Austria’s Contribution to the Sewing Machine

first machine used for sewing capsIt all begins in London when the German immigrant named Charles Weisenthal invented a needle that can be used for sewing machines. However, there wasn’t a machine to go with it yet. It took 34 years for Thomas Saint to invent the machine to be used with the needle. The first machine was patented in 1790 when a cabinet maker punched a hole through leather using an awl which allowed a needle to pass through.

The whole story is now focused on Germany during the year 1810 when inventor Balthasar Krems invented a machine used for sewing caps. Although this was said to be true, there’s no exact date to be given for the model because no patents were claimed.

It wasn’t long before a tailor from Austria named Josef Madersperger created a series of machines in the early 1900’s with patents dating in the year 1814. In 1839, the work on the sewing machine was still on progress with aids coming from the Austrian government. However, the machine failed to be built, and it wasn’t able to function.

America claimed the rights to the first machine that can sew in the year 1818. A churchman from Vermont named John Adams Doge, and his colleague John Knowles made a device that can sew a very short length of stitch after having to go through a laborious resetting up.

Another person with a better claim for inventing the sewing machine is Barthelemy Thimonnier, who was granted a patent in France. A barbed needle was used for his machine that was made of wood. According to him, he wanted the machine to be used solely for embroidery but he then saw the potential for it to become a sewing machine. Thimonnier was able to convince the government about the usefulness of his invention and was given a contract to build some machines so he can use them to sew uniforms for the army.

In 10 years time, Thimonnier had a factory with 80 machines running. However, he had some trouble with some Parisian tailors. These tailors were scared that if the machines were successful, they would lose their jobs and livelihood when it takes over the sewing business.

One night, a group of tailors went into the factory to destroy all the machines that they can lay their hands on and chasing Thimonnier for his life. After this incident, Thimonnier started with a better machine and went into full-scale production but he still got attacked by the same tailors. Because France was going into war, he fled into England with one of his machines. Although he achieved so many things with his inventions and ran the first garment factory in France, he died in a poor house of old age.

In America, Walter Hunt invented the first machine that did not imitate hand sewing in 1833. This machine used an eye point needle which is the same as what sewing machines are using today. However, it was again unsuccessful because of the short seams that it can only produce.

Despite having no certainty on who invented the sewing machine first, we are in debt to these early inventors who initiated the beginning of a new era in sewing. If you’re looking into buying a sewing machine, read on

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