A brilliant hunch which will make his fortune

June 4, 2012 7:18 AM

A brilliant hunch which will make his fortune

You are you tout well not that I will lose my time with this ridiculous small sewing machine! That you need to deal with the only thing which takes quiet women: their work of sewing! "In this day of 1850, Isaac Merrit Singer ignores that this" ridiculous little machine "will soon make him one of the richest men in the United States. It is not tough enough for making fun of Orson Phelps words. Owner of a small workshop of construction of machines in Boston, Phelps is working on a model of machine sewing from the work of two American inventors, John Lerow and Blodgett Sherman. In vain! It begins again and insoluble problem always: the rotary motion of the needle. Isaac Merrit Singer, who he rents a room in its premises, seems it to be the man for the job. Does not invented an ingenious machine for cutting the printing letters, although it has found no taker

Determined to convince the irascible inventor, Phelps is shimmering phenomenal gains. The argument eventually touch Isaac Merrit Singer. Player missed, inventor in small week, perennially short of money, he was persuaded by greed. Eleven days later, at the end of a succession of sleepless nights, Singer develops the first sewing machine worthy of the name. It was enough to replace the rotary motion of the needle by back and forth in a straight line. A brilliant hunch which will make his fortune.

Rarely there was more chaotic than that of the father of the sewing machine. His private life was so judged unworthy by his contemporaries, even become immensely rich, industrial was rejected by good families of New York. They do pargnrent it no humiliation, pushing even to seek refuge in Europe. Bigamy, illegitimate children twenty-two in 38 years! trial for violence: it is true that the man did point in lace.

Born in 1811 in Oswego, on the shores of Lake Ontario, the son of a German immigrant became constructor of mills, Isaac Merrit Singer spent the first thirty-nine years of his life in poverty. It survives modest jobs and episodic inventions, Prosecutor tirelessly the dream to become actor. This vocation he came one evening in 1830 then that installed a year in Rochester where it multiplies the odd jobs of mechanic, he assists, amazed, the first of a small theatre company. The next day, after declaimed a few lines of Shakespeare, he hired. Shyly applauded in Rochester, copiously booed in nearby, it console by marrying Catherine Maria Haley, first in a long series of soon neglected women. Excluded from the troupe in 1831, he roams between Port Gibson, New York and Baltimore, accumulating small jobs, auditions and performances. In the course of one of them, while he is in Baltimore, he becomes engaged to Mary Ann Sponsler. At the age of eighteen, she quickly succumbed to the histrion, whose massive stature and the voice of stentor exercise on women a certain magnetism. The unfortunate wait in vain that Isaac honors his promise of marriage impossible. In the meantime, it pushes the muflerie to install his new conquest in the family's apartment he occupies in New York. Humiliated, Catherine, his first wife, returns with his parents. The divorce, granted in 1860 will cost $ 10,000 to the inventor of the sewing machine.

For a decade, Isaac Merrit Singer clings to his dream, criss-crossing the East coast of the United States to be there whenever whistle. Brutal with his companion, tyrannical with his children, he fails to survive through its donations in mechanics. In 1839, the invention of a machine to drill rock brings him 1,000 dollars, immediately spent. In 1846, he develops his machine cutting printing type. He has the chance of falling then on George b. Zieber, a former bookseller reconverted in cases, which will be a patient and generous patron. For almost four years, he encouraged him in his work, to pay him every week what stand, persuaded him to move to Boston to market his invention. The indifference it seems devoted Singer in a new series of wanderings. Until that day in 1850 where he is contacted by Phelps, who offers him to help him develop his sewing machine. Zieber and Phelps reap only ingratitude. The one and the other will be pushed out of the first association, created in September 1850 under the name of Jenny Lind Sewing Machine, the name of an opera singer then in vogue!

