Rare Singer 301

Old 04-24-2021, 05:58 AM
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Default Rare Singer 301

According to the Vintage 301a web site, I may have a rare 301 Anniversary Limited Edition in black. All the check points confirmed, mainly the serial # NA007562. My question is: Is this actually collectable, or is it so obscure that nobody cares? I found it in a spinet/trapezoid cabinet. Both are in good shape.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:58 PM
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Elliot, here's the thing. 1951 was Singer's 100 year anniversary. Singer also had excellent marketing techniques. There is nothing special about the machines built in 1951, unless they have the Centennial badge. Singer also provided additional badges to their dealers, who could replace the gold badges on their older stock. Centennial badges have been found on machines produced as early as 1949.

A black 301 is the favorite of the 301s to have, because of the color, as black was not used as much as the tan. A black 301, Centennial badged, in very good condition, with all original accessories, and in a good trappy #74 cabinet is a pretty nice set.

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Old 04-24-2021, 09:54 PM
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This web site is an interesting read and could be helpful. http://singer301.com/limited/default.html
In 1951 Singer produced two special classifications for the 301: Centennial Limited Edition and Anniversary Limited Edition. Centennial are very rare, only 1,000 produced and they have the centennial badge. Anniversary not so rare, 9,000 produced (4,500 black) in July 1951, but only a few hundred found. There is a raised ridge on the body around the new black border badge, and it has the "paperclip" decals.

If you are a purist; is it a centennial machine because it has a blue centennial badge, or because it was actually produced in 1951? Singer did not start marketing the 301 until October of 1952. When you say there is nothing special about machines built in 1951 I have to take exception. The awesome 301 machine marked a significant shift for Singer for the second century of production and owning one of the first ones produced seems special to me. Also I was born in April of 1951 so it makes it extra special.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:17 PM
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One more thing . . . has anyone seen a 301 with a centennial badge?
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:08 AM
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Oops, you are right Elliot, I forgot about the two special designations. There are a few other special badges, Texas (1930s) comes to mind.

Some people go nuts over the badges. I am not one of them. In most cases, the machine is a regular run produced model, basically the same as other machines without the badge.

The answer is, I won't pay extra for a specialty badge, regardless of the year it was pinned onto the machine. Many will!
I came across a rough Anniversary 201 for $25. Bought it, restored it, and sold it for what I had into it, $75. I have a prettier 201.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by elliott*vsm View Post
According to the Vintage 301a web site, I may have a rare 301 Anniversary Limited Edition in black. All the check points confirmed, mainly the serial # NA007562. My question is: Is this actually collectable, or is it so obscure that nobody cares? I found it in a spinet/trapezoid cabinet. Both are in good shape.
Some will pay more for a special edition machine. Not a lot more, but some. Black 301's in decent/good condition go for $100. to $150. around here (north Texas). The trapezoid cabinet is very desirable and not often seen for sale. If you are willing to wait for the right buyer, you might get up to $400. for the set. You have to wait for the right buyer, though.
JMHO
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:20 AM
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I have a centennial FW that my husband bought me. He paid a lot for it, but that was more for the condition than for the centennial badge. I know there are a few Texas Centennial FW's that were sold at the Texas State Fair as I remember. Those go for big bucks. The last one I saw on eBay went for $12,000 but that has more to do with that fact that there are only a few of those sold and probably a lot fewer that have survived.

301's here are still pretty inexpensive in general. I have a trapezoid table I bought a couple years ago. I got it from eBay for under $200 shipped to me. I haven't seen one lately so that's the closest number I have for that. You might check the sold listings on eBay to get an idea of value. It can take a while but everything seems to come up for sale on eBay sooner or later.
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:27 AM
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I understand the value of 301 and 301a machines that show up for sale. I have acquired and refurbished many in all three color combinations. I think they are the most versatile all metal, straight stitch machine Singer produced. My question is for individuals or groups that collect vintage and antique sewing machines. Is this first round of 301 production in July 1951 a notable machine that collectors look for and talk about? I'm not so concerned about what it may fetch as I am about its historical significance. Can you imaging what it would cost to produce a 301 today?

I have a few sewing machine artifacts. To me, maker, model, year, condition are most important. Many all metal domestic sewing machine are stunning examples of engineering and precision manufacture that can still be used everyday and will outlive all of us. They may only be considered rare if they are in terrific condition and perform they way they did when new.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by elliott*vsm View Post
They may only be considered rare if they are in terrific condition and perform they way they did when new.
Sorry. Most people who come here asking about "rare machines" are asking about dollar value.
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:34 AM
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I think most people here are buying machines to use, not to put on the shelf. Thus their value is in how well they perform and their reliability. I consider them and excellent machine for piecing, but a non working 301 even though badged as a centennial machine would have little to no value for me.
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