Thursday, May 04, 2006

Japanese Clones of the 40's, 50's, and 60's

Shortly after W.W.II, Japan, with money from the United States, manufactured a large number of sewing machines. The most common of these were based on the Singer Model 15 but there are also Singer 99 clones. Indeed many of these machines are practically indistinguishable from a Singer and use parts that are interchangeable. Often they were given American sounding names to appeal to the overseas market. Over 5000 different "brands" have been identified, manufactured by 15 or so companies. Unfortunately, records from these manufactures don't exist, so it is impossible to identify them further. Generally speaking, a machine will, somewhere, state "made in Japan" or have "JA- " stamped into the bottom of the machine. To further complicate matters, large retailers would purchase machines and have the company name on them: RH Macy, Gimbals, etc. Any retailer so inclined could have Sewing Machines made just for him or her (Sears Kenmore, Wards Signature). I've tracked Department Stores, Machines with Automobile names, female names, patriotic names etc. The post war machines are generally well made, often quieter and smoother running than the Singers they were copied from! Japan also gave us many of our colored sewing machines. Examples have been found in metallic blue, green, pink, yellow, and I have a Fire Engine Red one! In terms of collectability, don't be fooled by a claim of "an extremely rare" Mitsubishi, Ford, Saxon, Stitch Queen etc., the same machine could have dozens of different names. If it says "Singer" on the machine, it probably is. If it doesn't, it's not. The Japanese machines have not caught on with collectors (even the ones made in Occupied Japan) and as a result retain very little value. They can be found at many thrift shops for $10-$20 and at local auctions for under $5. This might be a good niche for a collector on a limited budget – they could collect all pink machines or one machine of each color.

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

A blog about vintage sewing machines! Great idea.

Margie said...

Ed, do you suppose the Seikosha sewing machine was made by the same company that makes Seiko watches? I have a wall clock with the name Seikosha on the face that was purchased in Japan in the early 1960s. It was made by the Seiko watch company.

Ed Lamoureux said...

At one time, I was led to believe that Seiko watches and Seiko sewing machines were made by the same company, but I can find nothing to substantiate that. The Seiko Watch website provides a history of the company and never mentions sewing machines and in their list of products, sewing machines are never mentioned. The Seiko Sewing Machine Company website gives a brief history of that company but never mentions being affiliated with the watch company. The Seikosha site makes no mention of either sewing machines or watches. It's kinda like trying to follow one strand of spaghetti through a plate of spaghetti!

0Peine said...

Hello Ed im from Dominican Republic, i just got (from the goverment) a Sewing Machine Model JA2 (waste lake) and i dont know how to install the motor, im driving my self crazy cause i dont understand the drawings non the less the very tech vocabulary.

I hope you can guide me or tell me anything that can help me.

Jessica HM.
lulujessica@gmail.com

Ed Lamoureux said...

to Opeine: Is the motor outside the sewing head, or inside the casting? If you can e-mail me a photo of the machine and motor, I will try to locate some photos to help you.

Ed

Ed Lamoureux said...

to Opeine: I guess you would need my e-mail address. lamx@yahoo.com

Donna Rodgers said...

I just bought a gorgeous old Fleetwood sewing machine in a beautiful queen anne cabinet. It looks brand new. From what I've read on the internet, it is a replica of the Singer 15. It looks like a shiny pink cadillac to me! It is metallic pink but shaped like a featherweight. I'm glad to finally read something about it. I paid $45.00 for the sewing machine and sewing cabinet at our thrift store. Donna

Anonymous said...

I recently bought 2 vintage machines, on the cheap. One is a Singer portable with a serial # that starts with a "B", which I believe dates it to 1904-1905. The other is an Edison labled "Made in Occupied Japan". I cannot find any info on the Edison. Any helpful info on either of these machines would be greatly appreciated. Karen M.

asavory said...

HI I have an old eaton's viking machine from the mid 70's, it's japanese made and on the bottom of the machine JC19 is stamped on the machine. the machine is not going from zig zag back to straight stitch, it seems like the lever isn't resetting fully, and I cannot find a replacement manual anywhere for this machine, as the department store had long since closed down, any suggestions where I could find a manual? the machine has removable cams for decorative stitching.

Anonymous said...

My mother in law has a "Sanger Electric" cabinet sewing machine made in Japan 1952. #K7040911 cabinet model: imperial #6 Deluxe 1952.
She is not sure how to thread this machine as the bobbin is on the back. Can you or anyone else tell me anything about this machine?
juliekempf@suddenlink.net

Anonymous said...

Looking for any info on a vintage portable sewing machine. I have searched endlessly and can not find any information: What I have appears to be a Modernage seafoam green portable sewing machine made in Japan. It states reg. U.S. pat under name and on top of the machine 'Sewing Machine Sales Corp.' is inscribed. On the made in Japan tag it also says Super Deluxe Precision sewing machine.
marcannas@hotmail

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a Modernage Super De luxe Precision Sewing Machine (made in Japan); has the number 250 on one of the plaques. It is seafoam green on the bottom and cream on the top. I need a manual or help operating it. Can anyone help, please? thanks. ann at lovelunajc@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hello! I have a lovely Montgomery Ward HappyLite Sewing machine I am trying to get info on. Manual is IMPOSSIBLE to get, i've tried everywhere, parts needless to say are even harder to find. I need 2 body parts: nose cover (not sure if correct term) and the extension table/arm that goes on when NOT sewing cuffs etc.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Jessica in Los Angeles, CA

jyjrodriguez1@att.net

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to mention model: Pink HappyLite Montgomery Ward sewing machine Model UHT J1837

thanks!

jyjrodriguez1@att.net

Tanger said...

Looking for info/manual for industrial sewing machine made in Japan with Happy J-C12 stamped in the metal and J-A10 in paint on the underside. There is no label sold as a Singer but it was not the original owner.

limabean+4 said...

Do you happen to have a resource for Riccar America machines? I just received one for free and it is all metal, but has some issues.

Anonymous said...

I just bought an old "Sew Best". I love the way it hums and can't really explain the way it feels like it was made much better than any machine I've had before.
I have invested in much more expensive machines, but I feel like this one will "sew best". The cams are missing - any idea where to find them? Don't see any on E-Bay. I love the green and cream color.

Anonymous said...

My "Sew Best" was actually made by Brother - are the cams interchangeable? It has a 1.5 amp motor - is that a little more powerful than avereage?

Ed Lamoureux said...

Next to Necchis, I feel that post WWII Japanese machines offer the highest quality machine to the sewist. They certainly offer the best value - thrift shops and local auctions sell perfectly good japanese machines from $5 to $35. Whenever anyone asks me for an expensive machine to actually use for sewing, I point them toward a 1960s Japanese machine. I even try to keep a couple around to sell so they don't need to find, clean, and adjust one in the wild.

As for cams, I don't think you will find a set unless you happen to come across an identical machine in a thrift shop with all its accessories. I started collecting orphan cams at one time, but when I had about a dozen sets of cams and half a dozen cam machines, and none of the cams matched any of my machines, I gave up. I even had New Home cams that would not fit my New Home machine. If you send me a clear photo of the cam area of your machine, I will check out my cam supply to see if I have a set that matches, but I would be surprised.

Ed

Anonymous said...

Hello Ed,

I am from Belgium, and I do have an old sewing machine (fifties???) that has an electric motor installed (seventies???) from the make ZIG ZAG. This is the only text (on the front) that appears on the machine. Nowhere on internet I could find anything on this make. Could it be Japanese? It looks to be in good condition, and I would like to use it, but I have no instructions at all. Can anyone help me with this?

Thanks,
Dominiek

dominiekdemaerel@nexans.com

Ed Lamoureux said...

From the age and lack of manufacturer name on the machine, I would guess that it is a post WWII Japanese model. Without a photo, it is tough to point you in a direction, but try this online manual and see how close it comes to your machine:
http://sewingonline.co.uk/instructions/deluxzigzag/

If you send a photo to me at StudioLUpholstery@gmail.com, I might be able to better help.

Ed

Debi said...

Ed, I bought a small black machine that says "Dynamic" on it with a lovely scrollwork faceplate & pretty gold & red decals. It says made in Japan. It came in a wooden base with wooden cover w/handle. I can't find any other info on it.
Do you know anything about these machines? thanks

Diana Davis said...

I recently purchased an old sewing machine in an ugly blonde cabinet. The front of the stand comes off and has a seat built into it. The name is no longer on it but if I look at it sideways it says Premium deluxe. The serial # is K52773. Any idea what it could be? I have a few photos I could send.

Oremites said...

Hey, looking for help and info on a bamberger's brand. Looks like 50's era, but can not find anything. Says made in japan, and is in pristine condition. Wondering how much I could sell it for.

The machine is turquiose green, and says Bamberger's on a white plated plaque on it's side. Please let me know if you have any info at all.
Thanks
-Jess-
reeceswife@gmail.com

Braden Scott said...

I have one that is identicle to the one in the picture but its name is "Murcury" and the gold paint is a tad different

Ed Lamoureux said...

