1853 Wickersham's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine Patent Model
Patent No. 9,679 issued April 19, 1853
William Wickersham of Lowell, Massachusetts
Wickersham exhibited his boot and leather sewing machine at the “New York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations” in 1853. His address in the catalogue for the exhibition was listed as 20 Bulfinch Street, Boston.
In 1853 and 1854, Butterfield & Stevens Mfg. Co., of Boston.
Massachusetts, manufactured sewing machines based on his patent of April 19, 1853. In his patent specification, Wickersham wrote, “My machine for sewing cloth, leather, or other material is calculated to sew either a chain stitch (the formation of which is well understood) or a stitch . . . formed of two threads, and so that the loops of one . . . shall alternately pass through or be interlocked with those of the other . . . .” Although he mentions sewing cloth, it was for sewing leather for boots and shoes that his sewing machine became important. Wickersham’s patents introduced the method that allowed for the use of sewing leather with waxed thread. The development of mechanisms that would allow for sewing with wax thread was crucial to the industrialization of the shoe making industry.
Currently not on view
Object Name
sewing machine patent model
model constructed
before 1853-04-19
patent date
Wickersham, William
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 14 in x 12 in x 15 in; 35.56 cm x 30.48 cm x 38.1 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
Patent Models
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index
Publication title
The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development
Publication author
Cooper, Grace Rogers
Publication URL
Additional Media

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