I take no personal credit for the information below. I think it is important, that is why I am putting it here.
From Zorba’s page. Copied to here for reference only.
Japanese JA and JC numbers
This reference has been “kicking around” on the ‘net in various places and in various forms. This version has been highly expanded and revised from the original. It was pieced together from a list found on the Japanese Sewing Machine Yahoo! group, as well as several other sources including considerable personal research and observation. For reference only, no accuracy is expressed or implied, but updates are welcomed!
Note: JA-39 was indicated being badged as Kenmore in the original list. I’m not buying it until I see further confirmation. I was able to confirm JA-39 as being Toyota OEM. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Toyota never manufactured Kenmore sewing machines for Sears (UPDATE: Toyota is known to have manufactured non-Kenmore machines for Sears for the Canadian market), only Janome, Maruzen/Jaguar, and Soryu among the Japanese makers did so. However, we now have several “unknown” manufacturers for Kenmore as noted below, perhaps one of them actually is Toyota…
Nobody really knows exactly what these numbers mean, and it would probably take a native Japanese speaker to be able to visit the appropriate archives in Japan – if they still exist – to try to shed more light on the subject. However, I have observed:
- “JA/JC” numbers seem to be quite rare on free arm machines, but comparatively few have been checked, and some may be inside.
- Very seldom seen on Singer 15 clones, AKA “HA-1” style machines.
- “JC” numbers are almost always cast into the bottom of the bed – the exceptions noted thus far have been found on “HA-1” machines, where JA/JC numbers are rare to start with, but these will sometimes have JC numbers stamped instead of cast.
- Not all Japanese machines have JA or JC numbers. Many have only one or the other or none. A given manufacturer may have used these numbers sporadically. Nobody knows the why or how of this…
- Any OEM listed has only been so after POSITIVE identification, otherwise a question mark is put by the OEM name. To date, the working assumption is that only one OEM used each JA or JC number – but that assumption could be disproven at any time.
- “JA” numbers, also found under the bed, are either stamped into the metal, stamped into an under-bed badge (sometimes as a serial number prefix), or they’re inked stamped.
Except when they’re not! This appears to have changed by the time of the aluminum era. “Kenmore” machines with “JA-4” (Maruzen) cast into (instead of stamped) the bottom of their aluminum bed are known to exist. These machines also show a “JC-4” cast right next to the “JA-4”! “JC-4” is a known Brother number. It is my current working theory, that “JC” refers to the company that CAST the machine hull, “JA” refers to the company that ASSEMBLED (designed?) the machine. This is PURE SPECULATION on my part.
Listed next to the JA or JC number is the OEM manufacturer, if known, then under the “Badged as” heading are any known badgings the finished machine was sold under. JA/JC numbers are generally found in the form of “J-Axx” or “J-Cxx”, but are listed here as “JA-xx” and “JC-xx” as that seems to be the accepted way to list them on the Internet. There are also very rarely seen “JN”, “JZ”, “JQ” and “HA” numbers, no-one seems to know what those mean other than “HA-1” indicates a Japanese round bobbin straight stitch machine. Apparently not manufacturer specific. I’ve seen occasional other HA-xx numbers, including HA003 cast onto the bottom of a Morse badged straight stitch machine built by Toyota.
Due to the stylization of the “J-“, it has been suggested that this is actually a stylized “JL”, not a J with hyphen attached. This is supposed to mean “Japan Light (industry)”. It certainly is a plausible story, but without further evidence as to its veracity, it must remain as a possibility only at this time.
