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service or appraise OLD machine?

HBFteacher | Posted in General Discussion on

I just bought a “Kenmore Electric Rotary Sewing Machine” at an estate sale.  It was so intriguing, I figured it would be a good resale even if I couldn’t keep it to use.  It is housed in a sturdy, beautiful wooden inlay cabinet. It came with its original manual and all the attachments (in their original box) as well as the “Kenmore Buttonholer” (with manual) in its original, velvety box. The attachment box even has two original paper envelopes containing “Kenmore Rotary Sewing Machine Needles.” There is no date anywhere.

The machine needs to be cleaned, but it works just fine (including the light). It has a thigh “pedal” under the cabinet. Everything is in absolutely fantastic condition, including the manuals. It’s a #120.491 model, and the cabinet is a “Sears Roebuck & CO.” model as well.  Both have serial number plates.

Where can I look to get this serviced (I live in central Kentucky)? I know Sears won’t be of any help.  I wouldn’t mind keeping it to use myself, if I can get it serviced.

Also, any idea what it might be worth or even how to get a sewing machine fairly appraised?  I wouldn’t even know who to ask to appraise it or how much they should charge.

Thank you for all of your help thus far!


  1. Beth | | #1

    Try Yahoo Groups Kenmore Machines.I don't have the exact address anymore. You will have to join to read or post. I ahve an older Kenmore and it works very well.


  2. Teaf | | #2

    How sad to hear that the machine I learned on is now classified as "old"! And I really liked that thigh control lever when I was a kid...
    You can get accurate appraisals from a sewing machine repair shop; the owners usually know whether the machine is worth fixing and whether other sewers have had good experiences with it.
    However, old sewing machines are not particularly valuable, as so many were produced and so many people saved them. My family has several fully functioning machines from the 1800s in beautiful cabinets, but none are worth a fraction of a basic new machine. They are valuable to us because they have always been a part of our lives and because they are terrific for sewing long straight seams on curtains or quilts.

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