Isaac Singer (yes, that Singer)
Turns out that Mr. Singer had quite the life! He was a flamboyant man (check out his clothes in the portrait) who was also a polygamous. He had five wives (a few at a time) and 19 children. And a complicated life filled with scandel and lawsuits.
Although he did not invent the sewing machine, he was instrumental in the fact we all have them in our homes now. He invented several improvements to the existing machine that helped it become appropriate for domestic use. But even that was not the true basis of his success (he left an estate worth 14 million dollars when he died). He also "invented" the trade-in and time payments. It was these two marketing ideas that made the machine available and affordable - and upgradable.
He and his competitors were also the first to get a "group patent"; something that has since been used in the development of many major advances.
Who would have thought that a trip to see some paintings, would introduce me to the patent and process of the home sewing machine! (Oh yes; the painting, by Edward Harrison May, was also very nice)