The Impact of the Invention of the Sewing Machine on America Essay

1272 Words Apr 21st, 2012 6 Pages
Tracie Jackson
Chamberlain College of Nursing
HUMN303 Introduction to Humanities
Professor Catherine Coan
June 12, 2011

The Impact of the Invention of the Sewing Machine on America

The large number of practical and useful inventions brought forward during the time leading up to and including the period known as the Industrial Revolution had a significant impact on both American society and the world. The transition that took place resulted in reliance on mechanical sources of power/energy rather than the traditional human or animal sources to produce the products needed (Hackett, 1992). One of those
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It was primarily designed to sew leather and canvass for boots and used a single needle to produce a simple chain stitch (Museum of American Heritage, 2010).
In 1830, Barthelemy Thimmonier, a French tailor, patented the first functional sewing machine that used a hooked embroidery-type needle to produce a chain stitch. However, in 1841, after successfully using his machines to mass produce army clothing, his production facility was destroyed and he was almost killed by other tailors in the town who were angry and threatened by the machine’s efficiency and utility. In America during the early 1830’s, a New York inventor, Walter Hunt, produced the first sewing machine that created a lockstitch. As a result, thinking changed and duplication of the human hand stitch was no longer the standard that inventors were measured by. Hunt at that time did not see the promise of his invention and did not file for a patent to protect it. He sold his interest for a small fee. (Museum of American Heritage, 2010).
In 1846, Elias Howe filed a patent for a sewing machine that used two needles and generated thread from two different sources, resulting in a lock-stitched seam. However, Howe spent several years trying to defend his patent in America and market his machine abroad. In 1856, Howe successfully sued several of the patent infringers and received substantial income from the settlement, which paid him a fixed…