Before the invention of the sewing machine, it took a long time to make clothes. Craftsmen cut, sewed and embroidered by hand. The main tools of the tailors were needles (bone, wood, metal), awl and hooks. Sewing machines have become a real breakthrough and made the work of a huge number of people easier.
Creation of the first sewing machines
The Dutch are considered to be the first who guessed to "automate" the sewing process. Back in the XIV century, they used a wheeled machine to tighten the fabrics when sewing sails. History has not preserved the name of the author of the car, but it is known that it was impressive in size and occupied a large area.
About 250 years ago, the first hand-held sewing machines appeared that were not like modern models.
At the end of the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci proposed his own sewing machine project. Unfortunately, the idea never came to fruition.
In 1755, Karl Weisental received an individual patent for a sewing machine that repeated the formation of stitches by hand.
In 1790, Thomas Saint invented a special hand-operated machine for sewing shoes.
All these and other machines did not have much success and widespread practical use.
A more sewing machine was created in 1845 by the inventor Elias Howe. The tissues in it were pricked onto special pins of the transport arm and moved in the forward direction. A specially curved needle moved in a horizontal plane, while the shuttle made a reciprocating motion.
In the first sewing machines A. Wilson and I. M. Singer's needle was given a vertical movement, and the fabrics, pressed by the foot, lay on a horizontal platform.
Many people still think that the sewing machine was invented by Isaac Singer. This is not entirely true, cars from the "Singer" company work in some families to this day.
Elias Gow is considered the creator of the first modern sewing machine. His model was very successfully assembled in 1845, she did up to 300 stitches per minute. Isaac Singer made several important improvements to Goe's machine. The essence of the changes: the shuttle began to move not along the machine, but made an arched movement across the machine bed.
Singer began manufacturing sewing machines in the United States and Europe, while promoting them as his own invention. Gow defended his copyright through the courts. He won the trial and received the compensation due to him.
According to the encyclopedia of F. A. Brockhaus and I. A. Efron's first patent for a special machine for sewing shoes was issued to the English inventor Thomas Saint in 1790.
Singer received a patent for a device that was unique for that time: a needle with an eyelet at the bottom. We must pay tribute, because with any improvements, a continuous seam with two threads can only be obtained using a needle of this design.
The history of the world famous sewing corporation "Singer"
Isaac Merritt Singer, a Jew who lives in America, did not have much success. He was a young, ambitious, but not very successful engineer-entrepreneur.
Some of his unclaimed inventions are machines for drilling stone and sawing wood.
Singer changed many professions and one day he got a job at Elias Howe's sewing machine repair shop. The mechanisms often broke, and Singer decided to improve them. He borrowed $ 40 from a friend and in 11 days modernized Howe's invention. He equipped the sewing machine with a “foot” that pressed the material to the surface and a foot drive. In addition, on the new model, it was possible to make a seam of unlimited length.
Together with a new partner (attorney William Clark) in 1854 in New York, Singer organized the partnership “I. M. Singer & Co.”, and in the state of New Jersey founded a factory for the mass production of sewing machines. By 1863, their firm had achieved great success. This was also facilitated by the installment payment system, first used in the United States. For clarity: the cost of Singer's sewing machines at that time was $ 10, and the company received a net profit of 530%.
Singer did not stop there and continued to improve the sewing machine. As a result, he received 22 patents. In 1867 a factory was opened in Glasgow.
Today the Singer Corporation is the world leader in the production of sewing machines, and its profits are calculated at fabulous sums.
The company owns more than 600 stores that sell not only sewing machines, but also other household appliances and manicure tools under their own brand.
As for the personal biography of Singer, in addition to his engineering talent, he was famous for his irrepressible love for the female sex. After a scandal, he was forced to leave with his next partner to France and then to England. There Singer acquired a huge estate in Torquay, where he lived until his death, receiving guests and his many children. His death in 1875 sparked a string of litigation between the heirs of a huge fortune.
The history of the emergence and development of sewing machines in Russia
In 1897, a branch of the Singer company was opened in Russia. The principles of work were the same as in the USA:
- creation of branches of the company;
- opening of own trading places;
- provision of consumer loans;
- active advertising activities;
Over time, more than 60 representative offices of the company were opened throughout the country.
The Singer company officially became the supplier of the royal court.
The import of finished sewing machines to Russia required large organizational and financial costs, so it was decided to establish its own mechanical plant.
In 1900, the construction of a plant equipped with modern technology began in Podolsk. In 1902, the production of replacement parts for household sewing machines had already begun, and by 1913 the production of family sewing machines had reached more than 600 thousand pieces (about 2,500 pieces per day).
Singer sewing machines manufactured in Russia were exported to Japan, Turkey and China. In terms of quality, they were not inferior to imported models.
The revolutionary year 1917 became crucial in the history of the Podolsk plant. To avoid its final closure, the Singer company leased the plant to the Provisional Government on favorable terms. For the next 80 years, the Singer company and its branch in Podolsk existed independently of each other, but the Podolsk craftsmen kept the traditions of unique sewing machine building.
In 1994, the Podolsk enterprise again became part of the Singer company. The plant also effectively cooperated with other companies:
- Akai and others.
In Moscow in 1872, the first model of an electric sewing machine was demonstrated - the invention of the Russian electrical engineer V. I. Chikaleva.
The machine was powered by a small electric motor, which was powered by a rechargeable battery.
In the West, Chikalev's invention was practically immediately introduced into mass production. And in Russia, electric sewing machines began to be produced only in the 1950s.
Sewing machine classification
According to their purpose, sewing machines are divided into stitching and special (overcast, blind stitch, button) models. There are also universal and semi-automatic sewing machines.
Depending on the type of weave, the sewing machines are divided into lockstitch and chainstitch patterns.
Sewing machines are also classified into industrial and household sewing machines. Depending on the control, sewing machines are:
- models with microprocessor control.
In addition, there are embroidery machines that can reproduce even a very complex pattern on fabric.
Modern sewing machines are a very complex, multifunctional mechanism that helps people to carry out almost any sewing tasks and fantasies, even without special specialized education.
A modern sewing machine does not just sew, it adjusts itself, offers various options for work and even updates its settings and "library" with the help of Internet access.