was passed through the goods and returned, leaving
a loop, which was detained, so as to be entered by the
needle at its next descent, leaving another loop, and
so on. A modification has been mentioned, consisting
of a crochet-hook passed through the goods, bringing
back vrith it a loop of thread from below, and en-
chaining it with the previous loop. This is all the
small-beer of invention ; the imitation of hands to use
the familiar needle or the crochet-hook. There may
be sedulous application and a certain merit in it, but
there is no genius. The man of mark will find a new
departure. He must devise new modes of procedure
adapted to the needs of the new steel man, who is
automatic but unskillful, and one of whose principal
requirements is continuity of motion. If one must stop and
thread his needle, he might as well return from the click and
himi of the metal to the clatter of tongues which need no oil-
The new elements were not invented all at once. One of the
most important was overlooked for fifty years after it had been
patented. Auother was iuTeut*?d, made, and exhibited, and r
then slept a profound sleep of twelve years. Another was in-
ven'ed and patented, but was in a useless shape, and lay dor-
made machine. The stiffening of certain parts of the frame was
an incident of its making, and would not be necessary in a mere
r drawing. The overhanging arm would stand well enough, in a
1 drawing, without the brace.
^"-"â– ^v. ""- "â€” - I - ) V I 1Â° 1^, Barthlemy Thimonnier patented a sewing-machine ia
mant until really valuable inventions were made, when it arose \ France, which was so far successful that, iu 1841, eighty of them.
aod claimed them as mere adaptations. i made of wood, were in use for sewing nrniy clothiug at a shop
There is no important machine fur sewing fabrics, now mauu- | in Paris. They were de.>troyed by an ignorant and infuriated
factured, that does not use all of the three elements mentioned, , mob, just as the Jacquard loom and the Ilargreaves spinning-
â€” the continuous thread, the eye-pointed needle, and the con- jenny had been years before. Thimonnier escaped with his life,
tinuousfeed â€”but the former two of these had been in existence ' and again set to work. The Revolution of 1848 found him witli
for sixty and twenty rears re^^pectively before they were united , another set of machine-", capable of makmg 2()0 stitches per
with the latter one, which, coming in the fruition of time, was i minute, and sewing and embroidering any material, from mus-
more quickly recognized as a necessity.
Precedence in time is one of the governing elements pig_ 4555.
in apportioning merit in invention. Some things
may be perfectly invented, before assuming any con-
crete form in wood or metal. A man may be his
own draftsman, or may call in his assistant to make
the working drawings for a given kind of com-
pound engine or a balanced valve. The workmen
are the mere agents, and the engine or apparatus
stands as the work of the designer. The ideas of a
practiced engineer are concrete in the mind, as the
attributes aud accessories are all present in the con-
ception of the thing; but with essayist and experi-
mentalist the relations are different. With him the
figure assumed in the mind is as yet untried, and
unascertained conditions are yet to be provided for
as they occur. With all allowance for the probable
fact that no more than an experimental machine was
actually made, yet the sewing-machine described in
the English patent of Thomas S;iint. No 1.764. and
dated July 17, 1790, must still be regarded as a very
remarkable link in the historical chain. It was in-
tended for " quilting, stitching, and sewing, making
shoes, and other articles by means of tools and ma-
chines." It po3ses.-Â»ed (1) a horizontal cloth-plate;
(2) an overhatiging arÂ»i, on the end of which was
Thimonnier's Sewing-Mackine (1830).
lin to leather inclusive. Again the mob defeated his project
and periled his person. lie was in very straitened private cir-
cumstiinces.and the repeated destruction of the machines, built
with money soUcited from his friends, wearied at laÂ£t e\en the
admirers of his genius and energy.
