Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main > For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
Wards Signature J278B sewing machine >

Wards Signature J278B sewing machine

Wards Signature J278B sewing machine

Old 01-29-2019, 07:59 AM
Super Member
Macybaby's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 7,940

I think your service guy is being rather closed minded. And I don't think many of the machines that don't say "singer" were made by Singer in the 60's. Singer was not one of the companies that made machines for other back then. And by the 60's, so much was being outsourced that Singer may not have been making their own machines either.

As to needle length, before the advent of Japanese made machines, domestic machine used a wide variety of needle lengths. At the time Singer used what several of the foreign companies used, but most of the other US manufacturers used something different. The Japanese started out making machines that followed the Singer 15 design, and they used the same needle that Singer used - and then it became common and most people don't know that there once was a wide variety in needle lengths.

I have several Boye needle cases, and set out to collect an example of a machine for each needle length and each shuttle they sold. I think there were around 12 different needles. Some are quite close in style, and some very different.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-30-2019 at 06:26 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
Macybaby is offline  
Old 01-30-2019, 11:17 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 601

I just got the machine back a few minutes ago, and am going to go up and play with it. The man in the little shop, selling vacuums and servicing sewing machines, has 3 machines to sell in his shop, all oldies, and one of them is my exact model and has ALL that came with it in the 60's, he thinks. The many feet looked completely unused. He let me borrow the manual long enough to copy many pages on my printer -- I am a happy camper!!!
Lee in Richmond is offline  
Old 01-30-2019, 02:23 PM
Super Member
leonf's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: near Topeka kansas
Posts: 4,523

huzzah for you
leonf is offline  
Old 01-30-2019, 04:29 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,789

Originally Posted by Lee in Richmond View Post
Oh, how many more surprises? I changed out the needle on this machine, as it looked weird -- turned out to have two color bands on it, which I have never seen before and was a tiny bit longer. On the front of this machine there is an etched diagram of a needle and the words "exact needle length 1-17/32". I have never seen other lengths of needles -- does anyone know what this is about?
Years ago my mom had a Wards machine-the needles were a slightly different length. Just enough that you had to buy Wards brand needles. It was a nice enough machine but the needle size was a pain-you had to go to Wards to get them.
bakermom is offline  
Old 05-06-2021, 03:03 PM
Super Member
ppquilter's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wonderful WY
Posts: 1,461

Are you still looking for a manual? I have a free pdf of the manual from FB Vintage sewing machine spot??
ppquilter is offline  
Old 05-24-2023, 07:10 PM
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 1

Originally Posted by ppquilter View Post
Are you still looking for a manual? I have a free pdf of the manual from FB Vintage sewing machine spot??
Do you still have the manual? I just bought this machine and am looking for a manual.
Electric is offline  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 27

Originally Posted by Lee in Richmond View Post
I just took this machine to a guy who has been servicing the old ones forever, and learned some stuff. He says needle length has not changed in these old domestic machines (my imagination at work, I guess), and all the old ones sold around here in the 60's were made by Singer. In his little shop he actually had the exact same machine - model number and all - that he took as a trade in! He has the actual manual, and I am going to try to get him to sell me a copy of it - hope that's not a copyright issue. Oh yeah, he says the adjustments I need are the usual ones and I'll get it back later today.
Needle length: He's probably refering to the fact that 15x1 was pretty much adopted as the "standard" size needle quite some time ago. There have been many, many different sizes and types of needles over the years.

AFAIK Singer never made a Montgomery Ward sewing machine. Maybe he meant that Singer was the originator of the 15x1 needle size, but lots of companies made them, even back then.

Technically the work is under copyright but if Ward's doesn't make it available I'd do what I had to do to use my machine.

Do you have JA/JC numbers off the bottom of the machine? We could probably tell you who made it from that. It is probably Happy.
Heresolong is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
01-16-2019 12:55 PM
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
09-04-2017 05:50 PM
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
12-01-2013 12:29 PM
J Miller
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
03-02-2012 09:01 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter