Learning about how different people and companies got their start in life, as well as other information, is part of the fun of history. What you learn may be useful in trivia games, but it’s also fascinating to read about our forefathers and understand what they were up to and why they did what they did.
The original Remington gun manufacturing gave birth to this corporation. The corporation had to diversify and make various items, such as the sewing machine, to keep their workers occupied during periods of peace. For many years, they also manufactured razors.
Continue reading this post to learn more about antique Remington sewing machines and who created them. It delves into history to provide you with the joy of learning. The Japanese Remingtons are not related to the Old Remingtons.
The Remington Sewing Machine History
According to folklore, in the early 1800s, the founder of the Remington gun manufacturing forged his first rifle barrel on his father’s forge. Eliphalet Remington II was the company’s creator, and by 1828, he had a thriving business.
The market for weaponry had decreased at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, thus the company had to hunt for other things to manufacture. Because demand was so high at the time, the sewing machine was the most reasonable choice.
Instead of building their own sewing machine factory, they entered into negotiations to purchase Empire Sewing Machine Company. By October 1870, the company had been purchased by Remington and was known as the Remington Empire Sewing Machine Company.
Empire’s name was dropped four years later, and the company became known as the Remington Sewing Machine Agency. The company expanded further in 1874 when it began producing typewriters, using the same casting for both typewriters and sewing machines.
Because Remington already had a lot of expertise mass producing things, they were able to mass produce and sell their sewing machines for around $20, which was far less than Singer’s price, which was a close New York neighbor. The price of a treadle machine with cabinet was $70.
Starting in 1876, following their peak production year of 25,000 units, Remington’s sewing machine wing began to falter, and they were unable to keep up with the competition, despite their lower costs.
One of their factories was damaged in a fire in Chicago in 1871, which may have contributed to this. The company continued to make sewing machines for another 30 years, but the majority were exported and just a few, such as the treadle machines, were marketed in the United States.
By 1902, Remington had produced 75,000 sewing machines and had shut down the division for good. Today, there are more recent Remingtons on the market, but they were built in Japan by Brother or Janome and had no connection to the Remington firm.
Remington Sewing Machine Made In Japan
These sewing machines were created by one of two Japanese companies, Brother or Janome, or both. It’s unclear who made them or how many there were, but they used the Remington name to appeal to an American audience.
The period of manufacture was from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, and whether they lasted beyond, it is unknown. Like so many others, these Japanese models were exact replicas of the Singer 15.
These newer machines were not as valuable as the older Remingtons, but they did their job and held their own. After all, they were upgraded Singer sewing machines with reasonably good parts.
Why did the Japanese give this sewing machine model the Remington name? It was a well-known American brand name in the United States and around the world. The old company’s name alone would boost sales and assist Japanese companies get into the American sewing machine market.
This was normal practice at the time. The brand names Good Housekeeping and others were utilized. The Japanese were most likely aiming to dupe Americans into thinking they were purchasing genuine American goods from those well-known firms.
Remington Sewing Machine Models
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Japanese version of Remington produced approximately 24 different models. This link has a list of them along with photographs so you can see what they look like.
As you can see, they come in a variety of colors and features to suit your stitching needs. The older Remingtons are more difficult to track down, but we do know about the Models 1, 3, 33, and 83, the first of which has a mother of pearl inlay violin base.
The majority of ancient Remington sewing machines were treadle or hand crank types. A round badge in the centre of the sewing machine bed identifies them as genuine Remington machines. This emblem was first issued in 1870 and has been in use for many years.
The treadle types were created until 1896, while the hand cranks were made until 1902, but they were mostly used in foreign countries. The only problem is that this company only produced about 75,000 sewing machines in total, making any that survive into the twenty-first century quite valuable.
Old Remington Sewing Machine Serial Number Lookup
Only two serial numbers were discovered on Remington sewing machines. The first is from an 1880 No. 3 model with the number 143104, while the second is from an 1890ish treadle machine with the number 5 M 217368.
Remington itself may be the best place to check for a complete list of serial numbers. The corporation is still in operation, and those serial numbers may have been saved somewhere safe.
