Antique Sewing Machines Require Special Care.

Over the years, sewing machines have changed drastically.  The materials used prior to 1950 are very different from the materials used today. As a result, special techniques and care must be taken in order to properly maintain and repair antique sewing machines.

Antique Sewing Machine Repair book pic

Antique Sewing Machine Repair

is a detailed ecourse for the hobby or business of servicing and maintaining precious antique sewing machines.

Antique sewing machine repair is specialized sewing machine repair.

The ecourse includes a workbook to guide you to learn antique sewing machine repair quickly and easily.

 learn sewing machine repair TNT

In addition to the ecourse and workbook, the program comes loaded with exciting bonuses including the ebook Sewing Machine Repair TNT and...

 learn sewing machine repair manuals

Antique Repair Manual Collection

A special collection of manufacturer's parts and service manuals are provided for educational purposes to help you learn the essentials of sewing machine repair.

To learn more about this exciting ecourse, CLICK HERE.


When was the sewing machine invented? In this article we will discover the history of home sewing machines.

Elias Howe (1819-1867) created the first practical mechanical sewing machine in 1846 with a patent filed describing “a process that used thread from two different sources”… The top thread passed through a curved needle with an eye at the pointed end. The needle would pierce through the fabric, while another thread contained in a shuttle passed through and caught the first thread forming a locked stitch. Elias Howe had done it! His lockstitch machine could put out (250spm) as much as five speedy experienced hand sewers.

It was joked that Elias Howe was not actually the inventor of the sewing machine. Some said it was actually his wife. She got so upset with her husband that one day she made up her mind and in two hours invented the sewing machine. Elias, however, filed the patent taking credit for everything. (Russel Conwell, 1877) We will never know the truth, but difficulties marketing the device and struggles over patent rights drained the Howe family of even greater success.

Others were watching and adapting. Isaac Singer (1811-1875) invented a mechanism that moved up and down. Allen Wilson originated a rotary hook shuttle.

By 1850 the race to deliver a practical sewing machine to industry and the home entered mass production. Isaac Singer led the way with the first commercially successful sewing machine with moving needle (up/down) powered by a foot treadle device to produce the same lockstitch designed by Howe. The famous foot treadle device was a huge advancement. Previous machines had all been hand crank machines. .

Walter Hunt (1796-1860)) launched a lockstitch machine (1834) using two threads and an eye-pointed needle, but he never filed a patent. Elias Howe sued Hunt for patent infringement, and a panic among garment workers fearing unemployment crushed Hunt’s enthusiasm. Hunt abandoned his efforts and the patent pursuit.

Legal battles ensued over patent infringements. In spite of winning the court battle (1854), Elias Howe largely lost the marketing battle. Elias Howe marketed his machine earning an estimated two million dollars by the end of the Civil War.

Singer continued to enhance and market his own version of the sewing machine. Singer became a household name, and even today remains the best known brand of sewing machines.

Communities were desperate to get their hands on this exciting new invention. When the average family income was only $500 per year, the Singer machine cost $125. Towns would join together to buy one machine for the whole town.

For more information on the exciting development of the sewing machine, check out: The World’s Greatest Hobby by Donna and David Trumble at See photos of some of the finest antique sewing machines in the book Sewing Yesteryear. Also see some of the finest new machines under research at

Donna Trumble is a professional designer, seamstress, author, sewing educator, and sewing business owner.   She leads several Sewing Show And Tell groups in her stores guiding participants to shop sewing machines and learn about sewing and quilting.

David Trumble is a sewing professional, author, semi-retired minister, sewing machine technician, and CFO of Temple Sewing And Supply, Inc.




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