One of the most difficult parts of answering questions like this is telling someone a value on something that might have been in their family for more than 100 years, or worse, something they just bought as an investment and paid too much for, is not what they hoped to hear.
Just because something is old, even ancient, doesn’t mean it’s valuable. Value is based on the old rule of supply and demand. If there are a lot of these items still in circulation, there isn’t going to be a lot of demand.
Craftsmanship in that era was exceptional. Not only were there sometimes millions of these machines made, but they were made to last forever. Which they did. And since supply and demand applies to old things as well as current things, there are far too many of these vintage pieces out there for any of them to really be priced very high.
One of the foremost experts on sewing machine collecting and an avid collector, consultant and evaluator (D. A. Brumleve @ http://www.ismacs.net/sewing_machine_articles/how_much_is_my_sewing_machine_worth.html ) explains:
“On a given day, a sewing machine is worth what a particular seller can sell it for to a particular buyer in a particular venue. Season, geographic region, marketplace, personality, manufacturer, model, rarity, condition, history, completeness -- and the reason the buyer is buying -- all these factors influence monetary value. Value is not fixed, but fluid.
Even so, it's a good thing to consider that relatively few machines today command prices in the hundreds of dollars -- and very, very few will bring thousands.”
You can always consult a professional local appraiser. You'd pay a fee, of course, and there's a significant risk that the fee would be more than the value of the machine.”
Your sewing machine was likely produced in Rockford Illinois between 1910 - 1958.
The Free Sewing Machine Company ended up in California before closing in the 1960's
Your machine in excellent condition in the right market as outlined above may sell for $100-150.
You can see other Free #5's by clicking here