Old Montgomery Ward Machine

ralphgumbySeptember 24, 2005

Hi to all-

I was perusing this site for the first time this morning to get some ideas/ info on what would be a good machine for my wife. Lots of interesting comments and information.

Strangely enough, while I was out doing errands this afternoon, I saw and old Montgomery Ward sewing machine with a "free" sign on it. It looked pretty clean, and it also had the "cams" for different pattern stitching. Manual too. I spoke with the guy at the house and he said his wife inherited a "better" machine from an aunt, and no longer needed this one.

It seems to work (it runs and the needle goes up and down).

Any ideas as to its age or whether it might be a good machine? It is a model UHTJ1939. Serial number 87B15887. It says "Made in Japan" on the back.

I can't find anything that says something like "made for Montgomery Ward by XXXXX", so I don't know if it's a keeper or not.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,


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Depending on the price that he is selling it for, it is probably worth it if it sews and you wife is not into sewing big time. I have purchase an inexpensive machine thinking that it was worth it from WalMart but "no go". It is cheap and ineffective for what I need and ended up purchasing a much better machine that I am really happy with. Anything free, as far as I'm concerned, can't be too bad! You can always junk it if it doesn't work!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 6:37PM
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Sit down and get it threaded and see if it sews...then try a cam or two....that is what the instruction book is for...if it works and is FREE ...I'd go for it. I'd hate to end up with a broken down piece of someone else's junk and have to dispose of it....ask if you can try it...what can it cost you besides a bit of time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 11:22PM
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sounds like the machine ex-hubby bought me 46 years ago when first daughter was born. I used it a long time but making decorative stiches with those cams is a pain. if it sews and it is what your wife will use, it will be fine.

I got rid of mine years ago. Bought an inexpensive Brother which was always having problems, gave it away and now own a Viking.....which I love.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 2:30PM
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I have had my old Montgomery Ward machine for over 35 years and still love it. It is FREE, take it home, let your wife see if she can sew with it ok. If she doesn't like it give it to the trash man, a thrift store or put it on your curb with a free sign on it. If she likes it, it is definately a keeper. Mine has been used a ton over the years. No plastic parts to wear out. They are also worth fixing if they do have a minor problem.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 1:16AM
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Well, I took the machine the day I saw it. My wife tried using a week or so ago. Following the instructions, the bobbin winder wasn't winding the bobbin. A little look at the manual and I removed the top cover. The bobbin winder shaft was stuck- that's why it didn't wind. A drop of light oil on the shaft, spun it for a bit, then reassembled. Worked fine.
My wife just made curtains for the living room on Sunday. Worked fine. This machine does seem to be built well.
She wants to write a thank-you note to the woman that was giving it away.
Happy ending to this story.
Thanks to those that responded.

1 Like    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 9:19AM
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Ralph, I'm glad your find is a keeper. It would be a good idea to take the machine to a shop for a tune-up. The shop will clean all the parts, lubricate them, adjust tensions and replace any worn-out belts. After the treatment, the machine will be working even better than it does now. Many store-brand machines sold in the US during the fifties and sixties were cast in Nagoya, Japan and their quality still shines.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 1:50PM
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I'm a newbie on this forum though not a newbie to sewing. I had a Montgomery Ward sewing machine that I bought new in 1975. In 1990 I was deployed to Saudi Arabia, I packed this machine on the truck and took it with my Army Reserve Unit. We used the heck out of it keeping our clothes and uniforms together. I brought it home 6 months later, took it apart, cleaned out the sand, reoiled it and used it for another 6 months till I treated myself to a new machine. It was given to my sister who used it for 5 years and now has been given to my niece who still uses it. I paid a whopping $95 for it in 1975.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 3:18PM
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I have in my possession a MW Model #: UHT J 1460
Anybody have any knowledge of where we can obtain a new foot pedal cord for this?


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:11PM
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Someone gave me and old Montgomery Machine she bought at a tag sale. I took it home cleaned it oiled it (it was a mess), it still didn't work. Finally found out the shaft was on backwards, fixed that now it works like a dream. It only came with one cam, the zig zag one. Would like to have more cams for it. Any ideas on how to get some more cams. Any ideas would be appreciated. It's a Model 1960.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:49AM
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I have a hand me down Montgomery Ward sewing machine. number URR-279 serial number 55X. I am having a problem adjusting the bobbin thread in order to have the underside stitch be even it is too loose. The top stitch on the fabric is perfect. can anyone help. I do not have an owners manual

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 6:00PM
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I obtained one of those free Montgomery Ward sewing machines from the street here in San Francisco. It is Model# UHT J 1429 Serial# 77B. I am looking for an Owners Manual and a Parts/Repair Manual.I have emailed ron@a1sewingmachine.com but no response as yet.Any suggestions.