When visiting an antique vendor, make sure the serial number is 5,000 or lower to find a desirable Remington sewing machine or any other ancient sewing machine. It usually has to be made before 1870.
Even though they were created in the nineteenth century, serial numbers 50,000 and up are considered late and less desirable. However, this is not a typical evaluation, but rather something to consider while you look for or sell your Remington sewing machine.
Remington Sewing Machine Value
Value is a sensitive topic. While antique dealers can help you determine the value of your antique Remington sewing machine, you never know if they are telling you the truth.
There are a few bad apples who try to take advantage of individuals who are unaware of the situation and undercut the price in order to earn a larger profit. Name, age, style, quantity produced, and condition are all criteria that go into deciding value.
With that stated, antique Remingtons can be rather valuable, as one sold for $1,500 on eBay in 1880. Another 1880 was selling for only $120 without the cabinet. The first was a treadle machine, while the second was a hand crank machine.
If you’re looking for Japanese versions, don’t expect to obtain anywhere near the original retail price. Depending on the parameters described above, these newer devices are worth between $50 and $70.
Remember that these new machines are all Singer clones, and there were a lot of them built. Even though they can still sew, this fact alone reduces their value. We couldn’t find any on eBay at this time.
Finding a Vintage Remington Sewing Machine for Sale
Many collectors wish to cling on to their ancient sewing machines and keep them secure in their homes, so this may not be an easy process. Also, the time of year isn’t often ideal for selling ancient sewing machines, so you might not discover many when you start hunting.
One place to look is eBay, where there are currently only two listings. You may also go around to the antique shops and see what they have. Because Remington was an American business, many of their models can be purchased in antique shops in the United States.
Since many were exported, you can check different vintage shops in other countries to see if any are still available in good condition. Then there’s Craigslist and classified advertisements, both in print and online.
Until you start looking, you never know where you’ll find one for sale. Even family, friends, and friends of friends might have one they’d like to get rid of. Finally, you may always place a wanted ad and see what kind of response you get.
There are several methods for locating an Old Remington for sale. Because fewer people seem to want them, the newer ones will be much easier to come by.
Where to Find Remington Sewing Machine Parts
This British retailer is the first place to look. It has numerous photographs of various more current Remington sewing machines, as well as a component list for each. This sewing machine company is almost the same, as it lists manuals for more modern Remingtons.
Nothing came up on eBay, which could mean you’ll have to go to one of those old vintage sewing machine repair shops and stitch whatever they have. Another place to search is antique shops, as they may have old ones that they can’t get to function, even though the parts are OK.
As previously stated, only roughly 75,000 were produced in all, with many of them being exported overseas. Finding parts today could signify you were born under a horseshoe and holding a four-leaf clover.
Old Remington Sewing Machine Manuals
It will be difficult to locate manuals for ancient Remingtons. Because there were so few made, it’s unlikely that many have survived the years since they were made.
Even the Japanese models are not featured in our go-to manual sources, however they may be listed under Brother instead of Remington. Other than the one given above, we found another manual for a more current Remington sewing machine, which you may get at this site.
You should conduct a private search of repair shops, vintage sewing machine dealers, and antique shops to determine if any have survived the past 120-140 years.
How to Thread a Remington Sewing Machine
We couldn’t discover a manual that gave us free access to the how-to thread page due to the scarcity of manuals. We’ve never threaded a Remington, old or new, so we can’t speak from experience.
The best thing to do with Japanese models is to look for Singer 15 instructions and check if they work. That was the sewing machine from which the Remingtons were cloned, so threading instructions would be comparable.
Looking at photos of the original No. 3, the threading appears to be simple. After inserting the thread on its pin, remove it from the spool. Then go to the first thread guide on the machine’s top front.
Before entering the needle, proceed around the tension disk and then to the bottom thread guide. Looking at ancient images can only go us so far.
History has a way of reminding you that you don’t have all the facts you think you possess. Remington was more than simply a r I f l e and hand g u n maker, according to history.
For a brief period, they appeared to make interesting sewing machines.