Press Release

Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age



CONTACT: Charles Schuler      
Associate Deputy Airport Director  

Communications & Marketing
(650) 821-5031   


Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age
New exhibition traces the development of the domestic sewing machine from the 1850s to the 1970s


San Francisco – For thousands of years, hand sewing with needles and thread made from various materials remained unchanged. When the sewing machine was first introduced to American homes in the 1850s, it was heralded as a laborsaving device that would transform the domestic lives of women everywhere. Sewing clothing and household linens, once a time consuming, never ending task, no longer had to be painstakingly completed by hand. The popular and influential Godey’s Lady’s Book soon coined the sewing machine “the queen of inventions” and declared that every family in the United States should own one.


This exhibition celebrates more than one hundred years of sewing through historical sewing machines, pattern illustrations, and a variety of notions from sewing boxes and sewing birds to needle cases, chatelaines, and pincushions.


Images from the exhibition are available for download at:


Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age is located in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F from Saturday, March 10, 2012 through Sunday, August 5, 2012. The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3. There is no charge to view the exhibition.


SFO Museum

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public.  The Museum has been accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1999, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.  For more information, please visit


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