THE LITTLE WONDER: Sewing by machine in 1861

This morning I was searching the web for some information on 19th and 18th century agriculture in the South (of the US) and came across this quaint piece of advertising – in verse – from Harper’s weekly, November 30 1861:


Sewing machine. Harper's weekly 1861

MARY. “Did you never, Julia, See it work before? Try it once, you’ll surely Use it evermore ; Such a little treasure Ne’er before was seen, Oh ! ’tis such a pleasure Sewing by machine!” JULIA. “Isn’t it delicious?
How the needle flies!
I can scarce its movement Follow with my eyes ! How it goes, like lightning, Flashing through that seam! Mary, dear, I almost
Fancy it a dream.”
MARY. “Oh ! the toil it saves me, Merry little thing! Jumping, with its click, click,
While I sit and sing; Lightly as a feather On it goes apace,
Through the toughest leather
Or the finest lace.”
JULIA. “My! how very clever Such inventions are ! Working just like human Beings, I declare; Tell me, Mary, dearest, Where I ought to go, For Papa must really Get me one, you know.”
MARY. “Let it be like mine, then,
Julia, take advice; None that I have seen yet
Are one half so nice; Some won’t keep in order- Needles snap in two—Causing botheration, Spite of all you do.
“Nobody but FINKLE
AND LYON, in this town,
Can produce another Equal to my own;
I will choose one, Julia, With you, any day,
When we pas,
English: The simple lock-stitch employing a bo...

Lockstich. Wikipedia

 “This Machine makes theLOCK STITCH‘,‘ and ranks highest, on account of the elasticity, permanence, beauty, and general desirableness of the stitching when done, and the wide range of its application.”
[Report of American Institute, New York.]
Improved Loop-Check, New Style Hemmer, Binder, Corder, etc. Office, No. 505 Broadway, New York
Harper’s weekly, April 27, 1861
‘Hello, Fred – here come those same girls back again – is it you or me, eh?! Harper’s 1861

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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1 Response to THE LITTLE WONDER: Sewing by machine in 1861

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