Barthélemy Thimonnier

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Barthélemy Thimonnier
Thimonnier portreto.jpg
Barthélemy Thimonnier
Born(1793-08-19)August 19, 1793
DiedJuly 5, 1857(1857-07-05) (aged 63)

Barthélemy Thimonnier (born on August 19, 1793 in L'Arbresle, Rhône - July 5, 1857 in Amplepuis), was a French inventor, who is attributed with the invention of the first sewing machine that replicated sewing by hand.

LArbresle Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

L'Arbresle is a commune of the Rhône department in eastern France. Composer Claude Terrasse and inventor Barthélemy Thimonnier were born in L'Arbresle.

Rhône (department) Department of France

Rhône is a French department located in the central Eastern region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is named after the river Rhône.

Amplepuis Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Amplepuis is a commune in the Rhône department in eastern France.

Contents

Early life

In 1795, his family moved to Amplepuis. Thimonnier was the eldest of seven children. He studied for a while in Lyon, before going to work as a tailor in Panissières. Barthelemy Thimonnier married an embroideress in January 1822. In 1823, he settled in a suburb of Saint-Étienne and worked as a tailor there.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

Panissières Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Panissières is a commune in the Loire department in central France.

Saint-Étienne Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Saint-Étienne is a city in eastern central France, in the Massif Central, 55 km (34 mi) southwest of Lyon in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, on the trunk road that connects Toulouse with Lyon. Saint-Étienne is the capital of the Loire department and has a population of approximately 172,023 (2013) in the city itself and over 508,000 in the metropolitan area (2011).

Invention of the sewing machine

A copy of Barthelemy Thimonnier's sewing machine from about 1830. A copy Thimonnier's Machine.jpg
A copy of Barthélemy Thimonnier's sewing machine from about 1830.

In 1829, he invented the sewing machine and in 1830 he signed a contract with Auguste Ferrand, a mining engineer, who made the requisite drawings and submitted a patent application. The patent for his machine was issued on 17 July 1830 in the names of both men, supported by the French government. The same year, he opened (with partners) the first machine-based clothing manufacturing company in the world. It was supposed to create army uniforms. However, the factory was burned down, reportedly by workers fearful of losing work following the issuing of the patent. (See also: Luddite)

Patent set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee so that he has a temporary monopoly

A patent is a form of intellectual property. A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, usually twenty years. The patent rights are granted in exchange for an enabling public disclosure of the invention. In most countries patent rights fall under civil law and the patent holder needs to sue someone infringing the patent in order to enforce his or her rights. In some industries patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others they are irrelevant.

Factory facility where goods are made, or processed

A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into another.

Luddite organization of English workers in the 19th century protesting adoption of textile machinery

The Luddites were a secret oath-based organization of English textile workers in the 19th century, a radical faction of which destroyed textile machinery as a form of protest. The group was protesting against the use of machinery in a "fraudulent and deceitful manner" to get around standard labour practices. Luddites feared that the time spent learning the skills of their craft would go to waste, as machines would replace their role in the industry. It is a misconception that the Luddites protested against the machinery itself in an attempt to halt the progress of technology. Over time, however, the term has come to mean one opposed to industrialisation, automation, computerisation, or new technologies in general. The Luddite movement began in Nottingham at a time in England when voting was reserved for a grammar-schooled elite representing a mere three percent of the total population. Lack of suffrage together with oppressive laws from Parliament culminated in a region-wide rebellion that lasted from 1811 to 1816. Mill and factory owners took to shooting protesters and eventually the movement was suppressed with legal and military force.

A model of the machine is exhibited at the London Science Museum. The machine is made of wood and uses a barbed needle which passes downward through the cloth to grab the thread and pull it up to form a loop to be locked by the next loop.

The earliest sewing machine was actually patented by Thomas Saint in 1790. So Thimonnier's machine was not the first. Saint's contribution was not made public until 1874 when William Newton Wilson, himself a sewing machine manufacturer, found the drawings in the London Patent Office and built a machine which worked following some adjustments to the looper. So, in 1790 Thomas Saint had invented a machine with an overhanging arm, a feed mechanism (adequate for the short lengths of leather he intended it for), a vertical needle bar and a looper. The London Science Museum has the model that Wilson built from Saint's drawings.

Later life

Thimonnier then returned to Amplepuis and supported himself as a tailor again, while searching for improvements to his machine. He obtained new patents in 1841, 1845, and 1847 for new models of sewing machine. However, despite having won prizes at World Fairs, and being praised by the press, use of the machine did not spread. Thimonnier's financial situation remained difficult, and he died in poverty at the age of 63.

The Thimonnier sewing machine company, created after his death, existed up to the 20th century.

Related Research Articles

This timeline of clothing and textiles technology covers the events of fiber and flexible woven material worn on the body; including making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, and systems (technology).

Sewing machine machine used to stitch fabric

A sewing machine is a machine used to sew fabric and other materials together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies. Since the invention of the first working sewing machine, generally considered to have been the work of Englishman Thomas Saint in 1790, the sewing machine has greatly improved the efficiency and productivity of the clothing industry.

Sewing craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread

Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era. Before the invention of spinning yarn or weaving fabric, archaeologists believe Stone Age people across Europe and Asia sewed fur and skin clothing using bone, antler or ivory needles and "thread" made of various animal body parts including sinew, catgut, and veins.

