Isaac Merritt Singer, 1811-1875: A Thing for the Ladies

For trivia buffs, Elias Howe is famously  the inventor of the sewing machine. *

So why do all the machines seem to be named Singer?

Short answer is because it’s not personal, it’s business.  Like fast food, the real money is not in inventing, it’s in marketing, preferable to the great middle.   Isaac Singer, like Ford, figured out how to bring machinery to  the masses and to make it pay.

He worked as a machinist but his first love was the stage, and had his talent been for the latter rather than the former, this story might have turned out rather differently. As it was,  he found himself  by circumstance tinkering on various machines, making small improvements on this and that.  At age twenty seven, he patented a rock-drilling machine, making him $US 2,000 – extremely good money back in the day. So what did he do with it? Continue reading