is a Crinkle 221?
the shiny japan finish on the Standard Featherweight 221,
the bed of the Featherweight 221 crinkle
machine has a dull textured finish and three parallel
grooves cut into the perimeter. Its faceplate is either the
standard plated striated faceplate that was introduced on
Featherweights during the AH serial number series in 1947 or
a plain black faceplate with three vertical grooves
down the center.
are at least two theories on the design of these machines;
it's possible they were produced to a specific order or they
may have been manufactured on marketing speculation.
may never know the true origin of the Featherweight 221
crinkle machine, but what is known is that Singer produced
other models with a crinkle finish: models
66, 99, and 128 well before the 221 crinkle machine was
none of these models had grooves cut into their beds like
the crinkle Featherweight 221.
the time, the Featherweight 221 was Singer's most
produced and most popular model; the grooves may have
been added as a simple decoration.
in 1997 I've corresponded with the Office of the
Quartermaster General, Army salvage depots, field service
maintenance branch; Air Force maintenance and engineering
branch; procurement division; Navy bureau of supplies and
accounts, procurement division, material distribution and
disposal, aviation supply depot, bureau of construction and
repair, shop equipment sections, etc.
I could not convince clerks to dig through the
documentation, I pulled in favors from friends living and
visiting all over the U.S. who have generously given their
time to look through mounds of military documents, maritime
museum archives, the National Archives and Records
historical documents, records of war production, Lend/Lease
Administration archives, War Production Board archives,
Office of Price Administration archives, Department of
Justice Federal Prison Industries, Federal Property
Utilization Branch of the Treasury Department, Purchase and
Contract branch, etc.
research encompassed the years 1930 through 1950.
these efforts I have documentation of military contracts for
Singer models 241, 17, 97, 68, 69, 144, and class 7 (model
31) but no branch of the armed services has produced a
contract or purchase order for a Singer model 221.
of Crinkle 221 Original Sale by Singer Sewing Center
goal of this website is to provide verifiable information to
allow the reader to form their own conclusions. Fifteen
years after beginning my research I learned of a 221 Crinkle
that included an original booklet from the Cambridge,
Massachusetts Singer Sewing Center with a purchase date of
October 10, 1940. The current owner, Nova Montgomery, of
Featherweights and Quilting, graciously granted
permission to post the information and images for this
Crinkle 221 S/N AF388053 - production date December 5, 1939
cover of booklet (above)
cover of booklet (above)
of serial number for AF388053 and inside booklet cover
are currently two identified production runs of Singer
Featherweight 221 crinkle machines—December 5th, 1939
and August 15th, 1940. The serial numbers of crinkle 221
machines currently appear to be consecutive in the first
production run and intermixed with japan-finished machines
in the second production run.
faceplates on all reported 221 crinkle machines in the first
run—December 5th, 1939—are black with three
parallel grooves like the grooves on the bed.
faceplates on reported 221 crinkle machines in the second
run—August 15th, 1940—are a mix of the black
grooved faceplate and the plated striated faceplate that was
introduced on Featherweights during the AH serial number
series in 1947.