Isaac Merrit Singer: Inventor of the Modern Sewing Machine

While many inventors already had patented sewing machines, Singer had the advantage because his sewing machine was equipped with more practical features and functions. His invention was also easy to adapt to home use and easy to own through his installment payment scheme.

Isaac Merritt Singer (27 October 1811 – 23 July 1875), an American inventor and entrepreneur, founded the Singer Sewing Machine Company. He is known for the significant improvements he has made on prior designs for the sewing machine, such as the shuttle moving in a straight line instead of a circle and the needle also straight instead of curved. His sewing machine could make 900 stitches per minute instead of the 40 stitches per minute that an accomplished seamstress can make.

Singer was also the pioneer in mass production for the sewing machine, a feat that he achieved by using the interchangeable parts concept developed by firearms manufacturers.


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