a portrait in the possession of Miss M. B. P. Garnett, Hoboken.j

ptograpfnes? of ieabing Americans; Edited by W. P. TRENT



Camera" and

"Flame, Electricity and the "Inventors at Work''''





Published November, 191 y




duly modified. to more given vii experiment than to . with his cotton-gin then Blanchard. who derived paper from are inventors : . Then. who came to the vulcanization of rubber by dint of a courage . is Colonel John Stevens. who built a typewriter to replace the pen with the legibility and swiftness of printing. who built a successful sectional boiler of a These four great engineers are succeeded by four mechanics. pedoes. is in wide use to-day. who The sketches of these much information never apt to be a silent race. stands Charles Goodyear. each the leader of an industrial revolution. its WITHIN screw propeller. wood so as to create a new basic industry for mankind . First in time. his Monitor. who gave electricity a pencil to write its messages a thousand miles away Tilghman.INTRODUCTORY twelve chapters this book presents a group of leading American inventors of the past. and last of all. Mer- took a Sholes keyboard. A final quartette who broadened the empire of the printed word Morse. The mastery of land and sea is continued by Ericsson with his Novelty locomotive. in many respects. with the outlook of an artist no less than that of an engineer. heroes and their exploits include Inventors are published before. who devised the T-rail and much other equipment for railroads and workFulton comes next with his Clermont and his torshops. an inventor with a statesman's breadth of mind. Sholes. and bade it comboth the columns of newspapers and the pages of a pose book. with his sewingmachine. Beside him stands his son Robert. First Whitney. and who devised a model which. Howe. . all alone. with his reaper. and his caloric engine. unsurpassed in the annals of peace or war. genthaler. and. with his copying lathe McCormick. first in talent.

Mr. Williams of the Western Union Telegraph Company. recording Mergenthaler. during months of rest and quiet as an His son. I owe an informing survey of a model rubber factory to Mr. In reciting the story of rubber I Rubber Company. C. New Jersey. as well as to Mr. M. Connecticut. We can retrace only a few of the which took such a man as Blanchard. has given me interesting facts hitherto unpublished. sent me the portrait of his father printed in this vol- ume. The chapter on Charles Goodyear is mainly derived from his notebook. Mr. invalid. The Stevens chapter owes many facts to President A. is exhibited. B. Where opportunity has proffered itself. The pages on Eli Whitney are largely drawn from contributions by his grandson and namesake of New Haven. Edwin A. wrote his autobiography. a son of Charles Goodyear. lent by his grandson. son of Professor Samuel F. involving a struggle which all but overwhelmed Morse. the dauntless pioneer. In preparing this book I have received much generous aid. Massachusetts. Professor William H. Noteworthy here is the comparison of modern telegraphy with its puny beginnings. Eugene G. S. D.viii INTRODUCTORY its results. Mergenthaler. fortunately. A. S. Mr. came the statistics which round off the sketch of American telegraphy. Nelson Goodyear of New York. steps from apprenticeship to primacy and triumph. They picture the formative years of one of the great inventors of all time. and has rendered me constant help. a contrast betwixt old and new. has given me much information. Mr. Brown of Hoboken. Humphreys and Professor F. for instance. Furman of Stevens Institute. was favored with . de R. Morse. Thornton. the days of small things and the present hour. chemical director of the Canadian Consolidated Montreal. From Mr. Goodyear. James Cumming Vail of Morristown. New York. has permitted several of its golden pages to appear in this volume. Edward Lind Morse of Stockbridge.

New York. Schuckers of Washington. My in- formation regarding General Benjamin C. Miss Emily Tilghman of Philadelphia. . Norman Dodge of the Mergenthaler Linotype Company of New York. editor of the India Rubber World. C. and Mr. F. Mr. Brooklyn. C. Hyslop. came the narrative by Patrick Bell of his invention of the reaper. Jenkinson of Newark. From Mr.INTRODUCTORY ix indispensable aid by Mr. E. Bruce J. Scotland. C. This story has. of Edinburgh. Sholes of New York. last my GEORGE ILES. Brooksbank and Mr. Henry C. W. William Murdoch Lind of New York. I believe. Mr. never before appeared in America. Pearson. New Jersey. From first to task in writing this book has been loyally seconded by Mr. and Mr. Mr. NEW YORK. Frank P. Hill. R. 1912. and by Mr. Louis Sholes of Milwaukee. Robert Home. For the Mer- genthaler chapter I received cordial aid from Mr. F. F. From the late Mr. Home and his son. long associated with the General. Zalmon P. November. I have learned much as to the career of their honored father. librarian of the Public Library. Tilghman was in chief part contributed by his niece. D.




