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The history of the sewing machine is long and interesting. Here is a chronology of the many significant events in mechanical sewing's past.
1656 English needle makers given Guild regulations by Oliver Cromwell

1679 Charles II prohibits the import of needles

1730 Milwards found a needle factory

1790 Thomas Saint invents his chain-stitch machine

1800 Balthasar Kreme invents his chain-stitch machine

1807 Edward Walter invents his sewing machine

1812 The Scambler Co, Birmingham, gold plate the needle eye for the first time

1830 Barthelemy Thimmonier invents his chain-stitch machine

1843 Walter Hunt invents his lock-stitch machine

1845 Elias Howe invents his chain-stitch machine

1860 Jeans become the first ready-made clothing in the USA

1864 Frister Rossmann start producing in Berlin.

1882 First proposals to standardize machine needles

1892 R. Weeks joins Singer in Bristol as an apprentice.

1897 Thirty sewing machine factories are by now established in England

1901 R. Weeks promoted to manager of the Singer Shop in Barnstaple.

1926 First punch card sewing machine

1942 R. Weeks retires from the Singer Company and starts Bideford Sewing Machine Service.

1942 Germany replaces thirty different needle sizes with a metric standard system

1950 R. Weeks jnr. and E. Weeks join the business and North Devon Sewing Machines is started.

1966 E. Weeks jnr (Jim) joins the business and Barnstaple Sewing Machines is started.

1970 R. Weeks snr retires.

1974 Sewing machine needles to be standardized at existing 900 different needle systems

1976 R. Weeks jnr retires.

1980 Singer factory on Clydebank closes
Barnstaple Sewing Machines

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Barnstaple Sewing Machines
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