Saturday, October 20, 2018

Kenmore Sewing Machines 1960-1969 (WIP)

Here's my attempt at making a visual guide to the Kenmore sewing machines of the 1960's. It is incomplete for several reasons. I couldn't always find a corresponding image for the models that I knew were being offered, and the information available to me appears to be faulty in that many machines and models are just missing. Since this piece is a work in progress, any information that might help fill in the gaps or clear up some of the confusion would be very welcome.


While the 1950's saw many changes for sewing machines and the companies that supplied Sears & Roebuck, 
the next decade would become considerably quieter.
It takes a year or two for it all to settle, but by1961 White no longer supplies machines
and almost all of the 1960's machines are built by Soryu and Maruzen of Japan.
There were very few exceptions:


According to the numbers available to us, the New Process Gear Company of Syracuse New York 
will make the model 120.760 and 120.761 model between 1960 and 1962 before their contract ends.


By1962 sales of the Lady Kenmore model 89 made by Gritzner-Frayer will end as well.

From then on in the suppliers are either Soryo or Maruzen. This makes it a little easier to identify the maker.
It doesn't make it any easier to figure out the model code numbers, and there's a big change in '67 when the numbers went from two or digits to four and eventually more than four.

1960 Kenmore Sewing Machines

1960 Soryu:

Soryu continues with the Model 27 above (148.273 & 148.274)
*I will attempt another post to explain the unusual
Kenmore Class 15 Clones.


New Soryu Model 28 (148.280) above


New Soryu Model 29 above (148.290, 148.291, 148.292)


Soryu made Model 39 (148.392 148.393)


and new Soryu 86 models (148.861)

1960 Maruzen: 

Maruzen supply the Model 35 (158.353)


Maruzen Model 44 (158.442 158.443)


Maruzen introduces the new Model 46 (158.461, 158.462) 



Maruzen Model 47 (158.470, 158.471)


Maruzen Model 48 (158.480)


Maruzen introduces the new Model 50
(158.500)



1961 Kenmore Sewing Machines

1961 Soryu (148):

1n 1961 Soryu (148) offers many models from 1960 with only a slight change in model numbers:
Model 27 (148.273, 148.274)
Model 28 (148.280)
Model 29 (148.292, 148.293, 148.294)
Model 39 (148.394, 148/395)
Model 86 (148.861)

Soryu introduces the following new models for 1961:


Soryu Model 40 (148.400)


Soryu Model 87 (148.870)


Soryu Model 1204 (148.12040)

1961 Maruzen (158):

Maruzen continues production of the model 44 (158.444, 158.445) from 1960 
as well as the model 46 (158.460 158.462) model 47 (158.470, 158.471)
model 48 (158.480) and model 50 (158.500, 158.501, 158.502)

43
(no photo)
Maruzen introduces the new model 43 (158.430)



1962 Kenmore Sewing Machines

1962 would mark the last year for Kenmore sewing machines made by New Process Gear Company of Syracuse New York with the model 76 (120.760 &120.761) and there may still be a final few Gritzner Lady Kenmore model 89's. The sad truth is that the information available does not include any information of the Gritzner machines.

13 models

1962 Soryu (148):

Soryu continues to offer the model 28 (148.280) model 29 (148.294) 
model 40 (148.400) and the 1204 (148.12040)

1962 Maruzen (158):

Maruzen offers the model 43 (158.430) the model 46 (158.463) and 47 (158.470, 158.471)
as well as the model 48 (158.480) and 50 (158.501, 158.503)

34
(no photo)
and introduces the new Maruzen model 34 (158.340, 158.341)



1963 Kenmore Sewing Machines

17 models

1963 Soryu (148):

Soryu continues to make the model 29 (148.294 & 148.295) 
and brings back the 1961 model 87 (148.871 and 148.872)
and continues with the model 148.12040

Soryu introduces the new model 20 (148.200 & 148.210)

21
(no photo)
and new model 21 (148.210)

1963 Maruzen (158):

In 1963 Maruzen continues to offer the model 34 (158.342) 
the model 43 (158.431, 158.432) the model 43 (158.431, 158.432) 
the model 47 (158.472) the model 48 (158.481) and model 50 (158.504, 158.505)

32
(no photo)
Maruzen introduces the new model 32 (158.320 and 158.321)



1964 Kenmore Sewing Machines

14 models

Soryu (148):

1964 Kenmore models built by Soryu include a continuance of the following models:
The model 29 (148.294, 148.295) the model 87 (148.871, 148.872) and the 1204 (148.12040)
the model 20 (148.200) and the model 21 (148.210).
Neither company offer a new model in 1964

Maruzen (158):

Mauzen continues producing the model 32 (158.321) model 34 (158.343) model 43 (158.433) model 47 (158.472) and model 48 (158.481) and model 50 (158.504 and 158.505).

