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Thread: I Have A Chance To Buy A 20's Singer

  1. #1
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    I Have A Chance To Buy A 20's Singer

    I have a chance to buy a Singer SM. The best I can remember how it was described is it is a 202 from the 1920's and it sews the prettiest stitches of the Singers of that time period. It comes in a table or cabinet, has a wooden carrycase, and has all the accessories. The owner, who is in his 70's said it belonged to his Mother, who was a quilter. His asking price is $100.00 I get to see the machine next Tuesday. Is this a good deal? I kind of think it is but you ladies on here know way more about these things than I do so I need your help.

    I have seen 2 other Singers both in either in 1. a cabinet/table for $300.00 and 2. a treadle for $350.00. These are way out of my price range.

    Your help ladies is greatly appreciated.


    Ladibug
    Last edited by Ladibug; 10-09-2012 at 11:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Well, maybe my input isn't really wanted since I'm not one of the ladies but... Never heard of a 202 and the 201 wasn't introduced until the 30's. Still, one of the domestic use Singers from that era should be nice. I don't think I've seen one with both the carrying case and cabinet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    If the machine sews and does not have too much rust it's a steal. If there is a medallion on the back peak inside with a flashlight. If it does not have the medallion look underneath the machine. If those parts are very rusty the machine was probably kept in a damp place. Good luck. It is a good deal. (I posted the same reply in the main forum as well)

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    I did say best as I can remember. I am probably wrong and forgot all that was said.

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    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I would buy it fast!
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  6. #6
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    http://www.featherweightfanatics.com...ringDates.html

    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/serial-numbers/singer-sewing-machine-serial-number-database.html


    The above links may help you identify the sewing machine.

    As far as the price, well if you want it and can afford it, then buy it. After inspecting it closely, consider dickering a bit. To me, wiring is always the most important consideration. Almost every machine I have purchased from that era needs to be re-wired.
    Last edited by Caroline S; 10-10-2012 at 07:45 AM.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #7
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    As far as the price, well if you want it and can afford it, then buy it. After inspecting it closely, consider dickering a bit. To me, wiring is always the most important consideration. Almost every machine I have purchased from that era needs to be re-wired.[/FONT]
    I can just see it being a 101. Most of the machines of that era can still be made useful without the motor but it sounds like a 101 is just a pretty door stop (or, in our case, display piece) without it and that it *will* need to rewired unless it's already been done.

  8. #8
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    I can just see it being a 101. Most of the machines of that era can still be made useful without the motor but it sounds like a 101 is just a pretty door stop (or, in our case, display piece) without it and that it *will* need to rewired unless it's already been done.
    I have a 101 from 1929 and it runs like a dream. Never been rewired as far as I can tell. But with something that old it is best to get the wiring checked.
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  9. #9
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    I would never pay that much for any old black Singer, because they are very common where I live. They don't even sell for $25 on Craigslist. If it works and you like it, offer less.

  10. #10
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Of all my vintage machines, the only ones I paid that much for was featherweights. A Singer 101should be much less. I got my 101 for 'free' because I bought the cabinet it was in, a model42.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    We've paid more than $100 for multiple machines. We've since learned that we overpaid for a couple of them but that's learning - we'd happily do it again for some of them, though. And if, for example, I found a nice Willcox & Gibbs hand crank in good shape I'd fully expect to pay more than that. How much more I'd be willing/able to pay is another matter

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    Do you think maybe it's a featherweight 221? If so, jump on it quick, before he changes his mind. Otherwise, I'd make sure what the model is. $100 sounds kind of steep unless it's really something special, plus it will probably have to be rewired. I just bought one from the 50s and had to rewire it. Most of those wires are cracking/fraying, etc. and truly do need replacing.

