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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #1 
Even a year and a few months into the production of the Singer model 101 (July 1920 to mid year 1937), there are items that many would consider classic Singer standards... that just haven't happened yet. 

IMG_4228.jpg 

Here, on this October 1921 machine, you will not find the standard 3 prong cord and plug that many associate with vintage electric Singers standard on models like the 201 or 221. These don't exist on the '21 model 101. The 3-prong plug and cord will eventually make it to this model, but it will take at least another three years.  Pictured above is -most- of the original machine head electrical mounting connections minus the two brass pins that would have screwed to the post leads.

IMG_4218.jpg 

The other thing you won't find... is the 'usual' push button foot pedal that 'pops' out of a clip hiding inside the lip of the cabinet or table.  The early 101 models (1920 through to 23) had mechanical levers that ran from the knee control across the underside of the cabinet allowing for a pivot with an arm that pressed a rod built into the machine head.

Above is the front to back swing arm that would press a spring loaded lever inside the control box to vary speed on the machine.

IMG_4219.jpg 

Here you can see the connecting association between knee control lever and brass internal actuator.

IMG_4222.jpg 
IMG_4226.jpg 
From it's inception the controller for the 101 was cast into the lower half of the machine with the components built into the box. This design has been noted in 101 machines as late as 1923 before the casting was changed to remove the control box. Later models (post '23) would sport the new look and eventual standard of black Bakelite pedal, three prong cord and plug, and far more familiar wiring. *note photos taken of internals of a more easily availabe 1923 machine.

IMG_4227.jpg 

The other thing you may not find is a power cord plug. The power cord for this 1921 Singer model 101 is exceptionally long (over eight feet) and it's apparent that some time during it's life the original plug end was replaced. Considering this somewhat excessive length... the possibility of the original cord end being one that screwed into a light socket is pretty high.

IMG_4217.jpg 

There are other little differences. The lamp shade in 1921 is metal, as it would be throughout 101 production, but this '21 version is stamped with words 'Singer sewlight' which is a very short-lived emblazon.

IMG_4223.jpg 

The next variant would say 'Singerlight' and then just "Singer" and within a decade all wording would be removed from Singer's metal 101 lamp shades.

IMG_4221.jpg 

Other noticeable differences in the lamp assembly include the short-lived pull-chain which I have only seen on electric machines of the late nineteen teens and very early twenties.

Another difference between early and later 101s is the 'piping' used to go between the light assembly and the body of the machine.

IMG_4225.jpg 
IMG_4224.jpg 
With in a year or two the elbow and tube become much wider and the design would stay that way to the end of the model run. *photos show early (1920 to 1923) then later (post '23) for comparison.

IMG_4216.jpg 

One last standard that can't be found on the early 101: a 'normal' bobbin tire. This is the first time I have ever seen this particular bobbin winder set up. Chances of finding new rubbers for this are probably very thin.

It appears that coinciding with several changes to the Singer 101's functionality, the type 40 Deluxe library table also changed. Whether the table's design and lay out were altered to incorporate mechanical design changes is not known.

IMG_4213.jpg 
IMG_4214.jpg 
This '3 door' type 40 table was offered in late 1920 (available in at least mahogany and walnut options)
and continued into 1923 before variations began.

*I'm only going by what's in front of me. Your machine may vary, and I'd love to hear about it. =)



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My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for the write up, Jim.
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Lori in Wisconsin
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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #3 
Love it! Old electric stuff fascinates me.
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #4 
Jim asked me to chime in with some photos from my 101. Jim, feel free to clarify, I haven't had my coffee yet.
Similar vintage as Jim's, same #40 cabinet. My Android plugs the photos into the bottom of the post, so you may have to scroll up and down
#1 - Oh look, no light!
#2 - A decade or so later, where else have we seen this little cutie?
#3 - cord exiting the head

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20190705_080757.jpg (425.15 KB, 12 views)
jpeg IMG_20190705_071957.jpg (120.24 KB, 18 views)
jpeg IMG_20190705_071710943.jpg (121.22 KB, 18 views)


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Lori in Wisconsin

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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #5 
#4 Cord connections, NE corner of cabinet
#5 Controller, NW corner of cabinet

#6 Connection to the left side "dog leg tongue depressor" knee lever, SW corner of cabinet.