JA Number Badged as --------- --------- JA-1 Brother Brother, Electro Grand, Bico, Lemair (Australia), Riviera American Home, Sovereign JA-2 Janome New Home, Viscount (HA-1), Arctic (HA-1), BelAir, SewMor, Arrow, Reliable, Ford. JA-3 Riccar Riccar, Morse, Zenith, Gimbel's, American Home, Piedmont Belvedere, Belvedere Adler, Hilton Adler, Dressmaker New White Designer JA-4 Maruzen Kenmore JA-5 Sanshin? Penncrest (J.C. Penney), Brother, Nelco, Lemair (Australia), Prinzess (Germany) Crown Point (UK), Lemair (Australia), Zenith (Sweden), Calanda JA-6 Happy? Morse (HA-1), Morse3, Bel Air, Aldens, Atlas, Modern JA-7 Toyota Morse, Imperial, Mitsubishi JA-8 Pine Singer JA-9 Juki? Morse (HA-1), Viking (Eaton, NOT the Swedish Viking), Juki, Visetti (HA-1) JA-10 Happy Signature (Montgomery Ward), Nelco, Phillips, Empisal (Australia and S. Africa), Simpson's Succes (sic) JA-11 Union Peters, Domestic, Vogue Stitch, Morgan's (Canada), Nustich JA-12 Brother American Beauty, Regency, Nelco, Reynolds Bros., National, Victor, White Good Housekeeper, Cromwell (HA-1), Eva (Sweden), Atlas, Beaver, Stradivaro Kenmore (Canada), Columbus (HA-1), Myer De Luxe JA-13 Koyo Koyo2, Dressmaker, American Beauty, Viking, White Aldens, Cameo, Stradivaro, The White House, Moderna, Stitchmaster, Universal La Modista, Keystone, Universal, Remington, Super Macy, Electro-Sunbeem (sic) (HA-1) Abraham & Straus, Western, Dial 'n Sew2, Seammaster Super Deluxe, Modern, Underwood, International, Simon Good Housekeeper, Imperial, Moderne, Bamberger's JA-14 American Beauty, Hamilton, Elgin, Omega (HA-1) JA-15 FMK White, Silovac (Australia) JA-16 Minato Nelco, Sew Best, Jolsen, Brother, American*, White, Western Modern Home, Miracle, Omega (Norway), Universal, Elgin, Stitch Master, Vogue Stitch JA-17 Imperial, Woodwards JA-18 Toyota American Beauty, Riccar, Visetti, Hood, Dressmaker, Oden's, Nustich, Revere Belvedere Adler, Morse, Remington, Royal JA-19 Toyota Calanda, Morse, Hamilton, Dial-A-Stitch, Hallmark, Camamatic, Good Housekeeper (HA-1) Good Housekeeper, Dressmaker, Household, Fleetwood, Gotham, Home maker (sic) Black Diamond, White, Capri JA-20 Brother? White, The White House, Premier, Hilton, Anker-Phoenix (Germany), Asyma (Norway) Home Mark, Belvedere-Adler*, American Beauty JA-21 Soryu? Fleetwood, Emdeko, National, Kenmore, Electro Hygiene, Goldsmith's, Premier (HA-1), Majestic Home Maker, Universal, Stradivaro, Capitol, Electramatic1, Livingston4, Capri, Vornado (HA-1) JA-22 Soryu Kenmore (148 series), Dressmaker (HA-1), Seamstress JA-23 White, Domestic, Sewmatic, Universal, Dressmaker, Needlecraft (HA-1), Dressmaster Remington (HA-1), Woodsonia JA-24 Imperial*, Consulate JA-25 Victor, Dressmaker, Stitchmaster JA-26 Koyo? Ambassador (HA-1) JA-27 Morse, SewMor*, Dial 'n Sew, Bel Air JA-28 Brother Brother, Lemair (Australia), Bradford, Wizard, Privileg (Germany) JA-29 Brother Wizard, Lemair Helvetia (Australia), Bradford JA-30 Janome New Home, Riccar JA-31 Noted on a machine with missing badge... JA-33 SewVac*, Prinzess (Germany), Omega (Europe), Zenith, Woodcrest, Beacon, Empisal (Australia) JA-34 Riccar, American Beauty, Visetti, Strawbridge & Clothier, White (HA-1) JA-35 Happy Signature (Montgomery Ward), White, Climax, Eastern (Austria), Jones, Nelco JA-36 Vornado, Adler, Dressmaker, Visetti, Consul (Denmark?), Zenith JA-38 Sanshin Classic, Remington, Nelco, Marvel, Hamilton, Penncrest, Dressmaker, Regency, Riviera Fleetwood, Good Housekeeper, Alco, Universal, Jolsen, Elgin, Rotary JA-39 Toyota Morse, Liebermann, Sew Best, Kenmore*, Prinzess (Germany), Stucky (Germany) Viscount, Sew Mor, Howe, Atlas, Grand Special, Constellation (UK), Dressmaker, Riccar JA-40 Lion JA-41 Brother Brother, Empire (HA-1) JA-43 Idle Hour, Sewmor (HA-1) JA-47 National (Long Shuttle), Universal, Dressmaker, Fairline, White, Morse, Dressmaster, Kenmore Electro Hygiene, Nelco, KDAZ 620, Western, Elgin, New Home, Crosley, Electro Grand, Belvedere (HA-1) JA-48 Lemair (Australia), Standard (Australian HA-1) JA-49 Riccar (HA-1) JA-54 Brother? Coronado, Brother JA-58 Yamazaki Dressmaker, Universal, Kenmore*, Viscount, Mercury (Chile) Bluebird, Novum, Robertson (New Zealand) JA-59 Packard JA-61 Dressmaker, Seamstress, Aldens, HomeMaker JA-78 Dial A Stitch2 JA-79 White-Lily (HA-1) JA-84 Imperial JA-107 Brother JA-109 Fairline (Tentative, verification needed)
