Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine (History, Models & Value)

Running from 1872 to 2001 as a mail-order business, Montgomery Ward partnered with major sewing machine manufacturers to sell what was known as “badged” sewing machines. Montgomery Ward purchased products manufactured by other companies, rebranded them, and then sold the machines under its brand name.

The Montgomery Ward sewing machines are still fascinating, featuring an interesting allure of historical charm and stand-out durability. For antique and vintage sewing machines with a history as interesting as that of Montgomery Ward, many people are often left with many questions.

This detailed guide will examine the Montgomery Ward Sewing machine models, history, and value. We will help you answer questions like, how much is a Montgomery Ward Sewing machine worth? How old is my Montgomery Ward sewing machine?

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

The History of the Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine

As noted earlier, Montgomery Ward was never a Sewing Machine manufacturer. However, through its 119 years of operation, the business was selling sewing machines under its brand name—the following manufacturers made these machines:

Between 1872 and 1913: Foley & Williams

A major manufacturer, Foley & Williams, made the first Montgomery Ward sewing machines. At the time, these machines were selling for about $10 a piece—equivalent to $200 in today’s currency.

However, partnering with Foley & Williams did not work for Montgomery Ward. The machines produced by the manufacturer did not get good reviews. For this reason, the department store had to switch to a different company.

Between 1913 and 1955: National Sewing Machine Company

When the sewing machines produced by Foley & Williams failed to generate good customer testimonials, Montgomery Ward quickly switched the contract to the National Sewing Machine Company. The partnership between the two companies seemed to have worked well, considering that the new company produced almost all the Montgomery Ward sewing machines in the 42 years running from 1913 to 1955.

National Sewing Machine Company dates back to the late 1800s when it was established in Illinois. The company also produced bicycles and a wide variety of appliances used in homes. In addition to supplying sewing machines to Montgomery Ward, the company also built a large industry providing other items to Marshall Fields and Macy’s.

After 1955: Happy Sewing Machine Company

After World War II, Japan was fortunate to launch a sewing machine manufacturing industry that squashed American competition. Happy Sewing Machine Company started making sewing machines immediately after World War II—in 1945—and sells them today.

As the Japanese sewing machine industry crushed the American Industry, Montgomery Ward switched its sewing machine production contract to the Happy Sewing Machine Company. The Japanese company produced sewing machines for Montgomery Ward for the next 46 years, between 1955 and 2001.

The sewing machines produced by the Japanese company boasted durable parts and specialized craftsmanship. The products stood out in the market due to their solid metal parts.

Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Models

In its 100+ years of doing business, Montgomery Ward boasted several sewing machine models sold under its brand name. These include:

The Oakland Model

The Oakland Model
Source: ismacs

Foley & Williams produced the Oakland Model—it was the first sewing machine sold under the Montgomery Ward brand name. However, the most affordable model, Oakland, did not impress the Montgomery Ward customers enough—the product did not receive positive reviews.

The product’s lack of positive reviews meant it was of low quality. Montgomery had to switch to National Sewing Machine Company to improve the quality of its products.

The Damascus Model

The Damascus Model
Source: sewingiscool

Considered one of the most successful Montgomery Ward sewing machine models, Damascus was produced by the National Sewing Machine Company. Using a vibrating shuttle, the sewing machine also boasted gold highlight decorations. The sewing machine came in various designs, alternating between 6 different treadles.

The Brunswick Model

The Brunswick Model
Source: pinterest

The National Sewing Machine Company also produced this model. Similar to the Damascus model, it was also decorated with golden highlights. The Brunswick model was supplied with at least 3 different treadles and was designed to be a high arm sewing machine.

185A

185A
Source: bonanza

This is one of the first Montgomery Ward sewing ewsrrffffffffffffffffffffffffffffdmachine models from Japan. They first entered the market when Montgomery Ward switched from National Sewing Machine Company and signed a contract with the Happy Sewing Machine Company.

The 185A model featured a “made in Japan” stamp on them. This model utilized solid metal as its main material and was delivered in an attractive wooden cabinet. The Japanese company replaced the traditional treadle (foot pedal) with the knee lever.

J1984

J1984
Source: ebay

This is one of the Montgomery Ward sewing machine models produced in Japan—the J on the model number indicates that the product was made in Japan.

The J1984 was part of a signature series. It replaced the wooden cabinet—in 185A—with a well-designed carrying case made of metal. The case made things easier for people when it came to moving the sewing machine around.

Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Serial Number Lookup

Irrespective of the manufacturer, all Montgomery Ward’s sewing machines carried the company’s brand name. Most of these machines also feature a serial number and a model name. The serial number plays a crucial role in determining who manufactured a specific model.

Where to Find the Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Serial Number

When performing a Montgomery Ward sewing machine serial number lookup, you can check in several areas—these include:

  • On some models, the serial number appears on a plastic casing
  • Some models have the serial number on a small metal label that sits on the machine’s body
  • On some machines, the serial number is stamped on the body’s underside
  • You may also want to check the casing’s front
  • Look above the power cord on the right-hand side

Is There a Tool for Performing the Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Serial Number Lookup?