No doubt. There were literally millions of 15 Class machines bearing hundreds of names manufactured in Japan right after WWII and exported to the U.S. and other countries. All based on the Singer 15-30, they all look identical except for cosmetic trim. Ed

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am looking for any info I can find on my mothers old sewing machine. Here is what I do know.
The machine in green bottom with yellow top. Red "Household Electric" on the front. Seal on front says Made in Japan, model 35, De Luxe. There is also a number stamped into the underside on the base C57-7830. Help!

Chris-Carrie said...

Ed,
I have just came into a old sewing machine, I found your blog trying to find out more info on the machine. Like most other posts it is made in Japan, It has a serial # but i don't have it right now. It has the name General on the side. it has an external motor and seem to be in excellent condition. BUT it also came with the instruction manual, hand tools, extra parts and another Book which talks about the Class 15 Machine, it states that the cost was $189 when new and most interesting is the Certificate it has in the middle of the book with the original owners name, date of sale, the company who sold it and the sales man name. the case is not is such good shape but like I said the machine is in excellent shape.
Like others I'm looking for someone who can appreciate it. Can you help?

patricia said...

I have an original Singer model 15-30 sewing machine that was given to me by my grandmother. The cast iron stand was damaged beyond repair during shipping. I am having a very difficult time finding an original stand that is in good condition. At this point I am willing to settle for a replica stand. Does anyone have an idea where I could find a replica stand ?

Thank you,
patricia
patriciapatrizia@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I have just purchased a Plymouth Dutchess Delux sewing machine made in Japan and I would like to find out more information about it. Any help would be great. ksc0180@hotmail.com Thanks :)

kd said...

Hi Ed, I've come upon I believe what you said was a Japanese clone. On the top of the machine it says PRECISIOM.On the front it says RODNEY. There is a small metal placket that reads 'Made in Japan'. However the motor reads "RODNEY DELUXE MOTOR Mod #47"I have Sale receipt it 5/23/1956 reads 'Rodney #100, ser@35602, and sold for $45.80, instruction book says sells for $189.50 TY ED, kd

Anonymous said...

I have just purchased a Fleetwood sewing machine and I have not found a lot about it online other than the post wwII info about Japan. It did come with the Zig Zag design cams and the woman that I bought it from said they worked. I was wondering how much info about the cam you could tell me. And general adjustment to the tensions and bobbin...etc.
thank you
ashley

J. Burton said...

Hi all. Wonderful blog. I am looking for info an a Deluxe ZigZag purchased in the early 50s. The original manual has a yellow flower on the front. Also, the top is V shaped with each side of the v rising about 2 inches. The brand name is Diplomat (trademark sign next to this name). There is also a 25 year warranty paper with the manual? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed
Like many others here I have found your site because I cant find any other info on this particularsewing machine I have.. Based on what i have read , it sounds like a japanese clone.. its a rather nice looking machine in a wooden style covered box(with the word Nelco on it. It has a metal tag that says International on the side of the sewing machine and has a serial number pressed into the bottom. Since I have found no other identifying marks on this i dont quite know what to think. Any opinions or knowledge would be appreciated

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, I just became the owner of a "Capitol" 960 sewing machine. It is in fantastic condition. The manual says, in the former owners writing, puchase date was June 1967 and the price was $212. It says that it is made in Japan. I turned it on and was able to sew immediately. Is there another name that this could have been made under? I checked some sites and it made mention of a Japanese company called the "Happy machine company". Any info. or sites you could direct me to would be appreciated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, I just became the owner of a "Capitol" 960 sewing machine. It is in fantastic condition. The manual says, in the former owners writing, puchase date was June 1967 and the price was $212. It says that it is made in Japan. I turned it on and was able to sew immediately. Is there another name that this could have been made under? I checked some sites and it made mention of a Japanese company called the "Happy machine company". Any info. or sites you could direct me to would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ed Lamoureux said...

It's very difficult to learn anything about the Japanese machines. If it was made by Happy, it could have the word "Happy" somewhere under the bed. Beyond that, look for JA or JC number somewhere on the machine - usually underneath. The Yahoo Vintage Japan Sewing Machines Group has been assembling a list of JA/JC numbers and the names badged on the machine. I don't see Capitol on the list, but if you find the JA or JC number, you could add that to the list. Performing a search for Capitol in the group messages, I did find an interesting comment from the owner of a Capitol with a broken gear, "You have to follow directions when changing the stitch pattern, and push in
reverse to take the pressure off the gear. Otherwise it will break." - Ed

Anonymous said...

Go to ebay and search:

Antique Cromwell Sewing Machine and Antique Federal Sewing Machine.

Two great pieces for sale.
I believe them to both be early Japanese models.

Any questions can be emailed to bronson19@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Julia. I have gotten ahold of an antique sewing machine and have thus far been unable to obtain any information about it. It says "The State Company Sewing Machine Co." across the top and has a Delco motor on the back. I has 2 small brass-looking plates on the front of it, the first has a picture of a sewing machine with the word "State" across the base of it and the second says it was made in Democratic Japan. Can anyone help me find out some information about it please. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Julia
jewl420_111@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a Riccar RZ-206B sewing machine that was given to me. First off, I don't know how to use it and can't seem to find anything about it online. Second, my husband was greasing it so we could see if it worked and when he did, one of the gears completely fell apart, I have no clue what the gear does though. Can someone please help me. My e-mail is: pepsi_girl_1980@charter.net

Ed Lamoureux said...

It's hard to tell without seeing the gear and where it came from. If you would like to email me a photo or two at StudioLUpholstery@gmail.com, I might be able to be more helpful. - Ed

Anonymous said...

I own a pin and gray Peerless 940 made in Japan. My guess is early 50's. It's my old reliable, but the upper tension assembly seems to be messed up since grandkids got to it! How can I find a replacement for the tension knob and assembly?

Ed Lamoureux said...

The Japanese machines of that era used many generic parts and it should be no problem for your local sewing machine repair place to come up with a working substitute, although it might not look identical. The upper tension asse,bly is a very simple device, two metal disks that squeeze the thread, a spring that applies pressure to one of the disks, and a screw-down knob that varies the amount of pressure the spring applies. Very little can go wrong with that part and the disks and spring can be replaced. The other component in that area is the check spring, or thread controller. It sits just outside the tension assembly and keeps tension on the thread as the needle rises so the thread won't loop around the needle. I have never had that spring cause a problem and have seen machines sew just fine without one.

Tension issues are not always caused by the tension assembly but with no description of the problems you're having, I can't suggest other areas to investigate. - Ed

Anonymous said...

I have a Strafford sewing machine & it says it was made in Japan, does anyone have any information on this machine? (plastic carrying case /beige, machine black in color with outside belt drive)

Anonymous said...

I have a Supersew Manufacturing Co. sewing machine. Does anyone have any info on this machine. It looks like it's from the 40's or 50's. It's very ornate and has it's original case.

kklaus said...

I recently came into a sewing machine that I cannot find any information on. It is a metallic blue/teal color with red and silver accents, says "Commodore", "model 289", and "World's finest, Automatic zigzag sewing machine, Made in Japan". On the side, a metal plate reads "Mod. Taz. 289". The motor casing says "Champion, made in the USA". Inside, several parts are marked "Toyota" with various numbers.

when plugged in, it lights up, the motor turns on, but the needle does not move.

A knob on the bottom right of the machine that says "Darning", "nylon" and "usual" is stuck between nylon and usual. I assume from sitting for a long time that rust may be to blame.The knob itself turns, and the bar it is connected to is movable... but the bar has no where to move to when it is connected.

I have not been able to identify this machine or find a manual to know what things should or should not do. I have very little experience with fixing sewing machines, although I am a general do it yourself-er.

I got the machine for free, but I would very much like for it to work and be usable. Any advice you could offer would be great! thank you in advance!

mimi said...

I have recently received a Japanese made small black sewing machine with fancy colorful flowers and the word "Cinderella" in gold on it. The "silver" side has embossed butterflies. The man who got it in working condition (lots of oil needed) has been repairing machines for 40 years and has never seen one like it. It is in perfect condition, is noisy and, is made of aluminum. It sews just a straight stitch and has a foot pedal. Anyone else have one of these or know anything about them??

Anonymous said...

My mother has an Aristocrat machine with a metal plate stamped A325192. It is a very attractive machine. On the underside there is a metal bar that is stamped BROTHER. It is a sort of jade green with gold scroll painting lined with black.
It says made in Japan. The motor is black and is on the back side of the machine. It still works. Could you tell me any more about it, as I can find NOTHING more about it "anywhere" on the net?

DawnMichelle said...

Can anyone please tell me how to tread one of these machines? Mine says Emerson on the side and looks just like the one in the pic

Ed Lamoureux said...

DOwnload the free Singer 15 instruction manual at http://www.parts.singerco.com/IPinstManuals/15.pdf

DawnMichelle said...

My sewing machine is similar to the singer 15 but there are some differences. It says Emerson on it and is made in japan. could it be one of these "cloned" machines or is it possible to find info about emerson build sewing machines of this era in some archive? Does anyone have any ideas?

Ed Lamoureux said...

