Antique Sewing Machines

Antique Sewing Machines

Many people that enjoy sewing use antique sewing machines to create beautiful garments and household items.

During the early 1800s, there were many attempts to make a functional sewing machine. However, it was not until 1846 when Elias Howe patented the first automatic sewing machine which used a hand cranked shuttle system that moved from side to side creating a lockstitch.

Antique Singer Sewing Machine

In 1850 Isaac Singer patented the first sewing machine with a needle that moved in an up and down direction creating a lockstitch. Powered by a hand crank, these were the first sewing machines that were suitable for home use.

The Pressure Foot

The job of the pressure foot is to hold the material in place as it feeds the fabric through the sewing machine.

A Treadle Sewing machine

In the early 1850s Isaac Singer patented the treadle sewing machine. The sewing machine was powered using a slight rocking foot motion to move the rocker pedal up and down. The treadle is also referred to as the foot pedal.

Sewing Machine Manufacturers

In the United States during the late 1800s and early 1900s dozens of companies were manufacturing sewing machines for home use. In addition to Singer and Howe, several popular companies of the times included American, Sears, White and Jones.

Child’s Sewing Machine

Children's sewing machines became popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the early sewing machines made for children were powered by a hand crank and were made of cast iron painted black.

Decorative Childs Sewing Machine

A beautiful decorative example of a child's sewing machine from the early 1900s. Popular manufacturers of these small sewing machines were Singer and Sears.

Side Details

The side view of this antique sewing machine beautifully illustrates the details of the pressure foot, plate and threading mechanism.

Decorative and Functional

Many antique sewing machines have beautiful painted floral designs or decals.

Visit the LoveToKnow article Antique Singer Sewing Machines to read more about these machines.

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Antique Sewing Machines