His machine was, like that of Saint, just described, in the
form which subsequent e.Kperience has justified ; that is, it had
a vertical needle descending from the end of an overhanging
arm c and piercing the goods, which wa.'; fed beneath upon a flat
table 6. Thefeed wasby hand- Contrary to the machine of 8aint,
whose motions rfere derived from a crank, the needle in the
Thimonnier machine was depressed by a treadle and cord ^/, and
returned by a spring e The Saint machine had a. forkfi needle
to push an upper thread through a hole previously made in the
goods, when it was caught by a loop-check and detained, so
that the again descending thread was enchained in the former
Icop. making a f//nm.^ff/f/t, consisting ofusfries of loops o?i the
vniler xidf. The Thimonnier machine had a crrcAif or barbed
needle which plunged through the goods and caught a lotver
thrf^ad from a thread-c.irrier and loopery beneath, and brought
up a loop, which it laid upon the upper surface: descending
again, it brought up another loop and enchained it with the
one last made, making a rhn'm-'^titrh. consi' ting of a Sfriefi of
Inopji 01} the upperside Their points of similarity were those in
which they resemble the best modern machines, â€” the flat cloth-
plate, verlical post, and overhang-arm, the vertically recipvo-
cated needle, and the continuous thread Â£-. A nipple a sleeved
upon the stem of the needle rested upon the goods during the
descent of the needle, and was lifted when the needle wns dear
of the goods : the latter was then moved a distance equal to the
length of a stitch, the needle and presser-foot (a.*! the nipple a
maybe called) descended again, in its ascent carried another
loop of thre.^d through the lonp previously made, and so on.
Thimonnier died in poverty in 1857.
The Thimonnier machine, patented in France, August 5, 1848,
and in the United Stfites September 3, 1850. No, 7,622. had .=ome
advantages over his French machine of lS30,hut retained its
main features. The necdle-bar was still worked by treadle and
spring See for hi^ Frnnrh patents Brevets D'Invention. Tom.
V. page 168. and Plate XXVIII.; Tom XIV. page 71, and Plate
Between lÂ«32.ani 1834. Walter Hunt, of New York, made and
sold sewing-machinps which embraced a curvet/ et/r-pointed
needle at the end of a vibrating arm, and a shuttle, making
what is known as the lork-^fiteh. He netrlected to pursue the
bu^ines.Â«. which cnnseqnenflv attracted little attention at the
time. His extreme versatility prevented success ; his inven-
tions absorbed his time, and be seemingly bad none left for Â£Â«â€¢
Sairtt^s Sewing- Machine (1790).
(3) a vertically reriprorating straight needle ^ a.nd on the top of
which was (4) a thread spool , giving out its thread continuous' if ;
(5) an intermittent aiitojnatic /p^'f/ between stitches; made the
chnm-^titrh : and had thread tighteners above and below. This
!.â– ; marvelous. Its parallel is to be found in the sixteenth -cen-
tury revolvers and repeating fire-arms in the European muse-
ums : weapons that were made before the voyage of Columbus.
The machine consisted of a hed-plate a with a post 6. having
a projecting arm on which was the thread-spool c ; a shaft, rotat^
bv a hand-crank and carrying cams by which all the motions
of the machine were obtained ; the same overhanging arm car-
ried i spindle d for ti'.;htening the stitch, and a needle and awl-
carrier f. into which a needle /"and awl g were secured by set-
screws, and moved by cams h i on the shaft A-. The needle was
notched at its lower end to push the thread through the hole
m.ade by the awl, and thus form a loop. The work was sup-
ported on a box / sliding between guides m m and advanced by
a scre-v n turned by a toothed wheel o, which was entraged by
a proji'ition from an arm depending from the shaft k. at each
revohrion of the latter. A looper was operated by the bent
poiuÂ» of the spindle d in a manner still employed in some of the
chiin ^^titch machines. The .screw r served to adjust the bov I
pn the guide-plate, and provision was made for varjing stitches
for different kinds of work. The drawing ha.** the peculiar fea-
tures which should Indicate that it was copied from a roughly
curing the pecuniary results of hifl genius He just misÂ»;J, i
RuJ by uiere iuuttention, one of the gninde^t opportunities of
the century. The iu:iiu features uf hi^ machine bud beeu pat-
enteJ, ei^iit year:* previous to Hunt's application, to another i
inventor, â€” Elias llowe. When Hunt applied for a patent in
1854, it was refu-ied him on the ground of abundonmeut. j
The n:imL> of U.i^i ll>tve 'n i.iJi->so[ub y as.-4ociated with the
history of the aewing-aiacuiue. Wi h inventive abilities in-
ferior to those of Walter Hunt, he had an adapteduess to follow
out a. ling Â« o'jject persistently, aud he reaped the field. Hin
pi*.en; w -s ditel .'jjpteuiber 10, 184t), and was extended for
seven years ia lioU. In his petition to Congress, July 15, 1867, i
for a second extension of his patent, he acknowledged hav-
ing received about 51,185,000, but considered that bis inveu-
tiou wx-i worth S 15*1,000,000. If he had received the latter
8utn he would have been still more certain that it was worth
S l.OOD.fJOiJ.OOO, and so on. i
The sewing-machine is no exception to the ordinary rule
that an invention is a growth rather t-ian an iuspiratiou. Ttie
original nuchiue, as we have seen, had a simple ucedie,and !
