A Concise History and Timeline of The Featherweight Light Housings
by Christian Henry
Many Featherweight light housings have the same shape, but they often vary cosmetically, and they can be a quick reference to when a machine was made. There were a total of nine different decals used to mark the Singer Featherweight light housings, and there were four different light housing configurations.
Let's begin with the Light Housings made in the USA.
1933 - 1940:
The first light housing had the thinner "Singer" decal higher on the housing.
The second light housing had the noticeably thicker "Singer" decal.
The third US Featherweight light housing had a near-identical decal as the first design, but it was positioned lower on the housing.
The final US light housing had a decal that was updated slightly to match the new 'paperclip' decals on the rest of the machine.
UK Light Housings:
The first UK light housing looked identical to the 1947-1953 US light housing.
The second UK light housing saw a change not only in the decal but also in the structure of the light assembly. At this point in time Singer placed the light switch on the 221K and 222K on the top of the machine instead of down at the base. Because of this, there were several added components to the upper light assembly, and the shape of the housing did change.
Shortly after the decals on the bed changed to the paperclip style, Singer updated the decal on the light housing to match.
About the same time Singer started putting the "Red S" badge on the 221K and 222K Featherweights, they changed the look of the light housing decal.
Tan Featherweight 221K and 221J:
When Singer started producing the Tan Featherweight in their Scotland and Canada factories, they moved the lightswitch back down to the base of the machine. This newer housing had an updated shape as well.
White Featherweight 221K7:
The White Featherweights continued with the lightswitch at the base, but the light housing was split into two pieces. One portion covered the light bulb socket and the other covered the bulb itself.
Light housings with no decal:
During 1939 there were some inconsistencies with the location of the light housing "Singer" decal. On occasion, some 1939 Featherweights can be seen with no decal on the light housing, and it is instead on the neck of the machine.
Today many Featherweights are being repainted, and it is important to match the proper decal and decal placement to the machine. This post can be a guide for you and/or your painter to ensure that the distinct light housing decal is properly placed. (Click here if you need to purchase new decals for a machine that is being repainted.)