In 1883 the "Improved Family" machine appeared and in 1885 the VS1 (Viberating Shuttle), in 1886 the 27 / 28 and in 1912 through the 1950's 128 / 128 were manufactured and sold.BELOW YOU WILL FIND THREE TABLES THAT WILL HEPL YOU TO RESEARCH THE APPROXIMATE TIME PERIOD YOUR SINGER MACHINE WAS MANUFACTURED BY USING THE SERIAL NUMBER OR SERIES LETTER DESIGNATION.It's predicated on having the machine in front of you, where you can see everything clearly.
The excellent online Singer identification guide from Sandman Collectibles is the current gold standard for identifying vintage Singer machines.
It asks you to check off a list of features seen on your machine, narrowing it down until you arrive at the model number.
As a point of interest, this model, for which Singer obtained a patent (PT.#8294), bears the serial number 22 which dates it to 1850. From 1850 to 1858 Singer produced only heavy manufacturing sewing machines.
The first machine for family use, Singer's new "Family" sewing machine, was manufactured from 1858-1861.
As a classic example: I own a 1951 "badged" Centennial of Sewing machine that obviously is from 1951.
However, the serial number on the machine is from 1949.
You can try visiting your nearest BERNINA store to find out if they can help, you might get lucky and find an authorized BERNINA Technician that's been around forever and knows all about the older models.
Or you can look at this brief history of BERNINA sewing machines at to see if you can find a similar model to yours.
Therefore, the following dates can be considered to be "close".
These dates and the information in this table relied heavily on many others' research for which I am deeply indebted, as well as my own.
The following chart is provided to help you have a better idea of when your Singer Featherweight was manufactured.