Saint's chain-stitch sewing machine, 1874.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This machine was made by William Newton Wilson in 1874 from drawings contained in a patent granted to Thomas Saint, a London inventor and cabinet maker. Newton Wilson, a sewing machine manufacturer and patentee, chanced upon the drawings included in a patent specification of 1790 describing methods of making artificial leather for boots and shoes. The general drawing is of a chain-stitch machine and is accompanied by drawings of details and an explanation of this machine for 'stitching, quilting, or sewing'. The impracticality of the machine as patented makes it unlikely that Saint actually constructed it, but Newton Wilson found that it worked following some adjustments to the looper.