. Clermont Plan of the Clermont Plan of Whitney's Cotton Gin Whitney Cotton Gin Original Blanchard Lathe Blanchard Tack Machine . . . . . and Propellers of the 1804 Boat .RISTOPHER LATHAM SHOLES ELIAS 76 218 J 276 3^5 BENJAMIN HOWE CHEW TILGHMAN .ILLUSTRATIONS PORTRAITS PAGE JOHN STEVENS ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS EDWIN AUGUSTUS STEVENS ROBERT FULTON ELI WHITNEY THOMAS BLANCHARD SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE MORSE ALFRED VAIL CHARLES GOODYEAR Frontispiece 28 34 4 75 IO 4 119 J 58 JOHN ERICSSON CYRUS HALL MCCORMICK CF. 22 Ground Plan First Train of the First T-rail on the Camden and Amboy Railroad The Stevens Battery in Her Dry Dock William Symington's Steamboat. and . Engine.-338 3 69 . . OTTMAR MERGENTHALER 393 OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS Boiler. .. 22 24 32 -57 60 62 80 82 106 m Blanchard's Machine for Bending Wood 117 135 Chappe Telegraph xiii .. Side Elevation.. 10 14 The Twin-screw Propeller of 1804 An Enlarged Section of an Edge-rail to Show the Disposition of Parts which Gives Greatest Strength Facsimile of Sketch of Cross-section.. Charlotte Dundas Machinery of Fulton's Steamboat.. .

. . . . . .. . Life-Boat. 1868 Foucault's Printing Key Frame. . 1790 The First Howe Sewing Machine to 329 . Goodyear . 150 164 .. . Ogle's Reaper . .. 1845 . Showing Gun and Pro. ..161 Charles 208 223 226 247 The Novelty Locomotive Ericsson Caloric Engine .. 292 295 300 at the Great Exhibition. . A Note Edwin J. First Patent. . 1844 .. 303 .. Charles T. by Which the Blind may 325 Write Sholes Typewriter. 263 270 281 Solar Engine... . . . Operated by the Intervention of Atmospheric Air Pitt's Rippling Cylinder . .xiv ILLUSTRATIONS Morse First Telegraph Instrument A Rough Drawing Made by Morse in 1870 to Show the First Form of the Alphabet and the Changes to the Present .. 397 398 Diagram of Linotype Machine Mold Wheel and Melting Pot 399 A Transfer Sheet. . Drawn by . . 1873 327 328 . of 339 350 359 364 382 383 385 and Lock-stitch Wilson's Rotary Hook in Four Phases Tilghman Sand Blast The Tilghman Sand Blast Machine Etching with Sand from a Hopper Chain-stitch Forming a Stitch . .. . and Soule. Linotype Matrix Line of Matrices with Justifiers Between the Words A Line o' Type (Slug) Distributor Bar and Matrices . . . Glidden. . .. London. .. . . 255 jectile ... . .. .. The Monitor Floating Battery Invented by Abraham Bloodgood Longitudinal Section of Destroyer... . 1 . Sholes.. 283 284 291 Bell's Bell's Reaper Reaper . Moore 407 . .. .. 396 396 397 .. PAGE 143 Form The Baltimore Recording Instrument of Vail's Original Finger Key of 1844 Horseman in Waterproofs. ... . Hussey's Harvester Finger McCormick Reaper. " . McCormick Reaper Shown 1851 Typewriter. 1834 McCormick Reaper. Ingersoll on an Early Sholes Machine Saint's Sewing Machine. at Work . ..

