July, MONDAY, 11, 1864.
after church i went home with becky smith mr Johnson was with me exceedingly warm to day i was out this afternoon stoped to see Miss uhman Rachel come and spent the evening
with me very warm I have had my first lesson on the sewing machine suceeded admireablely I worked all the afternoon no word from home this week as yet
Very pleasant today i had been Practicing a little on the machine no word from nell yet in the evening mary m and I went to see rachel and spent quite a Pleas [Pleasant]
Accomplished seamstresses like Emilie acquainted themselves with the sewing machine, patented in 1846, with some reservation, as machines were expensive and often owned by subcontractors who paid women low wages. Social investigator Virginia Penny published a report in 1863 in which she described the physical strain on women who sewed on machines for long hours. “It produces a pain first in the hips, and the jar affects the never; and the sameness of the stitch on white or black goods produces a constant strain on the eye.” Stansell, City of Women, 113-15. Penny, Employments of Women, 311.
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