Thank you.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:50PM
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My daughter's mother-in-law picked her up a old Montgomery sewing machine from a garage sale that an elderly lady had. It was still in the orginial box. It is pink and works great. I have an older Sears and I took it to have it cleaned one time. The guy told me to be sure and keep this machine because it has very little plastic in it and it was one of the better ones on the market. He said they are putting so much plastic in them now adays and they don't hold up. A friend of mine had an older Sears machine and she bought a new more expensive machine. We bought it for our daughter for $50.00. She uses it all the time. She loves it.. If you pick up the newer machines they are light in weight. Mine is real heavy.. This is always a good sign that it is a good machine..

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:41AM
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I had a friend who owned an old Montgomery Ward machine & I used to laugh & tell her I thought it would sew balsa wood! Amazing what that thing would stitch together...an old Army tent, her DH's heavy duty canvas hunting vest, leather shotgun case, etc., then she'd make frilly dresses for her daughter.

I'd say your free one is a keeper!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 7:18AM
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I have an old model 1950 with instruction book and blue, round cams that have one hole on the side and curvy edges, which may or may not work with the model 1960. I have turned the sewing machine on and it appears to sew. It is on its way to our thrift store this month (August) unless anyone is interested in any or all of this, so please respond soon.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:41PM
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I have a MW model UHT J1276 that I got for free from a neighbor who was moving. I am new to sewing and I think that I need a bobbin in the machine for it to work properly. I am shy one bobbin case for this machine. If anyone has any info for me about this matter I would greatly appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 7:30PM
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Gosh, my mom had a Montgomery Wards machine from before I was born (I'm just about 50)...with the cams and everything. My SIL now has it and says it runs like a champ. She just uses it for repairs and such. The only reason my mom gave it to her DIL was because she got a newer machine (that she says doesn't sew much better).

Is All Brands still in business? I found their catalog from 1998 in a drawer when I was cleaning a few weeks ago. They were a good place to obtain instruction manuals and cams at one time. (www.allbrands.com I believe)


    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 10:36PM
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Hi, I have a Montgomery Ward (Signature) machine that was made in the 1960's. I'm trying to remember just how old it is. I seem to remember my mother having it at least by 1964. (She made me a dress for school on it). It is a zig-zag machine and has cams. I do have all the cams, I think (no manual). Does anyone know what model it is and where I might get some attachements for it? It still works perfectly.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 8:41PM
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Here are some great sites for parts or manuals etc.

to see pictures of different models and to order manuals

another site for parts & manuals

how to fix or repair

hope this will help

1 Like    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 1:48PM
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I need a bobbin case for a: montgomery ward sewing machine UHT J1984. I will pay for it and pay for shipping. email me: csmal100@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:17AM
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I have a montgomery ward sewing machine Model UHTJ-1934 and can find no reference to that model # on any of the parts suppliers. It was made in Taiwan Republic of China. I need a plastic gear that changes the stitch pattern selection. The gear is 7/8th inch in diameter,1/8" wide and fits on a 7/16th " metal adapter with a set screw that fits a 1/4th" shaft.HELP!!!!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 3:58PM
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I have an old Montgomery Ward UHT J1980. Bought it new in 1980 & it still sews like a dream..they don't make them like this any more!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:20AM
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Looking for a manual for Montgomery Ward Happy Lock Serger UHTJ1867....any help? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 10:28AM
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I have a Montgomery Wards sewing machine with the number H520551 on the front. It is in very good condition and sews great. I have pictures, would $125.00 be to much for this machine?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 6:46PM
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I need to find an instruction manual for a Montgomery Ward Sewing machine, Model # UHT-J1984. If anyone has one saved on computer that could be emailed or something, that would be wonderful! I'd be happy to pay postage, if that's only way to obtain it.
Many Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:57AM
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I wanted to buy my sister a ruffler foot for her montgomery ward UTH-J1947 machine from the 80's but i don't know the shank height (low/med/high).. we don't live near each other so i can's sneak in and measure it. Does anyone know? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Pamela Veenstra

I'm using a Montgomery Ward UHT J1269 sewing machine that I got at our dump's swap shop. Inside was pristene. Only thing missing are the cams which go in a top compartment, and the user manual. Anybody out there have the missing manual?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2015 at 7:50PM
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