DawnMichelle, Emerson is not a manufacturer, any more than Kenmore or Fleetwood. Look under the machine for a "JA" number. That could point us to the manufacturer and similar machines made by the same factory. - Ed

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a vintage sewing machine - sayd 'St James' on a plaque and underneath made in Japan. I can't find any reference to it on the internet. Do you know of its origins. Its a heavy grey and white model. many thanks - I am very attached and would love to know more

bookmarkm said...

Can anyone give a clue to the name & genesis Of "Ball-O-Matic" sewing machines? Picked one up at an Estate auction recently and, so far, Google isn't talking. Any & all comments welcome.

Anonymous said...

Just saw one at the Goodwill Store with table for $20. Looks like an old Singer from the 50's or 60's to me. Never heard of them either.

Karstan said...

Hey Ed! Thanks for the information! I'm relatively new to sewing and I'm looking for something that can work with vinyl and canvas. Would a 15 clone be a good idea for something like this? I'm pretty handy and love fiddling with machines so I could probably deal with any necessary repairs. Or should I just bite the bullet and purchase a more expensive contemporary machine?

Karstan said...

Ah! You were too slow! :) After reading all through your blog and some other information elsewhere, I find I am the brand new owner of a 1926 Singer 99! I'm excited!

Ed Lamoureux said...

Sorry I can't answer all questions immediately, but work and family come before the blog. My employer forced me to spend last week in Florida and work piled up while I was away.

I don't think you read anywhere on this blog that I said a Singer 99 or any family machine is suitable for vinyl and canvas. Some will form a stitch but they do not properly feed thick materials and won't handle the heavier thread normally used in canvas and vinyl work. As long as you are only thinking about a few small projects, a family machine might make the grade but if you are talking large project(s), a walking foot industrial machine designed for upholstery would be my choice. Singer 111W155, Singer 211W155, or one of the Juki, Pfaff, Brother, Consew, or Seiko clones of those machines. - Ed

Karstan said...

That bit about being "too slow" was supposed to be a joke about my lack of patience and tendency to charge into things head-first. Whoops! The bit about the 99... is disappointing, but I see now that I just got carried away with my enthusiasm. ("Vintage sewing machines can do ANYTHING!" is what was going through my head). I'll keep an eye out for some of those machines you mentioned and in the meantime, practice on the 99. Thanks for the feedback!

Peggy A said...

I have a teal green Viscount model 955.
Do you know when thry were made, and where I might be able to get a manual?
Thanks so much..!

joed said...

Ed,
My wife and I have enjoyed your articles and the blog regarding the Japanese machines. Now we have to ask some questions regarding a couple of portables we have acquired and are having considerable trouble finding information about. Machine 1 (this is the one that brought us to your site) is a Singer 675U. Outside of varifying the machine was indeed built in Japan, Singer has no information on it and doesn't acknowledge it's existance anywhere. Machine 2 is another Japanese machine that I would have expected information to be readily available. Nope, wrong again! Machine 2 is a (60s/70s)Janome/New Home model 367. I have found pdf. downloads available for an instruction manual but other than that I can find nothing and that includes no respone from Janome. Both machine are impressive in the quality of assembly and components. This goes right along with your description of the Japanese products. We would appreciate any insite you may have.
Thanks

Will said...

I just stumbled across an old machine made by State Sewing Machine Corporation in New York, New York. I have searched eBay and the web and can't find anything on this company. Do you know of a source that I could find more info?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, just bought a universal brand ssa-50, one guy said it was made by white sewing company, any info would be great, didn't receive it yet, will look for ja as you noted previously, thanks Gary P.

Anonymous said...

My dad got a sewing machine that looks like the in th picture but it is green does anyone know where we could get a instruction book fr it.
kb0kml@gmail.com

Arrow said...

Hi Ed!

Great post! Do you know anything about Diplomats? And do you know who made the sewing machines for Gimbels Dept. Stores? I have my eye on one that reminds me of a 50's Buick, green and cream with lots of chrome!

Terry said...

I found a Mid-State DeLuxe Sewing machine, Model HA-2 at a flea market. It is marked plainly on the front ID "Shield" as being made in Occupied Japan. I paid $15 for it. My husband liked the fact that everything on it was metal, cast iron works, and very sturdy and well made. He restores cars, and plans on using it for upholstery jobs, something that would not tax it's abilities in the least. We are not interested in what it's worth, as we bought it to be used for heavy-duty work. But I would be interested in finding out more about it, and, if possible, locate an owner's manual for it. We look forward to using this old machine, which works perfectly - once we figured out how to thread it. . .

Terry

Cheryl said...

I have the opportunity to buy a Sterling 1953 sewing machine. It says it was made in Japan. I have not been able to find any kind of information on it at all and wonder if it is worth buying. Have you ever heard of this one?

kathy said...

My husband just brought a sewing machine home from the garbage that seems to work great!Its a super golden stitch model 1700,ser#1622 with allyn on the front and says made in japan. I am looking for a copy of a user manual or original, any info would be appreciated.

Kathy

Ruth said...

Ed,
I have a Morse Dial-o-Matic in an olive green color. Is this one of the Japanese machines you are talking about? Any idea what year it might have been made? We know it was before 1962, but have been unable to find much info on it. Also, any idea where to get replacement parts? All of the electrical cords need to be replaced. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've just aquired a beautiful black "Liberty" machine (ca 1950s?). I can't find anything on the internet about Libertys. My mother had a drab green one when I was young - maybe they weren't sold in the US? I'm in New Zealand. It is made in Japan. Do you know of any sites featuring Liberty machines?
Pam, Wellington, NZ

CZHanacek said...

I have a SEWTEX Deluxe Japanese sewing machine. I bought it at a garage sale and my mom is teaching me to sew on it. It looks nearly identical to the one in the picture. The problem is, we have no idea how to thread it. We've searched all over the internet and can't find anything on it. If you happen to own a sewing machine that looks like the one in the picture, could you send a scanned page from the manual showing how to thread it or any other helpful info. Thanks very much!

Ed Lamoureux said...

It would be a bit tough to send a scanned page because you don't provide any email address. You can download a free copy of the Singer 15 instruction manual from Singer at:
www.parts.singerco.com/IPinstManuals/15.pdf
That is the machine that was cloned by other manufacturers, presumably the Singer manual will work for your machine. -Ed

Debbie said...

I have a sewing black mitsubishi sewing machine that works by a foot pedall It has
" Mitsubishi Electric Mfg.co
Japan "

It also has some kind of a symbol on it with the letters "HAI" in the center. There are the numbers
71728MD. on the underside
Any idea of the year or value of this machine?

Ed Lamoureux said...

HA-1 sewing machines were exported from Japan by the millions after WWII. They are not rare nor antique and because they have limited stitch capabilities, they are not sought after by sewers. If yours is in showroom condition with manual and accessories, maybe as much as $25 for the decorative value. If not, more like $10. -Ed-

Anonymous said...

Hi,
My husband found a Seamstress sewing machine at auction. He paid $5.00 for it. It sews great and looks nice. It's made in Japan.It's says JA12 and serial # 845983 on it. If anyone has an information on this model . I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks!
Rose

Anonymous said...

I have an Arrow sewing machine and am trying to get more info on it. It is pedal operated and has a gold emblem that says Deluxe Family Sewing Machine. There is a number stamped onto it. DA537161. I haven't turned it over yet and looked at the bottom. It is very heavy so I need to get help to do that. I have all the extra attachment, button hole attachment and all the originals manuals. It comes in a carrying case. There is one other number on the machine. APR No 10170. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Chris said...

Ed-I was given a sewing machine that is sea foam green with the numbers JA 18 and under those are the following numbers-H 134507. It has a plate that reads The Precision Sewing Machine Electro Grand Deluxe. I figured by what I have read that it is post WWII Japan made,is there any other info you could tell me about this machine or any of your readers that may know where to find info on the net?
Thankyou,
Chris
angelrider@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Turns out my machine is an American Home, not an Arrow. It was made by the Arrow Sewing Machine Company. I believe it was made in the US as the foot pedal is stamped made in the USA. Still looking for info on it though.

Anonymous said...

so what you are saying is if i want to sell this its going to be no more than $20?

Ed Lamoureux said...

Since you post as "Anonymous", I have no idea what machine you are referring to. But $10-$30 is the price range most post-WWII Japanese machines sell in so $20 seems reasonable. -Ed

Anonymous said...

I have an old Emdeco sewing machine. Can you tell me about it's history. I know it was made in Japan. The only thing I can find on it is some pictures on different websites. I'd like to be able to take it in and have it cleaned, oiled and make sure everything is in good condition. My concern is taking it in and if someone isn't familiar with this brand-possibly breaking it or not having it function the way it did.

If you could let me know more about this machine and any suggestions on finding a good service center

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lamoureux: Just ready through all the notes since the '90's and obviously I'm not alone in housing a lovely little (but VERY heavy) made in Japan machine from the 1940's-1950's. We found ours in an abandoned city house here in Rochester, NY. The case was horrible, but inside was this gorgeous turquoise with gold lettering "Precision Sewing Machine" "Dressmaker" "Super Deluxe" Model 350. I took it to my local shop and had it cleaned and oiled and today placed it in an old cabinet. Now I just need a manual to feel safe and secure but after reading your notes, will be downloading the Singer 15 manual. Thank you all. Cynthia.

tatumslh said...