made a running stitch ; next we ^^ee a machine which made a j
succession of loops, forming a c/-ocAff stitch: here the macliine '
paused awhile. A score of yeaw was passed in devising modes
of feeding, Continuous or intermitti ig, ijy various arrau^emeucs
of pirts. Tlie greatest advance up to that time was t'ae lock-
s'Ju-'h, iuvented by Hunt, and made by passing a shuttle con-
t lining a lo.ver threai through the loop of an upper thread car-
rieldOiVn throug'i t.ie cloth by an eye-pointed needle. This
w.ts also the feature of the Howe machine.
Howe was very properly declared the first inventor, techni-
cally, as the ladies of Hunt had placed him outside of the pro-
tection of the law. This was framed (as determined by the de-
cisioiia of the courts, which have so construed the law as to
uiake distinct the point, which was, at best, indetiuite) for the
rew-ird of inventors who make public their improvements. The
K'gil point was with Howe, and bitterly Hunt rued his careless-
ness He declared he would invent imitation stitched work
more accurate than the origiual: the result was the paper col-
lar with imitAtion stitching.
T.ie originil Howe machine hid a curved eye-pointed needle
attached to the end of a vibrating lever and carrying the upper
thread. (See Fig. 4.S5i ) The shuttle, carrying the lower
thread between the needle and the upper thread, was driven in
its race by mean^ of t-vo strikers carried on the ends of vibrat-
ing arms worked by two cams. The cloth was suspended by
pi.is from the ed^eof a thin steel rib cailela baster-plate, which
had hole* engaged by the teeth of a smill int^rmittiugly moving
pinion. This was the feed, and clumsy enough. The invention
f^oou fell into the hmds of mechanicians of great ability, who
timed the movements, proportioned and adjusted the parts, and
ad led new featurci, without which the invention must have
laugiiishe.1 and failed of any remarkable success.
Eli.is Howe seems to have set himself to the problem in 1843;
in 1814 he devised the curved needle and interlocking shuttle ;
in May, 1845, he had a machine at work. In ISIJ it was pat-
ented. Thereafter the struggle in the United States and in
England wis to obtaiu funds for manufacture, and many weary,
hungry days were passeil by the indomitable inventor. He sold
various shares of his invention from time to time, but when the
tide turned in his favor he repurchased the rights, and soon
nude a compact property of it. It was not all smooth sailing
even th^n, but the parties disponed to dispute his broad claims
were induced to come under agreements of tribute or of neu-
trality. It was very well done. The origiual claims which con-
cerned the eye-pointed needle and shuttle gave coherence to the :
confederate parties. The bond of union has since been the I
mole of feeding. A. B. Wilson's four-motion feed is so superior I
to all others, that but few first-class machines are made without j
it. This patent expired in 1873, and the dominant claim now I
ii the Bachelder patent, which had no particular value in itself,
but was, perhaps, really the first continuous feed, and so gained ,
an utterly unexpected prominence and a lease of life for three i
terms, in all twenty-eight years, ending in 1877, although the
device was but tiie substitution of a continuous spiked band for I
the plate of limited length. It is not true that Bachelder was \
the first to horizonialize the machine; that was done nearly
sixty years previous. It h;id an endless band or cylinder stud- '
ded with a row of points which carried the fabric to and past ;
the needle. It was a decided improvement on Howe's baster- ,
plate, which had to be run back for each length of semng !
AV'ithout impugning the genius of the earlier inventors, it
may fairly be said that the present proximate perfection of the
machine is due to the men who took up the work where Howe
left it, â€” to Singer, A B. Wilson, and others. i
Furthermore, the machine is much indebted to the skill and â–
enterprise of the mechanics and tradesmen in whose bands it
has grown to the wonderful proportions it now exhibits.
The Wilson shuttle, reciprocating in a curved race, was pat-
ented in 1850.
Lerow (1850), reciprocating eye-pointed needle and a shuttle
traveling ia an endie.ss s.iuttle-mce.
Itn'tinson (1851) had two curved needles with notches or eyes
aid t.vo thread -guides. Produced either the ordinary or the
back stitr/i. I
Singer's machine (1851) had a vertical needle- movement i
and a roughened feed-wheel extending through a slot in the |
table. A spring presser-foot alongside the needle held down
the work. Motion was communicated to the needle-arm and
the shuttle by gearing.
