The Limited Edition Singer 301
Only 10,000 were made in 1951 for the Centennial Year Celebration
Serial Numbers NA000001-NA010000 were the only Model 301 sewing machines made in 1951
Only "43" Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines are known to exist after 63 years.
"38" in Traditional Black and "5" in Soft Beige
"13" with the Centennial Badge and "30" with the Black Band Badge
Centennial Year of 1951
The 100th year anniversary for Singer Manufacturing Company was a very important milestone in the history of Singer Sewing Machines. Singer revolutionized the sewing-machine-of-tomorrow with a design to make home sewing easier and wanted to commemorate the Centennial Year with The New Singer Model 301 Slant-needle sewing machine.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Singer realized it could not properly introduce the new Singer 301 during the Centennial Year and changed the Grand Introduction to October 1952.
Singer, being very proud of this entirely new sewing machine wanted the new Singer 301 to be a part of Singer history and released a Limited Edition of only 10,000 Singer 301 sewing machines during the Centennial Year of 1951. The first 1,000 had the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge.
The New Singer Model 301 was first displayed at the exhibition of new and old Singer sewing machines in New York from 16-30 September 1951 during the 100th Anniversary of the patenting of the first Singer sewing machine observed by Singer Manufacturing Company and its employees.
In October 1951 this Limited Edition of the Singer Model 301 were being sold in selected Singer Sewing Centers without any brochures or advertisements, exactly one year prior to the Grand Introduction of the new Singer Model 301 Slant-needle sewing machine in October 1952.
Nobody knew about the Limited Edition Singer 301
It is very interesting that everyone knew about the Singer Model 301 Slant-needle sewing machine after the Grand Introduction in October 1952 but had absolutely no knowledge about the release of a Limited Edition of the Singer Model 301 sewing machine during the Centennial year of 1951.
Sincere's History of the Sewing Machine, pub.1970; in 1952 Singer marketed a machine that was a dramatic departure from the straight stitch machines of that day, the Model 301 Slant Needle.
The Sewing Machine Blue Book, pub.1971; list the years of 1953-1959 for the Singer Class 301.
ISMACS, International Sewing Machine Collectors Society, used the same years as the Sewing Machine Blue Book, 1953-1959.
Newspapers report that the Singer Model 301 sewing machines were to begin being manufactured at the Anderson, South Carolina factory in early 1952.
The first Black Cover Singer 301 Instruction Manual had a revised date of (652), June 1952, for issue with the Singer 301 sold after the grand introduction in October 1952.
The Grand Introduction of the New Singer Model 301 Slant-needle sewing machine was in October 1952, the new Singer Model 301 sales brochure was dated 1952.
The very first Singer Model 301 advertisement was dated October 1952.
Consumers and historians did not see or hear about The New Singer Model 301 until October 1952.
The "NA" Series Register Numbers
The untold truth about the Singer 301 during the Centennial Year was really a mystery for a very long time. Since 1951 to the present day Singer has made everyone believe that all Singer 301's with a "NA" serial number were manufactured in 1951. This is simply not true.
Up to March 1996 you could call Singer Customer Service with your serial number and they would give you a "Birth-Date" of 29 May 1951 for models 301, 301A, 401A and 403A. Strangely, it included all "NA" and "NB" serial numbers regardless of model number. The total of "NA" serial numbers was 1 million and "NB" serial numbers was 1 million, that's 2 million sewing machines all made in 1951.
From April 1996 to 2005 when you called Singer Customer Service they now used the Sewing Machine Blue Book dates of 1953-1959 for all "NA" and "NB" serial numbers. Yes, they actually told customers there sewing machine was made from 1953-1959, no single year was used.
From 2005 to present-day, Singer again changed the dating of serial numbers to a new "Year of Issue" and all serial numbers with NA-1951, NB-1956 and NC-1961. This of course is still wrong because there were "NA" serial numbered sewing machines manufactured between 1951 to 1958.
This leads me to believe that Singer did have records at one time but it is very likely they were all damaged or destroyed somehow in the past and Singer Customer Service simply did what they felt was right at the time.
I wanted to set the record straight and needed compelling evidence to back up the Limited Edition of the Singer 301 and the Anderson factory original company register A2 log of "NA" Series Register Numbers did just that.
The "NA" Series Register Numbers proves beyond a doubt that on 25 July 1951 Singer allotted 10,000 Model 301 sewing machines to be manufactured at the Anderson factory located in Anderson, South Carolina, that's all, nothing more and nothing less. This is the only record of all the slant-needle models known to exist.
