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Thread: Are there different 201's?????

  1. #1
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Are there different 201's?????

    Mine was made in 1955. When I see the term 201-2 I'm confused.
    Can someone un-confuse me?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Sorry, it was probably my PM this morning that confused you! If I understand correctly, the Singer 201-2 has a potted motor and the Singer 201-3, or 201K has a belt driven motor. The Singer 201-1 is a treadle. I think they are kind of rare though (???) Maybe I'm wrong. I also don't think that the year made has anything to do with the model number. (Please some one correct me if I am wrong here. This is the info I found after a quick Google search.)

    Just like the Singer 15-88 is a treadle, the Singer 15-90 has a belt driven motor and the Singer 15-91 has a potted motor. I hope I'm not confusing you more!
    Last edited by NZquilter; 08-07-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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  3. #3
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Oh thank you!!! I couldn't find the info that you were able to find. What I have is a 201-2. It has the potted motor.
    And my 15 is a 90.
    THANKS!

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    The K only stands for the Kilbowie factory in Scotland. I have discoverd there are several versions and minor differences. For some reason it looksl ike treadle and hand crank were more common for a much longer time in Europe than in the US. I'm not sure why. I keep bumping into hand crank 99s with serial numbers dating them well into the 50s, less so with the 201s, but at least as long as the cast iron production kept up. There are much fewer 201K2s over here, the most common is the belt driven version.

    There are two types of chromed plates on these, the later one is pin-striped sort of, and there are at least two different gold decal patterns, maybe three. There are variants to the base of the spool pins too, but doesn't seem to have been given special subnumbers (The part number of the body might differ?)

    The black cast iron 201s were taken over by a third version in cast aluminiun at the UK factory, given the number 201K23, and with a new exterior design. My 1955 is an all beige version of this one, but the most common is seems to be a beige-brown color combination. The early aluminium production was all black with chrome details, these turn up but not as often as the beige.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 08-07-2017 at 07:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I've never seen a beige 201. Wow!
    I've never had a hand crank. I have a hard time imagining being able to sew with it. They are so cute though.

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    @Mickey2 - my understanding is that hand cranks were more popular in Europe because rooms in homes were smaller on average and a hand crank does not take up as much room as a treadle.

    @SusieQOH - I have four hand cranks (1 28K, 2 127's, and 1 128) and find them about as easy as an electric to sew on - just not as fast. In fact, I prefer an 'hc' for precise, slow speed, ss sewing - the stitches on mine are very pretty. I plan on teaching my five young granddaughters to sew on them (and then gifting them one each as well as an electric if they progress in their skills). An 'hc' appears safer than an electric for young fingers!

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J3General View Post
    @Mickey2 - my understanding is that hand cranks were more popular in Europe because rooms in homes were smaller on average and a hand crank does not take up as much room as a treadle.

    @SusieQOH - I have four hand cranks (1 28K, 2 127's, and 1 128) and find them about as easy as an electric to sew on - just not as fast. In fact, I prefer an 'hc' for precise, slow speed, ss sewing - the stitches on mine are very pretty. I plan on teaching my five young granddaughters to sew on them (and then gifting them one each as well as an electric if they progress in their skills). An 'hc' appears safer than an electric for young fingers!
    Very interesting!!! Thanks for the lesson- that's one style I knew nothing about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member OurWorkbench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
    Mine was made in 1955. When I see the term 201-2 I'm confused.
    Can someone un-confuse me?
    Thanks
    A good resource can be found at http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...ny/model-list/

    After reading the description on that page you can then go to appropriate page for the model you want to know more about.

    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
    Janey & John

  9. #9
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Janey, I forgot to check that one, thanks! I know I've gone there before but forgot about it.

  10. #10
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    in regards to sewing with a handcrank...

    With an electric machine or treadle most folks use one hand in front, and one hand behind the stitch. You have NO feel for the "pull" that the machine has, that is why folks use the second hand, to gain that control.

    With a handcrank each rotation of the handcrank cycles the machine 3 times. You can literally feel in your right hand the feed dogs pulling the fabric through. You only need your left hand to steer and provide some resistance to the pull. You have WAY more precise control of stitch location. I have yet to find a person who does not find hand crank sewing easier than electric or treadle, once they have practiced it a bit.

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    Everything is bigger in America, I'm sure, but a portable electric or hand crank is much the same size. The 201 was one of the top models, it probably wasn't a cost issue for the buyer. Motors and light became much more affordable around 1930 too. I'm guessing a lot of factors played in, and at the time a lot were used to hand cranks and knew what they chose.

