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Candee, Leverett (01 June 1795–27 November 1863), rubber manufacturer, was born in Oxford, Connecticut, the son of Job Candee, a politician, and Sarah Benham. His father, locally prominent, was a revolutionary war veteran who later served as a captain in the militia and as a member of the state legislature. After receiving a meager education in the local district schools, in 1810 Candee relocated to New Haven, Connecticut, where he found employment with Captain Gad Peck, a leading merchant in the import-export trade. He then entered the dry goods trade—a profession that he would follow for the next twenty-five years—with the firm of Root & Atwater. Candee afterwards entered into a series of short-lived partnerships—in the fashion of the day—the first of which was the firm of Candee, Dean & Cutler, which he formed with clerical co-workers William Cutler and James E. P. Dean....

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Colt, Samuel Pomeroy (10 January 1852–13 August 1921), financier and industrialist, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Christopher Colt, a silk merchant, and Theodora DeWolf. Colt’s father died when the boy was very young. Colt then spent his early years at the Hartford, Connecticut home of his uncle, ...

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Davis, Francis Breese, Jr. (16 September 1883–22 December 1962), business executive, was born in Fort Edward, New York, the son of Francis Breese Davis and Ella Underwood, farmers. He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale, in 1906 and in 1913 married Jean Reybold; the couple had one child....

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Dodge, Theodore Ayrault (28 May 1842–25 October 1909), soldier, businessman, and military historian, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Shattswell Dodge, a wealthy writer and a U.S. War Department official, and Emily Pomeroy. His great-grandfather fought at Bunker Hill. When Theodore was eight years old, his father was appointed American commissioner to the London Exhibition, and the family moved to Europe. Theodore was sent to school at the College des Josephites in Tirelmont, Belgium, and was tutored in Berlin. There he lived with the family of retired Prussian general Gebhardt von Froerich, attended the Friedrich Werderschen Gymnasium, and absorbed the Prussian work ethos, including dedication to the profession of arms and commitment to the importance of ideas in war. He graduated from the University of London in 1861....

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Harvey S. Firestone Photograph by Pirie MacDonald, 1915. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103923).

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Firestone, Harvey Samuel (20 December 1868–07 February 1938), founder and chief executive of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, the son of Benjamin Firestone and Catherine Flickinger, farmers. Firestone attended Columbiana High School and the Spencerian Business College, Cleveland. After briefly working as a bookkeeper and a patent medicine salesman, Firestone joined the Columbus Buggy Company, which was owned by his uncle Clinton. In 1895 he married Idabelle Smith of Jackson, Michigan; the couple had six children. A year later Columbus Buggy went bankrupt, and Firestone moved into mounting solid tires on carriage wheels. The business expanded but in 1898 was absorbed into the Consolidated Rubber Tire Company, the leading carriage tire producer because of its possession of the Grant patent, which covered the most effective method of attaching tires to wheel rims—the use of wires embedded within the tire. Firestone received $42,000 and remained as a manager until 1900, when he joined Whitman and Barnes, an Akron engineering firm, as manager of the tire department....

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Flint, Charles Ranlett (24 January 1850–12 February 1934), merchant and company promoter, was born in Thomaston, Maine, the son of Benjamin Flint and Sarah Tobey, merchants. His mother died three years later and his father remarried in 1856. Charles attended schools in Maine and Brooklyn, graduating from the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn in 1868. His father and uncle operated a shipping business from 1837, which Flint eventually joined in 1885. In 1883 he married Emma Kate Simmons. He retained the occupational title of merchant throughout his life and his career reflected the expansion and changing character of the New York trading community during the late nineteenth century. In 1871 he and George W. Gilchrist, a shipbuilder and neighbor in Thomaston, established a ship chandlery firm. A year later Flint acquired a 25 percent stake in W. R. Grace & Co., a New York trading company with interests in Peru; George W. Gilchrist was the father-in-law of ...

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Goodrich, Benjamin Franklin (04 November 1841–03 August 1888), rubber goods manufacturer, was born in Ripley, New York, the son of Anson Goodrich and Susan Dinsmore, farmers. Goodrich’s father died when he was about six and his mother two years later, whereupon he went to live with his mother’s brother, John Dinsmore, not far from Ripley. Attracted to medicine, Goodrich studied in 1858 with his cousin Dr. John Spencer in Westfield, New York, and graduated from the Cleveland Medical College in 1860. The same year he opened a medical practice in Mayville, New York, only to find his life disrupted by the Civil War. Goodrich first served as a hospital steward in the Ninth New York Volunteer Cavalry. In early 1862 he was promoted to assistant surgeon and assigned to a battalion of engineers, serving in that capacity until November. He continued his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania while on leave in late 1862 and early 1863. Goodrich assumed his old post with the engineers in the spring of 1863, taking charge of a small hospital for a short time. He served until September 1864....

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Goodyear, Charles (29 December 1800–01 July 1860), inventor, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Amasa Goodyear, an inventor and manufacturer of hardware and farm implements, and Cynthia Bateman. In four generations the Goodyear family produced seven inventors. Charles attended school at Naugatuck, Connecticut, until 1817, when he became apprenticed to a hardware manufacturer in Philadelphia. In 1821 he returned to New Haven to enter his father’s business. He married Clarissa Beecher in 1824; they had nine children....

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Kimball, Dan Able (01 March 1896–30 July 1970), businessman and secretary of the navy, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of John Harney Kimball, occupation unknown, and Mary Able. He received his early education in the public schools of St. Louis, although accounts differ as to whether he graduated from Soldan High School or dropped out to take a job as a mechanic in a local garage that specialized in the repair of electrically powered automobiles. All sources agree, however, that he took correspondence courses in engineering to further his education....

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Litchfield, Paul Weeks (26 July 1875–18 March 1959), business executive, was born in Roxbury, a section of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Litchfield and Julia Weeks. His father was a salesman who later opened a photographic studio, and the family apparently had a comfortable middle-class life. Litchfield graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1896. Over the next four years he moved through several short-term jobs, including spells in low-level managerial positions with three rubber manufacturing firms in Massachusetts and New Jersey. In this fashion he gained experience on the production side of an industry benefiting, in the form of tire sales, from the peak of the bicycle craze of the 1890s. In 1900 Litchfield moved to Akron, Ohio, to become factory superintendent with the recently formed Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He remained with the firm for the rest of his career....

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Seiberling, Franklin Augustus (06 October 1859–11 August 1955), industrialist, was born on the family farm near Western Star, Ohio, the son of John Franklin Seiberling, a farmer and mechanic, and Catharine L. Miller. After devising an improvement for mechanical reapers, his father entered business in 1861, manufacturing agricultural machinery as well as licensing other producers. The family moved in 1865 to Akron, Ohio, where the elder Seiberling established the Empire Mower and Reaper Works and later added interests in milling, strawboard manufacture, and a theater—an eclectic mix of investments that foreshadowed young Frank Seiberling’s early career....