Friday, May 27, 2016

Look Alikes

A few weeks ago I posted on Oh The Adventure Of It All about a Kenmore that wasn't getting any love. It appeared the owner was just done with it and all I found wrong was a needle inserted backwards. It got cleaned up and is waiting for a new home. In my going out and about I come across another one, or did I?
Kenmore 158-19412
Kenmore 158-1625 (I think)
 The first one was a 158-19412 and the second one had a label of 158-1625. Can you tell them apart? They are identical twins! This was a mystery I needed to solve so I went to the Yahoo group about OldKenmoreSewingMachines where they keep a very detailed spreadsheet of many of the models. It's added to by those who can take measurements, report on needle positions, a wide variety of attachments and their model numbers, edited/updated as needed. There are also links to manuals and wouldn't you know it, 158-1941 &1625 and a whole list of others all share the same manual, models 1430, 1431, 1625, 1641, 1940, and 1941.

In decoding the model numbers, the first three are indicative of the country/city where the machines were manufactured:

(number) (company) (origin)
• 117 – White Sewing Machines (most USA, some W. Germany)
• 119 - unknown
• 120 – New Process Gear (div. Of Chrysler) (USA)
• 516 – Gritzner Kaiser (West Germany)
• 158 – Jaguar/Maruzen (Japan mostly a few in Taiwan)
• 148 – Soryu (Japan)
• 340 – Necchi (Italy)
• 385 – Janome (Taiwan)

My personal favorites are the 158's that were made in Japan as they are almost all metal (translate: heavy) and have stood the test of time.  The numbers after the dash are model numbers with the last numbers variations in color or free arm or flatbed. So why the very different numbers of 1941 and 1625? I would only be guessing but, here goes, it might have been a popular model and was reissued a few years later so it was given a different number.  Of the three basic models numbers for the combined manual, 1430, 1625, and 1940, their counterparts are indeed flatbed vs. freearm, The manual shows two variations of the free arm so that could account for the different numbers. Then I notice in the schematics for these machines there are different buttonhole attachments. This is a bit confusing because the manual notes how to use the attachment as well as the four step process with a buttohole foot. This makes for one confused user but maybe it's just me and my fleet of Kenmores. The bottom line: great sewing machine that can provide a wide variety of utility stitches and make buttonholes.

I still love these sturdy old gals and can't say enough about them, especially in comparison to the Singers of the same era (1970's). Don't pass one up if you get a chance to buy one, even if you need to complete your collection by adding a twin.


  1. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.

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  2. The 1941 has a one piece deck that releases with a push of the button on the back right corner. The 1625 is two piece; the front will come off separate of the back for bobbin access and lowering of feed dogs. To remove the rest of the deck you just pull it forward, no button to push. 1625 is from 1977. 1941 is from 1975-77. Just bought a 1625 and came across this info in my research. Great stitcher that is bullet proof.

    1. Thanks for the clarification and you are exactly right!