This record is Unquestionable and proves once and for all that only 10,000 Singer 301's were made in 1951.
The Making of a Super-Rare Sewing Machine
This was the 100th year Anniversary for Singer and the entirely new Singer 301 slant-needle sewing machine was to be the highlight with its Grand Introduction to commemorate the Centennial Year but due to unforeseen circumstances the Grand Introduction was delayed until October 1952. Singer still wanted to do something very special that would ensure nobody would ever forget about the Traditional Black Singer 301 and the Centennial Year, even 100 years later.
We know for a fact that Singer allotted a Limited Edition of 10,000 Singer 301 sewing machines in 1951 and this in itself was a very rare occurrence in Singer Manufacturing Company history as they have never released any Singer model sewing machine 1 year prior to it's introduction date. This made all 10,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines collectable but that was not enough.
Singer was clever at marketing but they were also very clever and new exactly what it took in making a Rare or Super-Rare sewing machine and they did just that. When Singer allotted 10,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines they knew this high number would only make them collectable in the future but not Rare or Super-Rare. Collectors know that all it takes is a very small change in details that makes an item either rare or super-rare and so did Singer.
I should mention there were 2 colors used on all Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines, either Traditional Black with gold decals or Soft Beige with no decals.
The very first Singer 301 sewing machines in Traditional Black had a backside Celtic chain design decal that did not match the center Paperclips design decal. The Paperclips design decal was first used in the 1930's on the Singer 201, even on the 1951 Singer 201, and Singer could have easily used the center paperclip design decal on the backside of the Singer 301 but they didn't, instead they used the Celtic chain design from the Singer 221 featherweight, this clearly shows Singer knew exactly what they were doing with this unusual change in detail.
Celtic Chain Design - Serial Numbers NA000001-NA002000
Paperclip Design - Serial Number NA002001-NA013000
Prism Design - Serial Number NA130001 to NB075000
This was not something that just happened on the production line, it was cleverly thought out way in advance. What Singer did next confirms that they new exactly what they were doing. The first 1,000 Singer 301 sewing machines where evenly divided, 500 in Traditional Black and 500 in Soft Beige. The next 1,000 where also evenly divided, 500 in Traditional Black and 500 in Soft Beige. Out of the first 2,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines the Celtic Design decal was installed on 1,000 sewing machines in Traditional Black.
Out of the first 2,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines.
1,000 Traditional Black Limited Edition Singer 301's had the Backside Celtic Chain Design Decal
500 with the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge, serial numbers between NA000001-NA001000.
Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 (Super-Rare)
500 with the new 1951 Black Band Badge, serial numbers between NA001001-NA002000.
"Celtic" Limited Edition Singer 301 (Rare)
Starting with serial number NA002001 the backside Celtic chain design decal changed to the Paperclip design decal and stayed that way until NA130001 when it changed to the Prism design decal.
Singer created two very special Singer 301 sewing machines. One with the Blue Centennial Badge and one with the Black Band Badge, and both in Traditional Black with the backside Celtic design decal. Very clever thinking by Singer and it went unnoticed for the past 63 years, until now (2014).
Different Size Centennial Badges
The Singer 301 Centennial Badge had a slightly larger gold border around the edge compared to all other Singer centennial badges. A "True" Singer 301 centennial badge should completely fill up the inside of the badge casting area. There have been a couple Centennial 301's in Soft Beige that had the smaller badge. It does not make any sense why Singer would install the smaller badge and leaves doubt if they are really Centennials or made to appear as one. One even had a different style mounting pins not found on any Singer 301.
500 in Traditional Black 500 in Soft Beige Smaller Badge & Mounting Pins
The Crown Jewel of the Super-Rare
Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
Only 500 in Traditional Black
Super-Rare and Highly Collectable
Graham Forsdyke states, regarding sewing machine value:
The "Super-Rare" will always appreciate whatever the condition.
For the Centennial Year celebration over 1 million Singer model series 15, 66, 99, 128, 201, and 221 sewing machines had Centennial Badges and most of them with serial numbers dating from 1947-1950, although some were made in 1951. Singer kept no records on any of these Centennial's because the Centennial Badge was a marketing gimmick simply to reduce old overstock inventory. That is the Truth. All models with a 1947-1950 serial number were made in those years and will be listed on Singer's "Register of Serial Numbers", there is no way of getting around this, sorry.
This left much doubt if they are considered a "True" Centennial.