Grover and Baker (1851) used two needles and a shuttle car-
rying a filling-thread to form a duuble-loop ctitch. The upper
needle passed through the fabric and made a loop through
which the lower needle passed horizontally, forming a second
loop. See 13, Plate LVII.
The A. B. Wilson four-motion feed (1852) and the Wilson ro-
tating hook (1851), which catches the loop of the upper ihre;id
and drops a bobbin through it, are features of the \\'heeler and
\V'il8on, â€” one of the most admired machines. As has been Siiid,
no substitute has been^ found for the four-motion feed 'Ihe
shuttle has, however, more friends than the rotating hook.
Johnson's machine of 1853 made a double-loop stitch by two
needles carrying contmuous threads, and passing, by a horizon-
tal thrust, through the cloth, which was suspended by clamps
I n Singer's chain-stitch machine ( 1854 ), the loop of the ni-eil :e-
thread was carried over a retaining pin by a hook and held un-
til the next loop was formed, which was received by the loop* r
aii^ px-ised through the former one. Thus, a loop was pa.-Sid
through a loop, instead of, as in the tambour-.'titch, past^ii.g the
needle-thread and needle through the former loop. The fu'd
in this machine was by the presser-foot, which had a rough
In Avery's machine (1854) (10, Plate LA'.), the stitch is formed
by interlooping threads from two needles, the lOwer one work-
ing at an angle of 45^^ with tlie upper one.
Noyes (18i2),a lock-stitch with two commercial spools, the
loop being made around the lower spool by a revolvii g hook.
Plates LV,, LVI. show the principles of action of the sewing-
machines. The numbers correspond with those on the Plates.
Description of Plates.
Single-Thread Chain-Stitch Machine.
1. The bearded needle pierces the cloth and draws up the loop
from below ; the cloth is then fed, the needle retaining tlie loop
and descending through the cloth for a new loop, which en-
chains the thread.
2. The loop formed by the eye-pointed needle is seized and dis-
tended by a reciprocating loop-taker until penetrated by the
needle at its second descent.
3. Similar to the above, excepting that the loop-taker vi-
4. The loop-taker a rotates. 1 he "Willcox and Gibbs pattern.
5. The louper is operated by the pressure of the needle, re-
treating before it and seizing the loop as the needle returns.
6. Needie-loop caught by a stitionary hook that detains the
loop as the cloth is fed, the next descent of the needle passing
through the loop
7. Latch-needle for enchaining or knitting the loop. See
Stitch 6, Plate LVII.
8. The loop of the needle-thread is caught by a thread carried
by a reciprocating looper a. See Stitch 13, Plate LVII.
9 Similar to the above, but having a vihrating looper a.
10. Two needles penetrating fabric from opposite slides, and
making Stitch 16, Plate LVII.
Lock-StiUh by Shuttles.
11. The loop of the needle-thread interlocked by the threiid
of the reiiprocating shuttle a. Singer pattern. Stitch I'J, Plate
LVII. Florence, Howe, A\'ilson, Weed
12. Similar as to the needle-thread ; shuttle vibrates in an arc
of a circle " Domestic " pattern.
13- The loop of the needle-thread is taken by a rotating shut-
14. The shuttle a is stationary, and the loop of the needle-
thread is passed over it by a vibrating arm 6.
Lock-Stitch by Revolving Hooks.
15. The rotating looper a enters the loop of the needle -thread
and carries it arouud a loose disk-bobbin 6 on the face of the
hook. Wheeler and Wilson pattern.
16. A waxed-thread machine. A hook-needle a below the
cloth takes thread from a thread-carrier b above the cloth,
draws down the thread, and enchains it below. An awl c per-
forates the leather for the passage of the needle j a cast-off d
discharges the loop.
17. Machine for making *' turned " shoes. The shoe and last
are carried on a jack a. A chain-stitch is formed by a hooked
needle, which passes through the sole and upper, and takes its
thread from a thread-carrier. The awl b jierforates the material
for the passage of the needle. Dunham's patent, September 9,
18. The shoe is supported on a horn provided with a thread-
carrier. A hooked neevile penetrates the sole and upper, and
takes the thread from the thread -carrier and forma the chain
portion of the stitch in a channel cut in the outer iace of the
( Continued on imge 2116.)
PRINCIPLES OF ACTION OF SEWING-MACHINES
PRINCIPLES OF ACTION OF SEWING-MACHINES. See pages 21Q2-2UQ.