I just bought a Seamstress Sewing Machine. It says its made in Japan. The serial # looks like 70722 and some other numbers I found are J-A 34 8-0883. Can anyone tell me anything about this machine? It's year? It's value? I am curious since I bought this really cheap from craigslist but is in amazing condition. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

i have a Champion sewing machine deluxe model with a Bell electric universale motor (forward) out of Los Angeles, California but the sewing machine itself was made in Japan and its in a wooden carrying case and the serial number on it is Z3375803 and im trying to find out the value of it,i know its very old so can someone please tell me how to find out how much it is worth?

Mom said...

I have a Household, Model 1692 sewing machine and received it in 1972. There is a metal tag inside that has 10808 on it. There is a metal tag on the back that reads Deluxe Precision Made in Japan. Before sticking it in a yard sale, would you please let me know if it is worth anything? I have spent a lot of time researching this machine and have not found any information whatsoever.

Ed Lamoureux said...

To all those asking the value of their vintage Japanese sewing machine:

At the end of WWII, Japan had:

A large labor force of machinists looking for work

Idle small-scale machine shops in the Osaka area

A surplus of machine tools from the war industries

And the Japanese government was subsidizing up to 50 percent of the cost of imported machine tools.

They quickly realized that sewing machines could be manufactured as parts and subassemblies in separate businesses, saving the final assembler the costs of real estate, factory space, labor, and machinery. Dozens of companies sprang up to feed the American and European demand for high quality, low cost sewing machines. Many of these assemblers shipped their machines with no name to distributors in other countries where the distributors applied brands like Kenmore (Sears), Signature (Wards), Penncrest (Penneys), Gimbals, Western Auto, etc. Even small department stores were able to order sewing machines with their own brand name. Others were badged with American-sounding names and retailed directly to the public. Kinston, Remington, Universal, Wizard, and Fleetwood are just a few of the hundreds of names that machines of that era could bear.

All this does not mean that your machine is second-rate; manufacturers who specialized in only a small number of parts would tend to produce a better end product than one factory that made everything. Of course, I could be all wet and your machine might have been made totally by Brother or Koyo.

As for value, because Japan flooded the U.S. market with low-cost sewing machines built to last a long time, many are still available today. The low cost of garments from third world countries has diminished the popularity of sewing and Japanese machines have not caught on with collectors. Therefore, there is a large supply of Japanese sewing machines and little demand to drive up prices. I see Japanese machines from the 50s and 60s selling in the $5 - $25 range, mostly depending on condition. -Ed

Anara said...

Wow! Poor Ed! Did you have any idea how long this blog post would endure? You should write a book - that's no joke! Very hard to research but very interesting topic.

I found you after spending a day trying to research a sewing machine I just bought for $20. Actually, I paid $20 for the hardwood table it came in, and was hoping that the mystery machine inside was a 401 or FW221.

I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous black machine with no manual, "Southern Pride" in gold on the side, "Sewing Machine Sales Corp." on top, an Imperial motor, a metal plate with "Deluxe made in Japan" and the only model number is 84294 on the cast iron base.

I found an almost identical machine on sale here:
http://barrie.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-art-collectibles-Antique-Southern-Pride-Sewing-Machine-W0QQAdIdZ241565041

My machine is hardwired into the cabinet with a knee pedal, and all the wiring is in great shape. I did not expect this. Should I remove the machine and wiring and refinish the cabinet, or leave it since I don't know the history of the cabinet and machine?

Thanks, looking forward to future posts on the subject!

Ed Lamoureux said...

Anara, That calls for some subjective answers! To begin with, I doubt that your machine will be worth any significant amount of money in your lifetime, so there is no worry of reducing its value by cleaning it. Cabinets are also not highly sought-after, so refinishing will not reduce its value, either. My advice would be to oil the machine and try sewing on it. If you enjoy it, spend some time gently cleaning and keep it. If you like the cabinet, refinish it and either keep the machine you have or look for another sewing head to put in that cabinet. The cabinet will probably host any machine with the same size base, except a Kenmore. -Ed

Cotton Cottage said...

Hi Ed
I have a Viscount Precision De Luxe. It was perfectly shiny and smooth in every way until it got pulled off a table by a dog running past! Grrr. The outside looks perfect still but I took it to the menders and they said the main shaft was bent and unrepairable. The hand wheel moved but does nothing now, nothing else moves! Do you know if this can be fixed?
Thanks
Penny

Ed Lamoureux said...

The correct repair would be to replace the main shaft - a process that would cost far more than replacing the entire machine! Since that's probably not an option and the machine is totally non-functional anyway, there is another possibility. I have been successful in straightening the tail of the main shaft by removing the balance wheel (handwheel), placing a block of wood on the high point of the bent shaft and smacking the wood with a hammer. The wood prevents the shaft tail from being damaged by the hammer so the balance wheel can be reinstalled afterwards. I can't guarantee this will work, but the machine is probably headed for the trash anyway, so you can't do much more harm to it. -Ed

Lynn said...

Hi Ed, I purchased over this pass summer a 1060's cloned Japanese sewing machine, brand name: WINTHROP ALL PURPOSE, it's Turquoise n Gray in color. It was manufactured in Japen especially for Winthrop Sewing Machine Co.
Model # 702-252. It features only straight and zig-zag stitching. It has a bobbin winder located on the front of the machine near the motor belt. with the stitch lenght control just below that.
What I have concern about is if there maybe any manuals that has a simular design as my machine that would tell be how to work the AUTOMATIC BUTTONHOLDER.
I lubricated the machine and replaced the motor belt and bobbin belts, and after adjusting the controls a bit, the machine work fine... I will try to send a photo of the machine to help with my request.
Thanks Lynn
p.s. I tried to to add a photo but it wouldn't allow me to, sorry

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone who might be able to help me! I don't know anything about sewing machines... we got one for free from a friend whose tenant abandoned it. Anyway, it's black, with some nice silver scroll work on the front, and folds into a tall end table. There's a thigh pedal (that, of course, is the official name for it...) but no foot pedal. It has Brother emblazoned in large letters across the top, and also has Brother on the motor (made in USA, though apparently the rest of it was made in Japan). It has a "Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping" plaque. When I tipped the machine onto its side to fold it back into the table, I saw JA 26 10874, on it. On the very bottom, in raised lettering, is JC 39. I don't have a clue what any of it means, so I really hope you can enlighten me! I'd like to learn to sew, but the machine didn't come with a manual and I'm not sure it's the right one to learn on, since I can't find seem to find out anything about it. Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Thank you! ~Laura

Ed Lamoureux said...

With no photo and only a description to go by, I am assuming your machine looks almost exactly like the one at the beginning of this thread. Try http://www.parts.singerco.com/IPinstManuals/15.pdf for a manual that should work. -Ed

sewquik said...

In cleaning out my Mother's house we found a brand new set of cams...no sewing machine, just cams. On the cream colored plastic case it says ZIGZAG DESIGN CAMS. No brand name at all. There are 24 dark red cams inside. Would they be of use to anyone with a vintage sewing machine?

Unknown said...

I need help finding a bobbin case and manual for a Viscount Precision DeLuxe sewing machine. I live in southern California It says made in Japan. Also, is there any value at all?

Ed Lamoureux said...

The bobbin case is easy - it should be a standard 15 Class bobbin case. Last time I looked, Jo-Ann Fabrics was selling a White brand bobbin case for $2.95 that should work in your machine. Any sewing machine repair facility should have dozens of used 15 Class bobbin cases lying around. As for value, see my comment above posted September 4th. -Ed

cherylz said...

Enjoying reading everyone's stories about their sm's. I just today picked up a Universal model D, it is small sized like a FW but has no flip up bed extension. Came with a case in great condition, which looks exactly like FW case. I am excited to clean this baby up, oil, and see what she sounds like! This is really cheap.entertainment!

claudia said...

I have a deluxe 100 premier sewing machine, not sure which is the brand but it is green with yellow outer egde design, comes in a case. Motor is a champion, model 24. Cant find any info for this exact model, can you help?

Blue Hill Bears said...

I found a Plymouth brand sewing machine that looks identical to the one pictured at the begining of this thread but says plymouth, have been looking for information on it and was tickled to run across your posts. After some oiling and finding a foot pedal that will work with it the machine runs as good as my 1952 singer.

Quiltnut said...

I have a Zenith De Luxe B61714, electric motor. Can it be turned into a hand crank machine? Any history or info on the machine would help.

mane said...

Hi Ed, I have spent a lot of time looking for some information about a sewing machine I just bought (im from Chile and i live in Nigeria!). So far it has been a great dissapointment on the info searching but I love the machine. Its a Jaguar, made from Maruzen Machines Co. Japan. It has a plate underneath written 370555. It has a push bottom and the bobbin load is on the front. Zig zag stitches. Motor is 1amp. The machine is in very good shape, all pieces are very clean, the only problem is that the tension switch, after some use, gets loose and starts giving me problems. Should i replace it for a new one? its a shame I cannot find the original one...

If you can give me some info on the machine i will appreciate it!

