The History of the Sewing Machine

Sep 3


Renee Gordon

Renee Gordon

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A Brief discussion of the history of the sewing machine.


Sewing is a past tradition in many families because it was not only necessary in historic times but many women had to learn to sew for their families in order to make things. Before the sewing machine,The History of the Sewing Machine Articles we were stuck with needle and thread which made sewing very tedious and a very slow process. Sewing can be dates back to over 20,000 years ago when people were forced to create what we call needles out of bones. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century needles were finally created out of metals like iron.

When the first metal needle was invented, it made sewing much easier but nobody ever assumed that there would be a machine to go along with the needle in the late 1700's. In 1775, there was a British patent issued to a German man named Charles Wiesenthal who created a needle that was meant for a machine. Later on, in 1790, an English cabinet maker, Thomas Saint received a patent for the first working sewing machine. Though his prototype worked, the invention was not perfected when others tried to make it.

In 1830, after many failed attempts from others, the first working sewing machine was invented by a French tailor named, Barthelemy Thimonnier. Because of his amazing embroidery invention, Thimonnier was almost killed by the angry men who assumed that they would be going out of business.

In 1834, back in America, Walter Hunt built the first American sewing machine. He never patented his product which could sew straight seams because he thought that the automation of the product would cause unemployment. Because of this, later on in 1846, Elias Howe picked up the first American patent because his sewing machine provided thread from two different sourced allowing curves instead of only straight lines. For nine years, Howe perfected his sewing machine, but it was not commercially successful until Isaac Singer came along.

Everyone has heard of the Singer sewing machines, but they did not become available for sale on the market and successful until the 1850's. Isaac Singer has basically taken credit for all of the work that Elias Howe perfected and so Howe sued Singer for patent infringement in 1854 and won.

The income made from the sewing machine during the civil war was amazing. Howe was making 300 dollars per year and after selling the sewing machine he was making over 200 thousand dollars per year. He profited over 2 million dollars from the invention overall and donated a lot of fis money to helping the infantry units in the war.

Today we still use the sewing machine in our homes and factories have made the invention completely automated with machines and no human operation what-so-ever. Fortunately, for those of us that do still operate them at home there are plenty of ways to keep your machine running the way that is is supposed to. With the proper sewing machine manuals, you will never need sewing machine repair for your favorite sewing machine.

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