1-20 of 131 results  for:

  • Science and technology x
  • Manufacture and trade x
Clear all

Article

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....

Article

Agassiz, Alexander (17 December 1835–27 March 1910), marine biologist, oceanographer, and industrial entrepreneur, was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the son of Louis Agassiz, a zoologist, and Cécile Braun. Agassiz came to the United States in 1849, following the death of his mother in Germany. The domestic life of his parents had been marred by difficulties, and Alex moved to Massachusetts to join his father, who had become a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University after a distinguished career in Europe. The American experience came at a difficult stage in Alex Agassiz’s adolescence. He hardly knew his father, who had spent much time away from home on scientific projects....

Article

Alger, Cyrus (11 November 1781–04 February 1856), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Abiezer Alger, an iron manufacturer, and Hepsibah Keith. After several years of schooling he went to work for his father, from whom he learned the principles of iron production. Within a few years he was placed in charge of his father’s Easton plant. In 1804 he married Lucy Willis, with whom he had seven children....

Article

Allen, Zachariah (15 September 1795–17 March 1882), textile manufacturer, engineer, and inventor, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Zachariah Allen, a merchant, and Ann Crawford. Allen graduated from Brown University in 1813, receiving a certificate in proficiency from the newly established medical school in addition to his college degree. Although the War of 1812 frustrated his original plan to continue medical study abroad, Allen maintained a lifelong interest in science that expressed itself in practical and theoretical research and writing, principally in mechanics and the physical sciences. He joined the Rhode Island bar in 1815 after studying with James Burrill, Jr., but his career as a lawyer was brief. In 1817 he married Eliza Harriet Arnold; they had three children. Serving on the Providence town council from 1820 to 1823, Allen modernized the town’s fire-fighting system and was an effective proponent of public education, two causes that he continued to espouse throughout his life....

Article

Ashburner, Charles Albert (09 February 1854–24 December 1889), geologist and mining engineer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Algernon Eyre Ashburner, a shipbuilder, and Sarah Blakiston. Charles Ashburner obtained his college education at the Towne Scientific School of the University of Pennsylvania and ultimately was granted a total of three baccalaureate and advanced degrees by his alma mater. In June 1874 he received his B.S. degree in civil engineering and graduated valedictorian of his class. Three years later he was awarded an M.S. degree in geology. Upon recommendation of the faculty, in recognition of his outstanding career and accomplishments, Ashburner became the first member of the alumni to receive an honorary D.Sc. degree, in June 1889....

Article

Bachelder, John (07 March 1817–01 July 1906), manufacturer and inventor, was born in Weare, New Hampshire, the son of William Bachelder, a lumberman and blacksmith, and Mary Bailey. Bachelder went to public school and to college for training as a teacher. After teaching school for three years, Bachelder left New Hampshire for Boston. There he found employment as an accountant for a Middlesex Canal transportation firm. Soon he formed a partnership that competed with his former employers. The business closed upon the completion of the Manchester railroad, which eliminated the demand for shipping on the Middlesex Canal. In 1843 Bachelder married Adaline Wason; they had three children. With the demise of his transportation enterprise, he worked in Boston’s dry-goods business until 1846. During the winter of 1846, he traveled to England in an effort to establish himself as an importer. By 1847 he had established his own firm once again in a partnership called Bachelder, Burr and Company....

Article

Anthony N. Stranges and Richard C. Jones

Baekeland, Leo Hendrik (14 November 1863–23 February 1944), chemist and inventor, was born in St. Martens-Latem, near Ghent, Belgium, the son of Karel Baekeland, a cobbler, and Rosalia Merchie, a housemaid. A government scholarship enabled Baekeland to enter the University of Ghent, where he studied chemistry in the School of Exact Sciences. He received a B.S. in 1882 and a D.Sc. in organic chemistry in 1884, passing the examination with highest honors. The following year he became an assistant to Theodore Swarts, a professor of chemistry at Ghent. In 1887 Baekeland won a traveling scholarship in an academic competition sponsored by the Universities of Ghent, Liege, Brussels, and Louvain. He postponed travel and instead continued as an assistant professor and then as associate professor from 1888 to 1889 at Ghent and at the nearby Higher Normal School at Bruges from 1885 to 1887. In 1889 he married Swarts’s daughter, Céline, an artist; they had two children. The couple used Baekeland’s scholarship for travel to France, Britain, and the United States that year....

Article

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....

Article

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 ...

Article

Bettendorf, William Peter (01 July 1857–03 June 1910), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Mendota, Illinois, the elder of two sons of Michael Bettendorf, a schoolteacher and later a store clerk and then a federal government clerk, and Catherine Reck. Moving with his parents and three younger siblings to Sedalia, Missouri, and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he had only the most rudimentary schooling. While living at Fort Leavenworth, he attended St. Mary’s Mission School, an institution established to educate Native Americans. For a time, his father also tutored him at home. About 1872 the family returned to Peru, Illinois. But Bettendorf’s formal—and informal—education at the hands of others ended when at the age of fifteen he became totally self-supporting. Bettendorf had already been a messenger boy in Humboldt, Kansas, and a hardware store clerk in Peru. Next, in 1872 or 1873 he obtained a position as an apprentice machinist for a plow-manufacturing company in Peru. Leaving that town for a period of several years, he worked as a machinist for another plow company in Moline, Illinois, and then for a company in Canton, Ohio, that made a variety of agricultural implements. He married Mary Wortman in Peru in 1879. The couple had two children, both of whom died early. While in Canton, Bettendorf began an avid study of theoretical and practical aspects of mechanical engineering....

