Too bad that often the folks that come up with the original idea don't get the credit due them. Such was almost the case with the Sewing machine!
The sewing machine is an invention that was chased by many, many people through the 1700s and early 1800s. Many inventors pitched in ideas, and some created prototypes that turned out to be impractical.
The first working machine was put forth by Elias Howe, who was awarded a patent for a machine on September 10, 1846. He was having a surprisingly hard time gathering any interest in America (perhaps because of all the decades of false starts), so he tried his luck in England, where he wasn’t faring much better at the time his wife died. During the time Howe was traveling back to America and dealing with her death, however, sewing machines took off in popularity. Howe was able to successfully defend his patent in court—his biggest victories were against Walter Hunt and Isaac Singer, which is a name you may know as being associated with sewing machines to this day. The resulting settlements and royalties made Howe extremely rich and his company very successful.
I'll bet there are a lot of quilters and hobbyist that owe a lot to Mr. Howe, don't you? Heck, even the tailors could throw him a "Thank You" now and then!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Who cares if it sprinkles?