Inventor, Lockstitch Sewing Machine
Who was Elias Howe?
Elias Howe was an American inventor. Although often credited with being the first to invent the sewing machine, this is not accurate. However, Howe did invent the first lockstitch sewing machine which is the first to have a needle with the eye at the point. Other features his design introduced include a shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lock stitch and an automatic feed.
Unfortunately, Elias Howe was unable to successfully manufacture and sell his sewing machine. He did eventually cash in on his invention after he found others had copied his design. Isaac Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company was one such culprit. Elias Howe defended the patent on his design and eventually prevailed and received significant royalties from Singer and others.
Elias Howe’s family tree contains a few fellow inventors including Leatherman multi-tool inventor Timothy Leatherman, morse code inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney, physicist and inventor Sir Benjamin Thompson (aka Count Rumford), air conditioning inventor Willis Carrier, and liquid propelled rocket inventor Robert H. Goddard. A few former U.S. Presidents with kinship to Elias Howe include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Franklin Pierce, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and both Presidents Bush.
Elias Howe has family connections to a number of celebrities including Walt Disney, actor Henry Fonda, actress Lucille Ball, actor Ben Affleck, TV’s Bill Nye the Science Guy, actress Raquel Welch, NBA All-Star Kevin Love, WWE wrestler and movie actor John Cena, Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton, and actor Mark Wahlberg. Other notable kinships to Elias Howe include Boston Tea Party participant Samuel Howard, Mormon church president Brigham Young, women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony, poet Emily Dickinson, and folk legend Johnny Appleseed (aka John Chapman).
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