Singer is a brand of sewing machine that was created in 1850 by Isaac Merrit Singer
. This was the first practical sewing machine (several predecessors were rather impractical - untwisting the thread for example). The first Singer sewing machine was designed in 11 days with $40 of borrowed capital
Previous machines worked in a circular manner. In this design the shuttle would slowly untwist the thread. Singer's machine was designed so that instead of going around, it went up and down with a straight eye pointed needle which descended from an overhanging arm. Power to this machine was given by a foot peddle similar to that of the spinning wheel - other machines of the day used a hand crank which only allowed one hand to work with the fabric (the original machine also used a hand crank, though this was soon updated to the treadle).
In 1853, the first Singer sewing machine was sold for $100. Two years later at the World's Fair in Paris the sewing machine was awarded first price and was immediately followed with opening a branch in Paris to make Singer the first international company. By 1861, sales in Europe surpassed those in the United States.
Expanding into the home from the industry was accomplished in 1856 where Edward Clark (Issac Singer's partner - a New York lawyer who helped found the company) developed the installment plan for purchasing an appliance. This allowed families who worked with less of an income to purchase a sewing machine - fixing rips in cloths became much easier to do.
In 1880, with the advent of the Edison electric motor, the sewing machine became an electric appliance - faster, more powerful, and more expensive. The first practical form of this was introduced in 1885, and commercial machines were updated by 1891.
Today, the product line features sewing machines with advanced electronics to handle embroidery and a wide assortment of stitches capable of handling multiple threads - all at the touch of a button.