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Topic: How do you find out the age of a machine?  (Read 708 times)
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« on: July 11, 2008 09:42:36 AM »

So I bought a Wards UHT J1276 a few years ago, and it didn't come with anything.  I have found a place to buy a manual (sewusa), but I just wondered how to tell its age without it.  My estimate is sometime before the 70s, based on the look of it.  Is there somewhere online that could tell me a little more about it?  I googled for hours and came up with nothing.


« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2008 11:22:26 AM »

How heavy is it? Heavy machines are usually older -- they have steel motors. Lighter, newer machines have alluminium motors.

Old steel motors are nearly indestrucable.

"For what do we exist, but to laugh at our neighbors and be laughed at in our turn?"

My stash of supplies is now Beyond Life Expectancy. I love personal swaps! http://www.wists.com/redmennis
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008 11:56:43 AM »

Very very heavy.  I know that it is old, probably at least 40 years.  I just wondered if there is some place online that you could find out what models came out in which year.

« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008 08:18:07 AM »

A general clearinghouse of all brand info I don't know but most manufacturers do have that info burried somewhere on their sites on in the original paperwork/ manuals.

invention-1930's machines were the curvy narrow armed black cast iron style, often with gold paint. Sometimes wodden knobs, often beautiful wood cases or cabinets. Portable machines were produced in the same numbers as cabineted ones, many pre-1900 machines are tiny & could be mistakent for toys.

1930's- 40's brough about the first aluminum housings and the occasional Bakelite housing (rare & valuble). Aluminum had to be painted but unlike iron, could be painted nearly any color. Hospital Green & Industrial Beige were actually popular colors for appliances then, so many machines of this era are in those colors along with ivory & sometimes white. Wheels, knobs & cams in hard rubber are pre-WWII, Bakelite & Plastic are post WWII. These machines are often trimmed with chrome accents & curvy Art Deco shaped arms. Think of the cars in any Al Capone movie- same style.

The 50's lightened up the colors a lot, more light weight machines (in comparison to earlier models anyway- still heavier than today) and the first all plastic housings and some all plastic machines. Very few of the early all plastic machines even exist because of the age/ UV damage, they have pretty much all disintigrated. Case style wise they still retained chrome trims but became more boxy & angular (think of big finned cars of the 50's)

In the 60's plastics technology improved greatly & lots of great 60's machines with metal gearing & plastic housings are around & in use today. Late 60's brought out the Avacado Green & floral printed ones leading into the 70's. Chrome trim went away, case colors remained in style. Angular cases became more boxy.

Late 70's early 80's nearly every machine produced was plain unadorned white plastic case. 2001 A Space Odyssey was a hit & Modernism ruled in appliances. Some machines were produced with Nylon gears, which turned out to be a very bad idea.

Early 80's-present: more molded forms case-wise. Ergonomics are coming back into play with better light, button & atatchment placement. And of course, the first computerized home model sewing machines.
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008 10:23:35 AM »

That's a lot on info.  I wish I knew half of that!  Thanks!

« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008 12:56:51 PM »

Smiley Now if I could only find people to pay me for all this random knowledge I'm carrying around in my head...
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2008 08:41:29 PM »

So an update on the machine... I went to Gall Sewing (a place my mom has always taken her machines) to see if they might know anything about the machine, or if they could get their hands on a manual, just to save me the time of ordering online.  Well, they are not very helpful.  Actually, they were very rude, pretty much barked at me that they didn't have anything.  So I went back online and apparently SewUSA does not have the exact model number that I need.  It's one number off.  What other resources are there? 

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