[Idiom] What does "by a single example" mean?

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vitya

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Good morning! Please, help me!

I know, what "for example" means.

But now I'm learning an extract from Bulwer-Lytton's novel, and I can't understand the expression below: "by a single example".

The full sentence is:
At the name of the person thus introduced to me, a thousand recollections crowded upon my mind; the contemporary and rival of Napoleon the autocrat of the great world of fashion and cravatsthe mighty genius before whom aristocracy had been humbled and ton abashedat whose nod the haughtiest noblesse of Europe had quailedwho had introduced, by a single example, starch into neckcloths, and had fed the pampered appetite of his boot−tops on champagnewhose coat and whose friend were cut with an equal graceand whose name was connected with every triumph that the world's great virtue of audacity could achievethe illustrious, the immortal Russelton, stood before me.

I'm interested just in "by a single example".

I can't speak English well, so please answer me with using simple examples!
Thank you in advance for your help!
 

susiedqq

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who had introduced, by a single example, starch into neckcloths,

means:

who started the fashion trend, after just one time, of putting starch into neck collars, . . .
 

mayita1usa

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who had introduced, by a single example, starch into neckcloths

This language is very old-fashioned! I believe it means that this man was SO important or influential that he only had to do something one time (a single example) and everyone copied him.

In this case, he starched his neckcloths (added something to make them stiff), and soon everyone was doing the same thing.
 
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