Singer, Isaac Merritt

(1811-1875)
   Singer was born in Pitts-town, New York, the son of a Saxon immigrant. At age thirteen, Singer became an apprentice in a machine shop but soon left to pursue acting. He married in 1830 and moved to New York and, in 1837, received a patent for his invention, a rock drilling machine. In 1850, while trying to sell his second patented invention, a metal and wood cutting machine, he met Orson C. Phelps who asked his advice on perfecting a sewing machine by Lerow and Blodgett. Together with Phelps and with financial backing from George B. Zeiber, the three formed the Jenny Lind Sewing Machine Company. Singer perfected the lockstitch sewing machine first created by Walter Hunt in 1839, and received a patent in 1851. However, Elias Howe patented his sewing machine earlier, in 1846. But, when Howe tried to sue Singer for patent infringement, the courts established the first patent pool, which allowed all involved parties to earn royalties from the sewing machine's future sales. In 1856, the I.M. Singer Co. manufactured 2,564 machines for $100 each. Sales were hot and the company made 13,000 in 1860. In 1863, the original company was dissolved but continued as the Singer Manufacturing Company. Singer's sales jumped to 170,000 in 1870, thanks to its new installment payment-plan promotion. By 1880, Singer was selling 500,000 machines a year.
   In 1889, Singer introduced the first electric sewing machine and, by 1900, produced 40 different sewing machine models. In 1921, the first portable, electric, motor-powered sewing machine model (the 99K) was sold and the first Singer Sewing Center opened in New York City. By 1951, the centers grew and trained an estimated 400,000 housewives. The company changed its name in 1963 to the Singer Company and, in 1978, the company launched the first computer-controlled machine. Singer's personal life was more colorful than any present day soap opera. Multiple wives, infidelity, polygamy, lawsuits, and some eighteen children later, Singer spent the rest of his life living in Paris and then England. Upon his death in 1875, Singer's estate was worth $14 million, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars in today's economy.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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  • Singer,Isaac Merritt — Singer, Isaac Merritt. 1811 1875. American inventor and manufacturer who patented (1851) a sewing machine capable of making continuous stitches. * * * …   Universalium

  • Singer, Isaac Merritt — SUBJECT AREA: Domestic appliances and interiors, Textiles [br] b. 27 October 1811 Pittstown, New York, USA d. 23 July 1875 Torquay, Devonshire, England [br] American inventor of a sewing machine, and pioneer of mass production. [br] The son of a… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Singer, Isaac Merritt — ► (1811 75) Industrial estadounidense. Perfeccionó y difundió un modelo de máquina de coser doméstica de hilo y punto de cadena. * * * (27 oct. 1811, Pittstown, N.Y., EE.UU.–23 jul. 1875, Torquay, Devon, Inglaterra). Inventor y fabricante… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Singer, Isaac Merritt — born Oct. 27, 1811, Pittstown, N.Y., U.S. died July 23, 1875, Torquay, Devon, Eng. U.S. inventor and manufacturer. He became an apprentice machinist at 19. He patented a rock drilling machine (1839) and a metal and wood carving machine (1849)… …   Universalium

  • Isaac Merritt Singer — (* 27. Oktober 1811 in Pittstown, New York; † 23. Juli 1875 in Paignton, Devonshire, Großbritannien) war ein US amerikanischer Unternehmer und Erfinder. Er leistete wesentliche Beiträge zur E …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isaac Merritt Singer — Para otros usos de este término, véase Singer. Isaac Merritt Singer Retrato de Isaac M. Singer por Edward Harrison May (1869) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Isaac Merritt Singer — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Singer. Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer (26 octobre 1811 – 23 juillet 1875) est le fondateur des célè …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Isaac Merrit Singer — Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer (* 27. Oktober 1811 in Pittstown, New York; † 23. Juli 1875 in Paignton, Devonshire, Großbritannien) war ein US amerikanischer Unternehmer und Erfinder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isaac Merrit Singer — Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer (26 octobre 1811 – 23 juillet 1875) fut un inventeur américain, un acteur et un entrepreneur. Il fit des améliorations importantes dans la conception des machines à écrire et des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Isaac Singer — Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer Isaac Merritt Singer (26 octobre 1811 – 23 juillet 1875) fut un inventeur américain, un acteur et un entrepreneur. Il fit des améliorations importantes dans la conception des machines à écrire et des… …   Wikipédia en Français

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