Many folks here know that Elias Howe is credited with inventing the sewing machine.
What most folks do not know is that Elias only made two physical (2) sewing machines (that we are aware of) between 1846 (the year of the invention) and 1866 when he officially joined the Howe Machine Company.
The Howe Machine company was started in 1965 and run by the Stockwell brothers who had married two of Elias's daughters. Legally Elias could not manufacture sewing machines for 10 years after the "Combine" was created in 1856. Historians believe he had a LOT to do with the Stockwell brothers company prior to 1866 when he officially joined, but there was no paper trail to prove it.
The reason that the company was called the "Howe Machine Company" was because in 1854 Asama Howe (Elias's older brother) had established the company "Howe Sewing Machine Company" and even though Elias took his brother to court, Amasa won and was able to retain the name. For this and many other reasons the two brothers had quite a falling out that does not appear to have healed by the timer Elias dies in 1867.
Ok, so the reason for this story is because yesterday I received my very first AB Howe machine.
The quality of this machine is SO FAR above the quality of the Stockwell Howe machines....
The records for the AB Howe company for after the civil war are lost so we can only say for certain that this machine was made after 1863 (last patent date) and before 1868 (the next patent date that I am aware of that would be marked)
I purchased this from my friend on that big auction site so it is already cleaned up. Now to find an appropriate treadle to go under it.....