Article page |
Health page |
Fruits and Vegetables
Heroes & Incredible peoples
A sewing machine is a textile machine used
to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing
machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease
the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies. Since the
invention of the first working sewing machine, generally considered to have
been invented by Englishman Thomas Saint in 1790
Some machines can create embroidery-type stitches. Modern sewing machines are
designed in such a way that the fabric easily glides in and out of the machine
without the hassle of needles and thimbles and other such tools used in hand
sewing, automating the process of stitching and saving time.
In 1791 British inventor Thomas Saint was the first to patent a design for a
sewing machine. His machine was meant to be used on leather and canvas.
In 1814 an Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger, presented his first sewing
machine, the development of which started in 1807.
In 1830 a French tailor named Barthélemy Thimonnier, patented a sewing machine
that sewed straight seams using chain stitch. By 1841, Thimonnier had a factory
of 80 machines sewing uniforms for the French Army.
The lockstitch sewing machine was invented by Walter Hunt in 1833. His
machine used an eye-pointed needle (with the eye and the point on the same end)
carrying the upper thread and a shuttle carrying the lower thread. The curved
needle moved through the fabric horizontally, leaving the loop as it withdrew.
The shuttle passed through the loop, interlocking the thread. The feed let the
machine down, requiring the machine to be stopped frequently and reset up. Hunt
eventually lost interest in his machine and sold it without bothering to patent
In 1842, John Greenough patented the first sewing machine in the United States.
Elias Howe, born in Spencer, Massachusetts, created his sewing machine in
1845, using a similar method to Hunt's, except the fabric was held
vertically. The major improvement he made was to have the needle running
away from the point, starting from the eye. After a lengthy stint in England
trying to attract interest in his machine he returned to America to find
various people infringing his patent, among them Isaac Merritt Singer. He eventually won his case in
1854 and was awarded the right to claim royalties from the manufacturers using
ideas covered by his patent. This included Singer.
Trained as an engineer, Singer saw a rotary sewing machine being repaired in
a Boston shop. He thought it to be clumsy and promptly set out to design a
better one. His machine used a flying shuttle instead of a rotary one; the
needle was mounted vertically and included a presser foot to hold the cloth
in place. He was
granted an American patent in 1851 and it was suggested he patent the foot pedal
(or treadle) used to power some of his machines; however, it had been in use for
too long for a patent to be issued. When Howe learned of Singer's machine he
took him to court. Howe won and Singer was forced to pay a lump sum for all
machines already produced. Singer then took out a license under Howe's patent
and paid him $1.15 per machine. Singer then entered a joint partnership with a
lawyer named Edward Clark, and they formed the first hire-purchase (time
payment) scheme to allow people to afford to buy their machines.
Meanwhile Allen B. Wilson had developed a shuttle that reciprocated ("vibrated")
in a short arc, which was an improvement over Singer's and Howe's. However, John
Bradshaw had patented a similar device and was threatening to sue. Wilson
decided to try a new method. He went into partnership with Nathaniel Wheeler to
produce a machine with a rotary hook instead of a shuttle. This was far quieter
and smoother than the other methods, and the Wheeler and Wilson Company produced
more machines in 1850s and 1860s than any other manufacturer. Wilson also
invented the four-motion feed mechanism; this is still seen on every machine
today. This had a forward, down, back, and up motion, which drew the cloth
through in an even and smooth motion. Charles Miller patented the first machine
to stitch buttonholes.Through the 1850s more and more companies were being
formed and were trying to sue each other. This triggered a patent thicket
known as the Sewing Machine War
In 1856 the Sewing Machine Combination was formed, consisting of Singer, Howe,
Wheeler and Wilson, and Grover and Baker. These four companies pooled their
patents, meaning that all the other manufacturers had to obtain a license and
pay $15 per machine. This lasted until 1877 when the last patent expired.
James Edward Allen Gibbs (1829–1902), a farmer from Raphine in Rockbridge
County, Virginia patented the first chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine on
June 2, 1857. In partnership with James Willcox, Gibbs became a principal in
Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company. Willcox & Gibbs commercial sewing
machines are still used in the 21st century.
In 1877 the world’s first crochet machine was invented and patented by Joseph M.
Merrow, then-president of what had started in the 1840s as a machine shop to
develop specialized machinery for the knitting operations. the company. This
crochet machine was the first production overlock sewing machine. The Merrow
Machine Company went on to become one of the largest American Manufacturers of
overlock sewing machines, and continues to be a global presence in the 21st
century as the last American over-lock sewing machine manufacturer.
In 1885 Singer patented the Singer Vibrating Shuttle sewing machine, which used
Allen B. Wilson's idea for a vibrating shuttle and was a better lockstitcher
than the oscillating shuttles of the time. Millions were produced until finally
superseded by rotary shuttle machines in the 20th century.
Sewing machines continued being made to roughly the same design, with more
lavish decoration appearing until well into the 1900s when the first
electric machines started to appear. The first electric machines were
developed by Singer Sewing Co. and introduced in 1889. At first these were standard machines with
a motor strapped on the side. As more homes gained power, these became more
popular and the motor was gradually introduced into the casing.
In 1946, the first Toyota sewing machine was built under the strict supervision
of Toyota founder, Mr. Kiichiro Toyoda.