I have a Universal Sewing Machine 700/19389 Japan. Can you tell me the year this was made ?
It is always best to show a picture of the sewing machine as so many sellers/sites do not list serial numbers when describing their machines so it can only be identified by a picture. Also, a picture of the serial number information is much better than just writing it out. Pictures can tell a much better story when doing research.
Most of the sewing machines with names like this are clones of other brands (usually Singer) that were made in Japan and sold to companies in America.
However, there seems to be a lot of controversy about the Universal Machine so it may be best if you read some of the online information for yourself.
Here is one excerpt from a 'history' site:
"Universal Sewing Machine History
There was a Universal Sewing Machines LTD company in the United Kingdom after the war. It was formed in 1954 and by 1957 it was making 35,000 machines a year. Their claim to fame was the aluminum sewing machine body but there is no word of the popularity of that model
There is also no connection between that company and the Universal sewing machines made in America after the war. Their machines seem to be copies of the Taylor-Bird machine as it used the same parts.
What can be uncovered about the American Universal sewing machine is that it was never an independent company, it was made under the ownership and supervision of White and the machines were a product of the Japanese sewing machine manufacturing boom that took place in the late 40s to early 60s."
This information just seems to be a small part of the universal history.
You can read the complete article here:
There are several sewing machine sites/forums that help people date these machines as well as offer help with any problems anyone has when using the machines.
This is the only site that I could find for a manual but it seems to be for the older machines.
Machines marketed under the Universal label were made for many different retail brands in the period 1940-1960. Unfortunately it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to determine a specific year without finding a match to a picture to help narrow the time band.
You can contact this company
STANDARD SEWING EQUIPMENT CORP
11760 BEREA RD
CLEVELAND, OH 44111
There are several Universal sewing machines for sale:
This one is listed for $76:
This one is listed for $150:
I guess it still works good. I think it is from 1950s or maybe from 1960s. Most of the 1950s Japanese machines were based on Singer designs, well engineered and were distributed widely under different names.
Everything is absolutely correct, your sewing machine is made in Japan, or rather made by the Osaka Sewing Machine Mfg. Co. in Osaka, Japan.
Dates to about 1960's.
You have a so-called 'badged machine'. This refers to a machine that was purchased by a reseller, and then given their own brand or name. Read what is written on the metal plate by your sewing machine. It most likely says Standard Sewing Equipment Co, NY like here:
So, the company that imported the sewing machine was the Standard Sewing Equipment Co, NY, but the company that sold the sewing machine called it a 'Universal'. This may have been a branch of Standard Sewing Equipment, or another retailer.