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.
When the Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines were being manufactured for the Centennial Year the 1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge was installed on the first 1,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines, NA000001-NA001000. Only the Traditional Black had the backside Celtic design decal and the slightly larger Centennial Badge. The Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 is the only Singer Model sewing machine that has a serial number sequence and this very small number makes them Extremely Super-Rare!
If you look at all the advertisements from October 1952 to 1958 they all show the soft beige color Singer 301. This was because Singer was trying to get customers away from the glossy traditional black color with gold decals and into the Singer new modern look of non-glossy soft colors with no gold decals.
The Singer 301 is the last vintage Singer sewing machine in Traditional Black with Gold Decals.
Out of 1,000 Centennials the colors were evenly divided with 500 in Traditional Black and 500 in Soft Beige. This makes the Centennial in Traditional Black with decals much rarer than the Centennial in Soft Beige without decals. Singer thought about everything and doing what they did ensured that the Traditional Black Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 would always have a place in history.
The Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 is one of the most rarest of Singer sewing machines.
1851-1951 Blue Centennial Badge - Traditional Black - Backside Celtic Chain Design Decal
"It is the only Singer sewing machine that is a Limited Edition and Centennial"
Extremely Super-Rare - Very Special - Highly Collectable - Almost Impossible to Find.
There are only 9 Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 sewing machines reported in Traditional Black that are known to exist after 63 years since first being made in 1951. In 2014 I have verified that 4 are still with there original owners. The earliest on record is NA000018 and the latest NA000857.
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 still exist.
Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
Only 500 in Soft Beige
Rare and Highly Collectable
The Soft Beige Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 are considered Rare and Highly Collectable, the reason being no decals were ever used on the soft beige. At this time I cannot find any slight changes when compared to the standard soft beige Singer 301/301A, except for the Centennial Badge and changes already mentioned.
Singer Trade-In Policy
Why only 13 Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 sewing machines?
From the beginning of Singer Sewing Machine Company both Isaac Merritt Singer and Edward Clark came up with the idea of destroying any trade-ins they received to eliminate second-hand market. This policy continued up to the 1960's with Singer Sewing Centers having a press in the back room that would crush every trade-in.
In 1954 the Japanese started importing into the United States a zig-zag machine built by Brother International Corporation and in 1956 Singer introduced the Singer 401 Slant-o-Matic zig-zag sewing machine. Everyone wanted the new Singer zig-zag sewing machine and many traded in there slant-needle Singer 301/301A that resulted in 1 million Singer 401 sewing machines being made in just 5 years.
With many Singer 301's destroyed as trade-ins along with owners that discarded them over the past 63 years the original 1,000 Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 was simply reduced in numbers and this is why in the past 15 years only 13 Centennial Singer 301's have been located/reported.
"Celtic" Limited Edition Singer 301
Only 500 made in Traditional Black in 1951
Rare and Collectable
After the 1,000 Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301's the next 1,000 Limited Edition 301 sewing machines were also evenly divided with 500 in Traditional Black and 500 in Soft Beige. Only the Traditional Black had the backside Celtic design decal and the new 1951 Black band badge, serial numbers NA001001-NA002000. The earliest on record is NA001193 and the latest NA001996, they are considered rare and collectable. - There are also 500 in Soft Beige but they are only considered collectable.
"Paperclips" Limited Edition Singer 301
There are also 8,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines that all have the Paperclip design decal that match the center Paperclips design decal and all with the new 1951 Black Band Badge. The earliest on record is NA002273 and the latest NA009779, they are considered collectable.
"NB" Limited Edition Singer 301A
Not only did they have a Limited Edition Singer 301 with 'NA" serial numbers but also had a Limited Edition Singer 301A with "NB" serial numbers. In 1956 with the start of the "NB" serial numbers and the new two-tone color, Light Beige-Oyster White (LBOW), Singer allotted 10,000 Singer Model 301A sewing machines, only in traditional black, with serial numbers NB065001-NB075000. Out of 200,000 "NB" serial numbers, mostly all (LBOW) in color, only 10,000 were in Traditional Black, exactly the same number as in 1951. The earliest is on record is NB065010 and the latest NB074949, they are considered collectable.
This was truly another rare occurrence in Singer History:
Limited Edition Singer 301, Traditional Black or Soft Beige, 10,000 "NA" serial numbers, made in 1951.
NA000001 to NA010000
Limited Edition Singer 301A, Traditional Black, 10,000 "NB" serial numbers, made in 1956.
