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GB Patent: GB-179,001,754
Bookbinding glue; Sewing machine
Patentee:
Thomas Saint - Bristol, England

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:

Assignees:
None

Manufacturer:
Not known to have been produced

Witnesses:
Unknown

Patent Dates:
Granted: Jul. 17, 1790

Patent Pictures:
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Description:
This patent was an omnibus patent covering a collection of independent inventions: paints, glues, clog making, and a sewing machine. This patent should have been groundbreaking because Saint was the first to realize that there was no need to pass the needle all the way through the cloth. Unfortunately for Saint, the patent was classified under "glue, bookbinding" and its historical importance was not recognized until a century later. In the meantime, others independently rediscovered his ideas, patented them, and made lots of money off them. It is not known why Saint never followed up on his invention. One flaw in his design is that it created what is now called a chain stitch, which unravels if the thread breaks. Later sewing machines instead produced the lock stitch, which does not unravel to nearly the same extent. The lock stitch requires two separate threads, whereas Saint's machine used a single thread.

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