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I have an old gray one and an old white one - very well made Kenmore machines. How do you find manuals and how do you know who made them and where they were made?
NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
I have two Kenmores both were free to me. One is that same color lavender, but it is a model 29. I use it a lot for free motion quilting. It was made in the 1960s. I have no idea who actually made my Kenmores. The other one is a 18030 from the early 1970s. Kenmore seems to have a weird system for model numbers.......or at least weird to me.
There are a few machines (like the Lady Kenmore) that were made by a different company....but they're the exception, not the rule. The 158 series machines are wonderful...
My manual came from the Sears on line source.
I have two Kenmores in the 158 series at present. My full sized 158-1946 is basic and doesn't use cams, but I got it inew for a HS graduation gift in 1878 and it is still working great. It was my only machine for 25 years and I've used it well. My manual got very damp one place I lived and the pages stuck together. I found a replacement on ebay which also included the attachments from a sister machine that was destroyed in a flood. I also have a 158-1050 which is one of the cute 3/4 size machines that have the case with molded roses. It is promised to a friend who has been bugging me to find her a travel machine less expensive than a Featherweight. They are also more versatile as they have zz and a few utility stitches.
My Mother has a 148 series that is a few years older but still working good except she had it serviced at the local "big" (4 locations) SM dealer who sprayed something white in it that froze it solid about a year later (let me guess, she'd take it back to them and it wouldn't be fixable). I swapped her mine while I had to let it sit with PB Blaster to free it up. She is now not allowed to have anyone else work on her machine.
I had a 117-959 my sister gave me from her late MIL. They are rather homely looking (lin a brown godzilla football kinda way) but cleaned up pretty nice. I was able to find a free online manual to download for it and sold it recently. Of course since then I picked up an original manual and attachments on ebay for 99cents ... bait for the next one.
Miriam, I'd a pain in the butt. You've got to play with each page to save it, then once you've got it saved you got to print it.
I'll make you a copy.
I have a 1975 Kenmore that i got for $35 at the ReStore. Its now my favorite machine for piecing. If the price is right, go for it!