In Europe, pins had long since given way to the broche (brooch) as a fastener to hold clothing together. The brooch, used first much like the modern safety pin, had been turned into a fashion statement, and artisans created them with an ever increasing attention to intricate designs. However, they proved too heavy to be reliable, because of their metal base and the variety of objects added to their surfaces for style, and they proved basically unreliable as fasteners, frequently breaking and coming undone.
Dissatisfied with the bulky, and to them gaudy, brooches, Athenian women, denied their
Howe Suffers Poor Health & Moves in with Father
Elias Howe Jr., most often credited with inventing the first practical sewing machine, was born in Spencer, MA, 1819. Permanently lamed with a hereditary condition that handicapped him throughout his short life, he worked as best he could on his father's farm and attended school until age 16, when he apprenticed at a local textile mill. Two years later, when The Panic of 1837 hit, he lost his position and moved to nearby Lowell, where he apprenticed himself to machine shop owner Ari Davis.
Townspeople regarded Ari Davis as something of an ecc
At the beginning of 1860 (the American Civil War broke out in April, 1861), Isaac Merritt Singer maintained five separate households, including in each, a wife with assorted children--assorted because Singer had, by this time, sired in the neighborhood of 18 offspring. No one's sure of the exact number.
Although Singer remained legally married to Catherine Singer for over 30 years, the woman known to Isaac's friends, business associates, and employees as Mrs. I.M. Singer was, in fact, (Mary) Ann Sponsler. His other three wives included Mary Walters Merritt, Mary McGonigal Mathews,
The classic used sewing machine sought by quilters throughout the United State is, and has for some time been, the Singer Featherweight. The classic of the classics is Singer Model 221, pictured at the right, first introduced at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. It was followed by the 222 series. While models in use today are predominantly black, Singer did produce these machines in other colors.
The Singer Model 221 Featherweight weighs 11-pounds, 1-ounce. Its predecessor, the Standard Machine Company's Sewhandy, weighed 12 pounds and is reputed to have performed admirably. It was a well-balanced
Prior to 1900, many American women tended to salvage whatever materials they could from old clothing, curtains, bedding, cloth sacks, and whatever pieces they had left over from sewing projects. They handstitched these irregular shapes, uncoordinated colors, and discordant textures into no-nonsense quilt blankets that covered working-class beds.
Having little formal education, knowing nothing of mathematics or geometry, and often using the crudest of tools, these industrious souls created quilts with totally random designs. Their intent was bedding, not art. Still, many had a delightful feel
America Claims It's Teddy's Bear
Early in his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt traveled south from Washington, D.C., to enjoy a four day outing in Mississippi. His guests, knowing Roosevelt's reputation as an avid outdoorsman and internationally acclaimed big game hunter, organized a hunting excursion, but no game showed itself. Disappointed, the group later went out and captured a small bear cub, which they invited the president to shoot. When Roosevelt examined the animal, however, he was relieved to discover the little guy was totally exhausted from being chased for hours through the woods.
In July of 1845, inventor Elias Howe sewed the first two suits ever made on a sewing machine, one for himself and one for his business partner George Fishher.
Thirteen years passed, and several fledgling companies manufactured sewing machines designed exclusively for the garment industry. No labor-savings appliances existed in the American home, and the very concept of such a device remained completely unknown to the typical family.
In 1858, Isaac Singer, the first to realize he couldn't sell machines to an industry that obviously didn't want them, put his energies into producing the world's
For centuries, garments remained loose enough to be wrapped around one's body or slipped on over one's head. Then, early in the 14th century, clothing with narrow waists and sleeves turned this into something of an impractical ordeal. As a result, buttons, a fairly new invention at the time, grew in popularity.
Why Is There A Button Sewn There?
'Button Use' Folklore
As the 1500s gave way to succeeding centuries, buttons gradually gradually began to lose some of their utilitarian functions. The buttons didn't disappear, however. They became fashion statements. Some buttons that once served
In 1849, American Walter Hunt invented what he called the miracle fastener. We no know it as the
safety pin. This was followed by another American invention, also called the miracle fastener. We call it the
Whitcomb Judson decided to solve what he colourfully called
gaposis. In 1893, he patented the
Clasp Lock, shown on the left. In all likelihood, his reference to
gaposis came along some time after he acquired his original patent. Instead of aiming at eliminating
gaposis, Judson designed his clasp lock, which was a complicated and not very durable
Many of the British, contending daily with the fierce island weather, still preferred clothing with eyelets and string. British seamen, however, faced severe handicaps when all cinched up with string, especially at sea, and even more so in the cold, drenching storms they encountered regularly. During these times, with their clothing water-soaked and weighted down, cold winds numbed their bodies and made it impossible keep warm. And in their frozen, feelingless fingers, buttons proved worthless.
Sometime in the 17th century, an unknown seaman hit up an grand idea. He replaced the string,...