. 420 422 428 Linotype. 414 414 ... . The Linotype Machine. . W. 429 . First Direct Casting Band Machine of 1884 Linotype. .. .. . Tribune Machine of 1886 . .. * -. .''. . . .. . First Band Machine of 1883 Mergenthaler's Graduated Wedge Justifier Linotype.. ' xv PAGE 412 .ILLUSTRATIONS Linotype. .. .. . First Machine with Independent or free Matrices of 1885 . . Schuckers Double Wedge Justifier . 430 . Their Outer Edges J. * .-. . Parallel . 1889 Two Wedges in Contact.




well and good. and water these empires they need new tools. A his touch.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS A BIRD builds its nest from an impulse which fills its heart. In their schemes invention 3 always the servant . To plant. This rebuilding is every part from base no sooner accomplished than the machine cast into the melting-pot. but there may be no gold in the horizon which allures him. If. First different and last. But among inventors we meet men of a wholly stamp. emerge with a new pace and incidentally. as might your instinctive inventor. never rise to such a triumph as the steam condenser of James is Watt. Robwho seized a supreme opportunity as they yoked steam as a burden-bearer on land and sea. but simply as means to the mastery of a in continent. Of course. however ingenious and skilful. and. They were themselves engineers of original talent. and this gave them a fellow-feeling with the engineering fraternity not always found in the councils of great firms and corporations. not for the joy of building. such men. they are pioneers who descry new worlds for industrial conquest. Preeminent in this company of industrial America stand John Stevens and his son. like instinct. this man of ex- periment can earn his bread. chieftains in ert Livingston Stevens. he sees how he can remodel is to crest. These they build. create He conMergenthaler his levers unite under while wheels and its ceives plan. It is enough that his new devices glide together with the harmony and economy of his dreams. till. with fibers of gainful service reaching every home the land. to precision. machines. urges a to a composing machine. and engines. every whit as compelling.

and nowhere else. and not for a moment its master. they could fully learn the state of the art in which they meant to take new strides: they could confer with their peers in engineering circles both at home and abroad. or that method. with a judgment cooled and steadied by the responsibilities of large investments. beset by chronic poverty. Mechanics of the highest skill stood ready to carry their plans into effect with despatch. Goodyear. as they usually was no weary waiting in the ante-rooms of cap- that their ventures might be adopted. When ital did. alive to their responsibilities. in a following. its freight and passengers were ready to go on board. If they built a locomotive. Poverty as a sharpener of wits has had much and frequent praise. and from obstacles.i : : . in building their models were obliged to limit themselves to dimes when they should have laid out dollars. : V liEADING. Before they touched a drawing-board with a pencil. more was to be won and more to be shared than under chieftains of less As America grows richer. all to rear units for trade and daring that men commerce wholly new. The Stevenses were themselves men of wealth. there their experiments turned out well. likely to see more of this leadership on the part of wealthy and cultured men who. and Mergenthaler. Where original inventions were demanded. so that. this time unto wealth ! much sound fruit mellows in the sunshine. units so of narrow outlook and restricted means called them into being. Not so with the Stevens family their work from the outset drew would never have : upon every source of aid and comfort. so that when they launched a steamboat. repay free . these they created. From the best engineering practice of their day the Stevenses chose this device. AMERICAN INVENTORS of enterprise. The Stevenses were leaders whom other men were glad to follow. well aware that their path was the impeded. we are faculty and fortune. they could also build a railroad to give it profitable traffic. Let us sing a The race is not always to new song. Howe.

to consider the National Constitution. There are many perplexities in productive and distributive economy. bringing to their best estate a fiber at once refined and strong. John Stevens took to wife Mary Alexander. an administrator of acknowledged power. with hope for happy issues. then the principal town in Eastern New Jersey. moreover. the delegate from his State to present this ratification to Congress. and president of the State Convention. whom we are now to know. He man of ample fortune. Here. as the third commonwealth to do so. Robert Livingston Stevens. with courage for whatever might befall. John Stevens. His grandfather came to New York early in the eighteenth century as a law officer of the British Crown. and no better prototype of him has appeared in this country than John Stevens. in governmental reform. the first among equals to lay foundations broad and deep for his State and his country. largely created by advances in applied science itself. backed by abundant means. At Princeton he was viceof the Council convened on August 27. trained Better ability. In the tpme of this man questions as wide as America were discussed day by day.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS their debt to the 5 nation by wise and faithful captaincy. of as good She was a daughter of the Honorable . was a man cast in a large after by He was mold. 1787. a blood as himself. Next he was elected a Member of Congress for New Jersey. a son of this Englishman. rose to distinction in public service. so that the talents of his children had generous and timely tilth. duly adopted eleven days there- New Jersey. and afterward resided in Perth Amboy. than a Board for such tasks may be an Individual Man. by president the first Legislature of New Jersey. was. is demanded. For their solution. plainly. John Stevens was born in the city of New York in 1749. So well did he serve that he was chosen to preside over the Council of Eastern New Jersey proprietors. or his son. 1776. which met on December n.

