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Lloyd, Marshall Burns (10 March 1858–10 August 1927), inventor and manufacturer, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of John Lloyd and Margaret Commee. Lloyd’s parents were English immigrants who initially had settled in Canada and moved back to a farm in Meaford, Ontario, shortly after their son’s birth. As a youth, Lloyd had a limited formal education but exhibited an inventive bent and keen ambition. At age fourteen he worked in a country store. Then he invented a fish spear, caught fish, and sold them door-to-door, devised a clothes hamper and a spring bed, worked in a grocery store in Toronto, peddled soap, delivered mail by dogsled, and finally joined a land rush in Winnipeg. Speculating in land using his savings from waiting tables, he accumulated several thousand dollars. He was eighteen years old....

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Tupper, Earl Silas (28 July 1907–03 October 1983), inventor, was born in Berlin, New Hampshire, the son of farmers. Soon after his birth the family moved to a farm in Massachusetts where young Tupper enjoyed buying and selling vegetables. After graduating from high school in 1926, Tupper turned his hobby into a small mail-order business for household items such as combs and toothbrushes. During this time the self-described “ham inventor and Yankee trader” found another area in which to tinker—chemical engineering. Tupper’s self-taught skills led him to Du Pont, where he worked as an engineer during the 1930s. While at Du Pont, Tupper became fascinated by plastic, an interest that continued through the remainder of his life....