QUEEN OF INVENTIONS by Laurie Carlson

QUEEN OF INVENTIONS

How the Sewing Machine Changed the World
Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Does Carlson (Boss of the Plains: The Hat That Won the West, 1998, etc.) invest the sewing machine with more significance than it really merits? Perhaps, but she describes the invention’s development, and the changes it heralded in both the clothing industry and the world’s wardrobes, with such effervescence that even readers able to see how threadbare her case is will forgive her. Though she drops several important names, Isaac Singer plays the central role in her drama—first, for solving a major design problem of early sewing machines with the help of a spring from his son’s toy popgun, then for correctly guessing that he could sell zillions of the improved devices to the working classes on the installment plan. But even the lively text pales next to the sheaves of 19th-century photos and prints, which range from intimate, aw-shucks pictures of swaddled babies to teeming factory scenes, from advertisements featuring knobby conventional machines to downright weird models shaped like human or animal figures. Few are the 19th-century’s technological fruits that can rival the sewing machine for worldwide ubiquity and staying power; Carlson gives it its due with this rousing tribute. (bibliography, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7613-2706-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2003




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