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Black cast iron Singer brand sewing machine in an oak vaneered case with a lid and two drawers per side. Cast iron bracket legs and treadle. Leather drive belt on the drive wheel at the side. There is nothing really remarkable about this particular sewing machine, but sewing machines like this one transformed the lives of millions of Americans. The machines made it possible to sew clothing more quickly and consistently, and changed how Americans dressed. The Singer company began making sewing machines for home use in 1859, and millions like this one were eventually sold. Elias Howe received the first sewing machine patent in 1846 and sewing machines became popular right before the Civil War began. Although the machine made it possible to sew clothing faster, in the end it did not save very much time. Women were now expected to have more clothing than before, and many actually spent much more time sewing. American Communities in History; Antebellum Society and the Civil War 16 History; 15 Economics
|Early American Museum|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
Clothing Sewing machine
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