Wednesday, March 25, 2009

and she said

Elias Howe info
Posted by: "lynda.burns" lynda.burns
Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:13 pm (PDT)
I found this interesting timeline of sewing machine
history at

1826 Henry Lye receives a patent for a device for
sewing leather

1830 Barthelemy Thimonnier uses a wheel-driven rod
to drive the needle up and down

1834 Walter Hunt devised a double-thread shuttle
machine. (He also invented, but failed to profit
from, the safety pin!)


1849 Benjamin Wilson introduces an automatic feed

1851 Issac Merritt Singer invents and introduces
the first sewing machine scaled for home use

1854 Singer is issued a patent for the home
sewing machine. Allen Wilson develops a
reciprocating shuttle, then goes into business
with Nathaniel Wheeler to produce a machine
using a rotary hook instead of a shuttle

1856 A Patent Combine is formed with all
of the above mentioned inventors, plus a
few more! They would all share in royalties
in creating the sewing machine. Elias Howe
donated much of his royalty money to
preserve the Union from dissolution
during The American Civil War (1860-1865.)

1889 The first practical electric sewing
machine is introduced by the Singer Sewing
Machine Company.

Just think, each of these men working on
his own, with no internet or communication,
figured out a piece of the sewing machinery
puzzle to allow us to be able to sew
and quilt with such ease! We salute them
all, but especially Elias Howe!

In the early 1800s, everything--garments,
linens, clothing and outer wear--was hand
sewn with needle and thread. Elias Howe
invented a way to make clothing and bedding
in much less time when he patented the
first practical sewing machine in 1846. The
speed and efficiency of his machine must
have seemed awesome. The thrill of having
such a labor-saving machine in the home must
have been a real kick! The previous sewing
machines had all been for industrial use.

More fascinating sewing machine lore to come....

Create something to honor Elias Howe! Go to for more information.

Lynda in Spokane
Elias Howe group

I have,(My friend Mary, sold it to me, she saw me drooling over it ) A white sewing machine made in 1900 pictures later.

More information on the history of the sewing machine can be founf at

1 comment:

Quilt Rat said...

I am a happy owner of an 1867 Elias Howe treadle machine, a very interesting piece of machinery. Compact and lovely in design. Thanks for sharing some sewing machine history


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