and the He should command. establishing their home in the house vacated by the Colonel's father at 7 Broadway. a post which broadened his knowledge of business while it matured his executive faculty. lands of William Bayard. he never practised but his legal discipline inured training of his day. Here the Colonel and his family resided until 1814. in Colonel Beaver's Battalion In 1776 he became a Captain he was soon the Colonel of a regiment of his own. defense it early entered heart and soul into his father's convictions regarding the new-born Union. in New York in 1749. as son of this . as we have said. In addi- . public life. New Jersey. Toward the close of his term of office. who became the second bishop of New York. for thirty-one years. receiving his license as an attorney on May i. where he was graduated in 1768. Thence he passed to Columbia College. Colonel Stevens married Miss Rachel Cox of BloomsSoon afterward the wedded pair rebury. Gulian Verplanck. Among his classmates were three lifelong friends. John Stevens. as an author. comprising what was then the Island of Hoboken. he was marked for From 1777 to 1782 he was public trusts at an early age. opposite Bowling Green. In March. . New York. 1772. a Tory. the heavens ley. During 1762 and 1763 he attended Kenersly's College in Perth Amboy. young Stevens took up the study of law. however. and Benjamin Moore. Law. throughout his life to an uncommon clarity of deduction and of statement. 1784. Gouverneur in Morris. moved to New York. Like his father.6 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS James Alexander. New Jersey. who rose to eminence. . was born. Colonel dollars the confiscated thousand for Stevens bought ninety across the Hudson River. Surveyor-General of New York and New This worthy had gifts as an amateur student of Jersey. on October 17. With the best academic pair. the for years he corresponded with Edmund HalEnglish astronomer. the faithful and honored Treasurer of New Jersey. 1782.

No wonder. that he listened with both ears to reports that John Fitch was running a steamboat on the Delaware. Colonel Stevens saw Fitch's little craft as she sped between Burlington and . Colonel Stevens as early as 1824 proposed that his estate should become a park for the metropolis. suggestion Palisades Park. One before memorable morning in 1787. were not the mere ornaments of travels raphy. his sole means of reaching Hoboken was a boat impelled by oars or a sail. the trip was perilous and uncomfortable.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 7 tion he purchased a large adjoining tract of land in Weehawken. one of Hudson its com- missioners being Colonel Stevens. Edwin A. In no the with met however. In fine weather nothing could be pleasanter. Here he lived every summer until 1814. to stretch for fifty miles along the River. furnishing and of uncommon Then. In a fog or a storm. about a year Symington's success on the Forth and Clyde Canal.. built a Here philosophy and religion. Why could not Steam the same feat be accomplished on the Hudson? of for had the Cornish driven engines huge pumps years mines they were now entering upon the less arduous task of propelling canal barges and excursion boats. refreshing a brain a full view homestead commanded windows of the Stevens shelves. when this became his He cultivated his grounds with residence the year round. . for its handsome well-thumbed tomes. for which its easy But his accessibility and long shore-line fitted it admirably. but of the city erf New York. distant no more than a mile. response. Soon after these acquisitions. near the Battery. planting many fruit trees new His library was one of the best in America to the region. and poetry. as now. a grandson of So long as Colonel Stevens maintained a home at 7 Broadway. then. was planned for Greater New York. history and biogday. Colonel Stevens homestead on the site of the present Castle. 1911. the activity. Stevens II. keen and intelligent interest.

and this 1791. with a stroke of three feet. faulty machinery of from a James Watt. Colonel Stevens wished to avoid the alternating stroke of . and this pelled his first models. a golden impulse. This he soon abandoned which were tested as well as their His steam engine was would allow. Each turn of his axle-tree six oars moved its oars through five and came out of the water. To grant a patent required a Patent Office. the other a half feet. so that Fitch's backers became disheartened. He then informed himself as to the difficulties plans. six miles an hour was the pace atfitted together. Fitch. carefully which had thwarted Fitch. so badly were frequent and repairs costly. poor man. His mechanism directly imitated manual his oars swept the water much as if pushed by an oarstoil. it had given tained. At first he used a horizontal wheel. There and then he was convinced that steam could far outvie sails or the tense muscles of horses or men. Fitch's piston was one foot in diameter. were handed to the official commissioners and a patent was granted to him on September 6. New Jersey. by an engine-builder design copied in service of Boulton & Watt. man's thews. As six entered the water. and his He stands a pathetic type of the enterprise was abandoned. inventor with much initiative and no staying power. But while his steamboat was in itself a failure. the Clyde. that these might be avoided. With characteristic he petitioned the Legislature of New Jersey promptitude to place a steam engine on board a vessel by way of ex- Colonel Stevens periment. while rotary paddle-wheels had proIn 1788 these wheels appeared in Symington's steamer on. His drawn. was founded at the instance of Colonel Stevens for the express purpose of duly guarding his rights in this invention. that interruptions But the machinery was so roughly made. the who had been long for elliptical paddles. had fallen into a cardinal error of design.8 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Trenton. When all went well. each having a stroke like that of a canoe-paddle.

