How did Sewing Machines Work in the 1800s?

How did Sewing Machines Work in the 1800s

It was way back in 1790 that Thomas Saint, an English inventor invented the first sewing machine. However, he did not advertise or market it like Elias Howe, an American who is now credited for creating a sewing machine ideal for factory use.

In the 1800’s, sewing machines were thought to be a great invention and was a great boost for the factories then.

How did sewing machines work then?

The sewing machine has been a blessing to the world and one that is not appreciated as much as it should be. Perhaps one of the greatest inventions that changed the world along with the steam engine and the electric bulb, it is the sewing machine that has helped women all over the world, in ways that could never be imagined.

Women spent long, tedious hours stitching clothes and making other minute alterations in their daily clothes. This took up a lot of their time and also involved a lot of human labour, as a result of which, clothes were few in number but very expensive.

The enviable reputation and profits that the fashion industry is currently enjoying, is all because of the sewing machine. Yes, that small machine, that you have ignored so many times, is the reason that you have extremely stylish clothes in vibrant hues at unbelievably low prices.

Surprising facts About Sewing Machines

Here are some of the facts that you probably did not know about sewing machines before.

  • Thomas Saint of England had the first patent of the sewing machine in 1790. However, the modern sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe.
  • The earliest needles were made of bone. This was around 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
  • Thanks to the sewing machine that Elias Howe gifted the world with, clothes that previously took 14.5 hours to stitch were ready in an hour!
  • It was in 1899, that the electric sewing machines were invented.
  • Howe took great pride in his invention, as during the American Civil War in 1863, more than a million soldiers were clothed in fabrics sewn on the sewing machine that he invented.

Sewing Machines in the 1800s:

During the 1800s, people did not go shopping for clothes, as stitching them took painfully long hours and the clothes were very expensive because of the physical human effort that went into making them. Women stitched their own clothes, as well as for their beloved family members, putting in long hours at work. In the year 1846, it all changed when Elias Howe invented the sewing machine. Before him, nobody had built a successful sewing machine.

The general trend in the 1800s was a sewing machine that had a needle fixed to a wheel, that was in turn connected to a rod. Move the rod up and down, and the wheel would turn, making the needle go up and down. That was the basic structure of the sewing machine until then. It was made by Barthelemy Thimonnier.

About the Author Kayleigh Hart

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