    I have only test sewed with hand cranks, I did not find it difficult it went a long very nicely, perfectly even seams, but I know there are advantages to holding pieces and seams together with two hands, and control the stitching with a pedal or knee lever. There are a few I know who keep a hand crank for particular jobs, the swear to them (one has a 28, another a 99). Topstitching and buttonholer being two of them.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 08-09-2017 at 08:03 AM.

  12. #12
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    Whoa, I have a chance to amend SteveH's post. " I'm not worthy" Singer HC's give 3 revolutions per one crank of the handcrank. Many other HCs only turn one revolution per crank so you have even more precise control.

    Love my HCs Love teaching with them.

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    Availability of electricity made a difference, especially in remote rural areas. Handcranks always worked

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    Good point leonf, we have managed to gather a few reasons already :- )

    It's not related to the 201, but I have wondered about the older type hand cranks, large heavy weels and the gearing looks different.

    This picture is from Sew muse


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    I haven't checked the ration on mine. Prolly should check it.

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/member...653-574918.jpg

  16. #16
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    You are correct leonf, I was referring to Singer!

    The only ones I know of that do not are the ones with the handle mounted on the Handwheel directly. If you know of units with a handcrank mechanism that is something other than 3:1 please let me know!

  17. #17
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    in regards to sewing with a handcrank...

    With an electric machine or treadle most folks use one hand in front, and one hand behind the stitch. You have NO feel for the "pull" that the machine has, that is why folks use the second hand, to gain that control.

    With a handcrank each rotation of the handcrank cycles the machine 3 times. You can literally feel in your right hand the feed dogs pulling the fabric through. You only need your left hand to steer and provide some resistance to the pull. You have WAY more precise control of stitch location. I have yet to find a person who does not find hand crank sewing easier than electric or treadle, once they have practiced it a bit.
    Thanks for the info!! I've never even seen one. Oh no, don't get me started. I have enough machines

  18. #18
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Enough? LOL I have 15 handcranks and 25 treadles set up in an 950 sq ft house.... (all pre 1900 machines, all work)

  19. #19
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    Enough? LOL I have 15 handcranks and 25 treadles set up in an 950 sq ft house.... (all pre 1900 machines, all work)
    Wow!!! That's all I can say! Good for you for saving them all!
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  20. #20
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    in regards to sewing with a handcrank...

    With an electric machine or treadle most folks use one hand in front, and one hand behind the stitch. You have NO feel for the "pull" that the machine has, that is why folks use the second hand, to gain that control.

    With a handcrank each rotation of the handcrank cycles the machine 3 times. You can literally feel in your right hand the feed dogs pulling the fabric through. You only need your left hand to steer and provide some resistance to the pull. You have WAY more precise control of stitch location. I have yet to find a person who does not find hand crank sewing easier than electric or treadle, once they have practiced it a bit.
    Thanks for the info. I have often wondered how one would control the fabric with one hand and hand crank with other, and still stitch fast.
    Yesterday is history
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    She who sews shall surely rip

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    Thanks the point, you don't stitch fast with a handcrank. Patience, enjoying the process rather than reaching the goal...

    Maria
    Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

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    I am so excited. We drove over to NC yesterday to pick up a 201-1. Found out the owner's Grandmother from Turkey, but married a man from the USA who was in the CIA. This machine was made in Great Britain. They moved around a lot, in Europe, which would be the reason the cabinet looks the way it does. Top seam cracked and skirt protector broken off. It is a small, newer, enclosed treadle cabinet. Since it is not on the ISMACS list, I imagine it also is a European cabinet model. Even had a mat, but it is as hard as a rock and bent over the far end. Anyone have ideas on salvaging the mat? Sun ?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This was one on my Wish list.
    Maria
    Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

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    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    I like the cabinet. Not much you can do with the hard rubber mat. Some say lay it in the sun and it may soften up. PB states on the can it will soften a toilet flapper to make it seal better. You can try this but I really don't know.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

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    These treadles turn up here now and then, a few various cabinets, simpler one and two drawer tables. My 201 was probably a treadle ones too, but it was converted to motor and electrics pretty early in it's life I'm not sure. I am on the look for the elusive 201K2, I hope it will turn up locally :- )

  25. #25
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    You can also spray with silicone spray place in a black trash bag and leave for a week. Treat again if needed. Take out and wipe dry. You must saturate the thing good before placing in the bag. Now Maria this is what I read on the net so really have not tried it. Good Luck.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

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