* From another list on a certain detestable website, unverified by Zorba
JC Number Badged as --------- --------- JC-1 Brother Brother, Bradford, Wizard, Electro Grand, Asyma (Norway) Riviera, Bico, Lemair (Australia) American Home JC-2 Sanshin Morse3, Nelco, Brother, Bel Air, Omega (Norway), Emporium, Modern, Dressmaker Visetti, Stradivaro, Aldens, White, Domestic, Atlas, Eva (Sweden), Western, Seamstress, Woodwards Sew Best, Jolsen, Dressmaster, Emdeko, Modern Home, Stucky (Germany), Coronado, Electro Hygiene Fleetwood, Grand Special, New White Designer, Miracle, Robertson (New Zealand), Stitch Master Kenmore (148 series), Black Diamond, Sewmor, Crown Point (UK) JC-3 Janome Janome, New Home JC-4 Brother American Beauty, Riccar, Tessler, Kenmore, White, Beacon Household, Dressmaker, Good Housekeeper, Camamatic Royal, Crown, Visetti, Gotham, Universal, Capri Morse, Electro Hygiene, Hallmark, Continental Elita Victoria (Germany), Calanda, Hamilton JC-5 FMK Dial n Sew, Liebermann, Sew Best, Necchi-Alco, National, Baycrest, Riccar Nelco, Kenmore, Viscount, Sew Mor, Remington, Empisal (Australia) Fleetwood, Hood, Dressmaker, Belvedere, Prinzess (Germany) JC-6 Riccar Riccar, Belvedere Adler, Dressmaker JC-7 Morse, White JC-8 Soryu Kenmore (148) JC-9 Remington, Modern Home, White, Victor, Hilton, Kenmore (158 series), Elgin, Omega (HA-1) Bamberger's, Spiegel "Vogue Stitch", Idle Hour Visetti, American Beauty JC-10 Viking (Eaton, NOT the Swedish Viking) JC-11 Riccar, Electro Hygiene, Dressmaker JC-12 Happy Signature (Montgomery Ward), Dressmaker, Princess, Empisal (S. Africa) JC-13 Pine Singer JC-14 Mitsubishi JC-15 Brother Brother, Olympia, Singer, Nustich, Dressmaker (HA-1), Empire (HA-1) JC-16 Brother Kenmore, Brother JC-17 Vogue Stitch, White JC-18 Janome New Home, Jones JC-19 FMK White, Dressmaker, Home Mark, Anker-Phoenix (Germany) Silovac (Australia) JC-20 Baldwin (HA-1) JC-21 Consul (Denmark?), Coronado, White-Lily (HA-1), Wizard JC-23 Sanshin? Toyota? Domestic, Dressmaker, Nelco, Lemair (Australia), Prinzess (Germany), Woodsonia Dial-A-Stitch, Penncrest (J.C. Penney), Crown Point (UK), Ambassador (HA-1), Zenith (Sweden) JC-26 Electro Grand, White, Omega (Europe), Aldens, Zenith JC-27 Cameo, American Home, Stradivaro, Dial 'n Sew2, Bamberger's, Elgin, Universal Super Macy JC-28 Sanshin Emdeko, Penncrest, Capitol, Gimbels, Fleetwood, Mercedes, Universal Electramatic1 JC-29 White, Morse JC-30 Jones, Dressmaker, Novum, Sewmor (HA-1) JC-31 Matsushita? Dressmaker, Imperial, Belvedere Adler, Adler, Mercury (Chile), Nelco Visetti, Climax, Lion, Eastern (Austria), Zenith JC-33 Needlecraft (HA-1) JC-34 Universal, Morse, Domestic, Nelco, Dial A Stitch2, Dressmaker, White, Fairline, Dressmaster New Home, Crosley, Electro Hygene, National JC-36 Sanshin Dressmaker, Nelco, Penncrest, Jolson, Universal, Rotary, Riviera JC-39 Sewmatic, Atlas (HA-1) JC-41 Belvedere JC-92 Noted on a machine with missing badge...
1 Pillar badge, reported to be a Morse trademark, but no Morse marking noted (Model 707-TW)
2 Free-Arm Machine!
3 Morse 4300 and 4400 “Fotomatic IV” machines bear JA-6 and JC-2 markings, suggesting they are cast by Sanshin, and built/assembled/designed possibly by Happy. However, the manual for the 4400 “Fotomatic IV” claims that machine at least was built by Toyota. If – and that’s a definite “IF” – our assumption as to the meanings of the JA/JC numbers is correct, this factoid could mean that JA-6 actually means Toyota (its current assignment to Happy is questionable) as many Morse badged machines actually *were* made by Toyota, but by no means ALL. Adding further confusion is the fact that Toyota was very inconsistent in marking their machines – many had no JA/JC numbers whatsoever. Toyota seemed to like to mark some of their machines on the bottom with “TOYOTA”, but no such markings appear on these two Morse badged machines. A Toyota model Z729 is reported to be the same as a Morse 4400. The quest for knowledge is ongoing!
4 “Livingston” may be bogus and not be the correct name on the sample seen – it may be the store that sold or serviced an otherwise unbadged machine. In any event, the badge looks very odd!