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Victorian Sewing Bird, Patented Feb 15, 1853

This little bird is silver in color with ornate decoration on the clamp, the pin cushions are brown velvet.  The screw on the clamp works well, the spring to open his beak also works well. The clamp is a bit bent due to overzealous tightening at some point, the plate at the top of the screw has gone missing over the years. The word “Patented” is on one wing, while the other has “Feb 15, 1853” on it, these have been "softened" with use and are not really discernable today, but the outlines remain. The sewing bird was invented in the 19th century to assist ladies with their hand sewing.  The fabric could be put into the bird's beak and there it would be held taut.  The sewing machine had not yet come to be and having that third hand to hold fabric was a great help!  The patent was obtained by Charles Waterman on Feb 15, 1853 though he had been selling them for a while prior to this.  Not long after, the sewing bird took a romantic (?) turn.  Young men began presenting their brides to be with a sewing bird months before the wedding so that she could sew the necessities for her trousseau.  As she was sewing she would be reminded of her beloved….


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