Elias Howe Sewing Machine

 

James Knox Polk

Summary of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine
Summary: In 1846 the American inventor, Elias Howe (1819-1867) invented, built and patented the world's first practical and successful sewing machine. Elias Howe patented the first ever lockstitch sewing machine in the world. The invention of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine changed the world by completely transforming and revolutionizing the shoe and clothing industry and the lives of ordinary people by providing the means to buy cheap, fashionable clothes.
In 2004 the name of Elias Howe was added to United States National Hall of Fame.

Elias Howe Sewing Machine for kids
James Polk was the 11th American President who served in office from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849. One of the important events during his presidency was the invention of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine.

Elias Howe Sewing Machine: Chainstitch v Lockstitch
Other inventors had made sewing machines using the chainstitch but Elias Howe invented his sewing machine to create the lockstitch. There as a problem with the chainstitch - The Chainstitch used a single thread that was looped on itself on the underside, when a break in the thread was followed by a slight pull, the chainstitch unraveled...

Chainstitch

Unraveling did not occur with the lockstitch. The lockstitch was made by  using two threads. The two threads interlaced so as to form a neat stitch on both sides of the material. The needle pierced the fabric and a loop was formed in the thread, and at very same time, a shuttle carrying a second thread passed through the loop, making the lock stitch. The Elias Howe Sewing Machine use of the eye-pointed needle in combination with a shuttle to form the lockstitch.

Lockstitch

Picture of 1846 Elias Howe Sewing Machine

Picture of Elias Howe Sewing Machine

Picture of the 1846 Elias Howe Sewing Machine
The picture of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine is his 1846 model. The patent for this Elias Howe Sewing Machine model was issued to him on September 10, 1846.
 

How did the Elias Howe Sewing Machine work?
The Elias Howe Sewing Machine worked, using two threads by:

  • An automatic feed

  • A shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lockstitch

  • A needle with an eye at the point 

Time Saved: Elias Howe Sewing Machine compared to hand-made clothes
The Elias Howe sewing machine made a massive difference to the amount of time it would take to make clothes. When the Elias Howe sewing machine was invented it took 14 hrs. 26 minutes to make a Gentleman's shirt by hand. Using the sewing machine the time was reduced to just 1 hr. 16 minutes. A dress made of calico took 6 hrs. 37 minutes to make by hand and this was reduced to just 57 minutes using the Elias Howe sewing machine.

Time Saved using the Elias Howe Sewing Machine: Number of Stitches Per Minute
The Elias Howe sewing machine slashed the Number of Stitches Per Minute. Various tests were conducted and results verified that the average Number of Stitches Per Minute that could be sewn by hand = 23 stitches. The Number of Stitches Per Minute made by the Elias Howe sewing machine = 640. Amazing!

 

Picture of 1863 Elias Howe Sewing Machine

1863 Elias Howe Sewing Machine for kids
The design of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine evolved and by 1863 the Elias Howe Sewing Machine model pictured below featured and footpress, and was on sale for home use and for light manufacturing.

1863 Elias Howe Sewing Machine Price
How much did Elias Howe sewing machine cost? The cost of the new invention varied over the years but by 1863 the sewing machine in the picture was on sale in London, England for 10 sterling which was equivalent to $30 US dollars at the time.

To put the 1863 into perspective, $1 worth of 1863 dollars is now worth about $18, so the 1863 Elias Howe sewing machine would have cost about $54 in today's currency.

The price would have been way out of reach to all but the wealthy at the time and the importance of the new Elias Howe sewing machines would have been sold to the clothing industry.

How did the Elias Howe Sewing Machine change the world?
The Elias Howe Sewing Machine really did change the world...

  • The Increased sewing speed led to cheap production costs

  • It significantly decreased the time required to produce an item

  • Ready-made clothing became available

  • The household sewing chores required to make new garments decreased

  • Clothes could be quickly and cheaply replaced, which led to a rise in the interest and desirability of fashion

  • The Elias Howe Sewing Machine transformed and revolutionized the clothing industry and the shoe making industry

  • Millions of new jobs were created throughout the world

Elias Howe Sewing Machine for kids
The info about the Elias Howe Sewing Machine provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 11th President of the United States of America.
 

Presidential Seal

 

Elias Howe Sewing Machine: Facts, Biography and Timeline for kids
Interesting Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Facts and Timeline for kids are detailed below. The history of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine is told in a factual timeline sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the
history of the Elias Howe Sewing Machine.

Biography and Timeline: Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Facts for kids

 
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 1:1819: Elias Howe was born on July 9, 1819 in Spencer, Massachusetts
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 2:1835: Apprenticed at a textile mill
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 3:1838: Moves to Lowell, Massachusetts and works for Ari Davies with early sewing machinery
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 4:1841: Marries Elizabeth Jennings Ames
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 5:1845: Develops the lockstitch sewing machine and exhibits his first machine
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 6:1846: Patents sewing machine but no U.S. manufacturer is interested. Travels to England where it is sold, together with all British rights, to William Thomas
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 7:1847: Works with William Thomas in London to produce a machine to stitch leather
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 8:1847: Returns to USA to find his patent had been infringed by Isaac Singer. He sues Isaac Singer for patent infringement
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 9:1854: Wins patent protection in law courts and becomes extremely rich
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 10:1862: Enlists as a private in the American Civil War.
Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Fact 11:1867: Elias Howe died at the age of 48 on October 3, 1867 in Brooklyn, N.Y. as one of the richest men in the United States of America

Biography and Timeline: Elias Howe Sewing Machine Timeline Facts for kids

Elias Howe Sewing Machine for kids - President James K Polk Video
The article on the Elias Howe Sewing Machine provides an overview of one of the Important inventions of his presidential term in office. The following James K Polk video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 11th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849.

 

 

 

Elias Howe Sewing Machine
 
Facts and Elias Howe history timeline for kids and schools
Elias Howe Sewing Machine invention in US history
Facts about the Elias Howe Sewing Machine
James K Polk Presidency from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849
Fast, fun, facts and timeline of Elias Howe Sewing Machine
Elias Howe Sewing Machine featuring the Lockstitch
James K Polk Presidency and the Elias Howe Sewing Machine for schools, homework, kids and children

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