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"
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.
Article dated February 15, 1954
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 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 is all about "Precision" in Every Way!
The Singer 301 Sewing Machine
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
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.
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.
(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. It is clear that the Singer 160 did take some of the Classic design and traditional touches of the past. Throughout Singer's history there has only been one portable sewing machine that had a handle, the Singer 301. The Singer 160 is a portable sewing machine but "It is Not a Cabinet Model" like the Singer 301. Will the Singer 160 be around 60 years later, not likely, but the Singer 301 will be, it was made to last a lifetime and longer...
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!
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". To this very day Singer still claims that all "NA" serial numbers were made in 1951, NA-1951. This is simply not true! What is true is on 29 May 1951 Singer "Allotted" 1 million "NA" serial numbers for Models 301, 301A, 401A and 403A and that 99% of all "NA" serial numbers were not made in 1951.
The 1% that was "Made in 1951" was a Limited Edition of 10,000 Singer 301 sewing machines that were allotted to be manufactured on 27 July 1951. That's all, nothing more and nothing less!
The Singer Model 301, 301A, 401A and 403A, all having "NA" serial numbers, did not begin being manufactured until 1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958, respectively, making them virtually impossible to be made in 1951!
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 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, it was the beginning of the modern Singer sewing machine as it is today.
It may be portable with a folding bed but that's about it. In the real world it is a full size sewing machine that has many new features, a modern precision designed casting along with being the first slant-needle sewing machine, all of which have absolutely no relationship to the 221 Featherweight. When it comes to a simple to operate straight stitch sewing machine nothing compares to the Singer 301.
You can say that the Singer 301 had it's own family, the slant-needle sewing machines, and was the Big Sister or Big Brother to the 401A, 404, 403A, 500A and 503A.
The Singer 301 revolutionized the sewing-machine-of tomorrow!
What is the Story about the "A" after the Model Number
The Singer Manufacturing Company opened the Anderson, South Carolina plant to manufacture all slant model sewing machines. The models were 301, 301A, 401A, 403A, 500A and 503A. The 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 prefix "A" after the model number when the first 301A was manufactured. Only the Singer 301 manufactured at the Anderson factory did not have the prefix "A".
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 their 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 of course the portable Featherweight 221 continued to be the best seller. Singer kept making these machines and with the war recovery period still going on Singer's inventory was also growing because they couldn't sell them.
By 1951, Singer had vast stocks of old inventory and 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. They came up with the idea to install Centennial Badges on all 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 sewing machine made in 1951. What many customers did not know at the time was they were really buying an older sewing machines 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 good 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.
Some say that any Singer model sewing machine that has the Centennial Badge is also called a Special Edition Centennial. Special Edition implies there is some kind of change that differs from its original format, in this case the Centennial Badge. This is true but its intent has to be for the right reason.
I humbly disagree and find nothing special about a 1947-1950 dated Singer sewing machine that a Centennial Badge was installed just to reduce overstocked inventory. That is not what Special Edition means!
Example: 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang and to commemorate the year of its birth, in the fall of 2014, only 1,964 units will be available of the 50th Anniversary "Special Edition" Mustang GT. This is the true meaning of Special Edition, change from its original format and new for that year.
I do agree that any Singer model sewing machine that was "Made in 1951" and with a Centennial Badge could be called a Special Edition Centennial, this is unquestionable.
Note: The Centennial Singer 301 that was in fact made in 1951 cannot be called a Special Edition Centennial because it was an entirely new sewing machine. It was a Limited Edtion...
If you read my webpage on the Limited Edition 301 you will find out that on 25 July 1951 Singer allotted a Limited Edition of 10,000 Singer 301 sewing machine to be manufactured, one year prior to its introduction in October 1952. Limited Edition is an edition of something that is limited to a restricted number.
Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
In 1951, there was a Limited Edition of only 10,000 Singer 301 sewing machines, NA00001-NA010000, and the first 1,000 manufactured, serial numbers NA000001-NA001000, had Centennial Badges installed 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 all so "No". They are virtually impossible to find because of the extremely low quantity, after 60 years how many of the original 1,000 Centennials still exist. Not many...
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. These Singer sewing machines with the new Black Band Badge are not considered Centennials because they simply do not have the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge.
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 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 very 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 rather quickly with serial number NA002001 to the Paperclip Design. It changed one more time with serial number NA130001 to the Prism Design. This also makes the Centennial Singer 301 very special.
