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Forum > Sewing Machines > 1950's Kenmore - useful or junk? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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1950's Kenmore - useful or junk?
117-959
AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/21/06 6:19 PM

We have an old in-the-cabinet Kenmore sewing machine. It is a model 117-959. (Neat site, BTW, if you are looking for sewing machine manuals.) It is from the early 50's.

It doesn't work, & I'm wondering if it is worth fixing. Obviously, the repair estimate would influence that. But given a reasonable price, it is still only worth fixing if it has some outstanding merit: either a superb straight stitch, or power that the new machines can't match.

Any of you vintage machine people familiar with Kenmores from this era?

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Bill Holman
Bill Holman
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Member since 8/29/04
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In reply to AnneM


Date: 11/21/06 6:22 PM

It was made by White, Anne. Nothing really exceptional except they hardly ever have a serious problem. There are Yahoo Groups for both the Kenmores in general, (no matter who made them) and White machines specifically.

Bill Holman

AnneM
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Date: 11/21/06 8:26 PM

Thanks, Bill. I appreciate the input. So you probably didn't see too many of these.

The cabinet has served as my sewing table since I started sewing (with my new Kenmore machine on top of it). But now with the new Janome, it doesn't work as well for me. So I'm thinking of getting rid of the cabinet & sewing machine. Alternatively, I repair it & make do w/ the cabinet knowing that I can use the machine inside. Such big decision!

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Wes K
Wes K
Member since 6/17/11
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Date: 6/17/11 0:54 AM

Hello Bill,

I also have one of these. Is there any way to date the machine?

misschris
misschris
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In reply to Wes K


Date: 6/17/11 0:58 AM

Bill is no longer active on Pattern Review. I'd suggest you join the Kenmore Yahoo group.

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chris

Melbourne

Betakin
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Betakin
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In reply to Wes K


Date: 6/17/11 1:40 AM

Quote: Wes K
Hello Bill,



I also have one of these. Is there any way to date the machine?

As Chris posted, Bill is no longer posting on PR and I do miss his expert info and knowledge on machines but..you can check out the White history with Kenmore sewing machines on line.
The war made changes in sales and number of machines being made in the 40's. According to the history I believe the 117-959 was made in 1948.
I think White made many models for Sears in the 30's till 1942 but then with the war, Kenmore models did not come about again till 1948 which included a couple of similar model numbers and the 117-959 ..and a long shuttle model.
clt3
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Subject: 1950s Kenmore - useful or junk? Date: 6/17/11 7:29 AM

I'm a member of the Kenmore yahoo group. According to their files, it dates to 1948. HTH.

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Singer 66-16. Singer 600e, Kenmore 158.1913 , Viking 1100, Brother 4000D, Brother Quattro traded for Brother PR1000!, Bernina 930, Bernina 1130, White 634DE gave away to a friend,
Babylock Evolve, 2 Featherweights ,Pfaff Creative Performance,Janome Coverpro 1000CPX






tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
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In reply to Wes K


Date: 6/17/11 9:11 AM

My sister has had this great sm for over 35 years! It sews a beautiful stitch & is her go to sm for about everything.

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Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<
Santa Kitty is on the move... Meowy Christmas everyone!

Oh good, DH has now getting a nice part time job. Avg 20 hours a week.
The sewing workers:
Hello Kitty Kate (green), Hello Kitty Valerie, Dottie Kenmore, Bubba Kenmore the traveler.

Be still & know that I Am God +
Dear God...please help us out..Thank you..+

zanylady
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zanylady  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/17/11 1:01 PM

Gee, those old Kenmore's are not junk. It may just need cleaning, oiling, greasing and some time with a hairdryer. Or it may need a new belt. they were classy machines, sleek and functional.
Most of the problems with the old machines come from a lack of maintenance. I have a 117 that sews a beautiful straight stitch.

JustineSewcountrychick
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JustineSewcountrychick
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In reply to Wes K


Date: 6/20/11 0:53 AM

Here is a link to date your machine Press here

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Justine

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