"The Revolutionary Singer Model 301 Slant-Needle Sewing Machine"
"Represents the Ultimate in Sewing Machine Design and Styling"
"The Slant-Needle Sewing Machine Is All About Precision"
"The World's Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine"
"The Most Modern, Streamlined Machine Ever"
"The Best Sewing Machine Ever Made"
"The Last Word In Sewing Ease"
"The Famous Singer 301"
"Read About Me"
After World War II, 1939-1945, most sewing machine manufacturers were marketing the same machines they sold prior to the war. Singer with the Models 99-13, 128, 66-18, 15-88, 15-91, 201 and 221. There was a very desperate need for change with not only the family sewing machine but also for educators and high school home economic classes. Fortunately, Singer was already planning for their 100th year anniversary with a new sewing machine that was a dramatic departure from the straight stitch machines of that day.
In November 1944 Singer applied for a patent that relates to sewing machines and it has a primary objective to provide an improved sewing machine which will afford better visibility at the stitching point. The needle-bar and the presser-bar are inclined rearward between eight and sixteen degrees to a vertical plane. It has been found that if the parts are inclined less; than about eight degrees from vertical, a clear stitching point is not obtained. It was patented to Singer Manufacturing Company on 5 February 1946.
The inclined needle bar would become known as the "Slant-Needle" but engineering of this new machine would continue and included another patent that improved the balancing of the rotary hook for the purpose of reducing vibration. In the meantime Singer started to build a new manufacturing plant to be located in Anderson, South Carolina that would manufacture all slant-needle model sewing machines and was completed in 1950.
The new slant-needle machine would not only be marketed as a "Family Sewing Machine" but also as the "Slant Shank System" to educators and high schools - that also wanted the most reliable machine that can withstand daily abuse from high school students. Singer felt that the education system would produce a new generation of sewers raised on the slant shank or slant-needle sewing machines.
The slant-needle sewing machine would revolutionize the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow.
It was a simple straight stitch sewing machine engineered for precision with the fewest amount of moving parts making work easier. It was extremely reliable designed to withstand the daily abuse from high school students. For better visibility when sewing it had a nine degree inclined needle-bar referred as a Slant-Needle that would utilize slant shank feet, a proprietary of Singer system.
It was the first family sewing machine ever made that was a cabinet and portable all in one. You can raise the handle and lift the machine out of the cabinet and carry it anywhere. It was the first family sewing machine to sew up to 1500 stitches per minute. There were many new features that made it the Ultimate sewing machine Singer Manufacturing Company ever built, past or present.
This new slant-needle sewing machine would become the Singer Model 301. Ironically, it has the same number as the stitch type it sews - Stitch Type 301 - Lockstitch.
The Slant-Needle was a dramatic departure from previous Sewing Machine Designs!
Doehler-Jarvis and Singer Manufacturing Company
How Doehler-Jarvis Helped Singer Develop ...
a new way to build precision into parts and make a fine product finer than ever.
1954 Magazine Article
Have you seen Singer's new "Slant Needle" model ... the sewing machine designed to make home sewing easier and convenient?
In one minute it can throw up to 1,500 stitches into your lady's crinolines. It's the only combination portable and cabinet model on the market. (Conversion from one type to the other takes only seconds.) Yet the machine, including motor only weighs 16 pounds.
Singer can tell you that it's quite a chore to build features into a machine like this ... and still keep it competitive. And they're frank to give Doehler-Jarvis major credit for making their job easier with a new method for designing and producing precision parts. We call this precise new way of making things, "Tripod-Control Dimensioning".
It all started back in 1935 when Singer Manufacturing Company ask Doehler-Jarvis to help pioneer the first die cast aluminum sewing machine components.
To meet the rigid precision requirements, Doehler-Jarvis engineers devised what may have been the first ground and hardened toolsteel casting die ever used. It had its faults, but it did give them machine-tool accuracy. And they discovered the germ of the "Tripod-Control" idea.
What had been discovered was the way to extend a familiar two-dimensional control . . . "baseline dimensioning". . . to the control of precision in three dimension. With it they could control precision of and between two (or more) die castings of an assembly. They selected a point of vantage common to the parts. Through the point was established a "tripod" of reference from which all critical angles and dimensions could be controlled. Errors vanished. Precision went up . . . assembly troubles down.
Then the idea spread in both the Doehler-Jarvis and the Singer plants. It was used to make multiple jigs. . . used as the basis for ganged machining. . . used in finishing. . . used in assembly.
By the time the "Slant Needle" model came along, "Tripod-Control Dimensioning" had grown to a full-fledged design and production technique . . . based on die casting . . . used even in the first rough sketches of the new product . . . used in the planning stages . . . used throughout tooling and production.
Today? Well . . . you never saw production flow more smoothly when complex precision parts are made by one company, finished and assembled by another.
Singer Model 301 Slant-Needle Sewing Machine!
(Made of die-cast aluminum for light weight and sturdiness)
In the photo above the two major Doehler-Jarvis die castings that frame "Singer's new Model 301" have been assembled, then sliced down the middle to show the (Tripod-Control) method. An imaginary plane of reference, A-B-C, controls the bed casting. It passes through point A, a real point of vantage common to both parts. With this plane as a base, imaginary "tripods" are erected to "fix" the plane A-D-D' and control arm-casting dimensions. The same plane controls precision measurements in all following operations.
The Singer Model 301 tested at 1600 stitches per minute with 1500 spm being a safe figure to publish.
The Singer Model 301 is all about "Precision" in Every Way!
The Singer Model 301
Revolutionized the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow with a design to make home sewing easier and more convenient.
1st Slant-needle sewing machine, making it easier to see what you are sewing.
1st and Only electric Singer sewing machine ever made that is a cabinet and portable all in one. Full-sized, Full-fledged cabinet machine - that you can use as a portable. You can raise the handle and lift the machine out of the cabinet and carry it anywhere.
