When and Where Was the First Sewing Machine Invented?

Some accounts point to Charles Fredrick Wiesenthal of Germany, who received a patent in 1755 in England for a double-pointed mechanical needle device, as being the first to pioneer technology that would lead to the invention of the sewing machine. While not quite a machine, this was the first successful attempt at sewing performed by a mechanical device. The credit for an actual sewing machine is given to Thomas Saint, in the year 1790 in England.

In Austria, a tailor by the name of Josef Madersperger also received patents for sewing machine type devices in the 1800s. The first American sewing machine is credited to Elias Howe in 1846. The American invention of the sewing machine is important because this device was used in a factory setting during the Industrial Revolution to produce more products per hour. The American sewing machine was created in New Hartford, Connecticut.

Howe was in dispute with Isaac Merritt Singer, whom he accused of stealing his patent. Howe eventually won the case, and Singer was found guilty of copyright infringement. However, this did not stop Singer from the production of sewing machines, and the Singer name is synonymous with sewing machines even in the modern age. Howe and Singer both competed during the Industrial Revolution over more streamlined designs to produce a better and faster product.