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Isaac Merrit Singer

Singer, Isaac Merrit, 1811–75, American inventor, b. Rensselaer co., N.Y. As a child he lived in Oswego, N.Y. He patented in 1851 a practical sewing machine that could do continuous stitching. Although he lost a suit for infringement brought by Elias Howe, his company was already so well established that it took the lead in a subsequent combination of manufactures and pooling of patents. Between 1851 and 1865 Singer patented 20 improvements, including the yielding presser foot and a continuous wheel feed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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