Sewing machine history can be traced back to the 18th Century when the Industrial Revolution prompted a need for manufacturers to produce more sewing projects through less manual labor. In 1790, Thomas Saint, an Englishman, put together a very detailed design for a sewing machine featuring a hand crank and was issued a patent. Nearly a century later, in 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s patent drawings and built a model based on his design. During the interim, however, they were many attempts, and fails, at designing a sewing machine. This made Saint’s invention superfluous by the time a sewing machine was created by Wilson. Australian tailor Josef Madersperger, for instance, who acquired a patent in 1814, made attempts at creating a few different sewing machine designs, all of which were unsuccessful. It was actually a couple of Americans, John Knowles and John Adams Doge, who invented America’s first sewing machine. That machine, however, would break after sewing only a few pieces of fabric. According to Britannica, an early sewing machine was designed and manufactured by Barthélemy Thimonnier of France, who received a patent for it by the French government in 1830, to mass-produce uniforms for the French army, but some 200 rioting tailors, who feared that the invention would ruin their businesses, destroyed the machines in 1831. Thimonnier’s design, in any event, merely mechanised the hand-sewing operation. A decisive improvement was embodied in a sewing machine built by Walter Hunt of New York City about 1832 to 34, which was never patented, and independently by Elias Howe of Spencer, Massachusetts, patented in 1846. In both machines a curved eye-pointed needle moved in an arc as it carried the thread through the fabric, on the other side of which it interlocked with a second thread carried by a shuttle running back and forth on a track. Howe’s highly successful machine was widely copied, leading to extensive patent litigation and ultimately to a patent pool that included the design of Isaac Merritt Singer, the largest manufacturer. In 1860 more than 110,000 sewing machines were produced in the United States alone. Although modern sewing machine designs have proliferated in an enormous variety, mostly for special industrial purposes, the basic operation remains unchanged. Modern machines are commonly powered by an electric motor, but the foot-treadle machine is still in wide use in much of the world. The world’s largest producer is China. Japan’s industry pioneered the versatile zigzag machine.