Elias Howe was born in 1819 on a farm. He traveled to Lowell Mass to become an apprentice in a machine shop. Howe invented the sewing machine and in 1856 gained the rights to the patent. The sewing machine decreased the time it took to produce items and therefore increased production. For example, the time it took to produce a shirt before the sewing machine was 14 hrs 26 mins. After the sewing machine, however, it took only 1 hr 16 mins.
The Cult of Domesticity
The "cult of domesticity" was a social system designed to limit the sphere of influence of the woman to the home and family. It stated that the woman's role was that of the wife and mother and that she must practice Piety, Purity, Submissiveness, Domesticity. Women, within this sphere, were able to create networks with other women and gain confidence from the power they had over the home.