I have not doubt his story was true, but I've never been able to confirm it.
The machine 'looked' right though and did not appear to be a re-paint job." A black machine was also sold in Great Britain.
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The Singer Featherweight portable sewing machine is a model made by that company between 19.
The machine (model 221), adapted from an earlier portable, the Standard Sew Handy (which company was bought out by Singer) weighs about 11 pounds and has been found to be an ideal machine for quilters and other sewers to take to classes or "on location." Very quiet and sturdily made with all-metal parts (mostly aluminum), the Featherweight sews only straight stitches but it sews them very well.
Even the oldest machines, if they've been cared for, still sew wonderfully.
The Featherweight came in a standard black model made in the U. Those made before World War II (and apparently a few after the war) had an attractive "Egyptian Scrollwork" pattern on the faceplate, while most of those made after the war had a simple, striated pattern of vertical stripes.
They were further decorated with gold decals and the Singer name, but nowhere do they say "Featherweight" on them.
Larry Oliver, a Featherweight collector on Compuserve, wrote to me: "I have seen a tan machine and a mint green machine (definitely NOT white). The rarest variant I have seen belonged to an old fellow who owned a Singer store in a small town for 50 years.