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Robert Fulton. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102509).


Fulton, Robert (14 November 1765–23 February 1815), artist, engineer, and entrepreneur, was born on a farm in Little Britain (later Fulton) Township, south of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Fulton, a Scotch-Irish tailor and tradesman, and Mary Smith. Fulton’s father had left the prosperous market town of Lancaster to establish his family on the land, but like so many others with the same goal, he failed. The farm and the dwelling were sold at sheriff’s sale in 1772, and he took his family back to Lancaster. He died two years later....


Sartain, John (24 October 1808–25 October 1897), entrepreneurial engraver and publisher, was born in London, England, the son of John Sartain, a shoemaker, and Ann Burgess. Before Sartain was eight years old, his father died, and by age twelve he was working as an assistant to a theatrical pyrotechnist and scene painter. At fourteen he received an inheritance from his grandmother and apprenticed himself to the engraver John Swaine. Fortunate in being asked to complete the engravings for William Ottley’s ...


Savage, Edward (26 November 1761–06 July 1817), artist and museum proprietor, was born in Princeton, Massachusetts, the son of Seth Savage and Lydia Craige, occupations unknown. Savage, a self-taught artist, may have worked first as a goldsmith. His earliest paintings include a naively proportioned group portrait of his parents, grandfather, and siblings (c. 1779, Worcester Art Museum), copies of portraits by Boston colonial artist ...