Detail of lock stitch electric sewing machine by Singer, model 319K, c 1953
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-1875) designed the first practical lock-stitch sewing machine in Boston, Massachusetts, United States in 1850. In 1853 he founded the Singer Manufacturing Company and sold his first, foot-operated sewing machine for 100 dollars. By the 1930s an electric motor was attached to work the needle and the bobbin housing. Simanco, a subsidiary of Singer, were one of the first companies to initiate the development of the electric sewing machine. At the time that they started this work, few machines were electric because not every home had an electricity supply.