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Acheson, Edward Goodrich (09 March 1856–06 July 1931), inventor and industrialist, was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, the son of William Acheson, a merchant and ironworks manager, and Sarah Diana Ruple. Acheson attended the Bellefonte Academy in Centre County, Pennsylvania, for three years, concentrating his studies on surveying. In 1872, at the age of sixteen, his formal education was brought to an abrupt end by a combination of that year’s financial panic and his father’s declining health. Acheson went to work as a timekeeper at Monticello Furnace, an ironworks operated by his father, where he developed his first invention, a drilling machine for coal mining. This yielded him his first patent, at age seventeen, but the device was awkward to use and by no means a commercial success....

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Joseph R. Anderson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2073).

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Anderson, Joseph Reid (16 February 1813–07 September 1892), industrialist and Confederate soldier, was born in Botetourt County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the son of William Anderson and Anna Thomas, farmers. Anderson received his early education in the local schools. After having been rejected twice, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1832 at age nineteen. Graduating fourth of forty-nine in 1836, he preferred a post in the elite Corps of Engineers but was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery. Soon he was assigned to Fort Monroe, where he met his first wife, Sally Archer, daughter of the post physician, Dr. Robert Archer. They were married in the spring of 1837 and eventually had five children....

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Austin, Moses (04 October 1761–10 June 1821), industrialist, was born in Durham, Connecticut, the son of Elias Austin, a tailor and tavernkeeper, and Eunice Phelps. Little is known of Austin’s early life until the age of twenty-one, when he entered the dry-goods business in Middletown, Connecticut, with a brother-in-law and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1783 to join his brother, Stephen, in a similar enterprise. In Philadelphia, Austin met and in 1785 married Mary “Maria” Brown, with whom he had five children....

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Julius H. Barnes. Right, with Thomas Lamont, left, and Silas Strawn. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92371).

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Barnes, Julius Howland (02 February 1873–17 April 1959), industrialist and government official, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of Lucien Jerome Barnes, a banker, and Julia Hill. Moving with his family, he attended public schools in Washington, D.C., and Duluth, Minnesota. Following his father’s death in 1886, Barnes left school to take a job as office boy with the Duluth grain brokerage firm of Wardell Ames. There he rose rapidly, becoming president of the company in 1910 and subsequently reorganizing it as the Barnes-Ames Company. By 1915 Barnes-Ames was the world’s largest grain exporter, and Barnes acquired other business interests, principally in shipbuilding and Great Lakes shipping. In 1896 he married Harriet Carey, with whom he had two children....

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Bausch, Edward (26 September 1854–30 July 1944), industrialist and inventor, was born in Rochester, New York, the son of John Jacob Bausch, an industrialist, and Barbara Zimmerman. His father, who had immigrated from Würtemberg (in present-day Germany) in 1849, opened an optical shop in Rochester in 1853 and had begun to make eyeglasses and frames, taking Henry Lomb into a partnership that would grow into the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company....

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Bell, William Brown (16 February 1879–20 December 1950), chemical industrialist, was born in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Alsop Bell, a china manufacturer, and Elizabeth Dunn. Raised as a Quaker, he attended Haverford College, from which he received both a B.A. in 1900 and an M.A. in political science the following year. Bell earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1903 and in the same year married Susan Kite Alsop, with whom he had one child. Bell then passed the New York bar exam and joined the New York City law firm of Guthrie, Cravath, Henderson, and de Gersdorff. Giving up the practice of law in 1905, he worked on a newspaper in Atlantic City, New Jersey, until 1915 and then spent a year managing the Pocono Lake Preserve in Pennsylvania....

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Bendix, Vincent Hugo (12 August 1881–27 March 1945), engineer, inventor, and industrialist, was born in Moline, Illinois, the son of the Reverend Jan Bendix, a minister of the Swedish Methodist Episcopal church, and Alma Danielson. (The original family name, Bengtson, was changed to Bendix after Vincent’s parents emigrated from Sweden.) At an early age Bendix moved with his family to Chicago. He had an early interest in mechanical inventions, and at age thirteen he designed a chainless bicycle. At age sixteen he left home for New York City, where he worked as an elevator operator, in a lawyer’s office, and as a handyman in bicycle shops and garages. In 1901 he was hired by ...

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Brown, Francis Donaldson (01 February 1885–02 October 1965), industrialist and business executive, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of John Willcox Brown, a banker, and Ellen Turner MacFarland. (Early on he dropped his first name and thereafter went by “Donaldson.”) He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1902 with a degree in electrical engineering; he started graduate work at Cornell, but left to return to Baltimore after his father died. He worked briefly for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad before becoming the Baltimore sales manager of the Sprague Electric Company. In 1908 he joined the Du Pont Company at the urging of his cousin, Hamilton MacFarland Barksdale, who was then an executive of the explosives firm....

