|Birth Day:||July 9, 1819|
|Death Date:||Oct 3, 1867 (age 48)|
|Birth Place:||Spencer, United States|
Perfected the sewing machine that was then popularized by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
As per our current Database, Elias Howe died on Oct 3, 1867 (age 48).
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He worked as an apprentice in both a textile and mechanic factory.
Elias Howe Jr. was born on July 9, 1819, to Dr. Elias Howe Sr. and Polly (Bemis) Howe in Spencer, Massachusetts. Howe spent his childhood and early adult years in Massachusetts, where he apprenticed in a textile factory in Lowell beginning in 1835. After mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work as a mechanic with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. Beginning in 1838, he apprenticed in the shop of Ari Davis, a master mechanic in Cambridge who specialized in the manufacture and repair of chronometers and other precision instruments. It was in the employ of Davis that Howe seized upon the idea of the sewing machine.
He married Elizabeth Jennings Ames, daughter of Simon Ames and Jane B. Ames, on March 3, 1841, in Cambridge. They had three children: Jane Robinson Howe (1842–1912), Simon Ames Howe (1844–1883), and Julia Maria Howe (1846–1869).
Howe was not the first to conceive of the idea of a sewing machine. Many other people had formulated the idea of such a machine before him, one as early as 1790, and some had even patented their designs and produced working machines, in one case at least 80 of them. However, Howe originated significant refinements to the design concepts of his predecessors, and on September 10, 1846, he was awarded the first United States patent (U.S. Patent 4,750 ) for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. His machine contained the three essential features common to most modern machines: a needle with the eye at the point, a shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lock stitch, and an automatic feed.
Despite securing his patent, Howe had considerable difficulty finding investors in the United States to finance production of his invention, so his elder brother Amasa Bemis Howe traveled to England in October 1846 to seek financing. Amasa was able to sell his first machine for £250 to William Thomas of Cheapside, London, who owned a factory for the manufacture of corsets, umbrellas and valises. Elias and his family joined Amasa in London in 1848, but after business disputes with Thomas and failing health of his wife, Howe returned nearly penniless to the United States. His wife Elizabeth, who preceded Elias back to the United States, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts shortly after his return in 1849.
Howe received a patent in 1851 for an "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure". Perhaps because of the success of his sewing machine, he did not try to seriously market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received.
Between 1865 and 1867, Elias established The Howe Machine Co. in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that was operated by Elias's sons-in-law, the Stockwell Brothers, until about 1886. Between 1854 and 1871/2, Elias's older brother, Amasa Bemis Howe, and later his son Benjamin Porter Howe, as Amasa died in 1868, owned and operated a factory in New York City, manufacturing sewing machines under the name of the Howe Sewing Machine Co., which won a gold medal at the London Exhibition of 1862. Then in 1873, B. P. Howe sold the Howe Sewing Machine Co. factory and name to the Howe Machine Co. which merged the two companies.
Howe died at age 48, on October 3, 1867, of gout and a massive blood clot. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. His second wife, Rose Halladay, who died on October 10, 1890, is buried with him. Both Singer and Howe were multi-millionaires.
The 1965 Beatles movie Help! is dedicated to his memory.
In 2004 he was inducted into the United States National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Currently, Elias Howe is 203 years, 8 months and 21 days old. Elias Howe will celebrate 204th birthday on a Sunday 9th of July 2023.
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