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A Brief History of the Sewing Machine
Without the boring bits
By Alex I Askaroff

Index page                                                                           Little Worker Sewing Machine

 

 

   
 

  Alex I Askaroff                                            Books by Alex Askaroff

Alex has spent a lifetime in the sewing industry and is considered one of the foremost experts of pioneering machines and their inventors. He has written extensively for trade magazines, radio, television, books and publications world wide. 

See Alex Askaroff on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-NVWFkm0sA&list=UL

Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

 

A Brief History of the Sewing Machine

"One of the few useful things ever invented"

Mahatma Gandhi

So, who invented the sewing machine! People are always asking me? It's a great story.

By the middle of the Victorian Era sewing machines were taking hold but before that period all fabric would have been joined by hand, every single stitch. The method hardly changes since stone age times. Clothes were slow and timely to produce and cost a lot of money, even the thread cost a fortune. Factories around the world were employing people (mainly women because they were better at it) to sew all day long. I once heard that a factory in America employed over 3,000 women sewing by hand. As the population of our planet exploded and the Industrial revolution took hold someone had to come up with a solution of how to join two pieces of fabric quicker and cheaper than by hand. This in turn led to a fascinating trail of invention and failure. Some inventors died in poverty some became richer beyond all their dreams. One man, Isaac Singer, became famous. His name is still one of the most well known names all over the world.

So how did it all begin? First of all I want you to read a quote from one of the Sewing Machine Pioneers, James Edward Allen Gibbs. James was the son of a Shenandoah farmer born 1 August 1829. He witnessed the major development of the sewing machine. In 1901 he was interviewed about his inventions and patents. No other person alive was better qualified to quote on the subject. His words are absolutely crucial in understanding the development of the sewing machine.

"No useful sewing machine was ever invented by one man; and all first attempts to do work by machinery, previously done by hand, have been failures. It is only after several able inventors have failed in attempt, that someone with the mental powers to combine the efforts of others with his own, at last produces a practicable sewing machine."

James Gibbs

That is the crux of it. Sewing machine manufacture started slowly and was constantly interrupted. However in the 50 years from 1846 the sewing machine went from a circus attraction to a necessity for every household. The Victorian era, with its massive expansion in industry and technology proved to be the fertile ground from which the sewing machine grew.

By the year 1900 over 20 million sewing machines a year were being produced from factories all over the world. It is true to say that no single invention was as eagerly accepted by people in all four corners of the planet as the humble sewing machine.

" In the history of the world the sewing machine has freed more women from the drudgery of manual labor than any invention to date!"


In 1882 an electric sewing machine was demonstrated to the public at Crystal Palace, the world of the sewing machine changed forever.


Glory Days by Alex Askaroff contains the complete story (including images) of the history of the sewing machine and also  includes the full story of Walter Hunt. Click on the image for more details.

A brief history of the invention of the sewing machine, without the boring bits.

By

Alex I Askaroff

Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

 

News Flash!

Sussex Born and Bred, and Corner of the Kingdom
 are now available instantly on Kindle and iPad.

      

 alexsussex@aol.com

Main Site Index: Index

Please forgive any inaccuracies I do try by best. Do let me know if you spot anything.

A great read: Ena Wilf  & The One-Armed Machinist

A brilliant slice of 1940's life: Spies & Spitfires


Alex's stories are now available to keep. Click on the picture for more information.

 

I loved your article about the invention of the sewing machine.
Vanessa,
Australia

Dear Alex
I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to stumble across your story!
Kind regards
Kerry E Sussex

 

Hi there Mr. Sussex!

Amazing!  I cannot imagine how long it took you to research all of this and you still managed to find humor about it.
How true, I'm sure, so many of our modern conveniences really are a collaborative effort by many perfecting upon one another.
 
Barbara,
Marlborough, Massachusettes. USA
 

Thanks Alex,

for the wonderful story of how the sewing machine came into being. 
And for the wonderful way in which you write.
 Rena
from Chilliwack BC Canada

Dear Alex,
I read with interest your article on sewing machines as my distant Great Great.....Grandfather was Thomas Saint and I have always been curious to know more about him and his invention.
Many thanks,
Pat Heffer ( mother was Dorothy Saint before marriage)

Sir,

As a descendent of Baltazar I was very interested in your piece. I know for sure you are right about the patent. I hope to someday visit Krems Austria where a bust of Grandpa stands and a copy of his machine is in a museum.

Thank you!

Kris Krems
Strongsville, Ohio
USA

Mr. Alex,

 
your articles for sewing machines are perfect!
I don't know the published day of the article about sewing machine's invention history, but It was very helpful for my paper I 'm working on, for university!
Easy and enjoyable to read!
Your extended and detailed research work about sewing machine and its history, shows your true love for it!

 
Thanx Again for your contribution to sewing history!
 

 
Kind Regards,
Ria Daskalaki
Undergraduated Student
University of Crete, Economics Department
Greece

Alex,

What a fun, entertaining history.  I love all the humor you added.  Very well written. 

Thanks,

Cheryl in Illinois (Land of the Free, Home of the Brave)

 

Oh, Alex! You've made the whole story of
the sewing machine something fun to read!  Thank you so much.

Lilith TX

While I have your attention have a quick glimpse of Singer machines in their first century.
Singer throughout the years.

 
 
 

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