Celtic Chain Design - Serial Numbers NA000001-NA002000
Paperclip Design - Serial Number NA002001-NA013000
Prism Design - Serial Number NA130001 to NB075000
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 sewing machines ever made in Black with Gold Decals.
Singer never called the color Mocha, only soft or light beige!
Everyday owners submit serial numbers and information about there Singer 301 and the majority are in Traditional Black. This tells me that most owners took better care of the Traditional Black Singer 301's over the years when compared to the Soft Beige or Two-Tone LBOW that were discarded and explains the lower quantities.
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.
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.
Singer 301 in High School Home Economics Class
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 and the 201. When the new Singer 301 was sold to schools in 1953 it immediately became their favorite sewing machine. Singer sold a lot of 301's and 301A's to schools across the nation mainly because the kids could not destroy them no matter how hard they tried and was deemed indestructible. The Singer 301 is included in the 1953 Singer Teacher's Textbook of Machine Sewing, home economic classes. The front cover of the book has an outline drawing of the Singer 301.
The Singer 301/301A was deemed "Indestructible" in High Schools
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 301/301A 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.
Singer advertised the Singer 301 as "The Most Exciting Sewing Development in 100 Years". The Revolutionary Singer 301 Slant-needle Sewing Machine . . . represents the ultimate in sewing machine design and styling. This meant the Singer 301 was the highest in degree or order, far surpassing all Singer Home Sewing Machines of its time. In other words "The Best Sewing Machine Ever Made" in the past 100 years.
Some people say that the Singer 201-2 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. It is portable like the 221 and full size like the 201. Take all the features from both of these machines, refine them, add more features, make a precision designed casting that is modern, add a slant-needle and you have a Singer 301. When it comes to a simple to operate straight stitch sewing machine nothing compares to the Singer 301.
I have read so 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 a 301 and in all fairness I have to say the "Best Sewing Machine" is the Singer 301. It truly is an Amazing sewing machine.
Statements from sewing machine repairman all say the same thing:
Statement from a 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, is smoother to operate, has the best lock stitch, and a pleasure to sew on. That is what precision engineering is all about. I only wish they still made them that way...
Statement from a 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 a 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.
After taking into consideration the many comments from owners, over 100 years of sewing machine repair, my own personal experience and how the Singer Company advertised the 301 over the years, there is only one conclusion when it comes to a simple straight stitch sewing machine and that is the "Singer 301/301A" is "The Best Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Ever Made", period.
The Singer 301 is metal gear driven, no belts that can slip, and that means Workhorse!
The World's Finest Straight-Stitching Sewing Machine
The Singer 301 is undoubtedly the "Pinnacle" of all Singer Straight Stitch sewing machines!
In this 1958 Singer advertisement it 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!
As you can clearly see in the advertisement this Famous Singer Slant-Needle is a Singer 301A. For Singer to advertise and say it is "The World's Finest Straight-Stitching Sewing Machine" surely expresses how Singer felt about the 301/301A compared to all straight-stitching sewing machines they ever made. The Singer 301/301A is undoubtedly the pinnacle of all Singer straight stitch sewing machines representing the very best high quality precision sewing machine that Singer could make and was built to last a lifetime.
The Singer 301/301A is:
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 during the years of the Singer 301/301A. The best sellers being the Singer 201/201K and 221/221K and 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 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.
The Singer 301/301A was the Best Selling Straight Stitch Sewing Machine and this helps explain
why Singer advertised the Singer 301 as being "The World's Finest Straight Stitch Sewing Machine".
The Singer 301 Makes a Perfect Stitch
The Singer 301 has a vertical rotary hook and despite personal preferences will always make a more precise stitch than a horizontal rotary hook. A horizontal or drop in bobbin 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 and is more susceptible to thread jamming. The vertical rotary hook is more sturdy, requires less cleaning, and the thread loop rotates in the same plane as the needle, it does not bend and twist the thread. The only reason most modern sewing machines have a drop-in bobbin is because of it's simplicity to the operator.
The Best Straight Stitches comes from Straight Stitch Only Sewing Machines!
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!
The Singer 301/301A are Collectable
When it comes to vintage sewing machines the Singer 301/301A and the Singer Featherweights 221/222K are the most sought after sewing machines in the world. I would also include the Singer Treadle, Singer 201 and the toy Sew-Handy sewing machines. They are all Collectable Singer sewing machines.
One of the most rarest and highly collectable of Singer sewing machines is the Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301. Extremely Super Rare, Very Special, Highly Collectable, Almost Impossible to find.
Value of the Singer 301
The value of any Singer 301/301A can vary in price according to the machine condition and accessories.
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