these machines too. All of them use the same needles. You can use a 15x1 in them as long as you don't try to zig-zag. It's the zig-zagging 15x1 needle that hits the bobbin case, and straight stitching won't cause a problem.

Nearly all the 319s and 320s I've had were missing the bight screw. Not sure why.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:56 AM
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He's a HE all right his levers go up...
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