This Day in History… September 10, 1846

Elias Howe Patents First Lockstitch Sewing Machine 

U.S. #892 – Howe went on to serve in the Civil War, using money he’d earned from his sewing machines to outfit his regiment. He also worked as the regiment’s postmaster, delivering war news.

After eight years of tinkering, Elias Howe was awarded the first U.S. patent for a practical lockstitch sewing machine on September 10, 1846.

Howe didn’t invent the first sewing machine – various forms of mechanized sewing had been used as early as 1790. Over the years, various inventors created and even patented sewing machines, but none produced a durable enough stitch to replace hand-sewing. Walter Hunt came close in the early 1830s. He invented a back-stitch sewing machine, but refused to patent it for fear of the jobs it would take away from seamstresses.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Elias Howe was working for machinist Ari Davis. Davis once told Howe that whoever invented a practical sewing machine would be rich. And so, Howe set about being that man. He worked on the machine for eight years in his spare time, working out the logistics.

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History of International Stamp Exhibitions in the U.S.

Hamilton Bank Note Co. Cinderella Stamp

Hamilton Bank Note Co.
Cinderella Stamp

The first international stamp exhibition to be held in the U.S. took place in New York City in 1913. The Post Office Department hadn’t yet created a division to cater directly to stamp collectors, so there were no U.S. stamps issued to commemorate the event.

However, the Hamilton Bank Note Co. of New York produced a set of four Cinderella stamps to mark the occasion.

A lot had changed by the time of the second U.S. international philatelic exhibition in 1926.  The U.S. Post Office Department was more actively engaged with collectors and so they issued a special 25-stamp sheet with an inscription in the margin to commemorate the show. Continue reading

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This Day in History… September 9, 1776

The “United Colonies” Become “United States” 

U.S. #1543-46 commemorates the First Continental Congress, which met in 1774. The Second Continental Congress convened the following year to manage the war effort and declare independence, among other things.

On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared that the United Colonies would now be known as the United States.

Richard Henry Lee may have been one of the first people to officially refer to America as the “United States.” On June 7, 1776, he submitted a resolution to Congress stating “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” Congress approved his resolution on July 2 – a date future president John Adams believed would be one of the most celebrated in American history. However, the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence two days later received that honor.

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This Day in History… September 8, 1892

Pledge of Allegiance First Published 

U.S. #2593 was issued in Francis Bellamy’s hometown of Rome, New York, which is less than 20 miles from Mystic’s home in Camden.

On September 8, 1892, Francis Bellamy’s Pledge of Allegiance was published in The Youth’s Companion magazine to promote patriotism among children.

Francis Bellamy was raised in Rome, New York, where his father, David, was the pastor of the First Baptist Church. In 1885, Bellamy accepted a position with the Dearborn Street Church in Boston. While in Boston, Bellamy was part of a national committee that formed to foster patriotism in schools in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. James Upham of The Youth’s Companion magazine also saw the event as an opportunity to realize his goal – of placing flags in every school in America.

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This Day in History… September 7, 1797

First USS Constellation Launched 

U.S. #3869 honors the second Constellation, built in 1854 with some materials salvaged from the original ship.

Ordered by a Congressional Act in 1794, the first American ship to be christened the Constellation was launched on September 7, 1797.

Designed by naval constructors Joshua Humphreys and Josiah Fox, the Constellation was the first ship commissioned into the United States Navy and the first put to sea. As such, it received the most esteemed name – Constellation, in honor of the ring of white stars against a blue background that was once featured on the American flag.

The Constellation was quickly pressed into service the following year, convoying merchantmen before traveling to the West Indies to protect American commerce in the Quasi War against France. The ship first saw battle on February 9, 1799 in the waters near Nevis. There it captured France’s fastest ship – the L’Insurgente – making it the first U.S. boat to capture an enemy vessel. Over the next few months, the Constellation seized two more French privateers. Amazed by its ability to travel 13 knots while sailing under nearly an acre of canvas sails, French sailors nicknamed it the “Yankee Racehorse.”

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This Day in History… September 6, 1757

Birth of Marquis de Lafayette – “Hero of Two Worlds” 

U.S. #1010 – George Washington had such an impact on Lafayette that he named one of his children after him.

On September 6, 1757, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette was born in Chavaniac, in Haute Loire, France to a wealthy family.

Born into one of France’s oldest families, with ancestors who’d fought alongside Joan of Arc, Lafayette developed an early hunger for military glory. Orphaned at a young age, he became one of the richest people in France, but had no interest in court life.

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Posted in Sept. 2015, This Day in History | 13 Comments