1st sewing machine with almost all moving parts concealed. Even the bobbin winder can be pushed down and concealed into the machine. The Singer-light is built into the arm of the machine.
1st sewing machine using Tripod-Control-Dimensioning made of die-cast aluminum providing precision, light weight and sturdiness. Weighs only 16.15 pounds.
1st sewing machine with a modern-streamlined design doing away with the Nostalgic appearance, entirely new style of electric family sewing machine.
1st sewing machine with flexible spool pins that won't snap or break.
1st family sewing machine to sew up to 1,500 stitches per minute.
Singer 301 Hand Needles Advertisement
The ONLY Home Sewing Machine With A "Slant" Needle For Easier Stitching...Better Vision!
The ONLY Machine That's a Cabinet and a Portable Model All In One!
The ONLY Machine With All These Other Smooth Sewing Features!
* Wide Range Speed Control * Starts at a Touch * Both Knee & Foot Control * Seam-Width Guides
*Flexible Spool Pins * Simplified Threading * Automatic Bobbin Winder * Sews Forward or Back
* Non-Glare Light * Hand Stitch Regulator * Accurate Tension Dial * Drop Feed
Principal Parts of a Singer Model 301
Singer 301 Features:
Smoother Stitching than ever before is possible with this new, gear-driven, lockstitch machine.
Quiet, fast and efficient - it whispers at high speeds.
Full-View work area. Inclined Needle Bar places work in your direct line of vision.
Perfect Control - even at "hand-stitch" speeds.
Balanced Motion of the new Singer 301 prevents vibration.
Easy Starting - No coaxing necessary - lightly press the knee or foot control and your 301 starts to sew.
Simple Threading - no complicated diagrams are needed.
Reversible Feed for sewing either in a forward or backward direction - easy to back tack and to fasten ends of seems.
Prefocused Light illuminates working area - prevents eye strain.
Calibrated Stitch Regulator permits finger-tip control of stitch length.
Stitching Guides, with graduated marking to guide seam width and turn square corners.
Versatile - use it as a portable or cabinet machine.
Easy To Carry - convenient handle is concealed in top of head.
Light Weight - full-sized aluminum head weighs only 16 pounds.
Self-Setting Needle makes it impossible to insert needle incorrectly in clamp.
Feed Throw-Out Devise permits darning and embroidering without attachments.
Recessed Bobbin Winder - equipped with automatic stop - it can't break or tangle your thread.
Hinged Face Plate - Simplifies cleaning and oiling.
Dual Tension takes the guess work out of upper tension setting.
Flexible Spool Pins - bend but do not break - thread unreels smoothly and easily.
Completely Enclosed motor and principal working parts insure maximum safety.
The Singer Model 301 Slant-Needle sewing machine was unlike any other sewing machine, past or present.
100 years of engineering knowledge and Singer thought about everything with the Singer 301.
Singer Celebrates Anniversary's with New Sewing Machines
The date of August 12th is used in celebrating Singer Anniversary's, as marked by the issued patent of the first Singer sewing machine by Isaac Merritt Singer on August 12, 1851. Every 50 years Singer introduces the world's most advanced home sewing machine to commemorate an Anniversary Year.
In 1851, Isaac Merritt Singer invented the world's first practical sewing machine.
(1st sewing machine patent, number 8294, 12 August 1851, full patent protection on 29 September 1851)
In 1900, the "Singer 66" was introduced for the 50th year anniversary, 1851-1901.
(Singer introduces the oscillating hook straight stitch sewing machine for family use)
In 1951, a "Limited Edition" of 10,000 "Singer Model 301" sewing machines
were allotted to commemorate Singer's 100th year Anniversary, 1851-1951.
(1,000 with the Centennial Badge and 9,000 with the new Black Band Singer Badge)
(Revolutionized the sewing machine-of-tomorrow with a design to make home sewing easier)
In 2000, the QUANTUM® XL-5000" was introduced for the 150th year anniversary, 1851-2001.
(Singer again launched the world's most advanced home sewing and embroidering machine)
In 2011, the Singer 160 Limited Edition was introduced for the 160th year anniversary, 1851-2011.
(Inspired by Classic design, modern features and traditional touches)
The Singer Portable with Handles!
Singer Model 160 LE (2011) 60 Years Singer Model 301 LE (1951)
Portable Only Portable & Cabinet
Singer's new 160th Limited Edition is Inspired by Classic design, modern features and traditional touches.
The Singer 160 is made of plastic and weighs 18.6 lbs. It has an internal 103 teeth motor belt with a maximum of 750 stitches per minute, portable with a carrying handle but does not fit in a cabinet, and a 5 year warranty on electronics.
The Singer 301 is made of die-cast aluminum and weighs 16 lbs. It is metal gear driven, no belt that can slip, with 1500 stitches per minute, portable and full size with a carrying handle and it fits in a cabinet. It has no warranty because it was made to last a lifetime.
Since the release of the Singer Model 160 LE I am astonished by how many did not work right out of the box or have broken down after several months. Many had to be refurbished, a lot of people state they are to loud and noisy, cheap plastic assembly, scratches easily, extension tray cracks and is hard to open, lots of problems with the bobbin holder and they surely were not built to last a lifetime, and then some, like the Singer 301.
They just don't make sewing machines like they used to!
Singer 301 Pilot Run
On 27 March 1951, Singer's Elizabethport factory located in Elizabeth, New Jersey manufactured a pilot run of 30 Model No. 301 machines with the following serial numbers; AK257721-AK257750. These 30 machines went through rigorous testing and inspection of parts for several months as it was an entirely new sewing machine.
In over 65 years none of these Singer 301's have ever been located meaning they were most likely destroyed after testing, but one never knows.
Made in 1951
The biggest misconception you will hear is almost every owner of a "NA" serial numbered sewing machine say it was "Made in 1951". This is simply not true! What is true is on 29 May 1951, Elizabeth, NJ issued "NA" serial numbers, NA000001-NA999999, for the Singer 301, 301A, 401A, and 403A. Yes, 1 million serial numbers! The 301, 301A, 401A and 403A, all with NA serial numbers, were not manufactured until 1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958, respectively. That means 99% of all the NA serial numbered sewing machines were not made in 1951.
