Patent drawing of an early Singer round bobbin sewing machine, 1867.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Original patent drawing of an early Singer round bobbin sewing machine, 1867. Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-75) originally worked on theatre, only working with machines when his money ran out. In 1849 he began work for a sewing machine manufacturer, and had soon developed a new machine. In this machine the shuttle moved in a straight line and a straight needle moved up and down. The baster plate was also capable of feeding the material continuously rather than having to be reset. This was the forerunner of this machine.