Jim, would you like any other photos added?

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20190705_071734079.jpg (184.89 KB, 12 views)
jpeg IMG_20190705_081555.jpg (248.51 KB, 13 views)
jpeg IMG_20190705_082058.jpg (316.46 KB, 12 views)


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Lori in Wisconsin

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the history lesson.  It's very interesting to see how models changed and to compare what we have with different years.

You are really fortunate to have such a complete machine and cabinet from this year.  I look forward to hearing of your restoration and how this machine works for you.

I am loving my 101 both for sewing and learning more about its history.
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #7 
Chaly, I do appreciate the comments. Thank you.

The more I've thought about the changes in the type 40 DeLuxe Library table and changes in the electrical wiring components for the Singer 101... the more I'm beginning to convince myself that the changes to the type 40 may have been a direct result of standardization. There isn't any way at all to mount the atypical Bakelite pedal assembly inside the three door type 40 table. It just can't be done - not even if it's just the resistor. 

If, however, you eliminate the far right 'oil can' door... then you have room. That leaves you with a very uneven front to the cabinet and the only way to fix that was to nix the long drawer on the left. I can understand why they did it. If they changed the face of the type 40 to allow for the far more familiar pedal assembly - even just the guts of the pedal mounted on the inside right wall -  then the entire Singer line would be using the same resistor, three prong connector, and plug. Since the changes to the front of the type 40 changed in the early to middle 20's, it wasn't about metal shortages or stock market crashes, but it could have been about the bottom line. If Singer could alter all of it's machines and tables to use the same electronic bits, then no special assembly lines, no special materials costs, and no 'special line' labor costs. Simplifying the 40 would be cost effective. I forget... that this is the era of Henry Ford and how assembly line efficiency changed everything.


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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #8 
Jim, do you have a list of the components shown and the patent information? Have you published this info yet? I can help a little with that. This info needs to be published.

  John
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #9 
John, There was so little information available to me when I first acquired a Singer 101 two years ago... that I began to hunt down information and machines. I felt then as if I had accidentally stumbled onto the forgotten Singer model. It didn't occur to me then that the changes I found to the cabinet may have been a direct result in changes to the electronic equipment, or, perhaps, a change brought forth from management to consolidate and standardize for the sake of efficiency. i hate to say that I'm flying by the seat of my pants here... but the cabinet changes and electronics standardization appears directly related. Without having this '21 model in front of me now to make comparisons to the later versions, I may never have considered the correlation. I have no patent info in front of me, but I do have a parts list... and many a photo.
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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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Rodney

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Reply with quote  #10 
Jim my daughter's 1926 uses a built in knee controller.  When did they switch to the standard foot controller in a knee control bracket?
It's currently buried in the garage but we're cleaning a bunch of stuff out.  I'll try to remember some pictures when I get to it again.
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #11 
Rodney, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe on your daughter's '26 the knee control levers are slightly different. It does activate the standard pedal resistor, although there is no Bakelite pedal cover. The pedal guts (white ceramic resistor) is in a metal bracket and at a slight diagonal on the inside of the right cabinet side and the wires run down to the 3-prong plug which is mounted facing downward on the lower rail of the rear of the cabinet? I might be wrong... but it should still be the split top cabinet with one single curved cut to the legs. I believe this is as close as they got to the foot pedal and clip until about 1931, when again, the cabinet design changed. Photos would be great. =)
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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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Rodney

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Reply with quote  #12 
Jim you're probably right.  I do remember the controller being a white ceramic box.  I didn't realize it was the guts for a Bakelite controller.
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