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They were sold both as domestic machines and for manufacturing where they were popular for shirt making and similar lightweight tasks.
Wilson in 1849 made possible one of the world's greatest industries, and the sound administrative policy of Nathaniel Wheeler and his associates was responsible for the transformation of the industry from the modest confines of 1854 in Watertown, Connecticut, shown in the accompanying illustration, to the plant in Bridgeport, employing about 2,000 hands in 1905. Wilson first conceived the idea of a sewing machine while engaged in his trade as a journeyman cabinet maker at Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
After months of application he constructed the first practical sewing machine and obtained a patent November 12, 1850. The other general offices of the company were held for many years by Isaac Holden as vice-president, William H.
Wilson's original form of the early-to-mid 1850s (Figures 1 and 2) soon evolved into a standard treadle machine which remained in production until the end of the firm's existence.
The classification of these 'curved needle' machines seems to have changed over the years.
10 machine introduced in 1880 For General Manufacturing, Leather work and Tailoring.