Q&A on Collecting: Sewing machine was built to last

Anne McCollam answers readers' questions about the value of their antiques.
BY Anne McCollam, For The Oklahoman Published: October 14, 2013
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Q&A ON COLLECTING

Sewing machine was built to last

Q: Enclosed is a photo of an old portable sewing machine. It is electric, has a hard plastic carrying case and is in good working condition. On the top are the words in gold “Best Built Sewing Machine Supply Co., Inc.” It has been stored for over 30 years. I would like to know if it has any value as a collectible, where it was made and how old it is.

A: Your sewing machine was made in Japan around 1960. Between the 1940s and 1960s, a dozen or so Japanese companies produced a plethora of sewing machines based on the popular Singer Model 15. They gave them a variety of names that appealed to the United States' market that included “Sanger” and “Happy Lite.” The Japanese factories also made sewing machines for Sears, Wards and other large department stores. Additionally, they made them in colors from pink to red. Even though they were sturdy and operated as well as the American Singers, there is not a demand for these sewing machines as collectibles. In most cases, their value is low and can be found selling from $20 to $100. Occasionally, one pops up on the Internet in the $100 to $500 range. Those sellers are optimistic, and I can't document one selling that high.