The 1% that were "Made in 1951" was a Limited Edition of 10,000 Singer Model 301 sewing machines allotted on 25 July 1951 to be manufactured. That's all, nothing more and nothing less!
The majority of Singer 301/301A sewing machines where made between 1952-1957. In 1952 production started on the Model 301 at the Anderson plant in South Carolina and were shipped to Singer stores prior to the Grand Introduction of the Singer Model 301 in October 1952. In 1953 the suffix "A" was added to the model number, 301A, to signify it was made in Anderson, South Carolina. In 1955 the last "NA" serial number was used and in 1956 the start of the "NB" serial numbers. End of production was in 1957. There were 690,000 machines made between 1952-1957 and 10,000 Limited Edition Singer 301's made in 1951 for a total of 700,000 Singer Model 301 and 301A sewing machines.
What is the Story about the "A" after the Model Number
The Singer Manufacturing Company opened the Anderson, South Carolina plant to manufacture the new slant-needle model sewing machines. The Singer 301 was the first model to be manufactured and the Model Number Tag was simply 301. It was not until 1 January 1953 that Singer identified the Anderson, South Carolina factory by placing the suffix "A" after the model number when the first 301A was manufactured, NA186001-NA500000 and NB000001-NB200000 all had the 301A tag. The Singer 301 with serial numbers NA000001-NA186000 were manufactured at the Anderson factory but did not have the suffix "A".
Big Sister - Big Brother - Sorry, Wrong Family!
The Singer 301 "is not" a Big Sister or Big Brother to the 221 Featherweight, a nickname wrongly used implying they are from the same family. The truth is that the Singer Model 301 was an entirely new Slant-Needle sewing machine that revolutionized the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow with a design to make home sewing easier. It has nothing to do with the past, but the future, the beginning of the modern Singer sewing machine as it is today.
The Singer 301 is the monarch of the legendary slant-needle family that consisted of the 400 and 500 series Slant-O-Matic, 600 and 700 series Touch & Sew, 900 series Futura, 2000 series Athena and many more.
The Singer 301 is the Monarch of the Legendary Slant-Needle Family!
Limited Edition and Special Edition
Throughout Singer's history in the 20th century special badges were installed on assorted Singer Model sewing machines for certain events: A Century of Progress -1933 World's Fair in Chicago / A Century of Progress - 1934 Chicago Centennial / 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition / 1939 Golden Gate Exposition - San Francisco / 1940 Golden Gate Exposition - San Francisco / A Century of Sewing Service 1851-1951 - Singer's Centennial / 1954 State Fair of Texas and 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair, there may be more worldwide.
The 221 Featherweight group and others call any machine with a special badge a Limited Edition or Special Edition. Special Edition implies there is some kind of change that differs from its original format, but this was not the case on any model that had these special badges. A Limited Edition is an edition of something that is limited to a restricted number.
Of all Singer Model sewing machines with special badges only the Limited Edition Singer 301 has a restricted number of 10,000 that were made and sold during Singer 100th year anniversary. Of that number only 1,000 had the Blue Centennial Badge 1851-1951. For all other models actual quantities are unknown.
Singer Centennial Badge 1851-1951
Singer's Marketing Gimmick!
If your machine features a centennial badge, this doesn't mean it was actually made in 1951;
instead, Singer applied these badges in celebration of 100 years of Singer manufacturing.
For the Centennial Year Singer installed the Centennial Blue Badge, a Century of Sewing Service, 1851-1951, on all home sewing machines. They were installed by either the factory or Singer Sewing Centers/stores.
The most asked question is how can a 1947-1950 dated machine have a Centennial Badge?
There are many opinions from collectors and most are myths and this website is based on history and facts. Singer model series 15, 66, 99, 128, 201, 221 and the 301 all had Centennial Badges and most of them had serial numbers dating from 1947-1950. All of these machines with a 1947-1950 serial number were in fact made in those years because it will be listed on Singer's "Register of Serial Numbers" and there is no way of getting around this, sorry.
To prove this point for several years, at random, I would choose 10 Centennial Badged machines of different models being sold. Out of every 10 sewing machines "7" would have serial numbers dated between 1947-1950 and only "3" serial numbers were dated "Made in 1951". That is an incredible 70% chance it was not made in 1951. The question is, Why so many 1947-1950 Centennial Badged sewing machines?
We have to go back to the aftermath of World War II and rebuilding. Once the war was over in 1945 it did not leave time for new research and development. Singer, like many companies, continued marketing the same machines before the war. Singer came back with the Models 99-13 and 128 in the low price bracket, Models 66-18, 15-18 and 15-91, in the intermediate price bracket, the 201 remained top-of-the-line and the portable 221 Featherweight continued to be the best seller. Singer kept making these machines and with the war recovery period still on going Singer's inventory was also growing because they couldn't sell them.
By 1951, Singer had vast stocks of old inventory and they desperately needed to get rid of these older sewing machines. The Singer Co. has always been very smart in marketing and they used the Centennial Year to do just that. Singer used a marketing gimmick used in the past of installing special badges; Chicago Centennial in 1933-1934, Texas Centennial in 1936, San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition in 1939-1940, and others, with a simple reason, to attract buyers and sell sewing machines, but most of these sewing machines were made in those years.
For the Centennial year Singer came up with the idea of installing Centennial Badges on all Singer model home sewing machines. The marketing gimmick was to manipulate the appearance by installing a Centennial Badge making a customer believe they were buying a very special "Centennial" Sewing Machine that was made in 1951. What many customers did not know at the time was they were really buying an older sewing machine dating as far back as 1947. Very Smart, Very Smart indeed.