Thanks.
Mane

Ed Lamoureux said...

Many tension assemblies are mounted on a split stud like "O" in the diagram at http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/images/singer-66-tension-assembly.jpg
If you can figure out how to disassemble your tension assembly, you can spread the two halves of the stud SLIGHTLY and the tension will not change with vibration.

Maruzen made Kenmore machines for Sears with a 158 prefix in the model number. You might try a search for Kenmore sewing machines to see if there is a Kenmore with the same tension assembly as your Jaguar. If so, Sears might still sell the replacement part. -Ed

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer! and my biggest congrats on your blog! Fantastic!

Phyllis said...

I recently was gifted with a Precison Deluxe Dressmaker Sewing Machine/runs great/It was given to my Aunt about 30 years ago..manufactured in Taiwan..I need a manual for this..HELP, please..it is in the original case and the machine is light teal colored...thanks, Phyllis

Anne said...

Ed,I need a manual for a Precision Sewing Machine KNE Deluxe Zig Zag Cordon Bleu machine manufactured in Japan. I am really looking for instructions about the winding of the bobin...

Ed Lamoureux said...

Manuals for the old Japanese machines are tough to find. You could go to sewusa.com and browse threading instructions til you find a machine similar to your own. Most threading instructions on that site include bobbin winding. -Ed

beth said...

Hi Ed,
Just bought a Montgomery Ward made in Japan machine, black heavy, straight stitch only, but does have a lever to drop the feed dogs,curious at to who made it and what year; - it's a model 188URR; serial # H4621469; motor was made in USA, seems to work well when I turn the wheel, have to replace some wires before its safe to plug it in. Any information would be appreciated.
thank you

Anonymous said...

Hi I just got a sewing machine from my mother that says The Halton Sewing Machine Co. New York, NY Made in japan. Its old and I just wanted some information on it. I have searched for days online and can't find anything on The Halton Sewing Machine Co. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Jane said...

I saw a commodore precision 43 eswing machine. they sais it was around a 1950's model. Was it made in Japan ? Do you know anything about that brand ?

Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I've stumbled across a Gurtz brand machine, "Model 60" and "Japanese" according to the data plate. I can't find any reference to these machines at all. Has anyone heard of Gurtz?

Thanks for any info--

Jean said...

Hi, Ed!

Love your blog!!! We have a Kingston Precision Deluxe in a case with leg treadle that I can't find any information on. The serial number starts with an "A" but I can't find any year on it.

Any idea of the values of these older machines? It's a blueish/greenish color.

I can send a picture if you don't mind.

Thanks! Keep up the Blog!
Jean

Ed Lamoureux said...

A re-post to all those asking the value of their vintage Japanese sewing machine: At the end of WWII, Japan had: A large labor force of machinists looking for work Idle small-scale machine shops in the Osaka area A surplus of machine tools from the war industries And the Japanese government was subsidizing up to 50 percent of the cost of imported machine tools. They quickly realized that sewing machines could be manufactured as parts and subassemblies in separate businesses, saving the final assembler the costs of real estate, factory space, labor, and machinery. Dozens of companies sprang up to feed the American and European demand for high quality, low cost sewing machines. Many of these assemblers shipped their machines with no name to distributors in other countries where the distributors applied brands like Kenmore (Sears), Signature (Wards), Penncrest (Penneys), Gimbals, Western Auto, etc. Even small department stores were able to order sewing machines with their own brand name. Others were badged with American-sounding names and retailed directly to the public. Kinston, Remington, Universal, Wizard, and Fleetwood are just a few of the hundreds of names that machines of that era could bear. All this does not mean that your machine is second-rate; manufacturers who specialized in only a small number of parts would tend to produce a better end product than one factory that made everything. Of course, I could be all wet and your machine might have been made totally by Brother or Koyo. As for value, because Japan flooded the U.S. market with low-cost sewing machines built to last a long time, many are still available today. The low cost of garments from third world countries has diminished the popularity of sewing and Japanese machines have not caught on with collectors. Therefore, there is a large supply of Japanese sewing machines and little demand to drive up prices. I see Japanese machines from the 50s and 60s selling in the $5 - $25 range, mostly depending on condition. -Ed

JD Mason jerry.mason1@yahoo.com said...

My wife just found a sewing machine at a Salvation Army thrift store. On the side is the name, Stitchomatic. On top is written, "PRECISION SEWING MACHINE". The moter is attached to the side and has a plate on it that says "QUALITY SEWING MACHINE MOTOR" and is 115 volts AC-DC 105 Watts with serial number 247480 J - RP. Metal plate sticker on back says Warranty by the Manufacture. Made in Japan. The machine has light attached to side. On bottom side is number J-A5 s 67195. Also on bottom with raised letters "B. I. C." Sewing machine is attached to box and has cover. Realy heavy machine. It is electric and works and has foot pedal. Cannot find any information on this model on the internet. Would like to find a manual on it.

crash said...

what is my model no.1 simplex sewing machine made in occupied japan serial no K22328 its black and gold worth its in a wood box that says moase.i cant find the model no.1 on the internet,and what year was it made in.can someone help me

SMRE Info said...

I am looking for a manual for a machine: MODEN De LUXE 100 ZIG ZAG
MADE IN JAPAN.
Looks like 1960s...
Help?

Anonymous said...

I have a portable black emerson sewing machine (mint condition) made in Japan, #A109385. Do you have any information on this sewing machine and if it has any value?
Thank you
Tjo
tjogreen@att.net

Annette said...

Hi Ed, I was trying to look up info on this old sewing machine i bought,but as i got to thinking about it,it's nearly the same as the one i learned to sew on almost 44 years ago. I love the old machines and will ONLY sew on them. I sewed my 3 daughters wedding dresses(and bridesmaid dresses) on an old 50's model. Nothing powers thru anything substantial like them without hesitation.I am going to be teaching my 5 y/o granddaughter to sew on this "new"one :o)

Anonymous said...

I have a Tennglad INdustires Sewing Machine. Please any info would be great.

imfugerson@yahoo.com

Courtney.Hand said...

Chris Carrie, I know your post was from ages ago but I just found this same machine in a metallic baby blue at an antique store today. I am seriously considering purchasing it but I am interested in the manual and parts you have. Have you found any more information on this machine? Mine is a General De Luxe Family Sewing Machine. I would also be highly interested in purchasing your machine if we can come up with a convenient way of getting it to me. Please let me know if you are still interested in finding an owner.

gdsunshine72 said...

hello. i have an old Deluxe sewing machine Model#2345, with a name plate that says "Fiati". would like any info. as well as worth. thank you.

DMarie said...

So, I stumbled across a Bel Air 600 yesterday at an antique shop, stamped that it was made in Occupied Japan. I found your blog, and was very glad for the history of these machines. Seems like there are a lot of "orphans" out there with little to no information.

This one appears to be a clone of a Singer 66. It actually came with all of the feet/attachments, a box full of bobbins and original screwdrivers for the machine, the button hole attachment (think it said Greist??). Also came with the manual!! Thought it is falling apart, so I am going to scan it in.

Thought I would post a comment here in case anyone else has this machine and is looking for info on it. Since it appears to be a clone of a Singer 66 - parts should be easy to find (check out Sew Classic blog). The manual will be helpful for using the various odd shaped feet - but other than that it is very generic (doesn't even give instructions on threading the machine!!). But again - as a Singer clone - those manuals are very easy to find. I would post a picture here if I could - I have taken several.

Have bookmarked your blog! :-)

Dawn

PaperPrincess said...

Hi Ed. Thanks so much for the info you have provided. Just bought a Singer 99 clone labeled "Sterling". Didn't know it was a Japanese version until we removed the motor and saw the "made in Occupied Japan" label. Wanted something a bit lighter and less expensive for quilting (piecing) classes & get togethers. Cleaned it, oiled it and it runs like a champ. You mentioned that they ran very quietly, and this one is no exeption. great to know that I paid a reasonable price, and don't have to be heart broken if somthing happens to it while in transit. Now to look for some accessory feet!

Anonymous said...

Trying to find out information on a Home Electric Model 1653, Delux, says made in Japan on the front. It is dark green in color and looks like a model 15 Singer...any help would be great.

thank you,

jim

Anonymous said...

Ed, I purchased a Japanese sewing machine and was wondering if you had any information for me. It looks just like a late 40's singer. The plate on it says made in Japan for and guaranteed by Rockford. Under the machine it is stamped happy on the bars and frame. The motor was made in USA by the electrical mfg co and is 115v ac/dc. the machine is in perfect cond. and appears to have been used very little. it has two model numbers that are on paper stickers attached to the front of the base one is RS-1 the other says RSMCO R-100 the serial numberis H4726922. the machine and base are cast iron with nickel trim. any info would be appreciated especially age and where i might find a users manual.
Thankl you very much


barigirlse79@yahoo.com

lazyjane said...

I was hoping if someone could identify my Japanese sewing machine. What is it a clone of? I've looked online all over the place and can't find another sewing machine that looks like it. There are some pictures to it here http://www.flickr.com/photos/lazyjane1977/sets/72157629141157838/


I hope someone can help!

Grannyh said...

