What is the Birthdate of My Singer Featherweight?
Most serial numbers are found on the bottom of a Featherweight
next to the bottom tray (left photo), but a few of the early AD models are found
inside & underneath the bottom tray (right photo).
There is a long propounded myth that the Singer Company can pinpoint the very day of manufacture of its machines. Not true. The date given as a "birthdate" is simply the day on which vast batches of serial numbers were released to the various factories.
Featherweights having serial numbers that begin with the prefix letter 'A' were made in Elizabethport, New Jersey, whereas those that begin with the prefix letter 'E' were manufactured in Kilbowie, Scotland. Featherweights having serial numbers that begin with the letter 'J' were mostly made at the St. John's, Quebec Factory in Canada. Singer Featherweights made outside of the US were also given a suffix to their actual model number. Those manufactured in Kilbowie were modeled given the model number 221K and those manufactured in St. John's were given the model number 221J.
The dates below are not guaranteed, of course, but are simply the best available from Graham Forsdyke's records and those supplied by the Singer Company. Graham worked with Singer directly to remove some of the errors and fix some anomalies in the old charts. There are still some errors in the post ET series listings, but they are probably as good as we will ever get. Moreover, finding a rogue 221, for example, in a batch of 50,000 99K machines simply tells us there were some Featherweights within that group of numbers -- it doesn't help us to know with which number the group started or ended or how many 221 machines were involved. Graham did not include data on his website for the white/green machines or the few Featherweights made in Canada because dating records were apparently too inaccurate to source. Factually, we know that white/green & tan Featherweights were made during the 1960's, so by process of elimination we can make a general guess as to their commission date. For additional reference and a few more dates for those later year machines, we have included some dating records, sourced from JJ & Leo's Featherweight 221 Factory site as well as singersewinginfo.co.uk's site. We would be pleased to receive any comments or corrections, just be aware that most of the seeming anomalies come from an inaccurate reading of the serial numbers which are, sometimes, poorly stamped.
For sake of easy reference, only the serial numbers that correlate to Singer Featherweights are included in the list below. If your Featherweight number series is not listed it means there are no records available for that series at the present time.
Singer Featherweight 221 Machines (Black)
Singer Featherweight White 221K / Tan 221J Machines
|Serial Number Sequence||Number of Machines Commissioned||Date|
|EV- 776991 - 826990||50,000||March 3, 1964|
|EV- 846*** - 99****||inconclusive||1964|
|EW- 061691 - 071690||10,000||August 6, 1968|
|EY- 84**** - 99****||inconclusive||?|
|FA- 098*** - 132***||inconclusive||1968 / 1969|
|FA- 202*** - 288***||inconclusive||1968 / 1969|
|JE- 150000 - 162000*||inconclusive||1961|