That's not all Singer had up its sleeve. Singer offered sewing classes in the past but in 1951 they ran numerous full page ads to get housewives to take sewing classes at Singer Sewing Centers. Singer felt that if you can get housewives to take sewing classes how can she not buy a Centennial Badged sewing machine. It worked so well that it was included in the Singer History timeline:
In 1951, Singer Sewing Centers train an estimated 400,000 housewives.
"In 8 lessons you learned how to sew like that? Lead me to the Singer Sewing Center!"
Singer's marketing gimmick paid off as there are more Centennial Badged sewing machines made before 1951 than made in 1951 and it reduced most of Singer's overstock inventory. It was such a marketing success that it was also included in the Singer History timeline:
In 1951, Singer recovers from World War II when sewing machine production
was suspended, reaching $307.8 million in sales during its centennial year.
Now you have the answer and no more myths, only history and facts!
The Centennial Badges were installed during the later part of 1950 and 1951. It appears that toward the end of September 1951 they stopped adding badges. Singer felt that a buyer in 1952 would not purchase a Centennial Badge dated machine, thinking it was an older machine. Interesting, reversed marketing.
Singer had vast stocks of older and different model sewing machines and prior to being released they installed a Centennial Badge. If an older machine was in stock at a Singer Sewing Center they were instructed to install a Centennial Badge. This is why you may have a Singer sewing machine with a serial number dated between 1947-1950 that has a Centennial Badge.
Would you buy a 1951 Centennial Badged sewing machine if you knew it was made in 1947-1950?
You may question, as I did, if most of these sewing machines are considered a Centennial or not?
A true collectable item must happen in the year it is collectable, in this case 1951. A "True" Centennial Singer sewing machine is any Singer model sewing machine that was undoubtedly manufactured in 1951 and has the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge, period.
Towards the end of September 1951, all models had the new Black Band Singer Badge installed. They are not considered a Centennial Singer Sewing Machine, although they were made in 1951.
A "True" Centennial Singer sewing machine is any Singer model sewing machine that was
undoubtedly manufactured in 1951 and has the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge, period.
Limited Edition Singer 301
On 25 July 1951 Singer allotted a Limited Edition of only 10,000 Singer Model 301 sewing machines, serial numbers NA000001-NA010000, to be manufactured specifically for the Centennial Year. This was "one year prior" to the Grand Introduction of the Singer Model 301 in October 1952. Limited Edition is an edition of something that is limited to a restricted number.
Limited Edition "Centennial" Singer 301
The first 1,000 Singer 301 sewing machines, serial numbers NA000001-NA001000, manufactured at the Anderson plant in 1951 had Centennial Badges making them one of the rarest of all Singer sewing machines.
The Super-Rare Limited Edition "Centennial" Singer 301
The Limited Edition "Centennial" Singer 301 is one of the most rarest of Singer sewing machines.
Would you like to know just how Super-Rare it is... Ask any Antique/Vintage Sewing Machine Collector if they have personally seen at least one Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 and I almost guarantee they say "No". They are virtually impossible to find because of the extremely low quantity that still exist.
The New 1951 Black Band Singer Badge
In 1951, Singer changed from the older style Gold Singer Badge to a new Black Band Singer Badge on all Singer home sewing machines allotted to be manufactured starting in June and in stores by September 1951.
Gold Singer Badge Black Band Singer Badge
Singer 301 & 301A Badge Casting Change
Have you ever noticed a difference between the Singer 301 & 301A besides the model tag number? The Singer 301 has a border casting around the Singer Badge, a protruding and more dignified appearance. The Singer 301A had the border casting removed, a simple flat looking appearance.
All Singer 301's have the border casting around the Singer Badge. The majority of 301A's did not have a border casting around the Singer Badge although a small amount did up to serial number NA206500, when the change took place.
Take a look at the difference:
Singer 301 & 301A Singer Badge Casting Change
Singer 301 & 301A Gold Decal Change
The Traditional Black color with Gold Decals, called "transfers", has always been a trademark for all Singer Vintage Sewing machines and is a very important part of Singer History. All Singer 301's & 301A's that are Traditional Black in color will have the Gold Decals located on the bed of the sewing machine, including the extension bed.
There were 2 different gold decals used: The very early Singer 301 sewing machines had what they called a "Paperclips" gold decal with the center decal that looks like an "S". Singer 301's, after serial number NA130000, and all 301A's had what they called a "Prism" gold decal with the center decal that looks like an "8".
Singer 301 with "Paperclips" Gold Decal and a "S" design in the center of the sewing machine.
Singer 301A with "Prism" Gold Decal and a "8" design in the center of the sewing machine.
The first Singer 301 sewing machines beginning with serial number NA000001 had a Backside Decal that did not match the center Paperclips decal. It had the Celtic Chain Design used on the Singer 221 Featherweight. It was changed after serial number NA001001, the last Centennial, to the Paperclip Design and changed one more time with serial number NA130001 to the Prism Design.
Celtic Chain Design - Serial Numbers NA000001-NA001000
Paperclip Design - Serial Number NA001001-NA130000
Prism Design - Serial Number NA130001 to NB075000
Note: It is possible for a Singer 301 made after serial number NA001000 to have either the Celtic Design Decal or the Paperclip Design Decal on the backside of the bed arm. After the last "Centennial Singer 301" employees installed whatever decals were on the assembly line. The majority of 301's between NA001001-NA130000 had matching Paperclip Design Decals but some did have the Celtic Design Decal on the bed arm.
Singer 301 Motor Change
The same .53 amp motor was used in all 301's and 301A's but look closely at the picture below from a 1951 Limited Edition Singer 301. It has what they call the "Circle S", a "S" inside of a gray circle, located on the left side of the data plate. All 10,000 Limited Edition Singer 301's made in 1951 have this data plate.
1951 Limited Edition Singer 301 "Circle S"
From 1952-1955 all 301/301A's had the same motor with the Silver Lube Tube but the data plate changed to what they call the "Red S", "Singer Sewing Machines" is written inside the "Red S" with a lady sewing on a sewing machine, located in the center of the data plate. The change from "Circle S" to "Red S" occurred after serial number NA050000 in 1952.
