Today in History: Sewing machine invented

in history •  last month 

While I don't think this is really a part of most people's lives anymore, it certainly was when i was younger. Nearly every household had a sewing machine and the use of them was taught in schools, mostly to girls and we all know how incredibly illegal that practice would be in today's time.


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The year was 1851 and the man was Isaac Singer and i would imagine that there is a really good chance that you have seen a "Singer" sewing machine at least once in your lifetime.

Now, the thing is, the sewing machine had actually been around for quite some time when Isaac "invented it" but like a lot of things in life, the machine was being refined over time. While there were machines that could in fact sew as early as 1755, they didn't have any sort of widespread impact due to being extremely massive, expensive, or both.

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I suppose if i was going to be more truthful, i should say that today in 1851, Isaac Singer patented the first design for a sewing machine that ended up being something that could be replicated in a widespread and affordable fashion. There were, many predecessors.

The Singer Sewing machine sold a mere 810 units in the first year of production, but by 1878 they were producing and selling more than 250 thousand. The Singer Corporation still exists today and has their headquarters in La Vergne, Tennessee.

Personally, I don't know a single person that actually owns a sewing machine, but when i was growing up virtually everyone had one in their home.


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Sewing machine tables, such as this one, were very common in households even as late at the 1980's. The sewing machine would flip over and could be hidden inside the table. I don't know about you, but a great many of my clothes were patched up by my extremely talented mother, who had learned the trade from her mother.

Simpler times. I don't even know where to get a sewing machine these days.

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now that you mention it its funny how many people don't know how to use one anymore we still got the one that flips under the table but when they broke into my home they messed it up real bad they wanted to steal it seeing that its worth quite a lot today

Sewing machines are worth a lot. Hmmm. I didn't know that!

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Heyya buddy, here's my grandma's sewing machine, it still works and yes you are welcomed anytime at my home, to use it.

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Wow man...that's a real beauty. It looks custom made. I love the intricate design pattern on the 'shell'

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It indeed is old and beautiful. even still works my momma uses it sometimes.

The quality of these machines is unsurpassed!

Not only did my grandma own one. I now have it. Sadly the belt is broken.

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In my house we have two: a damaged one (black and old) that belonged to my maternal grandmother and another one that my mother still uses to make some clothes or household items. In Venezuela, because of the high cost of clothes, people prefer to buy the fabrics and have their clothes made. For example, school uniforms. The noise of the machine and my grandmother's dexterity is an image I will never forget. Thank you for the memory, @gooddreanm!

My mother and my mother in law both still have sewing machines. I think my sister and one of my sister in law's do too. It is a skill that is slowly dying though. I don't know as though any of the younger generation in our family will ever care to learn how to use one. I think what I love most about your last picture there isn't the sewing machine, but the carpet. That is just classic!

Same here. I don't know anyone that owns a sewing machine these days. Even growing up I only had one family member, my aunt, who owned one. We need to make it a trend again.

It all starts with freely available courses on YouTube:

Is it me or are you nostalgic, reliving the past?

But I love haha!

Here even in the most remote villages of the city, at least one family had one of those machines. Where everyone went and rented the sewing service.

What an interesting find. My mum used to own a sewing machine in the 90's and 'Singer' was hers. It was the older versions and it's pretty awesome to read when and who invented it :D ✨

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