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Featherweight with a mighty heart

The Singer Featherweight sewing machine was designed and brought to market in the 1930s. It made its debut at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

Everyone thought it was foolish to bring this machine to market at the very height of the Great Depression. Who would purchase it? Who had the funds when 25% of the population was unemployed.

But it did sell.
Women loved it:   it was sleek, pretty and light, weighing in at only 11 pounds. This little machine went forward and in reverse in a perfectly accurate straight stitch: no fancy pants stitching for this little babe. And it was so ingeniously and simply made that women found they could trouble-shoot and fix problems themselves: no need for a repairman.

Singer continued to make this model until the late 1950s without changing a single thing in terms of its operation. They did not add any bells and whistles; they truly left well-enough alone. They only modification came during World War II when some of the more decorative metal was sacrificed for the war effort.

The Featherweight became the workhorse of the sewing world. There is no better machine for giving a perfectly straight accurate stitch.  

Oh, I yearned for one. A few years ago they were retailing at about $600 in my part of the world (when it came in the original box and table).  It was, however, still possible to find one at a yard sale, flea market, auction or estate sale for little money. That is what I wanted. I wanted to find a perfectly usable Featherweight for, say, $25.00. And I wouldn't quibble on the price. No sirree.

Larry, evermore practical, bought one for my birthday that year. What dream: the guy. And the Featherweigh:  my model was made in 1951. Is shiny black and perfect all through.

It is a prized possession; I wouldn't give it up for anything.


Fran├žoise said...

A Featherweight for your birthday! That's lovely.

Pat said...

it surely was.....and i have treasured it .....

Deb G said...

My Dad says that his grandmother's is stored somewhere. I need to get him to look for it while they are visiting my grandmother!

Pat said...

oh yes. lucky lady. it is a wonderful machine.

Gunnels blog said...

these old sewingmachines are so beautiful! I have one in my summerhouse, and I am very happy for it!

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