1952-1955 Motor (Silver Lube Tube) "Red S"
In 1956, the start of the "NB" serial numbers, the motor was changed from a lubricating to a "No Lubrication Required" motor. This new motor did not have the lube tube on the end of the motor but did have the same data plate with the "Red S" emblem used from 1952-1955.
1956 Motor (Silver Lube Tube Removed)
Colors of the Singer 301 & 301A
There were 2 basic colors for the Singer 301/301A, Traditional Black with Gold Decals or Soft/Light Beige with no gold decals. Singer never called the color Mocha, only soft or light beige.
In 1956, the start of "NB" serial numbers, Singer changed the color to a new two-tone color, Light Beige-Oyster White (LBOW) starting with serial number NB000001. It was the new color for slant-needle models.
In 1956 Singer again allotted a "Limited Edition" of 10,000 Singer 301A's with "NB" serial numbers, NB065001-NB075000, they would be the very last Singer 301 sewing machines in Traditional Black with Gold Decals.
Singer never called the color Mocha, only soft or light beige!
Singer 301 Needle Setting & Treading Diagram
Singer 301-1 and 301-2
In the parts manual there are 3 different types of the Singer 301 and 301A sewing machines:
The 301-1 is for use with a cabinet, you can still use it as a portable.
The 301-2 is for use with carrying case set No. 269. It is sold with the carrying case.
The 301-3 is for use with school sewing and cutting table.
I will only show the changes between 301-1 and 301-2 as the 301-3 is for school use only!
301-1 Short Bed Cabinet Model 301-2 Long Bed with Carry Case
The 301-1 used the 170027 bed extension. This is the short bed that is 3¼" in length. This makes sense because it is supposed to be used in a cabinet.
The 301-2 used the 170156 bed extension. This is the long bed that is 6" in length. This makes sense because it is supposed to be used as a portable with carrying case.
301-1 Foot Controller 194828 301-2 Foot Controller 194584
The 301-1 used the 194828 foot controller. This had 2 separate wires. One to had a two pin plug that connects to the bottom of the machine and the other wire has the 3 pin plug to the machine and electrical plug. Again, this is the cabinet model.
The 301-2 used the 194584 foot controller. It only had 1 wire with the controller and electric plug all together. You simply just plug in the 3 prong plug into the machine and electrical outlet. Again, this is the portable model.
301-1 with cover 170129 301-2 with cover 170157
The 301-1 used the 170129 2 pin hole cover plate. This is the plate on the side of the sewing that the 2 pin plug plugs into. It has a hole in the plate with the plug in it. Again, needed with cabinet use.
The 301-2 used the 170157 cover plate. This plate did not have a hole in it for the 2 pin plug. It was one solid piece. Again, this is for portable use so there is no need for a 2 pin plug.
301-1 with 196222 wiring harness 301-2 with 196778 wiring harness
The 301-1 used the 196222 complete wiring harness. This wiring harness consisted of 2 separate wiring leads to make it work as a cabinet model.
The 301-2 used the 196778 single wiring harness. This wiring harness consisted of one 3 prong connector with 2 wiring leads to make it work as a portable model.
The Singer Model 301-3
High School Home Economics Class
Singer Teacher Textbook of Machine Sewing
Singer has been part of the High School Home Economics for many years with several types of sewing machines like the 15-88, 15-91, 66, 127 and 201. The new slant-needle machine would not only be marketed as a "Family Sewing Machine" but also as the "Slant Shank System" to educators and high school economics.
Purchase orders were drafted in advance requiring the "Slant Shank System" thereby securing Singer's market share in schools. Singer felt that the education system would produce a new generation of sewers raised on the slant shank or slant-needle sewing machines.
The slant-needle sewing machine would revolutionize the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow. It was a simple straight stitch sewing machine engineered for precision with the fewest amount of moving parts making work easier and designed to withstand the daily abuse from high school students. For better visibility when sewing it had a nine degree inclined needle-bar referred to as a "Slant-Needle" that would only utilize slant shank feet, a proprietary of Singer system.
The new "Slant-Needle" Singer Model 301 would be the first slant shank system sewing machine in high school home economics in 1953. It was an immediate success as teachers soon realized that no matter what students did to this machine it kept on sewing, hardly needing any repairs, and was deemed indestructible. The Singer Teacher's Textbook of Machine Sewing was published in 1953 and the front cover has an outline drawing of the Singer Model 301, a very informative book. In the 1958 Textbook the Singer 301 was still be used.
The Singer Model 301 was deemed "Indestructible" in High Schools!
Grand Introduction of the new Singer 301
The official Grand Introduction of the new Singer 301 was in October 1952.
1952 Original Sales Brochure
The Original Sales Brochure used for the Grand Introduction of the Singer 301 in October 1952.
Singer 301 Advertisements
The Singer 301 was 1st advertised in October 1952.
Christmas 1952 Singer 301 Advertisement.
Singer 301 Advertisement 1953
"The Most Exciting Sewing Development in 100 years"
Slant-needle "Last Word In Sewing Ease"
and now the exciting new Slant-needle Singer!
Only the new Slant-needle Singer gives you so many exciting features to make sewing easier!
Did you notice anything strange about the 1952 and 1953 advertisements? None of them displayed a traditional black color Singer 301. This was because Singer was trying to get customers to change their traditional views of sewing machines to a modern view by only displaying the new soft/light beige color. The advertisements were also getting housewives ready for the new 1956 two-tone, Light Beige-Oyster White color.
Only the 1952 original sales brochure showed one picture of a traditional black Singer 301.
Singer 301 Instruction Manuals
(When a Singer 301 or 301A was sold they were issued the most current Instruction Manual)
Copyright 1935, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1950 and 1951: (1051), 60 pages.
"This was the First Singer 301 Instruction Manual"
(1051) or October 1951 was the date of the first published manual!
