Grace’s cousin

So last week I bought something on Gumtree:

Singer 201 Hand Crank

It’s a 201 hand crank machine! Or a 201-4, to give it the full model title.

Before I go into details and specifics, let’s have some more pictures:

Singer 201 Hand Crank

Singer 201 Hand Crank

Singer 201 Hand Crank

Her serial number is EE904964 – her number was issued on December 28 (Dad’s birthday) 1948 and she was made in Kilbowie, Scotland.

The decals are in generally excellent condition – again considering the age I’m very happy. Turns out these machines (the hand-crank 201s) are very rare in the US – as by the time the 201 came out, most houses were in the process of being electrified and people wanted to purchase electric machines – so I feel like I’ve come across a bit of a special one.

She looks pretty similar to my other 201 with the potted motor – the lettering on the arm is a little different and it obviously doesn’t have the motor and light as it’s person-powered – so it looks a bit smaller. But what did strike me is the difference in the back plate. Here’s the one on the new hand-crank:

Singer 201 Hand Crank

And the one on Grace:

My Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Their faceplates are both the same, so a little odd that these are different!

I bought it from a lovely lady who had it from her mother who loved it very much. Unfortunately she passed away from multiple sclerosis earlier this year and her daughter was chuffed to know that I would give the machine a name – something her mum always had the habit of doing. Her name was Mary, and the machine came all the way from Weston-Super-Mare where Mary and her daughter lived. The machine itself never had a specific name – it was just called Singer. So, I asked Jude if she would mind my naming it Mary – which she very graciously agreed to.

The machine itself is in lovely condition – sews very well. The hand-crank mechanism needed reassembling, so I felt very clever after taking it all apart and figuring out how to fix it. For anyone wanting to do the same, check out the Tools for Self-Reliance site. Lots of instructions about fixing and tweaking machines – mainly the hand-crank and treadle only machines, but a lot of the tips will apply to electric machines as well.

Can’t wait to get using it – will be perfect if I ever want to sew anything super chunky that my motorised machine might struggle with! Not bad for the bargain sum of Β£25! I want to replace the little wooden cover on the base, as it’s not original and doesn’t fit too well. It also didn’t come with any feet, but I have a full compliment of those already so that’s no problem.

Love these old machines!


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