Chances are, you are looking for your machine’s serial number to answer the question, “how old is my Montgomery Ward sewing machine?”

Unfortunately, currently you can’t find a database that allows you to look up your serial number and get information on your sewing machine. What’s more, it is not uncommon for Montgomery Ward sewing machine models to lack serial numbers.

However, you can go through a less-than-ideal route to get more information on your machine online. For this to work for you, you will need to input your machine model and the serial number in the search bar and then hit the enter button on your keyboard.

When the results appear, scroll through the image section and look for a model that is just like yours. While this method may work, this does not always guarantee that you will always get the best results.

How Old Is My Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine?

While researching the serial numbers and model of a machine in most cases can play a role in figuring out when it was manufactured, this may not work for Montgomery Ward Sewing machines. This is because a searchable online database or registry for the serial numbers does not exist.

That said, we are not saying that you cannot answer the question, “how old is my Montgomery Ward sewing machine?”

You can find an answer in five ways:

Use the Manual

If you have the machine’s manual, spend time flipping through it. The helpful booklet may have the machine’s manufacturing date. This may help you with dating the Montgomery Ward sewing machine.

Use Google

If you do not have the machine’s manual, use your smartphone to take an image of your machine. Next, use Google Lens to search the image online.

Alternatively, as noted earlier on, enter the machine’s model name and serial number on Google and hit the search button.

Both options will help you find images that resemble your machine. Clicking on the pictures should take you to an article written by professionals who understand the history of the machine you have at hand. This can give you a clear idea of when the machine was manufactured.

Check on eBay

You can also try locating your product on eBay. Use the model name and the serial number. If you find a similar product, check its description. Sometimes, the sellers provide helpful information that can help you determine the age of your sewing machine.

Join an Online Quilting or Sewing Discussion

Here, you can ask other sewing machine owners questions on how to date your Montgomery Ward sewing machine. You might be able to get the correct answer when it comes to the age of your machine.

Talk to an Expert

It is always possible to find experts in almost all subjects regarding antique and vintage products. Looking for an expert in your neighborhood and approaching them with your Montgomery Ward sewing machine—or a clear image of it—can help you determine its age.

Factors Affecting the Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Value

On average, the Montgomery Ward sewing machine value sits between $50 and $1,000. These machines sit in two categories—antique and vintage.

The antique models have been around for more than 100 years—all machines produced before the 1920s. The vintage models were manufactured between 1920 and 1999.

As you would expect, antique models are rarer than vintage ones. For this reason, the vintage models will be costlier. On average, you should expect the antique models to cost between $200 and $1,000. Unless they are too technologically developed and their demand is high, the vintage models will cost between $50 and $200.

Some of the factors that affect the Montgomery Ward sewing machine value include:

Age

In most cases, the rarity of a Montgomery Ward sewing machine increases with age. The fact that older machines are rarer suggests that their cost might be slightly higher—especially if they are in high demand.

Condition

A sewing machine in good condition will always be costlier than one in bad shape. This means that rusting, scratched, or severely damaged machines will always cost less.

Accessories

A Montgomery Ward sewing machine will have a higher cost if it has its original apparatus—this includes:

  • Zigzag cam
  • Cleaning apparatus
  • Feet

Whether its motor runs can also make a significant difference. If the motor is not running, the machine will be cheaper compared to a situation where the motor is running.

Demand or Desirability

If more people look for a specific Montgomery Ward sewing machine, its value will increase. This means that the higher the desirability and the demand, the higher the cost. Products with a lower demand often have a lower price and perceived value.

How Much Is A Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine Worth?

To answer the question of “how much is a Montgomery Ward sewing machine worth?” we will look at ten different Montgomery Ward sewing machines. This should give you a range of prices you should expect when shopping for Montgomery Ward sewing machines.

S/N
Name
Year
Price (USD)
1. 
Windsor Sewing Machine
1913
$750
2. 
Brunswick Sewing Machine
1913
$370
3. 
Computerized UHT J2001  
2001
$259
4. 
Model-R Supreme Rev
Early 1950
$200
5. 
UHT J266D
The 1960s
$180
6. 
Supreme Streamline Model R
The `1940s
$180
7. 
Streamlined Model 30
The 1940s
$175
8. 
UHT J1932
1963
$162
9. 
Damascus Model B
1918
$125
10. 
UHT J276D Signature Sewing Machine
The 1950s
$60

1. Windsor Sewing Machine

Windsor Sewing Machine
Source: ebay

The most expensive Montgomery Ward sewing machine we found online dates back to 1913. This sewing machine sits on a table with three drawers on the right-hand side and three more on the left-hand side. It has an extending cover that closes up to keep the sewing machine inside and can be used for holding pieces of clothing during sewing.

Currently listed on eBay, the machine has a price of $750. This high price could come from the fact that it is still operating, in good shape, and has a lovely table and draws to boot. According to the seller, only the power cord needs some minor repair.

