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On July 9, 1819, Elias Howe Jr., the inventor of the modern sewing machine, was born in Spencer, Massachusetts

July 9

On July 9, 1819, Elias Howe Jr., the inventor of the modern sewing machine, was born in Spencer, Massachusetts. His 1846 patent for the first lockstitch sewing machine greatly contributed to mass clothing production. ✂️🧵🪡

Sewing as a craft, while not confined by gender, has historically been a profession open to women, though these female seamstresses and dressmakers were often underpaid. Whether professionals or not, most American women knew how to sew and were charged with clothing their families and modifying clothing to fit growing children and new babies. 👚👖👗🧦 The invention of the sewing machine not only contributed to the clothing industry, but made these home sewists’ lives much easier.

Today, Americans tend to view sewing as a hobby, rather than a necessity, but its popularity has been growing in recent years.

Did you know? The Beatles’ 1965 musical film, Help!, was “respectfully dedicated to the memory of Mr. Elias Howe, who, in 1846, invented the sewing machine.”

 

Sewing fisherman’s wife, Anna Ancher, c. 1890

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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July 9
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