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Dating Your Featherweight Machine

What is the Birthdate of My Singer Featherweight?

To date your Singer Featherweight, you will need to locate the serial number on the bottom of your machine.  It has two letters followed by a series of six numbers.  Using the serial number you can use the charts below to find the date when your machine was given a batch assignment at the factory.


  
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.

The dates given below are the days on which those batches were started, together with the number of machines in each consignment. The first Featherweights batched in 1933 begin with the two-letter prefix 'AD'.  By checking when the next batch was started, it's possible to get a fairly accurate date of when any particular machine might have left the assembly line.

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.


In Summary:

AD = prefix of serial numbers assigned to the first Featherweights manufactured, beginning in 1933
Serial Number prefixes beginning with letter 'A' = manufactured in Elizabethport, New Jersey, USA
Serial Number prefixes beginning with letter 'E' = manufactured in Kilbowie, Scotland, United Kingdom
Serial Number prefixes beginning with letter 'J' = manufactured in St. John's, Quebec, Canada
(a few were partially manufactured in Kilbowie and then sent to Canada for finishing)

Models 221 (or 221-1) = manufactured in Elizabethport, New Jersey, USA
Models 221K = manufactured in Kilbowie, Scotland, United Kingdom
Models 221J = manufactured in St. John's, Quebec, Canada
(a few were partially manufactured in Kilbowie and then sent to Canada for finishing)

With the exception of motor voltage, belt drive and some minor cosmetic differences, all 221 models remained fundamentally the same from 1933 through the 1960's.  A Featherweight 221 is a 221 is a 221.



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

(Additional Infomation)

Serial Number Sequence Number of Machines Commissioned Date
EV- 776991 - 826990 50,000 March 3, 1964
EV- 846*** 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


*Singer Sewing Machine models within this JE batch of serial numbers were made in 1961.
A few Singer Featherweights were included in this series.

Singer Featherweight 222K Free-Arm Machines





Some  people like to find machines associated with a particular year - whether it be a birth year, anniversary, etc.  Click here for our "Birthdate Machines" chart indicating level of difficulty to find certain years.


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