See that picture? That’s about what it felt like as I was trying to track down the manual for the White #999 sewing machine I bought at a garage sale last week. I’ll explain below, but if you happen to find this page while on a similar search let me save you a bunch of time – here’s the magic recipe:
- Go to https://www.singer.com/manuals
- Search for the model number of your machine (e.g. “999” in my case)
- With a bit of luck, you’ll see a result for your model along with a “Free Download” link.
Okay, now for the rest of you loyal readers (Hi, mom!) the reason I’m posting this is because of how insanely difficult it was to figure out these seemingly simple steps. If the internet has done nothing else, it has made finding information about old products (i.e. manuals and user guides) much, much easier. Or so I thought. With rare exception, every time I’ve gone looking for a product manual online, be it for a computer, power drill, or a washing machine – I find a free download in a matter of minutes. Typically available directly from the manufacturer.
But apparently sewing machines are off in a completely different world. My attempts at googling for a manual turned up naught; no manuals on the manufacturer’s site, and nothing but link after link of 3rd parties charging $10, $15, even $20 for what I felt should be a free download. (Me: “WTF??? I only paid $15 for the darn thing, I’m not gonna drop another $15 on the manual!”) To understand the frustration involved here, picture a 6’6″ guy with big hands who hasn’t touched a sewing machine in at least 30 years trying to decypher the 15-20 steps needed to properly thread such a device.
It was only after contacting White Co. directly that they pointed me (4 days later) at the Singer site, above. Nevermind that there is not a single, solitary mention of the term “white” on singer.com. And never mind that none of the manual descriptions mention white. Or that if you search for “white” on the aforementioned manual page you get zero results. Nope, ignore all that, because this is the official product manual download page for White sewing machine manuals.
Don’t ask me how this came to be. I’m assuming that somewhere along the line (probably back in the 70’s) Singer acquired the White brand. And, while they have the legacy manuals in their database, they’ve been doing their best to wipe all other traces from their corporate memory. Or so sayeth the conspiracy theorist in me. Regardless, someone over at Singer and White Co’s really need a kick in the pants for this.
To end this rant on a happy note, I’m pleased to say that I eventually did figure out the thread path (w/out the manual, no less!) and for my first project, I stitched up a nice little tool pouch for the screwdriver set I keep in the office. Look out, Martha, there’s a new domestic goddess a-comin!