The Contentious Invention of the Sewing Machine


The first functional lockstitch sewing machine, invented by American Elias Howe in 1845. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The first functional lockstitch sewing machine, invented by American Elias Howe in 1845. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The mechanization of stitching happened by way a series of inventions, several of which finally came together. Though Elias Howe is often credited with inventing the sewing machine, his invention had more to do with the combination of existing ideas.

The first functional lockstitch sewing machine, patented by American Elias Howe in 1845. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Topics in this Podcast: sewing machines, legal history, 19th century, patents