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Blashfield, Edwin Howland (15 December 1848–12 October 1936), artist, writer, and lecturer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of William Henry Blashfield, who was in the wholesale dry goods business, and Eliza Dodd, an amateur watercolorist. After some schooling in Hartford, Connecticut, he attended the Boston Latin School, and in 1863 he went to Hanover, Germany, where he intended to study engineering. However, three months later he was forced to return to the United States, where he enrolled in the Boston Institute of Technology (later Massachusetts Institute of Technology)....

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Lossing, Benson John (12 February 1813–03 June 1891), author of illustrated books, was born in Beekman, New York, the son of John Lossing and Miriam Dorland, farmers. His father died before Lossing was one year old, and his mother died when he was eleven. At that time, with less than three years of schooling, he started his working career, on a farm. When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to Adam Henderson, a watchmaker and silversmith, in Poughkeepsie and in 1833, on completing his apprenticeship, became a partner in the firm and married Henderson’s niece, Alice Barritt, who died in 1855. There were no children. The following year he married Helen Sweet, with whom he had four children....