Plan of Saint's Sewing Machine, c 1790.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Thomas Saint, a cabinet maker from London, invented what is considered to be the first sewing machine in 1789-90. I had many features common to modern sewing machines, and the stitching action was the forerunner of the chain stitch. There is no evidence the Saint ever used his sewing machine, or even built more than one model. However, models have been built from his plans in recent years.