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Women’s History Month: Grace Rogers Cooper

The Libraries' The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development is a wonderful digital edition of the classic by Grace Rogers Cooper. From the introduction by Barbara Suit Janssen, Museum Specialist, Textile Collection, Natural Museum of American History:

The Smithsonian Institution's mission of "diffusion of knowledge" is well suited to this web publication of a museum reference work. This pairing with the sewing machine trade literature already available in Sewing Machines: Historical Trade Literature in Smithsonian Collections adds the documented history of sewing machines to its paper ephemera. Cooper's book provides a photographic guide to significant sewing machines and patent models in the collections of the National Museum of American History.

Grace Rogers Cooper was the curator of the Division of Textiles from 1948 to 1976. She was responsible for many exhibitions on textile history, including the opening show in the new National Museum of History and Technology in 1964 (now the National Museum of American History.) She was also the author of The Copp Family Textiles, 1971, and Thirteen-Star Flags: Keys to Identification, 1973. —Elizabeth Periale


  1. Joy

    I am referring to the book, The Sewing Machine, Its invention and Development by Grace Rogers Cooper1980. Could you explain what inventor patened the 68 stitches, shown fig 132, page 125. I am researching and writing about sewing machines, but this isn’t clear with any reference to any machine or inventor just shows the illustration.
    Many thanks

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