In 1846, Elias Howe made a patent application for “a lock-stitch machine using double thread.” Howe’s sewing machine made a number of improvements upon previous models (among them placing the eye close to the point of the needle) and yet it was other firms, most notably Singer Manufacturing Company, that capitalized the most on Howe’s improvements. Indeed, Howe ended up suing Singer and others over patent violations; he won in court and died a millionaire at the early age of 48. Scientific American magazine, Vol. 75, No. 4

Elias Howe 1846 Sewing Machine
Scientific American magazine
Taken before