Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Innovation That Revolutionized Our Female Ancestors' Lives

On August 12, 1851, Isaac Singer received a patent for his improvements on a sewing machine. This was the first commercially successful sewing machine and revolutionized needlework for our female ancestors. Here is the actual drawing that accompanied the patent. Older machines were difficult to operate, and production was also difficult. There were quite a few patent infringement charges among various manufacturers, including Singer, shortly after his claim. They were able to mass produce Singer's machine. Only a little over 2500 machines were produced in 1856; however, by 1860, there were 13,000 produced in a single year. There's a great article at History Today about this innovation. They also have a great article on whether or not this was a positive thing for women.

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