The Antique Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine 153 and 151: Everything You Need to Know

9 min read

If you don’t mind the dates, you can discover a lot of interesting stuff, like the tales behind the various sewing machines. The domestic story includes two brothers, one of whom served in the Civil War.

There are a number of lesser-known sewing machine businesses that have attempted to capitalize on the success of Domestic’s machines by copying them. Using magnesium in the 153 allowed it to be lighter and more portable.

Continue reading our article to learn more about these two machines and the firm that developed them. It has a lot of information you need to know about if you own or want to own one of these top sewing machines.

The Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine

A sewing machine manufacturing company was established by William Mack in 1861. The company he founded with N.S. Perkins after the Civil War was joined by his brother Frank, who had fought in the war.

In 1861, the company received the first US patent for a vibrating shuttle machine, indicating that the employees working there had a lot of skill in the field of sewing machines. Sales of their machines began in 1870 and by 1871 they had sold more than 10,000 units in a single year.

They sold over 40,000 units the next year. Until 1884, the brothers remained with Domestic, and then founded the Standard Sewing Machine Company in that year. When White purchased Domestic in 1924, the company’s impact on the sewing business waned.

The White Sewing Machine Company produced the Domestic 153 and 151, which were sold under the Domestic name as a different brand.

Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine 151 Year Made



It’s one of the drawbacks of studying the past. For a variety of causes, facts might be forgotten over time. In theory, the 151 was made between the 1930s and the 1950s, however this cannot be proven. White sewing machines were manufactured during this time period and were not authentic Domestics.

Sewing machines made by Domestic for Sears in the early twentieth century were known as the Minnesota. The original company’s Franklin, Minnesota, and VS models have all endured the longest.

Other titles for domestic models included the King and New Domestic in addition to Franklin and Franklin. The first machines were labeled with numbers and then letters but no mention of the 153 or 151 in any history of the company.

Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine Serial Numbers

It’s a little tricky because it’s difficult to find serial numbers for the authentic Domestic sewing machines. There has been no fresh information concerning this issue since we reported about it in our Domestic Sewing Machines History article.

Domestic was acquired by the White Sewing Machine Company, making it more possible that the serial numbers can be located in their records, should they still be around today. During White’s ownership of Domestic, the company kept the production factory in Cleveland, Ohio, and also continued to use the Domestic brand name.

To find the serial number on your Domestic sewing machine, check for the bade under the hand wheel on the right. When it comes to serial numbers, one of those appears to be listed as a possible candidate.

There is, however, no way to verify this conclusion or to date the sewing machine without the records of those serial numbers.

Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine 153 Value



As you are aware, the worth of anything is a matter of personal preference. In order to get your business, dealers and collectors will undervalue the machine and then raise the price once you agree on a price.

On eBay, we found a #153 selling for $390, despite an expert’s estimate of $175 to $225 as the current market worth. The price you get depends depend on the state of the machine, whether it works or not, and whether it comes with a cabinet.

If the vehicle is in excellent condition and still operates, you can try to establish a selling price close to the eBay figure and accept the lower current market value without feeling horrible about the sale. Because of this, sellers who are motivated by a quick sale can just accept any price they are given and see it as a sign of good fortune.

Value of Domestic Rotary Sewing Machines

The same tale will apply to all of the domestic sewing machines, as well. However, if you locate an original like Minnesota, Franklin or those with the letters on it, then you may have uncovered a priceless machine.

There aren’t many of these ancient sewing machines around, and they’re disappearing fast. These vintage machines offer a lot of value as spare parts because they’ve been around for a long time. Parts should fetch a higher price than an assembled sewing machine.

The main reason for this is that the majority of people who possess domestic sewing machines only require individual parts. You can always count on parts to make more money than you can count on the product itself.

In fact, batteries for cell phones can cost more than the phone itself, thus this trend is seen even in lower-end devices like those.

Finding Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine 151 Parts



Locating these devices and determining their production date can be challenging, but acquiring replacement components is not one of those challenges. At the time of this writing, there are numerous parts for sale on eBay. It’s easy to find parts for a Domestic #151 car by searching for “Domestic #151 parts.”

The #153 sewing machine is the same way. This website, which sells parts for both versions, is worth a look. Instead of searching for Domestic #1511 and #153 parts, try looking for them under the White brand name, which may yield better results.

You can use this link and this one in a general search to find people. It’s claimed by both that they have tens of thousands of spare parts for various sewing machine brands. Consider checking with your local sewing machine repair shop to see if they can point you in the right direction or if they can supply you with the parts you need.

Download Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine 153 Manual

Some manuals for the #153 and maybe the #151 are available, however the latter is more difficult to find than the former. A good starting point is this link; you don’t need to buy it in order to read it. Scrolling down will provide you with all the information you require.

There’s also a manual for the #151 available on eBay at the time of this writing. To verify that the link is still active, simply click on it. This link will take you to around 4 pages of the manual, which we’ll use to show you how to thread the needle in the following section of the guide.

Here’s one for the #151 machine, which costs $5 just to download the file. Using the White name in your search may also help you find manuals for both sewing machines.

How to Thread a Domestic Rotary Sewing Machine



A threading diagram is included in this site, so we’ll just paraphrase what you need to know about how to thread your sewing machine. The illustration makes it easy to see what has to be done and prevents you from getting lost in the details.

Lifting the presser foot and the take-up point to their highest positions is the initial step. Pull a small amount of thread off the spool and place it on the spool pin. Finally, take the thread under both hooks in the guide and go to the tension plate and go under it.

Reverse the procedure and locate the notch A by pulling the thread through the auxiliary spring. Once you’ve reached the hook on the guard and the take-up slot, you’re done.

When threading this section, return to the beginning. Before entering through the eye of the needle, you must first thread the hook on the needle clamp and then back to front. Finish by going from left to right.

Some Final Words

It was a fantastic sewing machine company, and it had some unique upgrades. Unfortunately, due to several mergers and acquisitions, much of the technology and data has been lost to time.



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