NB065001 to NB075000
More Unique Changes
The same .53 amp motor was used on 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 a "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"
The motor below has what they call a "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. For more information go to "About the 301" webpage.
1952-1957 Singer 301 & 301A Data Plate "Red S"
With the "Circle S" on the motor data plate the same "Circle S" is also located on the Foot Controller data plate for all Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machines. It's like a matching electrical set.
There were 2 foot controllers:
Part No. 194828 was issued with the LE Singer 301-1, for cabinet use. It consists of two separate wires. The first wire is called the line lead: one end has the electrical plug and the other end has the three pin female terminal housing. The 2nd wire is the controller lead: one end is connected to the foot controller and the other end has the 2-Pin male plug. You can easily tell this is for cabinet use, foot or knee.
Part No. 194828 - 2 wires for cabinet use
Part No. 194584 was issued with the LE Singer 301-2, with trapezoid carry case. It consisted of only 1 wire, as we call it, with the foot controller on one end connected to the three pin female terminal housing and than connected to the wire with the electrical plug. You can easily tell this is for portable use.
Part No. 194584 - 1 wire for portable use
With the electrical wires well over 60 years old the original wire is brittle and is a electrical and fire hazard. Most of these wires have been changed over the years and you could have a 194828 foot controller with only one wire because you use it as a portable. This is not a problem and the first concern should be safety.
The motor and foot controller data plates should both have the "Circle S" emblem!
Green Cover Instruction Manual!
This is the first Singer 301 Instruction Manual. Copyright 1935, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1950 and 1951: (1051), 60 pages. The revised date of (1051) or October 1951 corresponds exactly when the very first Limited Edition Singer 301 were being sold in Singer Sewing Centers in October 1951. It is extremely "Super-Rare" and another form of authenticity as they were only issued with the Limited Edition Singer 301. For more information on instruction manuals go to "About the 301" webpage.
Limited Edition Singer 301 Green Cover Instruction Manual
Authenticity of your Limited Edition Singer 301
If you are the proud owner of a Centennial or Limited Edition Singer 301 you can get a Singer Certificate that has your Name, Serial Number and Year of Issue of 1951. www.mySingerstory.com Out of 1 million NA serial numbers yours would be the only correct year that the Singer 301 was actually made.
The Singer Sewing Company - Anderson Factory - NA Series Register Numbers proves beyond a doubt that your Limited Edition Singer 301 was in fact allotted on 25 July 1951 to be manufactured. Out of 1 million NA serial numbers only 10,000 were allotted to be manufactured in 1951. Download your .pdf file here:
These 2 documents will undoubtedly verify the authenticity of your Centennial Year Limited Edition Singer 301 sewing machine.
The Limited Edition Singer 301 - Timeline
1950, Singer built a new manufacturing plant for all slant-needle sewing machines located in Anderson, South Carolina, end of 1950.
On 27 March 1951, Singer's Elizabethport factory located in Elizabeth, New Jersey manufactured a pilot run of 30 Singer 301's with the following serial numbers: AK257721-AK257750. These 30 machines went through testing and inspection as it was an entirely new sewing machine.
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.
In June 1951, Singer plans to release a "Limited Edition" of Singer 301's during the Centennial Year. The Elizabethport factory starts producing Singer 301 parts and ships them to the Anderson, SC factory.
On 25 July 1951, the original Company register number log book for the Anderson factory located in Anderson, South Carolina shows that 10,000 serial numbers, NA000001-NA010000, were allotted to be manufactured. They were the only allotted Singer 301 serial numbers during the Centennial Year, 1951.
From 25 July-September 1951 was when the Limited Edition of the Singer 301 were being manufactured at the Anderson factory. They were shipped to Singer Sewing Centers in one box containing 2 brand new Singer 301 sewing machines.
16-30 September 1951, the 100th Anniversary of the patenting of the first Singer sewing machine was observed by Singer Manufacturing Company in New York with 9,400 Singer employees. The New Singer Model 301 was displayed at the exhibition of new and old Singer sewing machines. During the 2 week event the new Singer 301 was awarded to numerous Singer employees.
From October-December 1951 the "Centennial Singer 301" and "Limited Edition Singer 301" sewing machine were being sold in selected Singer Stores. This corresponds with the first Green Cover Instruction Manual, copyright 1951, (1051), October 1951. Original owner purchase receipts prove they were in fact purchased from October-December 1951 all with the Green Cover Instruction Manual, copyright 1951.
