SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Electrical sewing machine. Historical artwork of a woman using a 19th-century electrical sewing machine. She is using her feet to operate a pedal that moves an electrical contact over a rheostat (the device underneath the main body of the sewing machine). This alters the resistance of the electrical circuit and speeds up or slows down the sewing machine's needle, as required. The electric motor here is one that was designed by French inventor Gustave Trouve (1839-1902). He patented his small electric motor, first used in boats, in 1880. The sewing machine was invented in the late 18th century. The modern electric motor was invented in the 1870s. Artwork from A Travers l'Electricite (G. Dary, Paris, 1900).
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