Howe, Elias


Howe, Elias

biographical name

(born July 9, 1819, Spencer, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 3, 1867, Brooklyn, N.Y.) U.S. inventor. A nephew of William Howe, he began work as a mechanic. In 1846 he was granted a patent for the first practical sewing machine. It attracted little attention, and he moved to England and worked to perfect his machine for use with leather and similar materials. When he returned the next year, he found that sewing machines were being widely made and sold; he finally established his patent rights in 1854. His invention soon revolutionized the garment industry. See also Isaac Merritt Singer.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Howe, Elias, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Howe, Elias? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More