The beginnings of the company are difficult. The small company must fight with Elias Howe, inventor who has multiplied in the 1840s the deposits for a patent for a sewing machine. From trial to trial, the Singer & Co. (created under this name in 1851) will be sentenced in 1854 to be remitted to the rights on each machine sold Howe. The company must also take account of cultural barriers. Despite a first feminist movement in the United States in 1848, the woman is always

considered, in the mid-19th century, a minor. Husbands take the House's money and decide to purchase. It is therefore they must be convinced. A man includes: Edward Clark. Become partner of Isaac Merrit Singer in 1851, this brilliant lawyer, who was once responsible for formalities of filing of the patent of the actor-inventor, multiplies men promotional campaigns, highlighting the "benefits of sewing for the life of the household machine", ranging to contact by letters all pastors of the coast is to convince them to praise the spacecraft pulpit against a machine half price. At a time where most of the clothing production occurs in homes, the method is effective. At the same time, Clark does not forget women, promising "more freedom" in their daily lives. A speech that will do much for the success of the machine.

But this does not stop the contribution of Clark. More than Isaac Merrit Singer, it is he who will make the first small business Boston multinational history. Already, at the time of his arrival in 1851, he had, not without difficulty, persuaded Isaac Merrit Singer to turn to mass consumption. While the first models of machines were intended to tailors and small textile workshops, Clark had production market-oriented of the individuals, multiplying by 15 sales in two years. It multiplies the technical and commercial innovations introducing the interchangeability of parts to lower manufacturing costs. The sale price of the machines is 125 to 65 dollars. In 1857, he builds a State of the art facility in New York and sets up a system of sales credit and deferred payments.

The establishment of offices in Paris, London and Rio de Janeiro and the opening of a factory in Glasgow, Scotland, are also his work. In 1870, the Singer Manufacturing Company produces about 130,000 machines per year, against 10,000 ten years ago. Become a consumer product, sewing machine revolutionized women's work. It allows the appearance of in house seamstresses, on which the textile industry will build its development in the 19th century.

Industrial brilliant, Clark must not only carry out the development of the company. It should also be wary of the pettiness of Isaac Singer. Become totally full of himself, he now lives in a beautiful House of Fifth Avenue, leaves his partner the day-to-day management of the company, reserving the interviews to the press, where he revelled in the role of the great inventor. In his rare passages at the headquarters of the company, it demeans Edward Clark, so wait hours before his Office, passing it absorbed air, packed pockets of old papers presented as the mail of the utmost importance. In a meeting, it is distinguished by its total lack of judgment. "Loss of time", he responded thus to his partner who offers him to open commercial agencies in Europe. Clark must fight farm to impose his idea.

Clark is concerned mainly about the disastrous consequences of the antics of Singer on the life of the company. In 1860, Mary Ann Sponsler crosses its inventor of companion to the arm of one of his mistresses. The uproar it earned him a memorable correction the same evening. The trial for violence that follows, and which the press is its fatty cabbage, is the opportunity of a sordid unpacking. One particular learns that, since 1851, Isaac Merrit has had relations with a decade of women, founded three new families and that he is the father at this time of nineteen children! Sentenced to pay $ 10,000 to the complainant, Isaac Merrit Singer married in 1862 Isabella Summerville, giving her three other children. Shown the finger, he decides to take a little field. In 1864, he build a gigantic House on the banks of the Hudson. His dream is to conduct a life of gentleman farmer on the side of the New York elite. Las! It refuses to speak. New rich, Singer has become a pariah. When in 1865 the industrial organizes home what was to be a giant ball, only five guests come! Humiliated, Singer and Isabella decided to leave the United States to the Europe.

Before their departure, Clark was able to amend the statutes of the company in order to avoid that the company be fragmented on the death of Singer between his numerous descendants, legitimate or not. At the end of long negotiations, Edward Clark was granted ownership of the majority of the capital. Cabled to the end, Singer demanded in Exchange that the Presidency of the company was insured by... a boy, which also does not dmritera. Arrived in Paris in 1867, Isabella and Isaac Merrit Singer will settle in Devon, England, in 1870. Isaac Merrit Singer dies in 1875 without having reviewed the United States. His descendants entre-dchireront for sharing his fortune of approximately $ 15 million. And let Edward Clark, now only master on board, free to go its own way the development of the company.