Elias Howe is known all over the world as an inventor of sewing machine. He was born in Spenser, Massachusetts on July 9, 1819. When he completed his education he got a job of mechanist. He always had interest in observing machinery. When he was working in a textile mill, he thought about the idea of building a machine that could solve the problems faced by people while sewing clothes. After a lot of effort, in April 1845, Elias Howe came up with a design, in which he used needle with an eye at its sharp point which used to push thread through cloth, forming a sort of loop that would allow a threaded arm to move through the loop while pulling it tight creating a lock stitch. He filed the patent papers in patent office on September 10, 1846.

Though Howe was a great inventor, he did not posses the skills needed to market the product. He got disappointed when the sale of his invention sewing machine failed to accelerate. Howe then decided to market his product in England. Unfortunately, here also his product didn’t work well. Howe got the shock of his life when he discovered that his patented designs were being imitated everywhere. Manufacturers had started copying the patent designs of his work of the sewing machine.

He was helpless as he had got no money to fight and initiate the lawsuits. Manufacturers on the other hand were becoming stronger and didn’t compensate the man who had created this wonder product.

He struggled hard for the next nine months to generate interest in his product along with protecting his patents from being imitated, and fighting those persons who failed to pay the royalties. Finally, people started getting interested. They had to – Howe had a great product when he displayed the machine to the masses. His invention was providing 250 stitches a minute; his lockstitch mechanism was second to none and outclassed other available imitated patents in speed.

During this period Issac Singer also invented the up-and-down motion mechanism, while Allen Wilson had developed a rotary hook shuttle. Howe then fought with the manufacturers who were imitating his patent designs. FInally, he won the legal battle against his illegal competitors. After successfully defeating the illegal manufacturers, Howe’s profits started rising. His annual income jumped from three hundred to more than two hundred thousand dollars a year. Between the years 1854 and 1867, his income jumped close to two million dollars from his inventions. During civil war Howe donated a portion of his accumulated wealth for equipping an infantry regiment for the Union Army.

From a humble beginning, Elias Howe thus became very wealthy from his inventions. He died at the age of 48, on October 3, 1867. (Another inventor, George Washington Carver, was probably around two years old at this time.