Chain stitch embroidery stitch made by looping yarn under the needle to form simple or complex chains, with many variations

Chain stitch is a sewing and embroidery technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Chain stitch is an ancient craft – examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period. Handmade chain stitch embroidery does not require that the needle pass through more than one layer of fabric. For this reason the stitch is an effective surface embellishment near seams on finished fabric. Because chain stitches can form flowing, curved lines, they are used in many surface embroidery styles that mimic "drawing" in thread.

Elias Howe American inventor

Elias Howe Jr. was an American inventor best known for his creation of the modern lockstitch sewing machine.

Circular knitting knitting of tubular shapes using circular knitting needles or a circular knitting machine

Circular knitting or knitting in the round is a form of knitting that creates a seamless tube. When knitting circularly, the knitting is cast on and the circle of stitches is joined. Knitting is worked in rounds in a spiral. Originally, circular knitting was done using a set of four or five double-pointed needles. Later, circular needles were invented, which can also be used to knit in the round: the circular needle looks like two short knitting needles connected by a cable between them.

Overlock

An overlock is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming. Usually an overlock sewing machine will cut the edges of the cloth as they are fed through, though some are made without cutters. The inclusion of automated cutters allows overlock machines to create finished seams easily and quickly. An overlock sewing machine differs from a lockstitch sewing machine in that it uses loopers fed by multiple thread cones rather than a bobbin. Loopers serve to create thread loops that pass from the needle thread to the edges of the fabric so that the edges of the fabric are contained within the seam.

Stocking frame

A stocking frame was a mechanical knitting machine used in the textiles industry. It was invented by William Lee of Calverton near Nottingham in 1589. Its use, known traditionally as framework knitting, was the first major stage in the mechanisation of the textile industry, and played an important part in the early history of the Industrial Revolution. It was adapted to knit cotton and to do ribbing, and by 1800 had been adapted as a lace making machine.

Stitching awl tool for making or enlarging holes in fabric or leather

A stitching awl is a tool with which holes can be punctured in a variety of materials, or existing holes can be enlarged. It is also used for sewing heavy materials, such as leather or canvas. It is a thin, tapered metal shaft, coming to a sharp point, either straight or slightly bent. These shafts are often in the form of interchangeable needles. They usually have an eye piercing at the pointed end to aid in drawing thread through holes for the purpose of manual lockstitch sewing, in which case it is also called a sewing awl. Stitching awls are frequently used by shoe repairers and other leatherworkers. Sewing awls are used to make lock stitches. The needle, with the thread in the eye is pushed through the material. The thread is then pulled through the eye to extend it. As the needle is pushed through the material, the extra thread from the first stitch is then threaded through the loops of successive stitches creating a lock stitch. The action is likened to that of a "miniature sewing machine". Styles may vary, as they are adapted to specific trades, such as making shoes or saddles. They are also used in the printing trades to aid in setting movable type and in bookbinding.

Charles Fredrick Wiesenthal was a German inventor who was awarded the patent for the first known mechanical device for sewing in 1755. One might argue that he invented the sewing machine. He was born in Germany, but was in England at the time of invention. For his invention of a double pointed needle with an eye at one end, he received the British Patent No. 701 (1755). but after in 1830 Barthélemy Thimonnier reinvented the sewing machine.

Events from the year 1830 in France.

Feed dogs

Feed dogs are the critical component of a "drop feed" sewing machine. A set of feed dogs typically resembles two or three short, thin metal bars, crosscut with diagonal teeth, which move back and forth in slots in a sewing machine's needle plate. Their purpose is to pull ("feed") the fabric through the machine, in discrete steps, in-between stitches.

Christian Dancel, was an inventor.

Helen Blanchard American inventor

Helen Augusta Blanchard was an American inventor who received 28 patents between 1873 and 1915. She was known for her numerous inventions dealing with sewing machines and sewing technology.

Allen B. Wilson American inventor

Allen Benjamin Wilson (1824–1888) was an American inventor famous for designing, building and patenting some of the first successful sewing machines. He invented both the vibrating and the rotating shuttle designs which, in turns, dominated all home lockstitch sewing machines. With various partners in the 19th century he manufactured reliable sewing machines using the latter shuttle type.

Wheeler & Wilson was an American company which produced sewing machines.

Stitch (textile arts) loop of yarn or length of thread drawn through a ground material with a needle or hook in sewing, embroidery, knitting or crocheting

In the textile arts, a stitch is a single turn or loop of thread, or yarn. Stitches are the fundamental elements of sewing, knitting, embroidery, crochet, and needle lace-making, whether by hand or machine. A variety of stitches, each with one or more names, are used for specific purposes.

The Singer Model 27 and later model 127 were a series of lockstitch sewing machines produced by the Singer Manufacturing Company from the 1880s to the 1960s.. They were Singer's first sewing machines to make use of "vibrating shuttle" technology. Millions were produced. They are all steel and were built before the advent of planned obsolescence, and so they were designed to be repaired rather than replaced. Consequently many remain today, some in collections and others still in service. In company literature they were called "the woman's faithful friend the world over".

A vibrating shuttle is a bobbin driver design used in home lockstitch sewing machines during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. It supplanted earlier transverse shuttle designs, but was itself supplanted by rotating shuttle designs.

Jacob W. Davis tailor

Jacob W. Davis (1831–1908) was a Latvian-born American tailor who is credited with inventing modern jeans. Growing up in Latvia, he emigrated to the United States as a young man and spent some time in Canada as well. He invented jeans by using sturdy cloth and rivets to strengthen weak points in the seams, and partnered with Levi Strauss to mass produce them.

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