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Profile America — Tuesday, August 12th. An invention that has had a profound impact on our use of fabrics and on the nation's economy was patented on this date in 1851 -- the home sewing machine, developed by Isaac Singer. The idea of the sewing machine -- and some working models -- went back to nearly a century before 1851. But Singer's simple, sturdy machine was the first to be a commercial success. While far fewer people sew at home as avidly as was done in the 19th century, the modern and industrial versions of Singer's machines are the thread that runs through the nation's nearly $150 billion a year apparel and piece goods industry. Some 15,000 establishments employ about 180,000 workers in the manufacture of clothing. You can find current data on the country's economy by downloading the America's Economy mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.