January 1952, manufacturing begins for the Singer Model 301, serial numbers NA010001-NA186000, allotted to be manufactured at the Anderson, SC factory throughout 1952.
October 1952, exactly 1 year from when the "Centennial Singer 301" and "Limited Edition Singer 301" were sold in October 1951 was the Grand Introduction of the new Singer Model 301 Slant-needle sewing machine in October 1952. Original owner purchase receipts verify that serial numbers starting from NA010001 were being purchased in November 1952. Mostly all Singer 301/301A sewing machines were purchased from 1953-1958.
Singer 301 Sales Contract 1952
Singer 301, Black, Serial Number NA012593
Here is a Singer Sales Contract from a very early Singer 301, serial number NA012593, made in 1952 and was purchased on 13 Nov 1952 after the Grand Introduction of the Singer 301 in Oct 1952. This document is very important as it supports the fact that only 10,000 Limited Edition Singer 301 were made and sold in 1951.
This Singer 301-1-65 was Black with a mahogany cabinet and stool for $336.50. Buttonholer attachment was $9.95 and the Zigzag attachment was $4.95. Total 351.50 +$10.54 sales tax = $361.94 in 1952. All the early serial numbered Singer 301's purchased from November & December 1952 were issued with the new Black Cover Instruction Manual with a Copyright date of 1951 and 1952, Revised (652), 64 pages.
My Personal Limited Edition Singer 301 Collection!
"Serial Numbers: NA000001-NA010000"
They are all considered "Limited Edition Singer 301" sewing machines,
with the Blue Centennial Badge or the new 1951 Black Band Badge.
If it has a "Centennial Badge" it can also be called a "Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301".
Instead of a Centennial Badge you may have the Centennial Singercraft Guide #121079!
They were all issued with the "Green Cover" Instruction Manual!
Centennial Badge Black Band
Badge Singer 301 Manual
Centennial Singercraft Guide
Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
Here is the Crown Jewel of my Collection. It's the 18th Singer 301 that was made in 1951. Owning this Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301 is like having a part of Singer history. It is the earliest Singer 301 known to exist.
I purchased this Centennial from a very dear friend in Ashburn, Virginia which is located only 8 hours away from the Anderson factory in South Carolina where it was made in 1951. It was in a Virginia barn for a very long time and it showed with all the shellac coming off. I did not want to restore because it is a piece of history, all that was done was removal of the shellac coating, shined her up and oiled her up. Sews like new. It is a condition Grade 7 but that is ok, the Super-Rare will always appreciate whatever the condition.
This is the 1st picture on the Web of a Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
The Centennial Badge for the Singer 301 is Larger than all other Centennial Badges
The 18th Limited Edition Centennial Singer 301
The Backside Celtic Chain Design Decal does not match the Center Paperclip Design Decal
Motor with Circle-S - I also have Circle-S foot controller - and Green Instruction Manual
Here is my "Limited Edition Singer 301" purchased on 12 December 1951!
Serial Number NA009643 with the new 1951 Black Band Badge
When I purchased this Limited Edition Singer 301 it came with a No. 40 Queen Anne Cabinet and a Singer Chest. There was also a Singer warranty showing the purchase date and an index card showing everything that came with the machine and prices. It is a condition Grade 9, almost like the day it left the factory.
One of the last Singer 301's made in 1951 - 9,643 out of 10,000
What this brand new "Limited Edition Singer 301" cost in December 1951:
The price of a Limited Edition Singer 301 was $229.50 in 1951. During the Grand Introduction in October 1952 it remained at $229.50. In 1958 the price was reduced to $169.90 to sell off the remaining inventory.
Singer 5 Year Warranty 12 December 1951
Singer 301, Green Instruction Manual, Singer Buttonholer, Singer Machine Attachments,
Centennial 1851-1951 Singercraft Guide, Foot Pedal and New Singer Owner Pamphlet
Queen Ann #40 Cabinet with Stool / Sewing Chest 4 Drawer / 1951
Limited Edition Singer 301
I was lucky to purchase this from a Singer employee for my collection!
This Limited Edition Singer 301, NA005958 with new 1951 Black Badge, was awarded to a employee of the Singer Manufacturing Company to commemorate the company's Centennial Year of 1951. It came with a Sterling Silver 100th Anniversary Singer Centennial Medal, Centennial Singercraft Guide, Grass Cloth Trapezoid Case, Green Cover Instruction Manual and all Accessories. It is a condition Grade 9, almost like the day it left the factory.
Singer Employee Award!
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