American Sewing Machines

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Bourne, Frederick G. "American Sewing Machines." In One Hundred Years of American Commerce. Vol. 2. Chauncey Mitchell Depew, ed. New York: D. O. Haines, 1895: 530. Smithsonian photo 42542-A.

Shows two tables: (1) "A Partial Statement from Records of 'The Sewing-Machine Combination,' Showing number of Sewing-Machines Licensed Annually Under the Elias Howe Patent," 1853-66, and (2) "A Partial Statement Showing Number of Sewing-Machines Licensed Annually from 1867 to 1876 Inclusive." The statistics indicate that between 1853 and 1876, a large number of Americans and others in industrializing countries were exposed frequently to a literally domesticated piece of high-tech equipment, emphatically including women in both factories and middle-class families: the sewing machine. (If the new-baby/sewing machine sight gag in Fiddler on the Roof [1964] points at real history, sewing machines were significant new technology in the Pale of Settlement in 1905.)

See also "How The Sewing Machine Gave Power — And Fashion Cred — To African Women."

RDE, initial, and 14Jan21