1857
1857

 AMERICAN  PATENTS

Chronological List of U.S. Sewing Machine Patent Models

There are more than seven hundred sewing machine patent models and a similar number of attachment models in the Smithsonian collections. Most of these machines were received in 1926 when the Patent Office disposed of its collection of hundreds of thousands of models. Prior to 1880, models had been required with the patent application; although the requirement was discontinued that year, patentees continued to furnish models for another decade or so. All models prior to 1836 were lost in a Patent Office fire of that year, but since the sewing-machine patent history dates from the 1840s, most of the historically important ones of this subject have been preserved.

These models form a valuable part of the record of the invention, supplementing the drawings and the text of the written specifications. The early sewing-machine models were made to order, either by the inventor or a commissioned model maker. As soon as sewing machines were produced commercially, it was less expensive for the patentee to use a commercial machine of the period, to which he added his change or improvement, than to have a complete model constructed to order. Some of the commercial machines used in this way are the only examples known to be in existence, and as such, are of more interest in establishing the history of the manufactured machine than for the minor patented changes.

During the period of the “Sewing Machine Combination”, many patentees attempted to invent and patent “the different machine”. This was either a radical change in style or an attempt to produce a far less-expensive type of machine. These machines were not always put into commercial production, but the patent models give an indication of the extent to which some inventors went to simplify or vary the mechanics of sewing machine.

The following list include those sewing machine patent models in the Smithsonian Institution collections.

   Year    Applications  Granted     Designs Reissues
 1842   761 517 -- 13
 1843   819 531 14 11
1844 1.045 502 12 7
1845 1.246 502 17 11
1846 1.272 619 59 13
1847 1.531 572 60 14
1848 1.628 660 46 23
1849 1.955 1.070 49 30
1850 2.193 995 83 26
1851 2.258 869 90 25
1852 2.639 1.020 109 20
1853 2.673 958 86 29
1854 3.324 1.902 57 28
1855 4.435 2.024 70 51
1856 4.960 2.502 107 83
1857 4.771 2.910 113 97
1858 5.364 3.710 102 126
1859 6.225 4.538 108 231
1860 7.653 4.819 183 232
1861 4.643 3.340 142 147
1862 5.038 3.521 195 116
1863 6.014 4.170 176 227
1864 6.932 5.020 139 248
1865 10.664 6.616 221 296
1866 15.269 9.450 294 290
1867 21.276 13.015 325 400
1868 24.420 13.378 446 420
1869 19.271 13.986 506 534
1870 19.171 13.321 737 439
1871 19.472 13.033 905 464
1872 18.246 13.590 884 529
1873 20.414 12.864 747 501
1874 21.602 13.599 886 483
1875 21.638 *16.288 915 631
1876 21.425 *17.026 802 621
1877 20.318 *13.619 699 568
1878 20.260 *12.935 590 509
1879 20.059 *12.725 592 488
1880     515 506
1881     565 471
1882     861 271
1883     1.020 167
1884     1.150 116
1885     773 129
1886     595 116
1887     949 99
1888     835 86
1889     723 75
1890     886 84
1891     836 80
1892     817 81
1893     902 99
1894     928 64
1895     1.115 59
1896     1.445 61
1897     1.631 65
1898     1.803 60
1899     2.139 92
1900     1.758 81

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1901                                   1.734     81   
1902     640 110
1903     536 117
1904     557 110
1905        
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1908        
1909        
1910        
1911        
1912        
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1914        
1915        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 * Includes trade-marks and labels

The records of the United States Patent Office indicate that a patent for a sewing machine was granted on March 10, 1826, to Henry Lye, a glove-maker. The specification and model of this patent were destroyed in 1836, at a fire which consumed the records of the Patent Office. Some years since, the writer of this article devoted several days to ascertain the construction of this Lye machine and succeeded in gaining information, from a person who had seen it, that it was simply a clamp in which gloves were held while being stitched. It was in no sense a sewing machine, but simply a work holder.

from 1876 International Exhibition Report

 

 

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