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Carlson, Chester Floyd (08 February 1906–19 September 1968), inventor and patent lawyer, was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Olof Adolph Carlson, a barber, and Ellen Josephine (maiden name unknown). His father had emigrated from Sweden and suffered from severe arthritis, and both parents developed tuberculosis. The family moved briefly to Mexico for the warmer weather but returned to the United States in 1912 to settle on a rented farm near San Bernardino, California. For a time Carlson was the only student in a country school, and he rode into town on a bicycle to work at odd jobs. His mother died when he was seventeen, and he supported his father....

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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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Fessenden, Thomas Green (22 April 1771–11 November 1837), writer, inventor, and lawyer, was born in Walpole, New Hampshire, the son of Thomas Fessenden, a minister, and Elizabeth Kendall. Fessenden was brought up on his family’s farm and maintained a lifelong interest in agriculture. He attended Dartmouth College (1792–1796) and met his educational expenses principally by teaching in a village school, during vacations, and by giving evening lessons in psalmody. Fessenden also studied with the jurist ...

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Renwick, Edward Sabine (03 January 1823–19 March 1912), engineer, inventor, and patent expert, was born in New York City, the son of James Renwick and Margaret Anne Brevoort. James Renwick was an eminent teacher, engineer, and writer whose career was closely tied with the early history of Columbia University. Edward had two older brothers, Henry Brevoort Renwick, who also became an engineer and patent expert, and ...