1843 - Benjamin W. Bean's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine

1843 - Benjamin W. Bean's Patent Model of a Sewing Machine

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Sewing Machine Patent Model. Patent No. 2,982 issued March 4, 1843.
Benjamin W. Bean of New York, New York
The second American patent (Patent No. 2,982) for a sewing machine was granted to Benjamin W. Bean on March 4, 1843. Bean’s machine made a running stitch by feeding the fabric between the teeth of a series of gears and onto a threaded bent needle. Turning the crank-handle from left to right moves the gearing in a similar motion to a crimping machine. The stationary crooked needle lays in a groove in the gears, with a point at one end and an eye at the other. A wooden screw clamp secures the machine to the worktable.
This invention was similar to Greenough’s in making a running stitch, but the approach was different. Bean’s method, like Greenough’s, was yet another attempt to emulate hand sewing. Although Bean’s running stitch machine had little commercial success, small inexpensive machines were later sold in the 1860s for household use based on this principle. It remained for Elias Howe, three years later, to patent a sewing machine using a lockstitch that functioned differently from the movements of hand sewing.
Currently not on view
Object Name
sewing machine patent model
Object Type
Patent Model
model constructed
before 1843-03-04
patent date
Bean, Benjamin W.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 7 1/2 in x 10 in x 9 in; 19.05 cm x 25.4 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Sewing Machines
Patent Models
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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