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This little bird is made of brass, he has both of his original velvet pin cushions. The clamp to attach him to the work surface is not bent, the screw works well. The spring to open his beak has broken but as can be seen in the photo his beak will stay closed or he can be displayed with it open. The velvet on the tiny pin cushion on his back has begun to fray but is still in place. The pin cushion under his chin is largely intact with just a bit of fray along one edge. The word “Patented” is on one wing, while the other has “Feb 15, 1853” on it. 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….