“Ow!” Perched high in her tree, Keihil sucked her finger. I’m reduced to behaving like a toddler by this needle. The thought made her grimace, yanking her finger out of her mouth and instead enduring the sharp pain. That was the third time she had pricked her finger, and she was only halfway through this garment. She couldn’t help but wonder how her mother had done it all those years.
Rumor had it that the people in Miketown had invented a machine that would sew for people. Keihil privately thought it must be a spell of some sort, since only the dwarven kingdoms had technologies that advanced. Nonetheless, she would gladly pay whatever price some wizard was charging if it meant she didn’t have to do this work by hand. Scowling, she set needle to fabric again.
Happy National Sewing Machine Day, a national holiday celebrated each year on June 13. The Singer sewing machine is an American icon. Our grandmothers and grandfathers used them, as did many of our parents. The Singer was not the first sewing machine, which was invented by Thomas Saint in the late 1700s; however, the Singer was practical, efficient, and perhaps more importantly, mass produced. Patented in 1851, the Singer sewing machine was seen in living rooms across the country.
My own grandmother had one, though accounts I’ve heard suggest that she was not a fan of sewing. While nowadays sewing is generally an interesting and useful hobby, there was a time when it was an essential and basic skill. The sewing machine depicted here is a Singer treadle sewing machine housed in the Medicine Bow Museum. It was loaned to the museum by Marcie McFarland, and sits in what was once the passenger waiting room of the railroad depot that now houses the museum.