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Pratt, Francis Ashbury (15 February 1827–10 February 1902), inventor and toolmaker, was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Nathaniel M. Pratt, a leather merchant, and Euphemia Nutting. In 1835 his father moved the family to Lowell, Massachusetts, where Francis attended public schools. He then apprenticed with Warren Aldrich, a machinist. In 1848 he completed his training and went to work for the Gloucester Machine Works in New Jersey. During his four years there he moved from journeyman to contractor. In 1850 he married Harriet E. Cole; they had eight children, five of whom died in infancy. In 1852, following one of his fellow Gloucester contractors, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut, to work in ...