Tomas Saint an English cabinet maker, who invented the first sewing machine in 1790 was unknown until 1874 when Newton Wilson, and English sewing machine manufacturer and patentee, chanced on the drawings included in a patented specification describing methods of making boots and shoes. By the middle of the 19th century, several patents were granted to American investors, among them Isaac M. Singer, whose machine used a treadle.
A Singer sewing machine circa 1860. Isaac Singer invented the most successful sewing machine. They were one of the first domestic appliances manufactured on a production line that used interchangeable parts. Sewing machine production double from 1860-1865. Sewing machines allowed for large scale production of ready to wear uniforms during the Civil war.