Patent Models: Textile and Sewing Machines
For much of the nineteenth century, inventors submitted a model with their patent application to the United States Patent Office. The National Museum of American History’s patent model collection began with the acquisition of 284 models from the Patent Office in June 1908, and reached more than 1,000 models by the end of that summer. In 1926, Congress decided to dispense with the stored collection of models and gave the Smithsonian Institution the opportunity to collect any models it wanted. Today, the Museum’s collection exceeds 10,000 patent models dating from 1836 to 1910.
The Museum’s Textile Collection contains over four thousand patent models. The collection includes many examples of carding machines, spinning machines, knitting machines, rope making machines, looms, baskets, carpets, fabrics, and sewing machines. Even the simple clothespin is well represented, with 41 patent models.
This sampling of patent models from the Textile Collection describes the two major groupings, textile machinery and sewing machines. In both groups, the examination of the models begins with the earliest of the inventions. In this early group of patent models, the textile machinery models date from 1837 to 1840, and the sewing machine models from 1842 to 1854.
For more information about the Museum’s patent model collection, see Patent Model Index, Guide to the Collections of the National Museum of American History.
"Patent Models: Textile and Sewing Machines - Introduction" showing 1 items.
- Sewing Machine Patent Model
- Patent No. 9,380, issued on November 2, 1852
- John G. Bradeen of Boston, Massachusetts
- John G. Bradeen notes in his patent specification that his sewing machine operates and forms a similar stitch to that of Frederick R. Roberson’s sewing machine of December 10, 1850 (Patent No. 7,824.) Roberson’s machine sewed with a running stitch or basting stitch.
- The mechanisms of Bradeen’s patent model are mostly made of brass and the model sits on a simple wooden box. He furnished six pages of drawings depicting his improvements, whereas most sewing machine inventors limited their submissions to fewer drawings. Bradeen claims for his improvements “two rotating draft-hooks . . . separate from the needle, in combination with the two needles and two threads-guides; . . . the arrangement of each needle and its thread-guide, respectively, on opposite sides of the cloth . . . and the combination of the rocking thread-lifter or its equivalent with the needle and presser . . . .”
- It is not known if any sewing machines were manufactured based on Bradeen’s patent.
- Currently not on view
- model constructed
- before 1852-11-02
- patent date
- Bradeen, John G.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- patent number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center