If you are a person of means and have 24 children by five different women, you better believe you call your lawyer frequently. Isaac Singer, born 1811, was such a guy. Not only did he give the world two dozen children, he gave us the iconic Singer sewing machine.
Turns out, he violated a patent and couldn’t pay his lawyer for services rendered and gave him shares of the company instead. That lawyer, also born in 1811, was Edward Clark and the grandfather of Robert Sterling Clark, the founder of The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Lucky for us that Singer lacked liquid assets! Lucky for us he violated a patent! (I do wonder about the poor schmuck who was on the other side of that table). But there are certainly worse ways to amass a fortune (think: sugar).
I’d written more about this but in going from laptop to phone, it was lost. So this is it.
I didn’t know about the sewing connection when I snapped my museum pictures. There were quite a few featuring the needle arts.
I learned to sew on a Singer and I’ll bet many of you did too. Ours was a classic wasp-waisted black model with the signature gold-stamped, oval logo on its body. It didn’t do much — a forward stitch, a backward stitch — but it did those things well. All those metal components — how well they held up! According to a dealer in Waltham whom I once consulted, there were only one or two Singer models that didn’t have great resale value.
Remind me never to say I’ll post about this tomorrow ever again. It turns an idea into homework which I then resist like mad.
It continues to be somewhat quiet around here. Longer days and warmer temps mean that gardening has started. Crocus litter the yard with cheer and the hyacinth near the side door have begun their brave journey toward the sun.