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Buchtel, John Richards (18 January 1820–23 May 1892), businessman and philanthropist, was born in Green Township in Summit County, Ohio, the son of John Buchtel and Catherine Richards, farmers. His early years were spent on his father’s farm, during which time he received a rudimentary education. In later years Buchtel regretted his lack of formal schooling and donated most of his fortune to educate others. While still a young man, Buchtel acquired a 100-acre farm from his father by paying a $700 encumbrance on the property. In 1844 he married Elizabeth Davidson, whose parents had recently moved to Summit County from Pennsylvania. The Buchtels had no children....

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Bueche, Arthur Maynard (14 November 1920–22 October 1981), chemist and industrialist, was born in Flushing, Michigan, the son of Bernard P. Bueche, a merchant, and Margaret Rekart. He grew up in Flushing, where he worked in the family store, played football, and was school valedictorian and class poet at Flushing High School. He earned the associate degree in science from Flint Junior College in Michigan in 1941 and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1943. He began graduate school in chemistry at Ohio State University in 1943 and then transferred to Cornell, where he did his thesis work under Nobel laureate ...

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Cabot, Godfrey Lowell (26 February 1861–02 November 1962), manufacturer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Cabot, a physician and prominent member of the unofficial first family of Boston, and Hannah Lowell Jackson. In 1882 Cabot graduated from Harvard, where he studied chemistry. Following graduation, he studied at Zurich Polytechnicum and University in Switzerland and again at Harvard in 1891 and 1892. In 1890 he married Maria Buckminster Moors, with whom he had five children....

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Callaway, Cason Jewell (06 November 1894–12 April 1961), business executive, agriculturist, and developer, was born in LaGrange, Georgia, the son of Fuller Earle Callaway and Ida Jane Cason. His father was the founder of Callaway Mills, Inc., a highly successful cotton processing firm. He attended Bingham Military School in Asheville, North Carolina, followed by one year at the University of Virginia. He enjoyed a successful year at Charlottesville, but his father decided that he needed skills training. Therefore, he enrolled at Eastman School of Business in Poughkeepsie, New York. Young Callaway was given responsibility for Valley Waste Mills, a division of his father’s Callaway Mills. At age twenty he organized Valley Waste Mills into a great commercial success as a pioneering recycling operation. His achievements gained his father’s attention as well as that of other top managers in the firm, since the waste division netted more than $1 million in profits during the three-year period just before U.S. entry into World War I....

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Johnson Newlon Camden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101787).

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Camden, Johnson Newlon (06 March 1828–25 April 1908), oil company executive, pioneer industrialist, and U.S. senator, was born in Collins Settlement, Lewis County, Virginia (now Jacksonville, W.Va.), the son of John Scrivener Camden, a justice of the peace, and Nancy Newlon. Camden’s father bought a house and tavern in Sutton, Braxton County, and moved the family there in 1837....

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Canaday, Ward Murphey (12 December 1885–28 February 1976), industrialist, was born in New Castle, Indiana, the son of Miles Murphey Canaday, a banker, and Sarah Helena Smith. Canaday graduated from New Castle High School in 1903 and studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years, after which he transferred to Harvard University, where he received an A.B. cum laude in 1907....

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Andrew Carnegie. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101767).

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Carnegie, Andrew (25 November 1835–11 August 1919), industrialist and philanthropist, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, the son of William Carnegie, a handloom weaver, and Margaret Morrison. William Carnegie was sufficiently prosperous to have four looms in his shop and to employ three apprentices. Although shunning political activism, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the political views of his wife’s father, Thomas Morrison, Sr., an early leader of the Chartist movement and a friend of William Cobbett to whose journal, ...

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Carvel, Thomas Andreas (14 July 1906–21 October 1990), corporation chairman, was born Thomas Andreas Carvelas in Athanossos, Greece, the son of a wine chemist. When he was four years old, his family moved to New York City. During the 1920s Carvel played drums and toured with a Dixieland band in the Catskill Mountains. He also worked as a mechanic in his older brother’s automobile garage and served as a test driver for Studebaker automobiles. In the early 1930s Carvel contracted tuberculosis and convalesced at a sanitarium in Saranac Lake, New York. Following medical advice that he work outdoors in the countryside, he began selling ice cream from a truck as well as from a hand cart he pushed around neighborhoods in Hartsdale, New York. On Memorial Day in 1934 his truck developed a flat tire, and he stopped in a vacant parking lot, where he plugged his freezer unit into a nearby pottery shop and continued to sell ice cream. At this point he developed the idea of opening his own ice cream store. He soon earned enough money to buy the pottery store, and his first Carvel ice cream store opened at that site. Carvel credited his father’s background in chemistry with encouraging him to experiment with different flavors and toppings in order to offer a wide variety of choices to consumers. While Carvel conducted experiments and did mechanical work, Agnes Stewart, whom he married in 1937, often ran the store....