Sewing Machine. But one patent has been granted within the year for improvements in this variety of machinery. The improvements are in the mode of putting tension upon the thread and in the shuttle which carries the auxiliary thread. The machine operates upon the general principle of one patented a few years ago. Within the last year sewing machines have received a good deal of attention, but nothing further on the subject is in condition to be spread upon this report.

Knitting Machines. Three patents have been granted within the year for improvements in knitting machines. One of them was for a machine invented in Europe and described some time since in the English journals. It is, therefore, unnecessary to attempt a description of it. The machine is rather complicated and not calculated to operate so well or accomplish so much as several other machines heretofore in use. The other two are for improvements in the needles. In knitting machines generally, the needles which receive the yarn for the formation of the loops, are hooked at the points. The loops are hung upon these hook-points and as the new loops are placed upon the  needles, the old ones are carried back beyond the points of the hooks. A presser then comes down upon the hooks and presses the points close down to the body of the needle leaving the new loops within the hook. The old loops then slip over the hooks upon the necks of the new loops. Instead of the long point of the hook and the presser, one of the patentees uses an auxiliary needle and a short hook. When the old loop is drawn back upon the shank of the needle, the auxiliary needle retires to allow it to pass and when the new loop is formed and the old one is to be thrown off, the auxiliary needle is thrust through an opening in the loop needle to guide the old loop over the point. A somewhat similar contrivance is used for seaming. The other patent above mentioned is for an improvement in the form and action of the needle.  At a short distance from the point of the needle, a short lever is hinged and turns freely on its fulcrum. When the old loop slides back it carries the lever over with it. The new loop is then placed upon the hooked point of the needle, the old loop having been carried back beyond the end of the lever. The old loop is then pushed forward and carries the lever with it, which guides the loop over the point of the needle upon the neck of the new loop.


MAY 1848


US 5.593                                Charles  Keene

Making Boots & Shoes, &c., of Gutta Percha

of Sussex Place, Regents Park, in the county of Middlesex, esquire, a subject of the Queen of Great Britain.

My improvements in boots, shoes, gaiters, overalls and other like articles of apparel, consist in rendering the same more or less weather and water proof and more easy of wear by the application to the same or the making of the same in whole or in part of the substance called “gutta-percha”.

I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is as follows: The making of boots, shoes and other articles of any known kind of cloth or leather lined or coated as herein described with gutta percha, in any of its states of preparation or combination by cementing instead of sewing or stitching them together, as before described.  

May 23, 1848




US 5.761                               William  Bamford

Needle of Knitting Looms

I claim

1. The perforated hook or needle "a" and the conductor "e", in combination with one another and made to operate together substantially as above specified.

2. I also claim the conductor "k" in combinations with the hooked rib needle "d", the whole being constructed and made to operate together substantially as herebefore explained.

In testimony, whereof I have hereto set my signature this sixteenth day of September, A. D., 1847. 

September 12, 1848




US 5.942                              John A. Bradshaw

Lock-stitch, reciprocating shuttle

bent needle & shuttle, lock-stitch sewing machine

In the machine for sewing patented by Elias Howe Jr., there exist many defects, which render its use difficult and its operation uncertain, which defects it is the object of my invention to remedy. Some of these defects are enumerated and described as follows:

The curved needle used in Howe's machine will not by itself form the loop in the thread, which is necessary for the flying bobbin, with its case, to pass through and has, therefore, to be aided in that operation by a lifting-pin, with the necessary mechanism to operate it. This is a very bungling device and is a great encumbrance to the action of the machine, being an impediment in the way of introducing the cloth to be sewed, difficult to keep properly adjusted and very frequently gets entangled between the thread and the needle, by which the latter is frequently broken. This accident happens very often, notwithstanding all the precaution which it is possible for the most careful operator to exercise and inasmuch as the delay occasioned thereby is very considerable and the needles costly and difficult to replace, it is therefore very important that their breaking in this manner be prevented, which in my machine is done in the most effectual manner by dispensing with the lifting pin altogether, the loop for the flying bobbin to pass through being made with certainty and of the proper form by means of my angular needle moved in a particular manner just before the flying-bobbin case is thrown. The shuttle and its bobbin for giving off the thread in Howe's machine are very defective, as will be quite evident on an examination of them. The bobbin is of a cylindrical form and the thread is wound evenly upon it. To be again unwound with facility and uniformity the thread should be pulled in the direction of a tangent to the cylinder, which, from the construction of this shuttle and bobbin, it is impossible to do, as the thread passes out through an aperture in the side of the shuttle opposite to the middle of the bobbin. Consequently, when the thread is unwinding from either end of it, the unwinding coil will press obliquely against the adjacent coil toward the aperture and thereby create a great deal of friction sometimes sufficient to break the thread and always enough to draw the stitches much tighter than when the thread is being unwound from the center of the bobbin. This irregularity in the tension of the thread, from the peculiar manner in which the stitches are made by this machine, operates very injuriously upon the quality of the sewing. The badly-contrived shuttle of the Howe machine renders indispensable the use of the clipping-piece, lever, cam, small lever in the sliding box and spring operating on it. These parts are all dispensed with by the use of my neat and simple bobbin-case, which gives off its thread with certainty and uniformity and keeps it at any required degree of tension and in traversing the sliding box unerringly forms the loop to make the stitch every time the needle passes through the cloth or other substance being sewed. The baster-plate in the Howe machine is very inconvenient and troublesome to use, because of its extreme limberness, which renders it difficult to keep it from twisting and letting the cloth slip off and also because of the numerous sharp points which unavoidably pierce and scratch the hands of the operator in the most annoying manner. These difficulties are obviated in my machine by the use of the clamp hereinafter described, which is a very simple and efficient device, possessing all the advantages and liable to none of the objections of the "baster-plate" above mentioned.

I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:

1. The combination of the rubber or friction plate, helical spring and bobbin with the case, as described, for producing the required degree of tension in the thread while being unwound from the bobbin, substantially as set forth, whether the several parts be combined and arranged in the manner described, or other mode substantially the same, by which similar results are produced.

2. The peculiar construction of the flying bobbin case carrying the second thread, as above described.

November 28, 1848




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Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1848