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Elias Howe is called the Father of the Sewing machine for developing a widely popular early design.




Sew what?
Nashua's father of the sewing machine

10/09/14
By Hippo Staff news@hippopress.com



Innovators had been working on creating a sewing machine for a couple hundred years before Elias Howe  Jr., who lived and worked in Nashua, finally patented a working one and became known as the Father of the Sewing Machine. 

In the early 1840s Howe worked in Nashua at the Vale Mill on South Main Street close to where the Holocaust memorial stands today.
According to The Invention of the Sewing Machine by Grace Rogers Cooper, in the late 1830s Howe overheard a conversation about the need for a machine that could sew. In 1843 he developed an illness that kept him from work; it was the perfect opportunity to try to satisfy that need. Demonstrations for his first machine generated little enthusiasm, but Howe didn’t give up. He built a second design that was widely praised for three characteristics: a needle with the eye at the point, a shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lock stitch, and an automatic feed. 
A record of his mother’s family history reveals that the idea to put the eye of the needle at the point came to him in a dream: an evil king charged Howe to complete a working sewing machine within 24 hours or he would be executed. Like in real life, Howe was puzzled about where to put the needle’s eye. As  he was being brought to execution, he noticed the warriors’ spears were pierced at the head. He woke at 4 a.m., ran to his workshop and by 9 had created a crude model of the needle. 
 
As seen in the October 9, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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