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Until the 1950s, when Japanese-made machines flooded the market, Singer held a virtual monopoly on sewing machines in the United States.
Today, these antiques-found in auction houses, at antique dealers, even in junk stores and garage sales-stand as reminders of America's industrial know-how and might.
The first patent for a sewing machine was awarded to the British cabinet maker Thomas Saint in 1790.
This machine was powered by a treadle and what's more, it worked!
Soon he had eighty machines going and a lucrative contract for army uniforms from the French government. Fearful of being unemployed because of the new machine, area tailors destroyed Mr. 1846 saw the first American patent for a sewing machine awarded to Elias Howe.
His machine could create a lock stitch with a process that utilized thread from two different sources. Howe had difficulty marketing his invention and defending his patent.