1852 - Otis Avery's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine


Sewing Machine Patent Model

Patent No. 9,338, issued October 19, 1852

Otis Avery of Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Otis Avery was born in Bridgewater, New York, on August 19, 1808. He learned the watchmaker’s trade from his father John, a silversmith and watchmaker. Otis opened a watch repair shop in Bethany, Pennsylvania, in 1827.

Later, he studied dentistry under a Dr. Ambler in New Berlin, New York, and received a dental certificate of qualification in 1833. In 1850, he settled in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he practiced dentistry until his death in 1904.

Avery was mechanically talented, making many of his own dental tools. He designed a self-cleaning cuspidor and devised improvements to a typesetting machine. On October 19, 1852, he received Patent No. 9,338 for improvements on a sewing machine. The chain stitch he used was enlarged on his patent drawing and he described it in the specification as “two threads having a double lock with each other, and in practice almost every alternate stitch may be cut or broken, and yet the material will not . . . ‘rip out.’” A common problem with the chain stitch was that it could easily be unraveled. His patent claims were for the working combination of needle-bars, spring-holders, and adjustable guides, which regulated the length of the stitch together with a weight for moving the cloth forward.

The catalogue for the 1853 New York Exhibition noted that three sewing machines were exhibited by the Avery Sewing Machine Co. of New York City. Each machine was adapted for sewing different materials, such as wool, muslin, linen, and leathers. He continued to improve his machine and received Patent No. 10,880, issued May 9, 1854, and Patent No. 22,007, issued November 9, 1856.

Model Constructed: before 1852-10-19Patent Date: 1852-10-19

Inventor: Avery, Otis

Location: Currently not on view

Classified: Patent ModelsInvention


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, Patent Models, Sewing Machines, Sewing Machines, Textiles, Patent Models


Exhibition Location:

Related Web Publication: http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/HST/Cooper/CF/view.cfm

Related Publication: Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index, Cooper, Grace Rogers. The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TE.T06114Catalog Number: T06114.000Patent Number: 009338Accession Number: 89797

Object Name: sewing machine patent modelObject Type: Patent Model

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 9 in x 13 in x 10 in; 22.86 cm x 33.02 cm x 25.4 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-3526-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1070429

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