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Elias Howe was born July 9, 1819 in Spencer, Mass and died October 3, 1867 at the age of 48 in Brooklyn, NY.  On September 10, 1846, he was awarded the first US Patent for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design.  His machine contained three essential features common to most modern machines - 1- a needle with the eye at the point, 2- a shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lockstitch and 3- an automatic feed.  For more information about the life of Elias Howe and pictures of the first US Patented sewing machine, Google: Elias Howe.

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