The History Of The Sewing Machine

The skill of sewing was developed in the Paleolithic age, where early men used well-defined directed tools called awls to poke holes in bits of leather and then thread a strip of leather or sinew through the leather to make coverings for cold weather. Then, the idea to produce a notch by the end of the awl came into being and it allowed the thread to be attached to the awl, this made sewing a lot easier and more efficient. Since that time, implements for sewing have been tremendously enhanced and enhanced, but the most significant improvement made to the process of sewing is the technology of the sewing machine.

For this article, I will concentrate on the advantages and the proliferation of the sewing machine for use in the household in 19th to early 20th century in European countries and America. I will also study the role so it played in population and the many issues related to the sewing machine in this period of energy.


Up to the first and middle 19th century in European countries, sewing was all done by hand, from clothing to bed linen and curtains needed to be sewn yourself, usually by the women of the family, including young girls. It constituted a huge part of women's labour in the home. The abilities of sewing and embroidery were trained to females from a young age, plus they were likely to be effective in it. Even females from rich individuals which could manage to hire seamstresses were likely to experienced in sewing. The sewing machine was significant enough in a way that in 1855, the influential and powerful magazine Godey's Lady's Reserve hailed the sewing machine as the "The Queen of Inventions" for the time and labour that it could save women.

The first practical, working sewing machine was created by French tailor Barthlemy Thimonnier in 1830. By 1841, he has produced eighty machines for use by the French military to sew uniforms. Several tailors, being fearful of the new technology, broke into the factory and damaged the machines as these were reluctant that the machines would ruin their livelihoods. In 1846, America, a mechanic Elias Howe came up with another design for the sewing machine, using the lockstitch rather than Thimonnier's chain stitch method. However, the machine was not well received in the us and Howe travelled to Britain to seek funding for the creation for his machine. Upon his return to America, he found out that the inventors Isaac Performer and Walter Hunter experienced upgraded on his design, with a rigid instead of a vibrating arm, similar to the sewing machines that people have today. The machine they made possessed turn into a commercial success. After that, many sewing machine companies were setup and many people made improvements to the look of the sewing machine. To resolve patent issues, some of these companies came alongside one another to create the Sewing Machine Company. The next major improvement in the look of sewing machines with Singer Manufacturing Company's advantages of the electricity power sewing machine.

Marketing the sewing machine

One thing about the sewing machine which I found interesting was how it was sold and how the marketing of the sewing machine changes as people's conception of the sewing machine modified. A number of the first French advertising materials for sewing machines were directed at men and exhibited a soldier at the sewing machine. From its introduction until the 1850s, the sewing machine was directed at men and for professional use, until it was suggested to Performer Sewing Company that they produce a machine for domestic use. Henceforth, the advertising of the sewing machine was targeted at women.

The online marketing strategy was transformed to respond to the changes of women's take on the progressively common sewing machine. When the sewing machine was initially offered, it was expensive and unaffordable and therefore became a status image for the wealthier households. The time kept could be utilized for teaching their children or just resting. From your 1850s to the 1870s, the sewing machine was also promoted as a bit of furniture, which led to some of the higher end sewing machines arriving with cabinet instances that were rather intricate and fanciful. The sewing machine prolonged to gain in recognition and by the 1890s, it was common enough for this to reduce its relationship as a status symbol. This led to a big change in the notion of the sewing machine. Rather than being something designed to be exhibited, it was now a tool that was best hidden from view, though it was still commonly used. This resulted in alterations in the new types of machines being unveiled, like the drop head model, where in fact the machine could be folded into a stand and out of eyesight after use. ,

Another event that improved the role of the sewing machine was the climb of the ready-to-wear clothing industry in the 1920s. Unlike today, readymade clothing were of better quality but more expensive compared to home sewn clothing as these were made by professional dressmakers. As of this time frame, the sewing machine was advertised as a money saving tool, allowing women to save lots of some money by sewing their own clothing and appearance as polished as though they were putting on ready to wear clothing. Advertising from a sewing machine company then stated that with "the help of Greist parts, the items sewn at home have a done look instead of a home-made look"

Pioneering new kinds of technology

An idea in the marketing of the sewing machine which I found worthy of exploration was the thought of employ the service of purchase that started in the 1890s. Clothing manufacturers were unwilling to invest in sewing machines as labour was both cheap and plentiful. Because of the great quantity of labour, the pay of the working women were low and their work undervalued. The working course women were the group of men and women that would gain the most from owning a sewing machine of their own. However, few people from this school of modern culture could find the money for to buy one, as a sewing machine could cost anywhere from a fifth to 50 % of their annual income. Running a sewing machine allows them to defend myself against more pieces of work and possibly improve their standard of living, making the sewing machine a very attractive piece of equipment. With the installment strategies, women may afford to buy a machine. Though the idea of hire-purchase didn't originate from the sewing machine industry, it was one of the first pioneers of the approach to purchase and the first industry to extend direct credit to the consumer. It was clever of the industry to recognize the probable of installment strategies back when such methods of payment were unheard. That is in contrast to the modern world where there are hire purchase schemes available for most major acquisitions.

The Sewing Machine and the Industrial Revolution

One of the trademarks of the Industrial Revolution was the thought of standardized and compatible parts. This technique was first employed by the ammunitions processing industry to produce multiple parts with great perfection to produce weapons like muskets. The exact same level of precision was required in the developing of sewing machines. Isaac Vocalist saw the in this technique and his company was one of the first ever to take benefit of this processing process. Creation by this technique guaranteed that any two machines of the same type were indistinguishable and the grade of the machines remained regular. This allowed the sewing machine to be produced on the assemblage line, and subsequently caused the price of production to be drastically decreased, allowing the company to cross the savings to the consumers. Also, interchangeable parts allowed auto repairs to be produced effortlessly should a part of the machine be busted as the maker could simply send over another piece similar to the one which was shattered. This made the sewing machine more appealing to the customers especially when combined alongside the decrease in price.

The sewing machine was one of the inventions among others which were created through the Industrial Revolution and led to changes in the role that women play in modern culture. The advantages of machines including the sewing machine, washing machines, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners saved ladies in the household enough time and work. This allowed women to receive more educational opportunities and the ability to turn into a skilled worker and be involved in occupations such as teaching or nursing where their labour is of value. Women were no longer tangled up in the household carrying out home chores.


To conclude, I feel that the sewing machine is one of the most significant inventions to be produced during the many years of the Industrial Trend. The the analysis of the sewing machines can help us understand world occurrences and conditions that took place throughout that time frame such as the Industrial Revolution, and the changes in the lives of women.

Also, when compared to today's world, the role that the sewing machine plays in the modern culture is vastly unique of the role it played back the late 1800s. The home sewing machine is currently something of a novelty. This is merely another example showing that as culture changes, the needs of the people changes with it. What was seen as a necessity in family members in the past is no more essential today.

Beaudry, Mary C. Findings. New Haven: Yale School Press, 2006.

Coffin, Judith G. The Politics of Women's work. NJ: Princeton University or college Press, 1996.

Connolly, Marguerite. "The Disappearance of the Domestic Sewing Machine, 1890-1925. " Winterthur Stock portfolio, 1999: 31-48.

McClellan, Wayne E. , and Dorn, Harold. Knowledge and technology in world record:An Benefits. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Zakreski, Patricia. Representing Feminine Artistic Labour, 1848-1890. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Small, 2006.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)