Just over the transom via the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, today is the birthday of Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine. Celebrate Howe’s gift, not only to the garment industry, but to mankind, with “The Battle of the Sewing Machines,” F. Hyde’s rhythmic impersonation of that old-fashioned sewing machine sound ca. 1874. The piece is illustrated with wonderfully surreal details that suggest the work of an industrial age Hieronymus Bosch.
Learn more about Howe and his invention on Today in History, and read interviews with garment industry employees in Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting in American Memory.