Howe, Elias

Howe, Elias
born July 9, 1819, Spencer, Mass., U.S.
died Oct. 3, 1867, Brooklyn, N.Y.

U.S. inventor.

A nephew of William Howe, he began work as a mechanic. In 1846 he was granted a patent for the first practical sewing machine. It attracted little attention, and he moved to England and worked to perfect his machine for use with leather and similar materials. When he returned the next year, he found that sewing machines were being widely made and sold; he finally established his patent rights in 1854. His invention soon revolutionized the garment industry. See also Isaac Merritt Singer.

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▪ American inventor
born July 9, 1819, Spencer, Mass., U.S.
died Oct. 3, 1867, Brooklyn, N.Y.
 American inventor whose sewing machine helped revolutionize garment manufacture in the factory and in the home.

 Interested in machinery since childhood, Howe learned the machinist trade and worked in a cotton machinery factory in Lowell, Mass., and later in Cambridge. During this time it was suggested to him that the man who invented a machine that could sew would earn a fortune. For five years Howe spent all his spare time in the development of a practical sewing machine, and in 1846 he was granted a patent for it. The machine attracted little attention in the United States at first, and, when a fortune was not forthcoming, Howe sold the patent rights in England for £250 ($1,250). He moved to England and worked for £5 a week to perfect his machine for use in sewing leather and similar materials. As his financial condition worsened, he managed to send his family back to the United States, but when he finally returned destitute, he found his wife dying. Years of disappointment and discouragement followed. He found that, while he had been abroad, sewing machines were being widely manufactured and sold in the United States in violation of his patent. After much litigation, his rights were finally established in 1854, and from then until 1867, when his patent expired, he received royalties on all sewing machines produced in the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Howe,Elias — Howe (hou), Elias. 1819 1867. American inventor and manufacturer who designed early sewing machines (1845 and 1846) and subsequently won patent infringement suits against a number of manufacturers, including Isaac M. Singer. * * * …   Universalium

  • Howe, Elias — (1819 1867)    Born in the United States in the countryside of Massachusetts, Howe led the life of a typical farmer s son. Seeking to secure a better life, Howe worked in a machine shop and, realizing the demand for a mechanical sewing device,… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Howe, Elias — (9 jul. 1819, Spencer, Mass., EE.UU.–3 oct. 1867, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Inventor estadounidense. Sobrino de William Howe, comenzó a trabajar como mecánico. En 1846 registró la patente de la primera máquina de coser práctica, la que atrajo poca… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Howe — /how/, n. 1. E(dgar) W(atson), 1853 1937, U.S. novelist and editor. 2. Elias, 1819 67, U.S. inventor of the sewing machine. 3. Gordon (Gordie), born 1928, Canadian ice hockey player. 4. Irving, 1920 93, U.S. social historian and literary critic.… …   Universalium

  • howe — /how/, Scot. and North Eng. n. 1. a hole. 2. the hold of a ship. 3. a hollow; dell. adj. 4. hollow. 5. deep. Also, how. [1325 75; ME (north and Scots), alter. of holl; see HOLLOW] * * * (as used in expressi …   Universalium

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  • Elías — (Eliyyāh) ► BIBLIA Profeta del Antiguo Testamento. Elías, Feliu * * * (as used in expressions) Boudinot, Elias Canetti, Elias Disney, Walt(er Elias) Howe, Elias Lönnrot, Elias …   Enciclopedia Universal

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