This "Super Rare" Green Cover Manual was "Only" issued
with the "Limited Edition Singer 301" manufactured in "1951".
Singer 301 "Description" from the "Green Cover" Instruction Manual
The Singer 301 is an entirely new style of electric family sewing machine, embodying many exclusive features that simplify operation, make sewing a pleasure and assure a life-time of satisfactory service.
The arm, bed and several other parts are made of aluminum die castings which reduce the weight to the minimum.
It can be easily removed from the cabinet and used as a portable machine, a hinged handle, built into the top of the arm, making it convenient to carry.
It has a concealed, built-in electric motor which drives the machine through gears at any desired speed. A built-in electric SINGERLIGHT illuminates the work.
The machine has a rotary sewing hook on a horizontal axis and makes the lock stitch. It has reverse feeding mechanism which enables you to sew either in a forward or backward direction, making it easy to "back tack" and to fasten the ends of seams.
It has an inclined needle bar and pressure bar for easy vision of the work.
A wide range of material and thread can be handled and bulky work is readily accommodated on the spacious bed.
A convenient feed throw-out device, which renders the feed inoperative, permits darning and embroidering to be done without the use of a feed cover plate.
In addition to plain sewing, a large variety of pleasing effects such as hemming, binding, edge stitching, shirring, ruffling, etc., can be produced with the aid of the attachments furnished with the machine. These attachments and other popular Singer Fashion Aids will enable you to obtain the much desired tailored appearance of professionally-made garments and to add the new fashion touches demanded by swiftly changing styles at a fraction of the cost of ready-made garments.
The New Black Cover Singer Sewing Machine 301 Instruction Manual
(Manuals now have Revised dates from the Original Green Cover Instruction Manual (1051) October 1951)
Here are all the Revised Dates:
Copyright 1951 and 1952, Revised (652), 64 pages.
Copyright 1951 and 1952, Revised (153), 64 pages.
Copyright 1951, 1952 and 1953, Revised (653), 64 pages.
Copyright 1951, 1952, 1953, Revised (1153), 64 pages.
Copyright 1956, Revised (356), 70 pages.
In 1956 their were 2 manuals, a Black and Colored Cover:
Note: There is also a 301 instruction manual Copyright 1956, (Revised 7-76). You can download this "Free" at:
Singer 301 "Description" from the "Black/Colored Cover" Instruction Manual
Revolutionary Singer 301 Slant Needle Sewing Machine . . . represents the ultimate in sewing machine design and styling. A product of the matchless skill and engineering ability of Singer craftsmen, the Singer 301 is an outstanding addition to our long line of unexcelled Sewing Machines.
You have a machine revolutionary in design, but made with the same care and craftsmanship that have been the hallmark of Singer Machines for more than a century. We are acutely aware that Singer Sewing Machines have become an American tradition and are intensely proud of, and determined to continue this heritage.
Your Singer "301" is the product of this pride, determination and the unsurpassed technical skill of Singer. This smooth running machine-of-tomorrow will amaze and thrill you with its versatility and ease of operation.
Utilize all the advanced features, combine them with you own skill and discover a new world of sewing enjoyment. Exclusive dresses for yourself, clothing for your family and a multitude of items for your home will be yours - all at a fraction of their ready-made cost.
Notice how the description changed from the Green Cover Manual to the Black/Colored Cover Manual!
To You...as the Owner of a new Singer Sewing Machine!
Along with the Green Cover Instruction Manual in 1951 you also received this pamphlet: To You...as the Owner of a new Singer Sewing Machine! As a New Singer Owner You are assured complete service and a complete course in home sewing. Inside the pamphlet it shows the lessons that you will receive.
The Best Sewing Machine Ever Made
Singer made some very good sewing machines over the past 100 years, 1851-1951, but the Singer 301 would be the first sewing machine to start a new century and they wanted a very special sewing machine. They took 100 years of engineering knowledge that would revolutionize sewing machines of tomorrow with an entirely new style of electric family sewing machine. The Singer 301 "The Most Exciting Sewing Development in 100 Years".
Some people say that the Singer 201 is the best sewing machine ever made or the Singer 221 featherweight is the perfect portable machine, but the Singer 301 is like having both sewing machines combined into one. Some even try to compare the 401A Slant-O-Matic sewing machine, not even debatable.
Once you reach the top of the mountain as Singer did engineering the Singer Model 301 there was no other way but down as we seen with the unsuccessful straight stitch replacement Singer Model 404 in 1958 and than with plastic parts that simply do not last, not a lifetime with all metal gears like the Singer 301.
Singer stated - the Singer 301 represents the "Ultimate" in sewing machine design. In other words the Singer 301 was the end of a process, of the best achievable or imaginable of its kind, the highest in degree or order. Singer engineered, "The Best Sewing Machine Ever Made" in the past 100 years and holds true even today.
When it comes to straight stitch sewing or quilting the Singer 301 offers lightweight portability, carrying handle, full size for cabinet use, vertical rotary hook and bobbin case, drop feed for free motion, up to 1500 stitches per minute and most of all the perfect lockstitch, Stitch Type 301. The most simple machine specifically engineered for precision with the fewest amount of moving parts will always make work easier and the best made machine.
I have read many comments from owners who have stated repeatedly that the Singer 301 is "The Best Straight Stitch Sewing Machine" and that their sewing machine repairman suggested the Singer 301 because it is one of the best sewing machines you could ever buy. I can attest to these statements as I have a 221, 201-2 and 301 but in all fairness I have to say the "Best Sewing Machine" is the Singer 301. It truly is Amazing.
Statements from sewing machine repairmen, collectors, owners all say the same thing:
Statement from repairman: With over 60 years of industrial and home sewing machine repair the Singer 301 is "The Best Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Made". The 301 hardly ever brakes down and only requires a cleaning and oiling. This machine is a workhorse with more piercing power than all the older models, it is much smoother to operate, has the best lock stitch, and a pleasure to sew on. That is what precision engineering is all about, only wish they still made them that way...
