Who received the first US patent for a sewing machine?

Elias_Howe_portraitSeptember 10, 1846 — American inventor Elias Howe, Jr. (July 9, 1819 – October 3, 1867) today received U.S. Patent 4,750 for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design.

Contrary to popular belief, Howe was not the first to conceive of the idea of a sewing machine. Others came up with the idea, one as early as 1790, and some had 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. 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.

Sources: wikipediaLeading American Inventors“A Brief History of the Sewing Machine”