  13. #13
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    I don't think I've seen one with both the carrying case and cabinet.
    I have a centennial machine that has both the Bentwood case and a table that the Bentwood case recesses into. All appear to have been sold together as a set. I don't know when they started doing that though.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    I have a centennial machine that has both the Bentwood case and a table that the Bentwood case recesses into. All appear to have been sold together as a set. I don't know when they started doing that though.
    Oh, now that sounds interesting! Do you have pictures of the setup? I'm wondering if there were ever treadle tops that cased machines fit into. Our Frister & Rossmans, the Seidel Naumann and both the Singer 48k and 28 have bases with slots or holes for a treadle belt to pass through. I'm thinking without some sort of recess in the top it would be difficult to get the base to stay in alignment. Here's how the slot looks on the 48k:
    Attached Images Attached Images


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    Do you think maybe it's a featherweight 221? If so, jump on it quick, before he changes his mind. Otherwise, I'd make sure what the model is. $100 sounds kind of steep unless it's really something special, plus it will probably have to be rewired. I just bought one from the 50s and had to rewire it. Most of those wires are cracking/fraying, etc. and truly do need replacing.
    Yes Mimibug, he said it has to be rewired but he said that it is only the wire that goes from the machine to the motor on the outside as the cloth on the wire is frayed. I have been looking at the old Singers and I am sure there is more wiring than just that wire. I am thinking it is probably a 201. Not sure why I thought it was from the 20's but as I saidI did forget some of what was said. He said the wood case and the table it is in both came with it. I want to tank you all for all the info you have given me. I otherwise would know have went into this totally blind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintersewer View Post
    I would never pay that much for any old black Singer, because they are very common where I live. They don't even sell for $25 on Craigslist. If it works and you like it, offer less.
    The two machines I found were on Craigslist. One was $300 and the other was $350. One was in a table and the other was a treadle.

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    Thanks for your help

    I want to thank you all for your opinions and help as I would have went into this next Tuesday not knowing a thing to look for. This is one reason I love this site. You all are so nice and willing to help anyone. Thanks again ya'll. I am hoping it will be more than just an expensive doorstop... (that made me laugh even though it can be true...eek)

    Ladibug
    Last edited by Ladibug; 10-12-2012 at 10:41 AM.

  18. #18
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    Oh, now that sounds interesting! Do you have pictures of the setup? I'm wondering if there were ever treadle tops that cased machines fit into. Our Frister & Rossmans, the Seidel Naumann and both the Singer 48k and 28 have bases with slots or holes for a treadle belt to pass through. I'm thinking without some sort of recess in the top it would be difficult to get the base to stay in alignment. Here's how the slot looks on the 48k:
    Yup, I blogged about it here.

    My Winselmann also has a setup like you describe. I only have the portable base, but there are 2 holes in the base of it to accommodate a belt, and I've seen pictures on the internet of what the whole setup would have looked like when it was new. Gorgeous!

    The portable base is also wedge shaped, smaller at the bottom than the top. I'm guessing that would have helped stabilize it.

  19. #19
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    i'm wondering if when he said "case" perhaps he meant the coffin top that sits on top of a machine that is in a cabinet to keep it clean. i've seen a few like that. if you can get the serial number you can find out what model it is. could you call him back and ask him for the serial number before you go see it, just so you have time to determine the model? or if it's one of the newer ones they have the model number right on it.

    i guess what i'm thinking is that if it was me, i'd want an interval in between seeing it, figuring out what it is and actually buying it.

  20. #20
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    It could be also a 201-2, which has a motor in a little can on the back and no visible belt. You might go on ISMACS.com and look at the different machines to get a little head start. Parts are available for most of the Singers and you can go from there. Is there someone experienced in SMs that you can take with you. Consider slipping a SM needle, small spool of thread and bobbins in your pocket so you can "test drive" the machine. The price is reasonable at today's market prices, countrywide. If those things go with it, the price is fine. There may be attachments also that he forgot to mention. If the machine was used for quilting, ask about the quilting equipment. Chances like this don't come around very often. Again, if the lady quilted, it probably won't be junk. If it is a 222, WOW! Wish I could go with you.

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