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1853 Wickersham's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine

Wickersham, William
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
overall: 14 in x 12 in x 15 in; 35.56 cm x 30.48 cm x 38.1 cm
Object Name:
sewing machine patent model
Place made:
United States: Massachusetts
Model constructed:
before 1853-04-19
Patent date:
Patent Models
Patent Models
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index
Publication title:
The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development
Publication author:
Cooper, Grace Rogers
Publication URL:
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Patent number:
Accession number:
Sewing Machine Patent Model
Patent No. 9,679 issued April 19, 1853
William Wickersham of Lowell, Massachusetts
Wickersham exhibited his boot and leather sewing machine at the “New York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations” in 1853. His address in the catalogue for the exhibition was listed as 20 Bulfinch Street, Boston.
In 1853 and 1854, Butterfield & Stevens Mfg. Co., of Boston.
Massachusetts, manufactured sewing machines based on his patent of April 19, 1853. In his patent specification, Wickersham wrote, “My machine for sewing cloth, leather, or other material is calculated to sew either a chain stitch (the formation of which is well understood) or a stitch . . . formed of two threads, and so that the loops of one . . . shall alternately pass through or be interlocked with those of the other . . . .” Although he mentions sewing cloth, it was for sewing leather for boots and shoes that his sewing machine became important. Wickersham’s patents introduced the method that allowed for the use of sewing leather with waxed thread. The development of mechanisms that would allow for sewing with wax thread was crucial to the industrialization of the shoe making industry.
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See more items in:
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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