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Ewbank, Thomas (11 March 1792–16 September 1870), commissioner of patents, inventor, and historian of technology, was born in Durham, England. Little is known of Ewbank’s parentage or early life. He was apprenticed to a “Tin and Coppersmith, Plumb and Shot Maker” for seven years, and in 1812 he made his way to London, where he joined several literary associations sympathetic to the English liberal reformers of the period. In 1819 Ewbank emigrated to the United States, and in 1826, his wife, Mary, and the first of their six children followed, joining him in New York. There he began his professional career as an inventor and manufacturer of tin and copper tubing, occupying the late ...

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Murray, Thomas Edward (20 June 1891–26 May 1961), engineer-inventor and Atomic Energy Commission member, was born in Albany, New York, the son of Thomas Edward Murray, a prominent engineer-businessman, and Catherine Bradley. Raised in Brooklyn and educated in the Catholic schools of New York City, Murray attended the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University (B.S., 1911), where he studied mechanical engineering. In 1917 he married Marie Brady, with whom he had eleven children. Reflecting the devout religious atmosphere of his household, two of his sons became Catholic priests....

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Page, Charles Grafton (25 January 1812–05 May 1868), scientist, inventor, and government official, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of Jere Lee Page, a sea captain, and Lucy Lang. He graduated from Harvard College in 1832 and Harvard Medical School in 1836. After concluding his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he set up practice in Salem. Throughout this period, however, Page’s consuming interest was natural philosophy, especially the science of electricity. At the age of ten he had designed an electrostatic machine, and at the age of twenty-two he published his first paper in ...