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Is My Featherweight a Blackside?
Blackside Featherweights were made in 1941 and 1945, but I'm sure you've noticed some other Featherweights that had some blackside parts, too. There were parts like thumb screws and bobbin winders that were made with blackside finish, but do these parts indicate that the machine is a true Blackside Featherweight?
In 1941 and 1945 there was a moratorium on chromium as a result of the war, so during this time Singer produced a few Featherweight parts with a black oxide finish. Of these blackened parts, there are specific ones that make for a true Blackside Featherweight. They are distinctive and are very hard to find. These parts are:
and the Presser Bar Lifter:
To clarify - A true blackside Featherweight must have the black faceplate, stitch length indicator and often the presser bar lifter.
During this time in the 1940s Singer also had a few small parts that were black, and they continued to be black until the end of US Featherweight production in 1957.
1. Motor Mount Screw
2. Bobbin Winder Screw
3. Bed Extension Screw
4. Bobbin Winder Tension Unit Screw
5. Spool Pin Cover Plate Screw
6. Feed Dog Screw
7. Stitch Length Indicator Screw
8. Slack Thread Regulator Screw
Starting in about 1950, Singer produced many screws and miscellaneous parts with a blackside finish as well. They were assembled in many of the Featherweights in the early 1950s and are still commonly found today. It is not known as to why they started making different blackside parts later in Featherweight production. Here is a photo showing the blackside parts that were common during that 1950s Featherweight era:
1. Bobbin Winder
2. Presser Bar Rod and Spring
3. Tension Unit Stud
4. Bobbin Winder Tension Unit
5. Needle Clamp
6. Presser Bar Tension Screw
7. Stitch Length Lever Knob
8. Thumb Screw
9. Needle Plate Bracket Screws
10. Faceplate Thumb Screw
Some owners of Blackside Featherweights have enjoyed adding more of these blackside parts to their machine to make it as "Blackside" as possible, even though it may not necessarily be all original. However, for the purists among you, this information may help to know what was most likely a standard part issue to your machine.
There are also many blackside attachments. Some like rufflers, edge stitchers and binders are specific to the true blackside era of the 1940s, but other attachments like the adjustable and narrow hemmers were black through the 1950s.
During the Blackside era of 1941 and 1945, Singer also had some blackside Featherweight bobbins and screwdrivers.
For those of you lucky enough to own a Blackside Featherweight, you'll now know some more history and information about your machine. Those of you who are looking for a blackside, you will now know what to look for.