Neither company offer a new model in 1964 


1965 Kenmore Sewing Machines

12 models

Soryu (148):

In 1965 Soryu again does not offer a new model and continues to produce the model 20 (148.200) the model 21 (148.210) the model 29 (148.295) and the model 1204 (148.12040)

Maruzen (158):

Although Maruzen offers the model 32 (158.321) model 43 (158.433) and the model 50 (158.505) the company did offer four brand new models in 1965:


New from Maruzen for 1965 is the model 12 (158.120)


Maruzen model 13 (158.130)

Maruzen model 14 (158.140)


Maruzen model 15 (158.150)

and the new Maruzen model 16 (158.160)



1966 Kenmore Sewing Machines

13 models

Soryu (148):

Soryu continues with the model 20 (148.200) and 21 (148.210) the model 29 (148.295, 148.296) 
and continue with the model 1204 (148.12040).
Soryu introduces the new model 23 (148.230, 148.231)

and the new Soryu model 53 (148.530)


Maruzen (158):

Maruzen's offering fro 1966 include the model 12 (158.120, 158.121) 
the model 13 (158.130) and the 43 (158.433)

New for 1966 was the Maruzen model 33 (158.330)




1967 Kenmore Sewing Machines

17 models

Everything you thought you knew about Maruzen and Soryo numbering goes out the window in 1967. For reasons only known to themselves and perhaps Sears... model numbers leap ahead to four digits.

Soryu (148):

Continue into 1967 for Soryu is the model 23 (148.231) model 53 (148.530 148.531) 
and the ever present  1204 (148.12040).

New for 67 is the Soryu model 40 (148.400).

42 
(no photo)
New model 42 (148.420).

Maruzen (158):

Maruzen model numbers are the first ones to go to the new four digit code.
In 1967 they continue to offer the model 13 (158.130)
the model 15 (158.152) the model 16 (158.163) the model 22 (158.221) and the 33 (158.331).

New for 1967 from Maruzen include the following:

 1525
(no photo)
The new Maruzen model 1525 (158.15250 158.15251)

1551
(no photo)
The new Maruzen model 1551 (158.15510)

1581
(no photo)
The new Maruzen model 1581 (158.15810)

1641
(no photo)
The new Maruzen model 1641 (158.16410)

1649
(no photo)
The new Maruzen model 1649 (158.16490)



1968 Kenmore Sewing Machines   

34 models

Soryu (148):

Not to be left behind, Soryu came into 1968 with five new models, 
each stamped with the new four digit model number  

New Soryu Model 1201 (148.12010)

The new Soryu model 1203 (148.12030)

The new Soryu model 1204 (148.12040)

The new Soryu model 1300 (148.13000)

The new Soryu model 1302 (148.13020 148.13021 148.13022)

Maruzen (158):

Maruzen, however, must have been planning for this new four digit model code all along.
They entered 1968 with no less than 19 new models!

1200
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1200 (158.12000)

1202
(No Photo)
New Maruzen odel 1202 (158.12020)

New Maruzen model 1301 (158.13011)


New Maruzen model 1500 (158.15000)


1501
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1501 (158.15010)

1600
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1600 (158.16000 158.16001)

1650
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1650 (158.16500)

1651
  (No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1651 (158.16510)

1652
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1652 (158.16520)

1653
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1653 (158.16530)


New model 1654 (158.16540)


1700
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1700 (158.17000)

1701
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1701 (158.17010 158.17011)

 1749
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1749 (158.17490)

New model 1750 (158.17500 158.17501)


1751
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1751 (158.17510 158.17511)

1752
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1752 (158.17520)

1800
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1800 (158.18000)

1801
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1801 (158.18010 158.18011)

New model 1802 (158.18020 158.18021)