I have a Singer 15 clone. Does anyone have a manual for it. It is a Butterfly HA-1 15 Clone

Grannyh said...

I just purchased a HA-1 15 Colne. I am wondering what Bobbin case to get for it. I know it uses Class 15 bobbins, Do I get the same Bobbin case as the Singer 15 uses? The one I have is a Butterfly, She is a beauty, thanks, Grannyh

Anonymous said...

So excited to have discovered your blog - just getting into vintage sewing machines - got a Bernina Minimatic 707 on craigslist and I'm hooked. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and passion - I thought I was alone!! Great blog, so many nice machines and excellent tips!!

Anonymous said...

I bought a Federal sewing machine model H 1051 and I'm looking for any info you may have on it. I can't find much about it. It looks vintage and it's all metal with pink & grey on it.

Petticoat Quilts said...

First of all your blog has been so helpful!! I bought a Morse DeLuxe 100 Precision Sewing Machine and had the hardest time finding a manual. I did, however, stumbled across this website http://bypatrice.com/sewing/deluxe_manual/ that has one. I thought I would share with your visitors. I also learned that a low shank foot will fit.

Anonymous said...

I would like information regarding a Renown sewing machine, model DVN2500 S/N 17868. If I can find a Owners Manual, it would be a big plus. RH (comets@q.com)
Thank you very much.

therealjohnette said...

Any info about a Premier 100 TT DeLuxe I just scored? Beautiful, darn/sew settings, I can only find images online of older machines. This is blue & white w/ psuedo alligator case, all the trimmings.
Thanks! Great page!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just pickekd a Remington Super Deluxe Zigzag machine -probably a Japanese clone, with a Remington Electric tag. I haven't been able to find any manual for a Remington. Any clues as to what available brand/model might suit this one? Thanks! If anyone has one please email me: lavidaverde@gmail.com

Sharon Haire said...

I just got a machine called a Emdecko JC 28 with these numbers on it AA21 and NL 30963. Can you give me any information about it. It is so heavy, feels more industrial but has a beautiful straight stitch, no parts (cams) included. Do you know the year/any information. Can't find a book on it. Thinking it might be a commercial/industrial machine. Is it worth anything?

Anonymous said...

found a sewing machine, in a baby blue colour, looks similiar to your seik machien you have posted... it says QUEEN on the front in big fancy letters. can i post you a picture and you tell me what you think?

Anonymous said...

Hello I have a Commodore sewing machine date on it say's May 7 1969 the modle number on it is K251061. I was just wondering how much it is worth. I got it for free.

Ashley said...

Hi Ed! My husband and I just bought a 1940s sewing machine with cabinet at our local Goodwill. We paid $80 for it hoping we could make a small profit. We know it was made in Japan but are unsure of the brand. It doesn't run, needs a new belt, and the cabinet has a lot of wear. If we repair it and refinish the cabinet does it increase the value? Or do people like it in original condition?

ashe.scruggs@gmail.com

Ed Lamoureux said...

I will be VERY surprised if you realize your purchase price - refinished or not. There just isn't a big market for Japanese machines. - Ed

Brad Charlton said...

hello, I have just found a 50's (?) Rodney 100 deluxe sitting on the side of the road.i found 1 stamp that says m/2345. The machine is rusty and locked up and but can be fixed,would it be worth my time?

Carol Smith said...

Hi
My husband and I just bought a "Vintage" Kingston Precision Deluxe sewing machine at a yard sale. It is in a cabinet, is Teal in color, has a plate on the front that says "Deluxe Precision Built, Made in Japan" and a motor that says "Safety Electric Motor" 1.2 Amp, 1/15 HP, 115 volts, "made in USA". The model # on the base of the machine is H57510. Can you tell me anything about this?
Thanks, Carol

Anonymous said...

I have a Sovereisgn, 666 deluxe zigzag sewing machine made in japan, J-A18, Z9Y1422.
I have had it a number of years, hope you have some information on it. It's a turquost color, the original carrying case has completely fallen apart the base. Any info would be appreciated.

vampspicy@yahoo.com

Craig Hoge said...

Need a manual or help with threading instructions for a Dressmaker JA3 9714. or possibly the Singer model number which it was copied from. Any help would be appreciated, thanx, greatlilplace@gmail.com

Amy Kanak said...

I recently found a "treasure" while cleaning out our leather shop. We have lived here nine years and it sat undiscovered under a cabinet. It is in a red alligator looking case. It is a Bel Air Bantam, in good working condition, it is beautiful in every way. The only real wear I see is on the case itself. Model # B5250852A It is, of course, black with gold accents and the gold emblem that says made in Japan while the motor says made in the USA. I have no idea of it's worth for insurance or resale purposes. I can find little info online and nothing regarding a value. Can you help me? Thanks, Amy

MaryKGainey@aol.com said...

I was given a Japanese made "Fabric Sewing Machine Company" machine. It works, looks good, has lots of pretty decoration on it. I noticed it has a tiny bit of green paint on the underneath side, like that was it's original color maybe. I know there are 5000 Japanese made machines. The motor on the back of it is a Sewmac" made in USA. Have you ever heard of the Fabric brand?

Omar said...

I was looking at a picture of an Electro Grand sewing machine that my late grandmother had obtained while living in Egypt. I reckoned she got it in the 50's or 60's. The family was of limited means, so reading that it was mass produced makes me feel better for her and others like her who loved sewing.

The memories attached to some of these are priceless.. once removed, they are abundant and worth less. Given the quantity and lack of demand, it is not surprising they'd sell around $20.

Anonymous said...

hi ed,
i recently got one of these fancy 1950s japanese clone machines.It is a "gimbals special" heavy duty zig zag stitch machine 690. underneath it has the number Nz59-1575. once i got it going i worked excellently, but i could see that the belt was dry rotted. its since then snapped and now i am unsure of what kind of belt i should get to replace it with or where i would be able to find one that suits it being that its a mystery on what machine this particular one was modeled after..if you have any information that could help me or any information on this machine at all it would be much appriciated. email at scarlitbegonias@aol.com

Ed Lamoureux said...

Sewing machine belts are pretty much generic, except for length. If you still have the old belt, take it to anyone who services sewing machines and they will have the correct replacement. If you no longer have the belt. Andjust the motor mount to it's mid-way position. Run a string along the path of the belt - around the balance wheel and the motor pulley. Measure the length of the string and tell the sewing machine techician that you need a sewing machine V-belt the length of the string. -Ed

Sharon Douglas said...

Hi, Ed--
I have a Japanese clone, Elite De Luxe, #Z3326798. Basically, I just need a manual or instructions on how to wind the bobbin or a comparable Singer that I can use as a model. Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Ed, I just purchased a "Precision Made in Japan" sewing machine. It has "Dressmaker" on a tag on the front. The only number I could find on it is: 1692 and 01040. It is tan and light brown in color. It is in great working condition. I need a manual as I don't know how to use some of the features on it. Do you have any idea if and where I might obtain a manual?

Judy said...

Hi Ed, In 1966/67 I won a Belvedere sewing machine in a contest, I don't know the model number, but it has an external motor, was made in Japan, and its a minty green color. It has been terrific but lately needs a little work. I can't decide whether to get it repaired or just buy a new one. It's just a basic machine but can do a little embroidery, which I never use, and it's extremely heavy. Do you know anything about Belvedere sewing machines that might help me decide whether to repair it or dump it?

ally said...

i have a machine my grandmother passed down to me a while back.
It doesnt have a year on it, and it says "STERLING DE-LUXE" on the side, and
"old sterling sewing machine co."
on the top.
the serial # says H 51884
and i cant seem to find anything like it online at all.
i read other posts about post war JA models, but i have inspected this thing so many times,
and it says made..(or assembled..i cant recall) in america.
i wonder if that makes a difference..there is an old yellow inspection sticker still on the side it looks like, it is very beautiful and interesting. works well and everything. do you think you could help me learn about my machine too?

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I'm in Oregon.. I just found a sewing machine at goodwill. It is a model 51 Lavender & Cream Kenmore sewing machine. I am having trouble finding any information on it. It isn't in a desk like all the ones I've found online. It is in a wooden box, like a carrying case. The problem is that it didn't come with a plug or a pedal. On the back side of the machine, it has a 3-prong piece on the backside of the machine where I'm assuming the plug/pedal attachment should be.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, Six years on, and still answering questions. This has to be a record, thank you. I have a Juki Rotalix, HW 62. A japanese site gives threading directions, but with no illustrations. Google translate dosent help much. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Husyn

Jamie said...

Hello,
My daughter unearthed a sewing machine that weighs a ton and a half. It says Monarch on the motor and Capitol on the front along with a made in Japan plate. Underneath it has JA25. We're not sure how to make it change to a zig zag stitch or how to adjust the bobbin tension. If you know where I can find more information or a manual, I would appreciate it.

estanford51@gmail.com said...

WV Ridgerunner.Just got a Precision deluxe Usually into F-Weights but this thing is cool.Found the manual online too. Great Site.Fun C

Anonymous said...

I have a National 3000 that I purchased new in 1967 or 1968. It appears that National went out of business before that. Is this a Japanese clone. Th manual and parts were lost during a move around 1988.

