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5 June 2018
‘Ownership of a sewing machine has often been the key to making a little go a long way… A simple dress which had allegedly taken ten hours to make could now be produced in only an hour, and the time to make a man’s shirt was reduced from fourteen hours to an hour and fifteen minutes…Sewing machines have also provided opportunities for women to work outside the home.’ The sewing machine was first invented in 1790; machines for the home were introduced in the 1850s. (The three Persephone novels most relevant to sewing machines are The Homemaker, High Wages and Emmeline.)
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