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Thread: What's the difference between Singer 301 & 301A?

  1. #1
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    I'm itching for a vintage workhorse of a machine and thought to check out the 301's, but I'm not sure what the difference is and whether a longbed or a shortbed is better. Any ideas? Thanks!
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    301s were manufactured in New Jersey, 301As were manufactured in Anderson, South Carolina. They are the same machine. As far as a short or long bed, I'd take what's available. I prefer sewing with my machine in a cabinet (which I'm looking for), so a shortbed is better for me. The longbed doesn't fit in a 301 cabinet.

    The 301 is not a heavy duty machine as in industrial, but it is capable of sewing almost anything you'd need in a household situation, much more so than a Featherweight. Mine loves to FMQ. She is an excellent piecer, too. She's also light enough to take in public, which my other machines are not.

  3. #3
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Thanks Irishrose! Anderson, SC isn't too far away from me...although I'm orginally for NJ.....so I guess it's meant to be either way! LOL!
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  4. #4
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Ok here's the update..... all the 301's & 301A's that I was bidding on got too expensive. So it's taken this long, but here she is! This one wasn't as expensive as the others, but still over $100.00 but under $150.00. I had emailed the seller, who owns a refurbishing shop (sewing machines only) in a town about 1.5 hrs away from me. So I'm picking her up on Tuesday! I was looking for one that was either refurbished or totally serviced, and per the seller, this is refurbished & serviced & ready to go. She's not as 'pretty' as some I've seen, but I needed a workhorse and I love her stitches. She might be prettier in person, I'll post photos after Lucy arrives home.

    Meanwhile here's some photos.

    Thanks everyone for helping me out and sharing your vast knowledge! I love this board!

    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

    Lucy from the front
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    Closeup of Lucy
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    Lucy's lovely backside
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  5. #5
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    She looks like a beauty.

  6. #6
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    Is that a 301A or just a 301?

  7. #7
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    Hey she is already refurbished-so take that into consideration about the price. Lots of people get great deals but then it costs alot to get them refurbished. So I would say you did GREAT!!!!
    Congrats and enjoy her.

    Kat

  8. #8
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatStarter
    Hey she is already refurbished-so take that into consideration about the price. Lots of people get great deals but then it costs alot to get them refurbished. So I would say you did GREAT!!!!
    Congrats and enjoy her.

    Kat
    Thanks Kat! That's what I think...for $139.99, I've got a refurbished, smooth running machine that's ready for another 50z+ yrs of service. So, yes she's got nicks, etc on the outside...it's the inside that matters most, and her stitches are amazing per the photos sent! I can't wait to get her home!

    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  9. #9
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally Kathy
    Is that a 301A or just a 301?
    She's a Jersey Girl...born in NJ, so a 301!!! Just like me a Jersey Girl!!! But Living in SC! Heck, I've been here so long that they consider me a 'native'.

    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  10. #10
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie
    She looks like a beauty.
    Thanks pocoellie...I think she's a cutie and can't wait to get her home....Tuesday is the pick up date.

    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  11. #11
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    Not only is she a Jersey girl, but she was made during a 9 month period in 1951! I have the short bed version of that machine in a cabinet, and I love it :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I have the 301A, she's no beauty but boy does she ever hum stuns. Istumbled onto her for $75.00. I could not write the check fast enough. We are the best of friends now.

  13. #13
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora
    I have the 301A, she's no beauty but boy does she ever hum stuns. Istumbled onto her for $75.00. I could not write the check fast enough. We are the best of friends now.
    Aurora what a great deal you got! She's well worth that and more! They're true gems!
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  14. #14
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesiG
    Not only is she a Jersey girl, but she was made during a 9 month period in 1951! I have the short bed version of that machine in a cabinet, and I love it :-)
    DesiG, do you have a crystal ball or what?! How did you know all that! You are good! I can't wait until I get her home!
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  15. #15
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I now know she was a deal, but at the time I was only working part time and it seemed like a small fortune after I had blown $200 on a new Singer to learn to quilt. Since then I have bought another 301A for a backup, think I paid $140 on eBay for her but still a good deal because after that the prices started climbing. Just love my vintage machines. They are alot like me. Not much to look at, but strong where it counts. Yet they are a work of art, a reminder of good times when quality was important.

  16. #16
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    You can look up the serial numbers on these too! And one of the really nice ladies here helped. That machine is why I joined this board :-)
    You got a great deal!

  17. #17
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesiG
    You can look up the serial numbers on these too! And one of the really nice ladies here helped. That machine is why I joined this board :-)
    You got a great deal!
    DesiG thanks! I'l like to know how to look up the serial numbers as well...that's pretty cool!
    I'm getting a bit concerned as the seller still hasn't contacted me with their address, etc... I paid for it right after the auction. I did send my emails just directly to him and perhaps they've wound up in his spam filter. So this morning I sent another mail through ebay instead, I hope he answers that one so I can get my plans in order.
    I think I did do very well on the machine considering how high they are going for now. I plan to actually use the machine and not decorate with her, so her scratches, dings, etc don't bother me.
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  18. #18
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora
    I now know she was a deal, but at the time I was only working part time and it seemed like a small fortune after I had blown $200 on a new Singer to learn to quilt. Since then I have bought another 301A for a backup, think I paid $140 on eBay for her but still a good deal because after that the prices started climbing. Just love my vintage machines. They are alot like me. Not much to look at, but strong where it counts. Yet they are a work of art, a reminder of good times when quality was important.
    Aurora, times are tight for me as well and have been for over 2 years now...recession/Great Depression 2, had hit me hard. I work 2 jobs now, the first is my profession, freelance real estate paralegal , the 2nd is a retail job - full time at that one and I consider myself blessed to have gotten that job. I'll be going part time with the retail job now- I can't take the long hours anymore. I wish America would make the machines once again, quality was important. I guess that's why the old machines are still fetching big $$$.
    Blessings,
    MaryAnna

  19. #19
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    Is there an update?

  20. #20
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I think she is gorgeous. My mocah 301 is my favorite. You'll love her.

  21. #21
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    Could you please email me the email address of the shop where you purchased your Singer 301? I am looking for an original bobbin case basket or assembly and can't find one anywhere. I am at the point of purchasing the total machine but don't want to buy and then find the one I bought does not have the original. The repair shop where I take my machine can only get after market baskets that the bobbin case sits in and has tried several and all are just slightly off and won't work. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  22. #22
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    There are several online shops that sell vintage parts. Just google what you need and see what comes up. Sometimes you can get one on eBay. The last one I bought was about $60, but they may be higher now.

    Buyers - always check to make sure your FW or 301 has an original bobbin case (vintage), before you buy! People just go through thrift shops and antique stores and steal them.
    Margaret F

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