Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anyone? What year(s) was Kenmore 1431 sewing machine sold?

Look what followed me home tonight.

Okay, it didn't exactly follow me home. I saw an ad on Craig's list and went to look at it earlier this evening. When I plugged it in and ran a few stitches, well, it purred and the stitches were beautiful - almost as if it had just been tuned up.

The price was right so hubby hauled it home for me. Along with an old thread storage chest (filled with thread, needles and bobbins) and a bag of cotton fabric. Most of the thread is too old to be of any use, but I'll hang onto the wooden spools of thread for decor in the sewing studio.

The machine is an older one that folds away in its cabinet. Not as old as the one that I foolishly tossed years ago but older than the Kenmore I purchased in the mid 1980s, which I still own.

As you can see, the cabinet is in rough shape visually, but it's still quite sturdy.

The bobbin is located underneath the machine. And if you look really, really close, the middle of the needle plate slides out. That's because it can be changed for straight stitching (small needle hole) and for zig zag stitching (the wide oval hole).

Not only did I find the manual and the buttonhole attachment tucked inside the tread storage cabinet, but I also located a stack of repair receipts It looks as if the previous owner brought the machine in for a tune up every few years. The earliest date I could find was 1980.

It's a Kenmore 1431 sewing machine. Anyone know what year(s) the machine was sold? Pin It


  1. Good find Sharon! I just can't pass up a sewing machine on Craigslist! I'm not sure of the vintage of that machine, but a little research should shed some light. My first Kenmore bought in 1978 looked similar and had the bobbin down below like that. I gave it to my Mom and my brother hocked it (Butthead!!!) I will research later...DH has dinner on the table! :) Mary

  2. Diane7:40 AM

    My mother-in-law gave me a Kenmore that looks alot like yours. I'm at work now so I can't check the model number but I will let you know what I find when I get home tonight. The one she gave me is from the mid 70's and it still works great, although I seldom use it.

  3. I have one about like that I bought from a lady at church for $15 a year and a half ago to learn to sew on. It's put away on a high shelf right now or I'd go check my model # (I got a newer machine last Christmas). Mine looks like that as well as my grandmother's, which she bought hers in the mid-late 70's. Mine needs a tune-up, though.

  4. That machine looks very similar to my mother's machine and her owner's manual has the same cover. I think she either got her machine in 1977 or 1978. Her machine sews better than my new Baby Lock. Congratulations on such a good find. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. It looks really similar to the machine my mom had when I was a kid. I think hers was from the mid 70's. 1976 is what keeps popping in my head. It's long gone, though.

  6. Cheryl8:44 AM

    Hi:) I have a Model 1320.I bought it December 1974.Looks like your machine has more stitch selection than mine.I LOVE the machine.I also have a Singer but LOVE the Kenmore.It will sew stretch knits (lycra) that my Singer REFUSES to sew.AND I love it's buttonholes.Enjoy your purchase :) Cheryl

  7. DebbieF6:43 PM

    I have that same machine! It was my mom's and her husband bought it for her in 1977. Mine needs a new feed dog (it's worn out) but other than that, it's still my favorite machine, and it makes awesome buttonholes with the template atatchment.

  8. I don't know when the machine was made, but I had that same machine growing up. I think I still have the booklet for it & will try to figure it out. Seeing that machine brings back fond memories!

  9. This is probably from the mid 1970s. It's a different model but it looks very similar in style and some of the controls to a 1970 Kenmore that I had. The stitch selection button looks exactly like the one I had, and so does the tension wheel. The instruction booklet also looks VERY similar.

  10. Sharon, there's a vintage kenmore group on yahoo. You might be able to find info on it there. I was able to date my machine that I bought at a thrift store for $10. My machine #158.17511 was made in 1968. Online I found a manual for it, a box of cams, and some accessories. My machine is a flatbed without a cabinet.

  11. Anonymous7:55 PM

    We have the same machine (Kenmore 1431) and manual for sale right now (August 21). I wonder how much was the price tag for yours? I'm really not sure how to price it.

  12. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Sorry, forgot to add my email:

  13. I have one just like it that was purchased in 1980. It has a broken part, though, and that part cannot be found :( I loved it!

  14. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Hi, I was wondering if you could help me id a SM my DH found for me. It doesn't have any name plate, only model no. 3900. Here are some pics to help. TIA.


  15. Anonymous1:39 PM


    I have one just like this and I am the original owner. My ex-husband bought it for me Brand New and a cabinet and it was in late 1973. It was the top of the line for Sears and mine still works. Knock on wood I have NEVER had to have this machine serviced. Over the years the machines have improved but this workhorse and I are sticking together. This model was made for Sears by White Brothers Sewing machine company. GREAT FIND.

  16. This is a very late followup, but my wife had one of these and she's looking for another. If anyone has one of this EXACT model (158.14310), and they would be willing to part with it, please contact me with the specifics at the address below,
    thanks, Don

  17. It is from the mid 1970's around 1974. My grandmother (1431) and my mom bought Kenmores at that time. I went with mom to the classes. My grandmother gave me her machine and it is the one I use today. I love it! It is a workhorse and I have worked it for the last 15 years.

  18. Anonymous1:24 AM

    i stumbled upon this... it was made in 1975-1976

  19. Anonymous10:58 AM

    I have the exact one it was purchased new in 1978

  20. Anonymous5:28 PM

    I have a 1751 Kenmore in a cabinet. I purchased this machine in 1969. It's all metal with the drop in pattern disk. I would not have one of the new models, your machine is probably late 60 early 70.

  21. Anonymous8:19 PM


  22. I'm not sure this is still an active thread. I just bought this machine at an online auction, more for the very-nice cabinet than the machine, as I already (ahem) have 3 other vintage machines. I did try to research the model beforehand but could find very little on it, so wasn't expecting much of the machine itself. However, I just fired it up and am very pleased with how quiet, smooth, and powerful it seems. After finally figuring out how to remove the top (it just pries off), I was delighted to find all metal parts, including the fancy-stitch cams. Some of the settings are not very intuitive, so I'll have to get the manual. As others have said, it's a mid-'70s machine, listed as "1975-76" in the vintage Kenmore PDF reference I found. Someone asked price -- mine was $43 but as I said, came in a beautiful Scandinavian-style cabinet in excellent condition, which alone was (to me) worth $43.



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