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
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