When the engine was in the best order. and four inches long. gave way. no apparatus was required to open and shut valves. This simple little engine was. By the alternate pressure of the steam on two sliding wings. some time in crossing the river. no air-pump. and gave the boat somewhat more But after having gone velocity than the rotary engine. During the winter this small engine was set up in a shop I then occupied at the Manhattan my Works. and.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS this 9 model. as there were no valves. so he devised a rotary engine. was necessary. yet so modified as to embrace completely the principle stated therein. I found it. and by means of bevel cogged wheels it worked the axis and wheels above described. was placed horizontally on the bottom of the boat. in the summer of 1802. with my son on board. disputable necessity of guarding against the injurious effects of partial pressure. however. so as to be incapable of repair. about eight inches in diameter. her velocity was about four miles an hour. Roosevelt had taught me the inlong. . which passed through the stern of the boat. the boiler. although differing much from those described in patents. She occasionally kept going until cold weather stopped us. adjusted to the angle most advantageous for operating on the water [as a propeller]. which was constructed of small tubes inserted at each end into metal heads. which he thus : describes A cylinder of brass. when it was placed aboard the above-mentioned boat. impracticable on so contracted a scale to preserve due tightness in the packing of the wings in the This determined me to cylinder for any length of time. But the unsuccessful experiment in which I had been engaged with Chancellor Livingston and Mr. Working with the elasticity of " steam merely. I constructed an engine. This boat was about twenty-five feet And and five or six feet wide. and continued occasionally in operation until spring. accordingly. no condenser. resort again to the reciprocating engine. placed on board a flat-bottomed boat I had built for the purpose. wings like those on the arms of a windmill were fixed. an axis passing through the center was made to revolve. On one end of this axis. This constituted the whole of the machinery.

a supply of water is furnished to the boiler whenever it is necessary to This contrivance. tion of the piston rod of the air-pump. each sixteen inches in diameter. Colonel Stevens planned a ferryboat to be driven by a steam engine of modified design. the working gear of which is liable to get out of order. and from the lower seat upwards. Valves with perforated stems passing through from the upper seat downwards. 8. " that I now make use of water- . . and she was dismantled. the safety valve from rising and making a long. Colonel Stevens. greatly increasing their strength and firmness. guide-posts are triangular. condenser. The air-pump has a double stroke." he says. mentioned. new parallel motion for preserving the vertical posi3. in successful practice. The levers for opening and shutting the valves are worked by a rotary motion. The cylinder.10 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In 1804. if the stop is not very stop the engine. instead of the reciprocating motion of the common plug frame. and the power of the engine exerted without causing strain to any part of the boat. and its piston pumps out the injection water from the bottom of the condenser when the piston rises. 5. To bore its two cylinders. and air-pump are all firmly bedded upon a single plate of cast-iron. 6. A A and accuracy. Her cylinders afterward did duty on the Phoenix. between the two main cylinders of which the boiler is built. new method of fixing the valve-seats with firmness 4. originated many He thus set them forth : 1. and thus avoids loss of steam and heat while the engine is going it furnishes more steam room to the 7. he erected a boring Both the furnace and the boiler of this boat proved faulty. 2. " It is very true. By means of a cylinder placed above. distinctive features for steamboats. and by exhaustion removes the air from the top of the water as the piston descends." prevents loud noise. The boiler. to be presently machine in Hoboken.

I .

