1851 Grover and Baker's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine


Sewing Machine Patent Model

Patent No. 7,931, issued on February 11, 1851

William O. Grover and William E. Baker of Roxbury, Massachusetts

William O. Grover, a tailor working in Boston, believed that the sewing machine would transform the clothing industry. Seeing that the available sewing machines were not very practical, he began in 1849 to devise a different machine. He developed a new stitch that was made by interlocking two threads in a series of slipknots. Another Boston tailor, William E. Baker, shared Grover’s vision and became his partner in the project.

They received Patent No. 7,931 on February 11, 1851, for a double chain stitch made with two threads. The stitch was made using a vertical eye-pointed needle for the top thread and a horizontal needle for the under thread.

The Grover and Baker Sewing Machine Company was organized in 1851. Jacob Weatherill, mechanic, and Orlando B. Potter, lawyer, joined the firm. It was Potter who saw that the numerous lawsuits over patent rights were strangling the growth of the fledging sewing machine industry. In 1856, his work lead to the formation of the Sewing Machine Combination also called the Sewing Machine Trust. This organization consisted of three sewing machine manufacturers, I. M. Singer Co., Wheeler & Wilson Co., and the Grover & Baker Co., and the inventor, Elias Howe Jr., who all agreed to pool their important patents and stop patent litigation between them. This allowed them to move ahead with manufacturing and marketing of their own sewing machines and collecting license fees from other companies wanting to use their patents.

Model Constructed: before 1851-02-11Patent Date: 1851-02-11

Inventor: Grover, William O.Baker, William E.

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.T06053Catalog Number: T06053.000Patent Number: 007931Accession Number: 48865

Object Name: sewing machine patent modelObject Type: Patent Model

Physical Description: wood (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 9 in x 12 in x 10 3/4 in; 22.86 cm x 30.48 cm x 27.305 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-2fd9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1071135

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