On 12 August 1851, Isaac Merritt Singer (1811 – 1875) patented the Singer Sewing Machine.
He did not invent it, and never claimed to have done so, because it had already been “invented” a few times. However, his success was based on the practicality and efficiency of his machine, the ease with which it could be adapted to home use, and its availability on an instalment payment basis, which revolutionised consumer behaviour.
He was defined “a womanizer who liberated women” because of his wives, mistresses, and the masses of women who stood to benefit from his device.
He married for the first time at nineteen and after a few years left his wife and their two children for a mistress with whom he had ten more. Later he set up two more households and had six more children.
It is claimed that during his life Singer fathered at least 24 children with various wives and mistresses.
One of them, Paris, had a son with Isadora Duncan, one of his daughters married a French duke and another was one of Marcel Proust’s friends and married successively two French Princes.