Quick Update on the Singer’s identity

My new 'baby'

(and I’ve decided she needs a name…one will come to me eventually, just like Scarlett’s did)

Thank you for all your tips on locating the model number. I used the Singer Machine Serial Numbers page first to discover that she was made in 1954.

I also found the Singer 160th Anniversary site where you can also enter our machines serial number and get a cute commemorative  certificate.

Next I worked through the questions in this Singer ID website to discover it is a 201K, but I wasn’t 100% convinced becasue my machine looks slightly different to the one shown on their website.

Singer Model 201K

Then I discovered ISMACS International (International Sewing Machine Collectors Society)  and their Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number Database, which not only confirmed her as 201K  but also told me she was one of 60, 000 made 26 February 1954.

Wow, she’ll turn 58 this year!

A little bit more online snooping taught me that the ‘K’ stands for Singer’s Kilbowie factory in Scotland but mechanically all 201′s are more or less the same and the picture I saw above is most likely a post-1954 model which got a re-styled body and new paint job.

The sub-models for those who are interested are:

  • 201-1 (treadle)
  • 201-2 (geared machine with potted motor, mostly made in USA),
  • 201-3 (external motor and belt)
  • 201-4 (hand-crank)

So I think that means my machine is a 201K-3 (because it definitely has an external motor and belt drive) but the good thing is I managed to find a free pdf manual and even a wiring diagram which means her days of sitting in the corner and gathering dust are numbered.

Keep your fingers crossed, one day she will sew again!

PS: all the above links have been added to my Online Resources page for future reference

PPS: If you missed this sweetie’s story or want to see more photos you can check out my previous post here.

11 thoughts on “Quick Update on the Singer’s identity

  1. I don’t mean to “burst your bubble”, but the Singer on-line information is really not so accurate. Bear in mind the company is now owned by the Chinese and many of the old American records have been lost. Your machine does look lovely, but I worked for Singer for years and yours is a very late 1950′s – early 1960′s model that was made as a treadle model for the European market as well. I own a 1956 # 201 and they have little appearance difference than the ones manufactured in the 1930′s ( Black “Japanned” with decals).. Singer is giving those bogus certificates to the the people who are not aware, and I hope you did not pay money for it.
    You have a very nice machine and I wish you “Happy Sewing”..

    • The certificate was only a fun download from the Singer website so I did not pay any money for it. I no longer own this machine anymore so I am not bothered by a few years difference in dates however I have been told that the Singer machines that were exported to New Zealand are often out of alignment date-wise and came in other variations.

  2. Thanks so much for blogging about your machine. I’ve just been given a Singer 201K very similar to yours, a black 201-3, made in 1954. Mine is knee operated. I’m really looking forward to giving her a go!

    • Awesome :) There is so much information online, so very helpful once you know the good links.

      I just got my replacement belt so it won’t be long before she sews again. My mum as a vintage Singer and she says it is knee operated too. I haven’t had a close look at it but I would guess it must be a 201 as well, they were very popular here in NZ.

  3. I have a 201K-3 and it is the best machine ever. Such perfect stitches, and so quiet to use. I can use it in the same room while my husband is watching telly and he doesn’t complain. Those machines were built to last (and when they first came out, they cost the equivalent of a new car today, so they really were top of the range). I hope you get many years of good use from yours :-)

  4. Very cool! Thanks – I found your second link much more accurate than the Q&A link (who told me I have a totally different machine!). Thanks to the serial number search, I now know my hand crank Singer is a 99K (though I already knew that!) made in 1929 (which I didn’t!).

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