Singer 201-1

Old 01-02-2019, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 89
Default Singer 201-1

Ok, here I go again,
I suddenly have a new love, treadle machines. I recently got a beautiful cabinet with a 27 in it and it was my first treadle machine. I now find myself using it most of the time. I do like reverse though, and have been looking for a good 201, so I figured I might kill two birds with one stone. Buy a treadle 201!
My question is, am I looking for a unicorn, or do they come up for sale much, and if so, what should I be looking to pay?
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 5

Your question interested me, Jim, being a lover o vintage machines, though non-electric I have only a hand-crank. I found this on There is one other Singer treadle model that should be mentioned, that is the 201-3 or 201K. The 201 machines were introduced in 1936 and are generally regarded as the best machine Singer ever designed. They are a full rotary, fully geared and ball bearing equipped version of the Class 66 movement. The vast majority are electric, but they are occasionally found in treadles. If you find one, don't pass it up!

The same site was quite complimentary about the 66, and it does reverse if built after World War II, so if you don't find a 201-3, you may enjoy looking for the 66. They were manufactured into the 1960s and millions were made. Modern feet will fit ones with a side-clamping screw, and many pre-1920 models have been refitted with that. I wasn't aware of it. The site says that refit can still be done.

For more information about machines, you might look on Yahoo Groups to see if there is a TOGA organization in your state. I know there are several - Tennessee has one and they get together every year for a weekend of show and tell, clean and learn, and what-have-you. Best of luck in your search for a 201 unicorn! =)

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Old 01-03-2019, 02:14 AM
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My 201 might have been a treadle, but was converted to electrical pretty early on. It's a 201K, which means it was made at the Kilbowie factory in Scotland. The irons are gone, but it has the spoked hand wheel and is in a one drawer fold-alway cabinet that probably had the treadle parts at one point. I have seen the later 201K23 as treadle too, but those are few and far between. I have once seen the hand crank version, and have seen pictures of a treadle on the web. most are with motor. I'm in Norway and the 201K sometimes turn up in treadle cabinets, most by far are electric. I guess a few UK made 201s have found their way to the US. In the least, they have been spotted in real life outside of French tapestry.

You are lucky having lots of 201-2s with the potted motor in the US, but they don't convert easily to treadle. An alternative could be to track down a Singer 15, a Pfaff 30 or Husqvarna CB; they have the reverse stitch lever hand came as treadles too.

Last edited by Mickey2; 01-03-2019 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:37 PM
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Location: San Diego, CA
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I have bid on 2 different 201-3 machines on shopgoodwill, one recently. They went for way over my price (because I don't NEED any more), more than $150. They had a solid hand wheel, but of a bigger diameter than the 201-2 (of which I have two), so should fit a 66 size treadle if the belt groove is big enough.

I wondered if the raves for the 201 was just hype, but when I used my cheap ($10) 201 to piece some quilt squares I was hooked! None of my other machines are as quiet, not even my handcranks! It is in the top 5 list of keeper machines if I have to seriously downsize. Too heavy to grab in case of evacuation though (always at the back of my mind here in california).
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:42 PM
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The "K" referance only means it was made in the Kilbowie factory, there's a 201K-1, 201K-2, 201K-3; a 201K21 and 201K-23, K201K-24 and 201K-29 (spoked hand wheel). It's all the same models as the US machines, just factory designation. As far as I know, the only exclusive "K" versions are the aluminium bodied 201s.
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