1913(ish) Montgomery Ward Windsor model sewing machine

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Project by seamuis posted 06-16-2012 03:35 PM 15805 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is actually a pre-project posting, hope I’m not breaking too many forum rules there! It’s just that I could really use some advice on this one. I have researched this thing to hell and back, and from what I found, I figure I’m up somewhere between $50 and $4k on the $60 I paid for it. It’s not a Singer, so it’s narrowed down to White, or another manufacturer who’s name I can’t recall. Everything I’ve found tells me that it was made for Montgomery Ward of Chicago, somewhere around 1913. The thing really is a beautiful piece, although a bit dusty. Which brings me to my dilemma- Do I clean it up a bit while still leaving the original finish on it(cracking in areas, dirt build-up in corners), and hope to find a collecter who wants it in original condition, or do I go ahead and carefully strip and refinish the wood, wire brush and re-spray the treadle, and try to restore the machine? I’m not looking to make bank on this, I bought it TO refinish. However, in my research, I’ve found that there are several models of sewing machine in that era worth $3500-$4000. And while I’m not in this to make a buck really, 4k buys me a damn nice bandsaw! Anyone have any thoughts? It would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

4 comments so far

View RICOCO's profile


47 posts in 3191 days

#1 posted 06-16-2012 06:01 PM

First I would search for a buyer in as is condition at a fair price. If that failed then I would restore it to near new condition(metal wood paint chrome etc.).

By the way that is a sweet find for $60.

-- Paul

View clieb91's profile


3701 posts in 4544 days

#2 posted 06-17-2012 01:56 AM

I would have to agree with Ricoco. Most of the time the collectors are looking for original. So try that avenue first.
Certainly is a well spent $60.

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View DanoP's profile


135 posts in 2949 days

#3 posted 06-17-2012 02:30 PM

My two cents… To make the big $, clean it. Murphy’s oil soap and WD-40 followed by an old fashioned furniture polish and a ton of patience waiting for the right buyer looking for “original”. Me… I’d have that thing apart so quick it’d make your head spin. I love restoration projects from that era and a fully restored, functional piece (if you can bare to part with it) will bring almost as much and be a much quicker sale.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

View Nkosika's profile


20 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 06-17-2012 04:42 PM

I just uploaded my own Antique Sewing Machine restoration –

And more pictures here with process descriptions- Obviously yours isn’t in the same starting condition as mine.

I doubt that yours, no matter what, isn’t and won’t be worth more than $400 no matter the condition. I would just go to an antique shop and show them some pictures and they’ll tell you. The stuff you could get from catalogs and such, just aren’t rare and usually aren’t worth that much even in pristine condition due to their mass production. Price is set due to rarity, age, condition and most importantly, demand.

Personally, I would say to myself, do I want this in my house as a piece and do I want it to look beautiful and talk about it to others. If yes, I would strip it down and redo it and make it as pristine as possible. The value to me would be, a project to do, a beautiful piece to look at, something to talk about to others and that would be worth more than the 200 to 400 I could get out of it.

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