First I thought it might be helpful to explain some of the fundamental differences among these sewing machines. They break down as follows:
- Two different shank types: low and slant
- Three different bobbin types: Class 15, Class 66, Class 221
- Three different hook configurations - which is a combination of hook type and orientation
Now we'll start with what I call the "Classic Blacks." Here are three of the most popular models.
This brings us to the last of the Classic Blacks, and a completely unique machine. To me, the 301 is the pinnacle of Singer machines. It ushered in a new era of completely re-engineered slant shank machines - this machine was revolutionary! - and at the same time the black model was the very last of the beautiful black machines with gold decals. This was a new era, and Singer wanted to modernize the look; the black machines were old school. Therefore the 301 had the black & gold version (for those who still liked the traditional style) and two more color schemes in beige tones to update the look. To this day it remains unique because it was the only machine that could be both a cabinet AND a portable model. It has the vertical rotary hook like a Featherweight, and shares it's 221 bobbin, but the slant shanks that followed (known as the Slant-O-Matics) were horizontal rotaries with a Class 66 bobbin. The 301 is truly one of a kind; it is the bridge between the models above (and many, many more of that era) and the ones that followed. No machine ever made, however, could surpass it. Dare I say it is perfect?
The beige and the LBOW (light beige/oyster white) 301s segued into the Slant-O-Matic color scheme...
NEXT..... Part II, the Slant-O-Matics (Singer 400/500 Series)