Statement from repairman: The Singer 301 in my opinion is absolutely without a doubt "The Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Made"... even better than the legendary Singer 221 and 201-2, my expertise is based upon over 80,000 sewing machine repairs over a span of 42 years, now retired.
Statement from repairman: With over 24 years of sewing machine repair experience "The 301 is the Best and Most Beautiful Sewing Machine Singer Has Ever Made" through the ages. It is ultra strong with such a nice stitch that will easily sew through denim, suede, canvas, upholstery, leather, vinyl and on top of all that it is excellent on delicate fabrics. In my book the 301 should be considered an industrial machine instead of a home sewing machine. This Singer sewing machine will surely last a lifetime and more if you oil and clean it, that's all. It is a very high quality and strong sewing machine.
Statement from collector: The Model 221 Singer Featherweight continues to be desired by people who generally want to use them but the Singer 301 has vastly gained in popularity and value mainly because it is "The Best Quality Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Produced", bar none.
Statement from owner: A Singer 301 joined my family, 15-91 / 201-2 / 221, and is now my favorite, bestest, "Most Wonderful Fantastic Machine EVER"!!! Why didn't anyone ever let me in on this secret? Take the smooth sewing action of the 201, the speed and power of the 15-91, the portability of a 221, add a slant shank - wrap them all up into one machine. You now have this "Ultimate Machine". It really has the best of ALL features from my other machines and it is the hands down winner for speed. None of the others even come close . . . the 301 was nearly three times faster than the 201-2 and double the average of my other machines, that leaves it the "Indisputable Champion".
Statement from owner: I love the Singer 301 sewing machine! In 1986 I went to a Singer Store looking for a sewing machine for my daughter. The sales woman pointed to a used Singer Model 301 and said it was "The Best Sewing Machine" in the store - better than any new Singer sewing machine they had. I bought that 301 that day and it's still going strong at my daughter's house.
After the many comments from owners, over 100 years of expert sewing machine repair, my experience and knowledge of sewing machines and how Singer felt about the Singer 301, there is only one conclusion when it comes to a straight stitch sewing machine . . . the "Singer 301" is without a doubt "The Best Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Built" and "The Best Sewing Machine Ever Made", period.
The World's Finest Straight Stitching Sewing Machine
The Singer 301 is undoubtedly the "Pinnacle" of all Singer Straight Stitching sewing machines!
This 1958 Singer advertisement states: Now own the world's finest straight stitching sewing machine -- the famous Singer Slant-Needle in your choice of black or beige at savings that will amaze you!
Singer did not make this bold statement until several years later after waiting to see exactly how the Singer 301 held up to everyday sewing along with gathering information on customer reaction and how they reviewed the new Singer 301. It was such an extraordinary success that they finally made this bold statement.
For Singer to advertise and say it is "The World's Finest Straight Stitching Sewing Machine" surely expresses how Singer felt about the 301 compared to all straight stitching sewing machines they ever made.
The word "Finest" means; of superior quality, higher than or surpasses another in quality.
Prior to the Singer Model 301 there was no doubt that the Singer Model 201 was the best sewing machine that Singer ever made, being of the highest quality and most expensive domestic sewing machine. It was known for it's reliability and stitch quality.
For Singers 100th year Anniversary they wanted a new sewing machine that would revolutionize the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow. One that had superior quality when compared to the Singer 201 and would represent the ultimate in sewing machine design and styling. A product of the matchless skill and engineering ability of Singer craftsmen, the Singer 301.
The Singer 301 is undoubtedly the "Pinnacle" of all Singer straight-stitch sewing machines representing the highest quality precision sewing machine that Singer could make and built to last a lifetime.
The World's Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine!
The Best Selling Straight Stitch Sewing Machine
I researched the quantities of all of Singer's vintage straight stitch sewing machines over the years. Prior to the Singer 301 the best sellers were the Singer 201/201K and 221/221K but was very surprised to find out that the Singer 301/301A was the best selling straight stitch sewing machine during it's time.
The Singer 301/301A was only sold in the U.S./Canada. It had better sales than the Singer 201K and 221K in the overseas market combined. It had better sales than the Singer 201 and 221 in the U.S. market combined. It also had better sales than the 221 and 221K Featherweights combined worldwide.
The Singer 301/301A was the Best Selling Straight Stitch Sewing Machine.
The Singer 301 Makes a Perfect Stitch
There is no question that a straight stitch only sewing machine will always make the best straight stitch but what about the difference rotary hooks make. The Singer 301 has a vertical rotary hook with bobbin case and despite personal preferences will always make a more precise and stronger stitch than a horizontal rotary hook.
A horizontal rotary hook has to make a 90° angle in the stitch formation process, putting a lot of drag on the top thread. It also picks up lint quickly, requires more cleaning and is more susceptible to thread jamming. The real reason for the horizontal rotary hook with drop-in-bobbin is to be able to see how much thread you have left on the bobbin and it's simplicity to the operator. That's it -plain and simple.
The vertical rotary hook is more sturdy, does not go out of alignment as readily, less susceptible to thread jamming, less lint build up that requires less cleaning, and the thread loop rotates in the same plane as the needle, it does not bend and twist the thread, making the perfect stitch.
The Singer 301 with vertical rotary hook makes the Perfect Stitch.
Quilters Dream Machine is the Singer 301
For quilters, the sewing machine of choose used to be the Singer 221 Featherweight but not any more. The Singer 301 has become the new Quilters Dream Machine and it keeps increasing in popularity due to its larger size, more powerful metal gear driven motor, built-in lift up handle for carrying, it's lightweight and the slant-needle providing better vision for ease of sewing. Quilters also much prefer the vertical rotary hook and easy to use drop-feed. Ask any owner and they will all tell you how much they love this sewing machine
The Singer 301/301A is the Quilters Dream Machine!
Singer 301 and Stitch Type 301
Is it a coincidence that the Singer 301 being a straight stitch; a.k.a. lockstitch, sewing machine, has the same number as the stitch type it sews - "Stitch Type 301".