When we checked the listing, it was surprising that the sewing machine had 18 people waiting to buy it at such a high price.

2. Brunswick Sewing Machine

Brunswick Sewing Machine
Source: ebay

Produced by the National Sewing Machine Company, this Brunswick model came out in 1913. It fits perfectly in the antique category, explaining why the seller demands $370 for it.

The seller notes that the sewing machine is still in perfect condition and is working as expected. The machine still has its original attachments, and the buyer will get the original key.

With so much attention put into ensuring that the sewing machine has not sustained any damage, the machine is doing exceptionally well, with over 29 people showing interest in purchasing it by the time we checked the listing.

3. Computerized UHT J2001  

Computerized UHT J2001  
Source: ebay

Our next Montgomery Ward sewing machine came into the market for the first time in 2001. It is the first machine on this list manufactured in Japan by the Happy Sewing Machine Company.

The machine boasts automatic and manual functions, coming with a combo of a foot pedal and a computer. Although the sewing machine is in used condition, it is still in perfect working order.

According to the seller, the machine can still be used for sewing. Selling at $259, the Computerized UHT J2001 had already attracted the attention of 11 buyers when we reviewed its listing on eBay.

4. Model-R Supreme Rev

Model-R Supreme Rev
Source: ebay

Produced in the early 1950s, the Model R Wards Supreme Rev is an electric sewing machine. The machine has some manual aspects—for example, one has to step on the pedal for the needle to go up.

The seller notes that the sewing machine is still in good working order and can be bought and used immediately without any repairs. The vintage sewing machine has all its accessories intact, including the instruction manual and cords. On eBay, the Montgomery Ward sewing machine is selling for $200.

5. UHT J266D

UHT J266D
Source: ebay

This Montgomery Ward sewing machine was produced in Japan—this can be seen in its model number, which has the J for Japan. Made in the 1960s, the machine was built using metal parts through and through, making it very durable.

According to the seller, the sewing machine has been in their family—this suggests that it has been kept in good condition and may not have any significant flaws. Apart from minor cosmetic imperfections, the product is in good working order. To get this piece, you will have to part with $180. 

6. Supreme Streamline Model R

Supreme Streamline Model R
Source: ebay

Like the Japanese model above, the Supreme Streamline Model R sells at $180 on eBay. The two machines, however, are incredibly different—they have different designs, and while one was produced in the 1960s, the other (the model R) had been made two decades earlier (1940s).

The 1940 Model R was designed to produce great results for canvas, leather, cotton, and denim. It features a Bobbin-Winding, although the seller notes that they are unsure whether it works. However, they note that the vintage sewing machine is in ideal condition for use as a display piece.

7. Streamlined Model 30

Streamlined Model 30
Source: ebay

The streamlined Model 30 also dates back to the 1940s. According to the seller, the machine is made of metal, hinting that it boasts superior durability. The seller notes that the vintage Montgomery sewing machine has been reconditioned to look and operate like a new, out-of-the-box product.

The brown machine features Bobbin-Winding and can be used for almost all kinds of materials—from denim and cotton to leather and canvas. Currently listed on eBay, this model sells for $175, and interestingly enough, when we checked the listing, it had six interested buyers.

8. UHT J1932

UHT J1932
Source: ebay

Dating back to 1963, the UHT J1932 is one of the sewing machines produced right after Montgomery Ward started its new contract with Happy Sewing Machine Company. Despite being around for over half a century, the sewing machine is still in good working condition.

The beige machine comes with a bobbin winding and sets you back for only $162. The only thing you will miss out on for this price is a smooth surface as the seller notes that the product has some minor scratches from years of use.

9. Damascus Model B

Damascus Model B
Source: ebay

A one-of-a-kind Montgomery Ward sewing machine, this specific Model B has been around for over 100 years, putting it in the antique category. However, even though it is an antique, the machine is still in good working order.

The seller notes that it does not have a lot of scratches. It comes with all its accessories, including its wooden cabinet. You get all this if you pay $125 for the product—when we checked the listing, more than six people were interested in purchasing the product.

10. UHT J276D Signature Sewing Machine

UHT J276D Signature Sewing Machine
Source: ebay

The goal of putting this Montgomery Ward sewing machine here is to show you that you can get a working machine for less than $100. Listed on eBay, the UHT J276D is currently selling at $59.97.

Surprisingly, this is a signature machine in perfect condition despite being extremely affordable. Produced in Japan, the machine is primarily made of metal—this means that it is durable and affordable.

Summary

While Montgomery Ward sold millions of sewing machines under its brand name, the company did not build any of these machines from scratch. The company contracted with large-scale sewing machine manufacturers and rebranded their products before putting them on the market.

This detailed guide looks deeper at people’s various questions regarding the Montgomery Ward sewing machine value, history, and models. If you plan to get a Montgomery Ward sewing machine, this article provides all the information you need to select the right machine.

However, if there is any question we did not answer, do not hesitate to let us know. Please leave the question in the comment section, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Leave a Comment

0 Shares
Tweet
Share
Pin