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Jim/Steelsewing

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I should premise this and say that I never really set out to acquire centennial machines until there were already three in the house.

019SingerCen99k.jpg 

Still in need of a bobbin slide plate, bentwood top, and accessories, this 99k came by way of a trade. The EF650590 batch number suggests it was produced on or shortly after the 5th of January 1950.

020SingerCenn1591.jpg 

This 15-91 was not just  the first 15-91 I picked up, but also the first centennial badged machine and it also came by way of a trade. The previous owner was having issues with skipped stitches and was looking for a machine that did a little more, so a trade ensued . He got a 401a with extras and I got this machine. Within an hour I determined the problem with the skipped stitches (set the needle to the correct position) and it run perfectly fine ever since. The 401a in the trade had been a free machine for me. The only thing I had in it was a few hours of cleaning and much needed maintenance. Ak512273 says 26 July 1951, closing in on the last runs of Centennials for the year, and manufactured in the same batch as the 201 below.

021SingerCenn201.jpg

Also a 26 July 1951 batch date with the serial number AK544478 this machine was a late in the day acquisition at yet another estate sale where the prices had dropped considerably. I believe it was a twenty dollar 'get it gone' buy.

  022SingerCenn66CB.jpg 

This little crinkle finish 66 with reverse has been sitting in the garage so long I'm beginning to feel sorry for it. Machines have come and gone and now perhaps I can find it a nicer display area. AK048484 says 10 November 1950.

023SingerCenn221.jpg

Perhaps my scoop of the year was this 221 with a batch number of AK072862 from the 21st of January 1951. This came from an estate sale where the big feature was a basement full of comic books. I arrived an hour and a half early and time flew by as the five people in front of me spoke of their comic collections. When they opened the door, those five went straight to the basement and I darted upstairs, picked up the machine and went so quickly to the cashier that I had to weave through the stream of people still entering the sale. I suppose I could of wandered around a little, but the $75 dollar price tag on the FW seemed so urgent that I felt the need to pay for it in the midst of the mayhem and get it safely under lock and key before anyone realized what had happened. It wasn't until this came home that I began to consider which machine model was missing in a growing set of centennials.


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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #2 
A fine collection of Singer Centennials!  Just missing the 301 which I've heard is very rare.

Some folks don't consider the machines a true "Centennial" if the SN is not 1951 since  apparently they were working to sell old stock and having the dealers badge these older machines with the new centennial badges was a great marketing ploy and was successful. But the centennial badges are handsome and not so common and for me this doesn't make any difference.

I'll have to check the SN dates for my Centennials to see if they were old stock or not.

Thanks for an interesting post.
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #3 
It is also true that Singer anticipated the sale and began badging and back stocking machines. Some say the back stocking began in late 1948 and even then... they sold them all; didn't have enough. Probably the single most successful year ever at Singer? What gets me is that they stopped with badges later in 1951. I think I have one 201 downstairs that is a '51 model and no badge. It's late though, like September. Besides the impossible 301, I still need a 128. I'm not actively looking for it though. I figure the rest of them found me without my searching for them, perhaps this last one will to. =)
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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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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Jim,

  Here is a 128 centennial on ePay for 175 dollars and free shipping.  It is a krinkle finish looking very nice but missing the plates to cover the shuttle but the one picture has the shuttle in the accessory compartment.  Also, the bentwood case top is destroyed.  It has an offer option likely someone can bargain it down considerably.  My take is the krinkle finish in such good condition.  

Best regards,
Mike
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1951-Centennial-Anniversary-Singer-Sewing-Machine-Model-128-FREE-SHIP/233227097260?hash=item364d6b14ac:g:gBMAAOSwvw5c2evU
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim/Steelsewing
It is also true that Singer anticipated the sale and began badging and back stocking machines. Some say the back stocking began in late 1948 and even then... they sold them all; didn't have enough. Probably the single most successful year ever at Singer? What gets me is that they stopped with badges later in 1951. I think I have one 201 downstairs that is a '51 model and no badge. It's late though, like September. Besides the impossible 301, I still need a 128. I'm not actively looking for it though. I figure the rest of them found me without my searching for them, perhaps this last one will to. =)


I've never heard or read that Singer backstocked machines in anticipation of the Centennial. I think the reason that they had so much back stock by then is because '47/'48 was when the imports started flooding the US so we had much more to choose from.

Cari

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #6 
I guess it could go either way: either Singer purposely back stocked badged machines to be sold in 1951, or they re-badged older machines to be sold in 1951. Is it possible it may have been a mix of both? I dunno. I do know that there weren't any machines being imported in 1947, and it wasn't until September of 1948 when Leon Jolson finally convinced Necchi to allow him 150 demonstration machines to see if he could drum up any interest in New York City for sales. He didn't find it all that difficult to do since the Singers needed a pile of attachments to do what the stock Necchi did without any.  By 1952 Necchi had grabbed ten percent of the US sewing machine market and would come close to twenty-five percent a scant two years later. It was 1949 when the same import group brought Elna over. So, as far as I know, Necchi and Elna were the only imported machines in '49, '50 and throughout Singer's 100 year celebration year.
__________________
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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