CLASSIFICATION OF SEWING-MACHINES
Patented in tlic United States.
The flares in parentheses refer to corresponding figures on Plates LV., LVI.
1. One thread.
2. Two threads
1. By shuttle..
1- Machines (16).
2. Waxing devices.
3. Hose sewing.
4. Sole sewing. . ..
a. Bearded needle (1),
b. Reciprocatiog loop-taker (2).
c. Vibrating loop-t4iker (3).
d. Rotating loop-taker (4).
e. Loop-taker operated by needle (5).
/. Stationary hooks or guides for holding
loop in path of needle (6).
g. Latch-needle for enchaining loop (7).
See also C, 1, 3, and 4 ; aiao E, 1 ;
also F, 14 and 20.
a. Reciprocating under-thread carrier (8).
b. Vibrating uuJer-thread carrier ^9).
e. Rotary under-tliread carrier
d. Two needles, each penetrating lab-
ric (10). See also K, 2
e. Two or more kinds of stitches,
io. Shuttles reciprocate (11).
6. Shuttles vibrate (12 .
e. Shuttles rotate (13).
d. Stationary shuttles (14).
e. Shuttle carries commercial spool.
|o WTieeler & Wilson pattern (lo).
6. Commercial spool for under-thread.
c. Hooks of various other patterns, mak-
ing chain and lock stitch.
I a. Curved needle (17).
I 6. Stnught needle (IS).
1 1. Needle.
2. Wheel or bancr.
3. Reciprocating surface above cloth.
4. Reciprocating surface below cloth.
I 6. By rnovertunt of table.
I 6. By pressure against thread.
1. One threat! (19).
2. Tivo threads (20)
3. Atiacnmentsfor ordinary sewing-machines.
Bobbin- winders (21).
Cloth and slide plates.
Cutting and trimming fabrics on machine (22).
Mounting machines on table.
Needle setters and threaders (23).
Sewing on buttons.
Sewing straw braid.
Sewing knitted goods.
Spools and bobbins.
Stitches. See Plate LVIL
Rufflers and gatherers.
a. Tension -plates.
, b. Reciprocat'g blades.
8. T^trk creasers and markers.
9. Tuckfrs and plaiiers.
11. Variety of work.
2. Caf.es and cabinets.
7. Aprons, guards, etc.
Class I. Motors.
CLASSIFIED LIST OF SEWING-MACHINES AND ATTACHMENTS
Patented in the United States from Feb. 21, 1842, to March 9, 1875.
Class A. â€” Making Chain-Stitch.
1. One Thread, (a.) Bearded Needle.
1. (6.) Reciprocating Loop-Taier.
1. (6.) Reciprocalivg Loop-Talcer
Buell et al.
Aug. n. 1858.
Sept. S. 1856.
May 14. 1850.
Oct. 12. 1858.
Dec. 22. 1857.
*263 Worcv et al.
June 27, 18.54.
Oct. 26. 1863.
.\ug. 17, ISSS. 1
Nov. 25. 1856.
Dec. 7. 1858.
Nov, 36. IMS.
Jan. 13. 1857.
Dec. 14. 1858.
Jlar. W, lail.
Feb. 3. 1857.
May 17, 18.59.
June 9. H57.
Aug. 16, 18.59.
Jlay 17, 1859.
June 16, 1857.
Sept. 13. 1859.
Aus. 2. 859.1
June 30. 1857.
Sept. 27. 1869.
Aug. 9. *5<1. 1
July 7, 1857.
May 1, 1860.
Aug. 26, 859.
Aug. 25, 1857.
Dec. 4, IStW.
Dec. 8. 1857.
Aug. 6. 1867.
July 7. 186S.
Jan. 12. 1858.
Jan. 19. 1858.
I. (f.) Ttbrating loot
July 14, 1868.
IMxford et al.
Jan. 19. 1858.
Fox et al.
Aug. 11. 1868.
Feb. 23. 1853.
Sept. 24, 1850.1
Nov. 10, 1868.
Mar. 16. 18.58.
Mar. 20. 1856.
Nov. 10, 1868.
Mar. 2. 1858.
May 1, 18&5.
Sept. 28. 1899.
Mar. 16. 1858.
Feb. S. 1857.
Aug. 30, 1870.
June 1, 1858.
Mar. 3. 1857.
Mar. 3, 1874.
June 29. 1858.
Aug. 4. 1857.
July 27, 1853.
Aug. 11. 1857.