Isaac Merritt Singer (October 27, 1811 – July 23, 1875) was an inventor, actor, and entrepreneur. He made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Many had patented sewing machines before Singer, but his success was based on the practicality of his machine, the ease with which it could be adapted to home use, and its availability on an installment payment basis.

Isaac Merritt Singer was born in Pittstown, New York, on October 27, 1811. He was the youngest child of Adam Singer (born Reisinger) and his first wife, Ruth Benson. Adam, a millwright, and his wife emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1803. They had eight children, three sons and five daughters; the eldest daughter's name was Elizabeth Singer. When Isaac Singer was 10 years old, his parents divorced. After Adam Singer remarried and moved to Hannibal/Oswego County, Isaac Singer did not get on well with his stepmother. So when he was 12, he ran away. He later went to live with his elder brother in Rochester.

Singer's elder brother had a machine shop, and Isaac went to work there. It was there that Isaac grew to his full height of 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m), and where he first learned the machinist trade that would become the basis of his fame and fortune.

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