The Stitch Type 301 as defined in the United States Government Specification Booklet 751 A: The 300 stitch class includes stitch types that interlock a needle and thread with a bobbin thread by the use of a hook or shuttle mechanism. Because these threads are interlocked rather than interlooped, the 300 class is better known as the "Lockstitch" class of stitches.
The most popular stitch formation in the 300 series is the 301 stitch which is often referred as a "plain stitch", "straight stitch", or plain "lockstitch". In the 301 stitch formation, needle thread which is supplied from a cone of thread is passed through the material and carried around a bobbin which has been wound with thread. The needle thread it than pulled up into the middle of the material carrying the bobbin thread with it. The ratio of needle thread to bobbin thread consumed in the 301 stitch should be 1 to 1 in a well balanced stitch formation.
The type 301 stitch is the most popular stitch and some reasons for its widespread use would include:
the stitch is reversible and looks the same on both sides;
it is the tightest stitch formation which minimizes seam grinning;
stitches are secure, higher strength and extensibility (30%);
more secured than the chain stitch;
it consumes the least amount of thread in its formation;
it has better "hand", or feels smoother to the touch;
lockstitch machines are very versatile and can be used on a variety of operations.
The U.S. Military set up the standard specification system for seam construction and stitch types that is still widely used today in the garment and sewn products industries. Federal Specifications: DDD-S-751 - Stitches; Seams; and Stitching - Stitch Type 301. The latest version of this specification is 751A - Stitch Type 301. The specification has also been adopted by the International Standards Organization - ISO 4915 -standard for stitch and seam specifications - ISO#301 (lockstitch).
Is it a coincidence or was it meant to be. It seems appropriate for the Legendary Singer 301 - The Worlds Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine to have the same number as the stitch type 301 it sews, it was meant to be.
The Singer 301 has the same number as the stitch type it sews - Stitch Type 301
Singer Model 404 Slant-Needle Deluxe
After the astonishing success of the Singer 301 Slant-Needle it was replaced in 1958 by the Singer Model 404 Slant-Needle Deluxe made at the Elizabethport plant, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
When you look at the picture below the Singer 404 looks very much like the later LBOW Singer 301A but it did have some changes; no carrying handle, no extension bed, front horizontal rotary hook, throat plate lever, ¼" longer in length and it gained 3 pounds. Other than that it was still a Singer 301.
The Singer 301 was known as the "Worlds Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine" but Singer took advantage of the 301's success and advertised the new 404 . . . the finest straight stitch sewing machine ever built. They did the same with the 401A . . . the greatest sewing machine ever built. Ironically, they never sold one machine to find out if either machine was really the best built - unlike the Singer 301 that went through the test of time.
We have two machines that look almost the same but which one was really better built:
The Singer 404 was full size cabinet model and gained 3 pounds. The Singer 301 was a lightweight 16 pound full size portable that can be used with or without a cabinet, it had a carry handle making it easier to move or take to sewing classes, it had a folding extension bed with the option of a short or long bed, the long bed making it 2½" longer than the Singer 404.
The Singer 404 has a horizontal rotary hook with drop-in bobbin. The Singer 301 has a vertical rotary hook with bobbin case that is more sturdy, does not go out of alignment as readily, less lint build up that requires less cleaning, less susceptible to thread jamming, and the thread loop rotates in the same plane as the needle, it does not bend and twist the thread. A vertical rotary hook despite personal preferences will always make a more precise and stronger stitch than a horizontal rotary hook. For free-motion quilting the vertical rotary hook and bobbin case is much more desirable than the horizontal rotary hook with drop-in bobbin.
The pictures below shows a big difference between a Singer 301 vertical rotary hook compared to a Singer 404 horizontal rotary hook. The 301 is extremely balanced with less moving parts but the 404 needs 2 extra gears plus added support to control vibration. The machine with the fewest moving parts makes work easier and with less problems, basic engineering.
Singer 301 Singer 404
The Singer 404 has a throat plate lever that raises the pressure plate for darning and free motion quilting that was disliked along with the lever problems. The Singer 301 has a drop feed by turning a thumb screw the feed is rendered inoperative and will not interfere with the free movement of work, simple with less moving parts. For free-motion quilting the drop feed of the Singer 301 was better than the Singer 404 with throat plate lever.
The Grand Introduction of the Singer 301 was in October 1952 and ended in 1957, 5 years of sales, 700,000 sold. The Singer 404 was introduced in 1958 and ended in 1963, 5 years of sales, only 401,500 sold. The Singer 404 was such a poor seller that Singer stopped production in 1960 and it took 3 years before they finally sold them. There was one last production run for the Singer 404 in 1963 for 1,500 machines. The last production run for the Singer 301 was in 1957 for 54,000 machines.
The answer to the finest straight stitch sewing machine ever built always comes to how customers regarded the new Singer 404 compared to the Singer 301. After what was discussed above it is easy to understand why the Singer 404 was not popular and was not regarded ... as the finest straight stitch ever built. The test of time shows that the Singer 404 is an unheard of sewing machine and the Singer 301 is very popular and legendary.
Singer made a huge mistake by taking their best selling straight stitch sewing machine and replacing it with the unsuccessful Singer 404. The Singer 301/301A were only sold in the U.S./Canada and had better sales than the Singer 201K and 221K in the overseas market combined. It had better sales than the Singer 201 and 221 in the U.S. market combined. It also had better sales than the 221 and 221K Featherweights combined worldwide. Just imagine how many Singer 301's could have been sold if they kept making them.
When it comes to straight stitch sewing or quilting the Singer 301 offers lightweight portability, carrying handle, full size for cabinet use, vertical rotary hook and bobbin case, drop feed for free motion, up to 1500 stitches per minute and most of all the perfect lockstitch, Stitch Type 301. The most simple machine specifically engineered for precision with the fewest amount of moving parts will always make work easier and the best built machine.
The Legendary Singer 301 ... The Worlds Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Built.
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