JanettRN said...

Hi, I recently went looking through my grandparents attic and came across 2 antique sewing machines. I am having lots of trouble finding out anything about them, and found your blog. One of them looks a lot like your pic but says "standard deluxe" and the only numbers on it are a plate that has DA12737. It was in a brown wood case with an alligator print. The other machine is a light brown same type of machine but it says "fairline" and "ZIGZAG" on it. Any info you have is appreciated. Thanks!
Janett from Ok

Ed Lamoureux said...

There was a question I inadvertently deleted concerning a Gimbels machine. I have owned a Gimbel's zig zag machine and it was VERY nice. Smooth, quiet, and strong. Unfortunately, I know of no place to get a manual but it is a generic Japanese machine so you can just search Japanese machine manuals until you find the one that looks closest to your machine and that should work. -Ed

Alan said...

Hello Ed

Fabulous blog thankyou. I have acquired a RENOWN DVN 2000B Commercial twin-needle machine in excellent condition for its age. This is a bobbinless machine and the silk thread that ran below the table broke and I cannot see how to rethread it. I can send a picture if that helps. Any help appreciated

Alan

Gnoswal said...

Hi there,

My wife picked up an old signature sewing machine at a thrift shop and was wondering if I could fix it up. Do you have any idea where I could get parts for it? Its a model URR789A, serial 55x. Any help would be great.

Thanks!

MARK L. said...

HELLO ED. I PICKED UP THIS SEWING MACHINE FROM AN AUCTION AND I CAN NOT FIND THIS MODEL OR MAKE ANYWHERE. IT IS MADE BY THE SINSEI SEWING MACHINE MFG. CO. AND THE METAL BADGE ON THE SIDE READS ( CROSS STAR SHINSEI SEWING MACHINE CO. MODEL NUMBER C5 110269 I LOOKED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE MACHINE FOR THE "JA" OR JAPAN STAMP BUT FOUND NOTHING. I DID FIND IT STAMPED CROSS STAR AND THE NUMBER 2

ANY IDEA'S AND VALUE.
THANKS MARK

Eva said...

I have a class 15 Japanese clone and I like it a lot. I took off the motor and put a handwheel from a Singer 66 on it and treadle it in a lovely cabinet I got on Craigslist. It is not very powerful and it has some finicky tension issues but it is smooth and sews well. The cute name is "Easy"--I can't decide if it's an Engrish joke or not.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed : I have an Atlantic sewing machine which is in a wooden four leg cabinet. The machine itself swings down into the cabinet and hides away. On the bottom of the machines casting appear to be the letters TSK. On the top of the machines base is the serial number D5043. The motor is a Premier Sewing Motor model UV 625, which appears to have been made circa 1906. The machine is quite ornate with gold leaf design and the Atlantic name is also gold. The machine itself is black. Could you please be of assistance in identifying what I have? Thanks, DonV

Anonymous said...

Hi I just bought an Electra sewing machine, cream in colour, looks very similar to my 1952 singer. JC20 has a badge on the front that says CADET, also says the electra sewing machine in fancy writing on top...I paid $40 for it, may have been to much but hey, I saved it from the tip :)

father of many said...

I recently purchased a Universal KNB cordon bleu machine. In a cabinet.

it has a JA3 stamped on the base lip. serial number is 0x0667 or 0x0661. Not sure on the last number it is either a 7 or a 1 .

Looking for information. It is a solid machine, and I would like to use it. plus I really like the fact that it is in a cabinet.

Is it based on the Singer 636?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Can you suggest a site where i can
get an instruction manuel for a used sewing machine ijust bought A
Standard Sewing Equipment Company
universal UN-100 sewing
My Email callie042@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Good Morning.

There is some very interesting information on your blog about vintage sewing machines. Someone gave me a very battered Seamstress machine, treadle/handcrank, cylinder shuttle (the cabinet is long gone). There are no manufacturing marks or plates, other than it has "Made in USA" on the side of the post (pillar?) towards the needle. I do not imagine she is worth much, but I would like to restore it (love vintage and regular sewing machines) and have it on display. Any suggestions for researching it's history and repair?

Thank you for your time.

Ed Lamoureux said...

Dear Anonymous, According to the "Antique Sewing Machine Value Guide", Seamstress machines were made in the U.S. by Davis, New Home, and Goodrich. You could Google for images of those makers' machines and see which one most closely resembles yours. - Ed

Noel said...

My wife brought home a Universal 5510 machine from the thift store recently. It was made in Japan for the Standard Sewing Equipment Corp. I'm guessing that it is a '60s vintage. I love that it is all metal, from the housing to all the gears and levers. I cleaned it and shot it full of PB Blaster and light oil and it seems to work fine, except for the feed. I think I need new dogs, as the fabric won't feed except when there's almost no pressure in the presser foot. With no pressure it will feed, but only slowly. I have searched all day for a source of new dogs,but came up empty. Can you point me in the right direction?

Ed Lamoureux said...

Noel, Before you buy new feed dogs, check a few things: (1) remove the needle plate and clean the lint out of the channels between the rows of teeth on the feed dog. Lint build-up can prevent the feed dog from rising all the way. (2) check the feed dog height. At full height, the teeth should rise up about the thickness of a dime. If they don't, there is an adjustment for that. (3) make sure the feed dropping mechanism is operating properly. I just worked on a Brother that had the feed dogs stuck in the partially-dropped position and the fabric would not feed without manual assistance. (4) make sure the presser bar is lubricated so the presser foot can exert the proper amount of force on the fabric and can rise up slightly when the feed dog rises. If all those fail, the feed dog is probably generic and interchangeable with other Japanese machines. Check brewersewing.com for feed dog in the Parts category to see if you can find a match. I have a Brewer account and could order for you. -Ed

Mel Mallory said...

I bought an Electro-Grand 400 Deluxe Automatic sewing machine that runs like a scalded dog! Am very happy with it, but am looking for Cams to fit it, zizzag needle plate, and zigzag foot. Also need to know how to run with Cams.
Any idea what I'm looking for in the way of Cams?
Thanks

Horselover said...

Hi there!
Just found your interesting site.
i have 4 Vtg. sms plus my work-horse: a 1972 Viking/Husqvarna 6430 that i use alot. It's the only sm i ever bought new, ha-ha!(found a spare for parts at the GW of course.)
Am looking for copies or Original Inst.Manuals for 1950 to 1970: BALL, UNIVERSAL, DRESSMAKER and BROTHER. Meanwhile i'll get the Singer15 Inst.(thanks for that info.)
Can most Jap clones be converted to Treadles?? Or,is it better to just buy a Tdl? If so, which are the best Models?
What Models of Necchi are best to look for?
Lastly: what are the best modern sms('75 to 90)that sew Stretch-material? (none of mine do it easily; so i hire a lady to do those patterns for me).
Thank you so much!

Cordially, sk (in NM)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just come across a gorgeous Victor Sewing machine, burgundy in colour. It comes built into a wooden box, with a burgundy colour suit case top. It really doesn't say much about it on the machine, apart from -VICTOR-, and in the small gold plaque attached to the bottom right, it says, Victor Family Sewing Machine. Made in Japan. I noticed there is a sticker on the light, which says it has a toromotor, by Warner Drayton. Company of Australia. Model M/U4 serial number 51395. I gather this is just the details for the light. I have also found the machines serial number under the machine . It says JN470251NE , with a faint 58 in the background. was wondering if you have any info about this, maybe when it was made, and if it is worth anything? Thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

I found an old Dressmaker machine Model C B Deluxe made in Japa, stored away in the home I bought. It is in bad condition, but I have it ngoing pretty good. Is there any value, or just junk?Bobbin is still in it with thread, and needle is in place the uppeer thread holder is missing and the light does not turn on.....Jean

Ed Lamoureux said...

Jean, Money-wise, your machine is probably not worth much, especially in the condition you describe. However, if you would like to have a machine on hand to mend torn seams and hem pants, the Dressmaker would probably suffice for the rest of your natural life. The light issue is probably a bulb and the spool pin can be replaced for about a dollar. -Ed

Almost Victor-ious said...

I need help threading my Victor Super DeLuxe sewing machine. I've found no manuals or videos yet to get me going. Any suggestions &/or diagrams?

Thanks!

Ed Lamoureux said...

I doubt that you will find one specifically for your machine but many thread the same. Suggest you go to sewusa.com, click on "threading" and check out several of the diagrams of older machines until you see one similar to yours. The other option is to email a photo of the machine to my gmail address, StudioLUpholstery and I will attempt to draw the thread path on the return photo. -Ed

Sandy Cole said...

Hello I have a Nesco JA5 1369 (not sure what those numbers mean). But was wondering if you know where I could possibly find a manual for the machine. Also, the rubber thing that turns the motor (sorry Im totally new to sewing terminology and know almost nothing) has broken and was wondering if you can recommend where I should buy one.

Anonymous said...

Ed: I have an RH Macy visi-o-matic zig zag sewing machine purchased about 1956, made in Japan, model TAZ28916526.In moving lost the sew dics, 5 blue and 5 grey. Need to find replacements. Can you help? On bottom of machine is written TYT JO 3003.
Betty Dolen
betty@thedolens.com

Ali P said...

