Singer, Isaac Merritt biographical name
(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) before producing an improved version of Elias Howe's sewing machine in 1851 and soon thereafter founding I.M. Singer & Co. (see Singer Co.) to manufacture it. Howe's successful patent-infringement suit against him in 1854 did not prevent Singer from manufacturing his machine, and his company was soon the world's largest sewing-machine producer. He patented numerous further improvements in the technology; he also pioneered the use of installment credit plans.
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