Article

Birdseye, Clarence (09 December 1886–07 October 1956), inventor and entrepreneur, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Clarence Frank Birdseye, an attorney and legal scholar, and Ada Underwood. When Birdseye was in his teens, his family moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where he completed his high school education. Interested in both food and natural history from an early age, he signed up for a cooking course in high school and trained himself to be a more than competent taxidermist, attempting for a time to earn some income by training others in that skill. Birdseye attended Amherst College on a sporadic basis between 1908 and 1910, but he left before graduating because of financial problems. In an attempt to pay his college bills, he had collected frogs to sell to the Bronx Zoo for feeding their snake population and caught rats in a butcher shop for a Columbia University faculty member who was conducting breeding experiments. Following his departure from Amherst in 1910, he worked as an office boy for an insurance agency in New York, and then briefly as a snow checker for the city’s street cleaning department....

Article

Blake, Eli Whitney (27 January 1795–18 August 1886), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Westboro, Massachusetts, the son of Elihu Blake, a farmer, and Elizabeth Whitney, sister of the cotton-gin inventor Eli Whitney. With the financing of his famous uncle, Blake graduated from Yale College in 1816. He then entered law school at Litchfield, Connecticut, but left when Whitney asked him to help run his arms factory near New Haven in the Whitneyville section of Hamden, Connecticut. As Whitney’s right-hand man, Blake gained much practical experience in civil and mechanical engineering. In 1822 he married Eliza Maria O’Brien of New Haven; they had twelve children and sent five of their six sons through Yale....

Article

Charles W. Carey Jr.

Blake, Lyman Reed (24 August 1835–05 October 1883), inventor, was born in South Abington, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Blake and Susannah Bates. In 1851, having completed his formal education at age sixteen, he went to work for his older brother Samuel, a “shoe boss.” After the employees in his brother’s shop cut out from leather the various pieces that comprise a shoe, the younger Blake put out these pieces to self-employed shoebinders—who hand-stitched together the uppers and then pegged or nailed the uppers to a sole—and collected the finished pairs, which his brother then sold....

Article

Bogardus, James (14 March 1800–13 April 1874), inventor and builder, was born near Catskill, New York, the son of John Bogardus and Sara Stockens, farmers. Apprenticed when he was fourteen years old to the local watchmaker, he became skilled in work with precision instruments, die sinking, and engraving. In 1820, “desiring to see something of the world,” he went to Savannah, Georgia, where he worked at engraving. By 1823 he was back in Catskill, with his own clock and engraving business. He emerged as an inventor in 1828, exhibiting a new type of three-wheeled, eight-day clock that won the highest premium at the first fair (1828) of the American Institute of New York....

Article

Borden, Gail (09 November 1801–11 January 1874), surveyor and inventor, was born in Norwich, New York, the son of Gail Borden, a pioneer and landowner, and Philadelphia Wheeler. The Bordens moved at least twice in the early 1800s, first to Kennedy’s Ferry, Kentucky, which became Covington soon after their arrival, and then to New London, Indiana, in 1816, where Borden learned surveying. Borden attended school in Indiana during 1816 and 1817....

Article

Brown, Alexander Ephraim (14 May 1852–26 April 1911), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Fayette Brown, a prominent local businessman, and Cornelia Curtis. After receiving his early education in the public schools of Cleveland and graduating from Central High School, he entered the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York, in the fall of 1869. Following his graduation with a degree in civil engineering in June 1872, Brown joined the U.S. Geological Survey and spent the next several months exploring and surveying the Yellowstone region of the western United States. While working for the survey, he received an offer of employment from the Massillon Iron Bridge Company in Masillon, Ohio. Returning east, he served that firm for two years as chief engineer. He gained further practical engineering experience from 1875 until 1878 as supervisor of iron mining and engineer of construction in the iron regions near Lake Superior. Brown returned to Cleveland to marry Carrie M., the daughter of General James Barnett, in 1877; the couple eventually had a son and a daughter....

Article

Brown, Joseph (03 December 1733–03 December 1785), businessman and scientist, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of James Brown, a merchant and West Indies trader, and Hope Power. Little is known about Joseph Brown’s upbringing, except that his father died when he was five; his education was limited; and his scientific bent may have been encouraged by his brother-in-law, John Vanderlight, who had a medical degree from the University of Leiden, offered anatomy lessons, and was the principal pharmacist in Providence. In 1759 Brown married Elizabeth Power, a cousin. The couple had five children. Brown worked first as an assistant and then as a partner in the family firm run by his uncle, Obadiah Brown. When his uncle died in 1762, Brown and his brothers— ...

Article

Browning, John M. (23 January 1855–26 November 1926), gun inventor, was born John Moses Browning in Ogden, Utah, the son of Jonathan Browning, a blacksmith and gunsmith, and Elizabeth Caroline Clark Browning. Jonathan Browning, a disciple of Joseph Smith, had twenty-two children by three wives; Elizabeth Clark was his second wife. The inventor of two percussion cap repeating rifles, the elder Browning served as armorer to the Mormon column on its trek from Illinois to Utah in 1846–1847. John attended Ogden's public school until he was fifteen but mostly apprenticed himself to his father. At fourteen he built a clever slide rifle and was soon foreman in his father's blacksmith shed....

Article

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 ...

Article

Burden, Henry (22 April 1791–19 January 1871), inventor and ironmaster, was born in Dunblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland, the son of Peter Burden and Elizabeth Abercrombie, farmers. Burden discovered his talent for invention as a youth on his family’s modest farm, where with few tools and no models he constructed a threshing machine, several gristmills, and various farm implements. Encouraged by these successes he enrolled in a course of drawing, engineering, and mathematics at the University of Edinburgh (he received no degree)....