Thank you for your wonderful blog! So much information! Of course, like others before me, I was researching my new purchase when I found you. I just got a Bradford Model 414. I can't find anything "Made in Japan" on it. The store it came from seems to be Jolson Sewing Machine & Supplies, Montreal. 70 watts, 115 voltsA.C. 60 cycles. I have no idea what that means. I was wondering if you had a source for information on Bradford machines. Looks to be a '50s model because of the green and cream colour scheme like a vintage car and looks like its only a straight stitch. Heavy as can be in its portable case, not a table model. I'll admit I got it because it was shiny and only $10 and because old machines are usually great machines. Any ideas about Bradfords?

Ed Lamoureux said...

Ali P, I can't find your specific model but the machines I see on a Bing search for "bradford sewing machine" definitely look like Japanese clones. If you can find a JA number on the machine, probably underneath, I might be able to tell you who made it. If you send a photo to my gmail address, I might be able to locate a suitable instruction manual. My Gmail address is OldSewingMachines. -Ed

Bryan Verster said...

Hi Ed,

Do you know anything about the 'Tiger' branded sewing machines? Japanese made. Two tone, mint and cream with crome fittings.

Charlene Hood said...

Hi ED,

I am looking for some help on my new to me Remington de luxe automatic zigzag sewing machine. I realy would like to use it but don't know how to. I tried looking this machine up for a month now but when you don't know the model number or even were to find it makes things hard. lol So I would love it if you are able to shed any light this task of mine. The numbers that I can find on it located on the bottom frame: JC9, either JA18 or A18, Z151001, and C25.
If pictures of it would make things easier I can send you some just let me know what works for you.

Hope you can help
Charlene

Ed Lamoureux said...

Charlene, We have not yet deciphered which manufacturer uses the JA18 mark so a photo would be helpful. You can send to oldsewingmachines at gmail. -Ed

melissa25125 said...

I recently purchased a sewing machine that I am pretty sure is a Japanese clone of a class 15 Singer based on some of your replies to other poster's queries, but I will ask anyway, since you are probably my best shot at this point...(I replied to 2 of your other posts tonight as well regarding a Necchi Bu Mira and using potatoes to remove rust, so if my name seems familiar, that's probably why)

Anyway, the machine I found Has 2 plaques on the front. One says Commodore. The other says Model CB De Luxe Precision Sewing Machine (made in?) Japan. On the lower front of the machine it has J-A13 painted in gold lettering. Next to that is a plaque that has the numbers 941297. On the underside of the machine, J-C26 can be found as well. It is light green in color. I purchased this machine for $5 at a local thrift shop, after pointing out to the store manager the repairs that it would need to get it running. While inspecting it at the store I was able to move the needle up and down, but it wasnt' catching the bobbin thread. Once I got it home I discovered that the nut and bolt that holds two of the gears together was lying in the bottom of the case. After putting it back in, the bobbin threaded fine. Then I went to go and turn it on. The light worked fine, but the needle barely wanted to move at all. It would move up and down for a couple of stitches and then just stop completely. The third time I tried, the motor was making sparks and I could hear a dinging noise like metal hitting metal!! Not good! So, I unplugged the motor and manually turned the hand wheel and was able to create a decent stitch. The top tension needed adjusting but I figured it was something I cold fiddle around with. So, since I was getting a decent stitch. I wiped the machine down, cleaned out the case, wrapped all the cords up, and put it by the door and took it to the local repair shop yesterday where he sold me a used motor for $15, a Morse 1/15H.P, 1.0 AMP, 110 VOLT, AC-DC, Made in Los Angeles, (the motor that was replaced was a Champion 110 VOLT, AC/DC, AMPS .10, 25-75 CYCLES, Model 24 Made In USA). He also replaced the belt for $5 and the last thing he checked was the foot pedal, which was no good. It was completely stuck, nothing moved, etc. And he didn't have one to sell me either. He said most newer sewing machines have a 1.9 foot pedal which would be too strong for this machine. So, I tracked down a sewing repair shop/dealer in Rocky Hill Ct, and he gave me a foot pedal for free (for a 1.0 motor) and said I could splice it to the wire from the foot pedal that was no good and it should work. Sooooo, I took the pedal home, spliced the wire, fiddled with the sewing machine, and it stitches beautifully. Very similar to my Singer Model 15-91 that I have. The only other things I have noticed are that stitches mess up when I try to go in reverse, and the bobbin winder probably isn't going to work. The case it came in was a little banged up, and I think somewhere along the way, this machine was mishandled. It was certainly ignored because whoever the previous owner was, never oiled it (the machine was bone dry), and never bothered to replace the belt or the motor, or the foot pedal. All 3 things I got for around $20 total. So, even though it's kind of aggravating that the reverse and bobbin don't work, and there is no instruction manual or extra accessories, I do have the manual for my class 15-91 plus a bunch of attachment feet for that machine, and if Japanese clones were based off of a class 15 singer, then the accessories are probably interchangeable. I also have 6 other sewing machines (including the Necchi Bu Mira that I found today for $10 that I mentioned earlier).

Melissa

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about the Dial a stitch model 877-TW sewing machine. The person who sold it to me said it was Japanese however everything on the machine is in English. I'm having trouble figuring out how to thread it correctly so it will sew.

Kathy Perez said...

I recently received an old fleet wood sewing machine. It's built into a table and has a knee pedal instead of a usual foot pedal. If I send you a photograph could you tell me anything about it or how I can acquire a manual for this manual?

Ed Lamoureux said...

Fleetwood is one of the many Japanese machines that flooded the U.S. after WWII. They were not usually built in a single factory, but dozens of tiny independent manufacturers each built pieces that were assembled before shipping overseas. The bad part of this is that there are rarely manuals covering the entire machine because no one factory built the machine. The good part is that many of the parts are generic and fit multiple machines.

You will be very lucky to find a manual for your specific machine, but might find one for another American-sounding name machine (Remington, Dressmaker, Universal, etc.) that looks 95%-100% like your Fleetwood. Try sewusa.com manual section because they have pictures of the manual covers and see if you can spot one that you can use with your Fleetwood. -Ed

Neurzotis said...

Hello Ed, your blog is wonderfull. Iwas puzzle trying to find some info from my Homemark Brother Model C. But as you said this vintage machine were made in Japan. My ia JA 28 also has J86559838 if you know any thing about this model, pease let me know. at rommtr@gmail.com Thank You

Maria

Maria Romero said...

Hello Ed, your blog is wonderfull. Iwas puzzle trying to find some info from my Homemark Brother Model C. But as you said this vintage machine were made in Japan. My ia JA 28 also has J86559838 if you know any thing about this model, pease let me know. at rommtr@gmail.com Thank You

Maria

Ralph said...

Good Housekeeping
New Dynamic SZ OR SS (NOT SURE)
Model 60098Z or 60098Z
Machine Number 03904

Can you tell be where it was made, today's value,
how many were made?

rsparks71786@gmail.com

THANKS

Anonymous said...

Ed,

I have an old Dressmaker Sewing Machine, model # 123 and serial # 57810. I was wondering how old it is and if it is worth anything? It was given to me from a relative and I wanted to get an updated machine.

Thank you for any help you can give.
Lynda
lnsoccermom69@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

My Dad just bought a SEWBEST Precision Deluxe Model 820 Sewing Machine with "Made in Japan" on it. It's light green on top and dark green on bottom. Straight stitch only, though I think he said it has reverse.

What can you tell me about this machine?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have a one of these with the Macy's name. Where can I find more information on these machines?

Anonymous said...

Dear Ed,
I just got out my mother's sewing machine after almost 40 years of storage. It has an Atlas name plate, but is identical to the Consew 960. Other than an eBay listing and the current industrial machines, I can't find any information and need a replacement pedal. Will any post WWII Japanese pedals work?
Thank you so much for this great repository of information.
Best regards.
Karla S.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, I've been given a beautiful Belair YDK Electric Sewing Machine but there are wires loose. The machine motor runs but its not sewing. Some models on Ebay have lights on them, but this one doesn't. Do you think the 2 wires were at once connected to a light? Its cream and blue in colour and looks beautiful, the old lady said it still works?

Anonymous said...

I have a teal blue sewing machine that has the "Imperial" label on it with a metal decal with "Maruzen sewing machine co. ltd" on it. The only number found on the machine is
ML1146. What is its history, year?

Barb said...

Hi Ed, Just found your site. I bought a black and gold Stirrch Queen and on front Stitch Queen Manufacturing Co. The motor is made in Dayton Ohio. I would like to find out about it and also get an instruction book as am having trouble threading it. Anything would be of interest. It is heavy and in a case. Barb

Unknown said...

I just purchased a Universal sewing machine at a estate sale. Model DOM-B Super ZigZag. I don't have a manual and can't see to find any information online regarding this specific model. Can you give me any information about this particular machine? Thanks!

Ed Lamoureux said...

Barb and Unknown, You probably won't find a manual for your specific machine if it is a Japanese clone. However, the same machine could have been sold under other names. I recommend going to the manuals section of sewusa.com and look for a machine having the same or similar features. -Ed

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