There have been dozens of sewing machine companies manufacturing appliances for easy stitching. However, not many are more famous than the White Sewing Machine Company, which manufactured the machines for over a century.
While they’re out of business today, their vintage sewing machines are still popular and highly sought after on online marketplaces.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about White sewing machines, from their history to different models and values by serial number.
History of White Sewing Machines
Additionally, the fact that it was hand-cranked meant that it was extremely tiring to use for extended periods of time. However, foot-pedal-powered machines followed soon after and became one of the most widely used machines all around the U.S.
In 1858, Thomas White founded the White Sewing Machine Company in Templeton, Massachusetts, and started mass-producing his new sewing machine. 8 years later, in 1966, he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio.
There, the White Sewing Machine Company became one of the biggest players in the sewing machine industry and even had sister companies in the automotive industry. By the 1880s, it was manufacturing about 60,000 sewing machines annually.
However, it started losing business in the 1950s, when cheaper and better sewing machines by competitors like Singers Corporation and Sears, Roebuck, and Co started winning over the consumers.
Despite that, White sewing machines are some of the most popular antique sewing machines today. They are still widely used by hobbyists and professionals, thanks to their durability and easy-to-use design.
Now we can take a look at sewing machine models manufactured by the White Sewing Machine Company.
Vintage White Sewing Machine Models
White Sewing Machine Company didn’t produce that many different models throughout the years, unlike their main competitor Singer Corporation. However, it’s still useful to take a look at some of the most popular White sewing machine models and see how they’ve evolved throughout the years.
White Peerless Sewing Machine
This is probably the most popular sewing machine type made by White Sewing Machine Company. It’s characterized by a landscape painting at the base and was produced from the late 1800s to the first half of the 1900s.
All Peerless sewing machines were powered by hand-cranking and were ¾-sized versions produced for professionals and hobbyists alike. They were based on full-sized White sewing machines. ‘
For example, Peerless was based on VS I model that was produced from 1876 to 1882. White Peerless was based on VS IIa and VS IIb models, which were produced from 1882 to 1886 and from 1886 to 1889 respectively.
Finally, New White Peerless was based on the VS III model that was made from 1893 to 1928. The final Peerless model had 3 different variants – “A”, “B”, and “C”, that differed in the case and hand-crank design.
White Rotary Sewing Machine
This type of sewing machine was manufactured by White from the late 1890s, and it maintained popularity until the 1950s when better sewing machine models took its place.
Because of such a long timeframe of dominance, White rotary sewing machines can be easily found and aren’t worth much. There were two versions, one treadle, and another electric, the latter staying popular for longer.
Finally, this type had several models, including 41, 43, and 77, which differed slightly in design details, but otherwise are pretty similar.
White Gem Sewing Machine
This sewing machine by White is probably the most unique, as it was extremely compact and featured a cast iron base. Its production started in the late 1800s, but it didn’t become as popular as other types of White sewing machines.
How Do I Find the Year of My White Sewing Machine?
It’s pretty easy to find the year of your White sewing machine because there weren’t many different models and every single machine has a manufacturer’s tag with a serial number, which can be used to find the exact year of production.
Depending on the model, the tag will be at the front, back, or motor of the sewing machine. If you own some rare model, it could also be on either side or even at the bottom, but such instances are pretty rare.
When you know the serial number of your White sewing machine, research it online to find the year of production. The only problem you could encounter is if your machine was made after the 1960s when the White Sewing Machine company was bought by Husqvarna-Viking.
Husqvarna-Viking doesn’t offer any information related to the year of their sewing machines, so you’d have to find an appraiser specializing in White sewing machines to help you find out the year when it was made.
How Much Are White Sewing Machines Worth?
Because of how many of them were made, White sewing machines aren’t worth that much compared to other antiques. You can find a White sewing machine in working order for as little as $100.
However, some rarer models in mint condition could be worth much, much more. Some have sold for thousands of dollars, but it’s usually the ones that were made in the 1870s, making them extremely rare.
White Sewing Machine Value By Serial Number
The best indicator for knowing how much a White sewing machine is worth is its serial number. The number indicates the model and when it was produced, two of the most important factors determining its value.
As you will see, the older the machine, the more valuable it can be. Keep in mind that these are just general price ranges, and many White sewing machines can be bought or sold for more or less.
Here’s a table of White sewing machine values by serial number:
|Serial Number||Date of Production||Average Value Range|
As these are just rough estimates, it’s important to understand what factors play into the value of a White sewing machine. Regardless of the model, these 3 are the most impactful:
Most antiques follow the same trend of “the older – the more valuable”. It’s because age directly plays into the rarity and uniqueness of an item. The same applies to White sewing machines.
Even the same exact models in the same exact condition can have a different value depending on the exact year they were made.
The second most important factor is the condition. White sewing machines in mint (perfect) condition are the most valuable, and their value can depreciate drastically just because of a single scratch.
In general, the better the condition of the antique, the more valuable it is. Every scratch, crack, and dent matters and directly impacts the value of a White sewing machine.
Some White sewing machine models are more difficult to come by than others. As a result, the supply is lower and the value is higher. Additionally, some White sewing machines could have a verifiable backstory of belonging to a famous person or something like that.
Things like that also make it more valuable, because such machines could be called “one of a kind”, and it makes them the rarest machines possible.
Finally, the functionality of a sewing machine also influences its value. White sewing machines in working order, or in other words fully functional, are always going to be worth more than those which aren’t working properly.
As White sewing machines don’t get much attention from collectors, they’re primarily bought to be used practically. Because of that, the functionality of these machines influences their value more than the functionality of other vintage items.
Where to Buy and Sell White Sewing Machines?
If you’re thinking of buying a White sewing machine, or think that you might have a rare model collecting dust in your storage room, there are several online websites where you can buy or sell it. Here are the 2 best that we recommend:
eBay is one of the most popular online marketplaces, and people from all around the world are listing various items, including White sewing machines. Currently, there are over 150 listings of antique White sewing machines.
Besides eBay.com which is aimed at residents of the U.S, there are also international eBay websites localized for European markets. However, regardless of the website, most sellers are willing to send their items to any place in the world.
Just to show you that there’s interest in White sewing machines on eBay, here’s a New White Peerless sewing machine with an original wooden case that was sold for $618.88 on May 9, 2022.
Another great online marketplace to consider. Etsy is full of antique items, White sewing machines being not an exception. There are thousands of active listings, and you’ll definitely find a White sewing machine matching your needs there.