1969 Kenmore Sewing Machines

37 different models

Soryu (148):

In 1960 Soryu continued to offer the 1204 148.12040 the 1300 (148.13000) 
and 1302 (148.13020 148.13021 148.13022) models and added the following:

1100
(No Photo)
New Soryu model 1100 (148.11000)

New Soryu model 1101 148.11010


New Soryu model 1206 148.12060


New Soryu model 1207 148.12070

Maruzen (158):

Maruzen again offered the model 1200 (158.12000) 1301 (158.13010) 1500 (158.15000) 1650 (158.16500 158.16501) 1651 (158.16510) 1652 (158.16520) 1654 (158.16540) 1751 (158.17511) 1752 (158.17520) 1801 (158.18011) and 1802 (158.18021, 158.18022)

Maruzen also offered the following new for 1969:

New Maruzen model 1303 (158.13030 158.13031 158.13032 158.13033)

1304
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1304 (158.13040)


New Maruzen model 1400 (158.14000)

1503
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1503 (158.15030)

New Maruzen model 1601 (158.16010 158.16011)

1701
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1701 (158.17010 158.17011)

1750
(No Photo)
New Maruzen model 1750 (158.17500 158.17501)

New Maruzen model 1752 (158.17520)

New Maruzen model 1753 (158.17530)

New Maruzen model 1754 (158.17540)



To find the model number on -most- Kenmore sewing machines of this era:

It is usually located just under the lip of the deck as the machine is facing you as if you were to sit and sew.
The number is typically stamped into an ID plate that has been riveted to the casting. I always use caution in rocking the machine back the couple of inches required to read this plate.  Any loose hinge pin or damaged mounting can make this very challenging - if not dangerous. I always make sure I have unplugged the machine and inspected the pivot area of the cabinet or case for structural integrity and loose pins. If there is a locking tab or screw in the front, I'll unlock or unscrew it to allow tilting the machine back just far enough to read the number. The change in weight distribution when tilting an old all-metal machine can cause a portable to slide away and a cabinet to lean.

What do those numbers mean?

There are theories as to why two seemingly identical machines have only slight differences in model numbers. Some say a single digit change between models indicates cabinet or portable, and I've also heard a theory of changing the last digit again because of a new model year.

For example:
The very first model 35 Kenmore would be a 158.350.
It's been suggested that this .350 number indicates it's the first year for the model,
and that the machine would be in a cabinet.
The model 35 with the model number: 158.351
would also be a first year model, but sold as a portable.

The second year of production for that same model 35
would change the last three digits to 158.352 (the cabinet model) and 158.353 (the portable).

Since no one seems to know the truth behind the often confusing model numbers, this theory seems to fit for a few years. Where it gets confusing is that the model 35 predates the model 13. I don't think anyone will ever understand this mystic manner of Kenmore model numbering. If it's not confusing enough, between the two suppliers Soryu and Maruzen one of them may have made the model 13, while the other may have made the 14
and it could have been years apart...

I'm sure that in retrospect no one at Sears, Maruzen or Soryo had any idea that at the time that they
 began something that would continue for well over a decade.

Notes and links:

*trying to sort out all of this information has been an absolute nightmare. I've made an attempt, but I'm sure it's full of errors. Please let me know if information is incorrect. To save on space, only one set of photos for any particular model are offered. Once 1960 is set, I included only photos for the new models. If there are omissions, they are not ones I made knowingly.

The story behind who made all of the Kenmore 15 clones
is as mysterious as the manufacturers of the odd Canadian machines.
Items we will try to cover later. =)

**Addendum: this list of models offered by Sears seems very incomplete. There is no mention of the model 52 or 88, so any information regarding missing models would be most welcome. This list also does not include the various machines sold to Canada under the Kenmore label that were not sold in the US.

Here's a Kenmore Manufacturer List and
perhaps the best updated list of JA/JC numbers currently available online:
http://www.doubleveil.net/zssmp/resources.htm#sears

There are several Kenmore groups online
 I have not yet personally signed up and checked them out
Here are the addys:

io group
https://groups.io/g/VintageKenmoreSew

Yahoo groups
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/VintageKenmoresSew/info
and
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OldKenmoreSewingMachines/info

This isn't the end all of Kenmore Sewing machine identification for the 1960's models,
but perhaps it's a start.