But he ran into good fortune. A boyhood friend of his, George Fisher inherited some money and offered to stake him to $500.00 and a place to work - the proceeds from the invention, if any, were to be shared equally by Howe and Fisher.
So in a little corner in Fisher's home, Howe set to work to put his idea into physical form. And by 1845, he had a machine and actually sewed the seams of two suits of clothes, one for Fisher and one for himself.
But his battle had only begun. When he invited a tailor to witness a demonstration, the man refused to come - he thought it was just another crackpot idea. However, Howe was determined to make the demonstration, so he set up a shop and offered to sew, free of charge, the work brought to him.
He had many visitors who were surprised how easily the machine did the work. Later, a contest was held between the new machine and five girls. Howe won because, as the judges said, his machine work was "neater and stronger."
But Howe could not sell his machine even after it was proved. People simply wouldn't pay $300.00 for such a new device. His partner, Fisher, lost faith in the project and along with it $2,000.00 - so he withdrew. But Howe still had the sample, which he and his brother took to England and later sold.