* ..

by sea. company was blown out to sea. and plied and Trenton. Fulton's claim to water-wheels thus applied. but for the monopoly held by Livingston and Fulton. embarking one afternoon in June. but the port of Philadelphia was open to her. but the Phoenix made a safe harbor at Barnegat. Concurrently with this small vessel Colonel Stevens built the Phoenix. Accordingly. when the North River steamboat [Fulton's Clcrmont] made her first appearance on the waters of the Hudson. she proceeded to Philadelphia. 62 feet in length and 12 in breadth. drawing from 2^2 to 3 feet of water. would have plied on the Hudson River. considerher size. whence. when the storm abated. whereas those of the Clermont were imported from England. A schooner in her 1808. The next steamer built by John Stevens was the Juliana. " It may not be amiss to mention that in 1807. That her extraordinary velocity was not owing to this circumstance is evident from the fact of her going. applied water-wheels on each side of a steamboat. and was not heard from for nearly a fortnight. for any practical useful purpose. much faster . engines were built in America. many years between that city Mr. notwithstanding every disadvantage. I constructed an engine and boat on a very small scale. The Phoenix was excluded from New York. I gave the astonishing velocity at times of not ing To be sure. she had waterless than six miles an hour. which. Stevens took her. Stevens thus earned the honor of being the first to brave the ocean in a craft propelled by steam. The rivalry between the Phoenix and Fulton's Clermont was To the credit of the Phoenix stands the fact that her close. and four-and-a-half feet wide. . . Her engines were of the model patented . To this boat. a ferryboat. It is surely very far from intention to attempt to invalidate Mr. She was an undecked open boat. namely fifteen feet long. wheels on each side. launched in 1811. to Philadelphia Robert L. It is an unquestionable fact that he was the first person who. A fierce storm was encountered.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS my 11 wheels on each side of the boat." than the North River steamboat.

means of avoiding this difficulty A and improve an old invention. The Juliana rose to a speed of seven miles an hour. or mere tubes. to navigate the ocean from Sandy Hook to the mouth of the Delaware River. especially with expansion gear. John Stevens. alternately inclined at opposite angles. had been the steamer to navigate Long Island Sound. in 1788. The first boiler of this kind on record was devised in 1766. an Englishman. He forms of this boiler. would not allow the Juliana to run between New York and Hoton. and superseding much heavy brickwork. conducing to safety from fire. across which were horizontal water-tubes connected with the water-spaces. One had a firebox with flat water-sides and top. He connected to revive together several water-tubes in a furnace.12 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS by her builder. being cut off in the main modern practice. Workmanship in those days was inadequate to the task of tightly riveting a large boiler to resist high pressure. . Her boilers and flues were of copper. Robert Fulvalves as in having exclusive rights in the Jersey City ferry. Her furnace and flue were suspended on a frame-work of cast-iron. was built of many long narrow cylinders. being the first Phoenix. clearly saw that great economy lay in using high But an obstacle pressures. an American pioneer patented. and united at their contiguous ends by smaller pipes. Her steam was used expansively. several in steamboating. boken. each of which could be produced perfectly tight. having a cylinder of 14 inches diameter and 30 inches stroke. instead of being formed of one huge cylinder. which had confronted James Watt remained in the path of his American successor. while so thin as to have its contained water quickly heated by an impinging flame. so she was placed on the route betwixt Middletown and Hartford. the first. This design was improved by James Rumsey. taking a comprehensive survey of steam practice. a boiler was which. as her cousin. in 1808. by William Blakey. on the Connecticut River.

whence they are easily removed.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 13 Another was a coiled tube within a cylindrical firebox. instead of using a single large one. ashes. the vertical tubular boiler. so that they are much more thoroughly and quickly heated than if the fire-tube acfire merely glided along their length. All the joints of a waterrisk of utter choking. into each of which holes is fixed one end of a boiler . tube boiler may be placed elsewhere than in the hottest parts . tubes. and the cast-iron cap at each end the caps at each end are to be fastened by . . in which a number of holes are perforated. of about one inch in diameter and two feet in length the other ends of these tubes being inserted in like manner in a similar piece of brass. . with A These deposits attach themselves. to the outside of a water-tube. and soot on its inside surface. be inclosed in brickwork or masonry in the usual manner. and in much less quantity. In order to insure tightness." screw-bolts In adopting and improving the water-tube boiler. Mr. and through a tube inserted into the cap at the other end the steam is to be conveyed The whole is then to to the steam cylinder of the engine. Suppose a plate of brass one foot square. by his son. these tubes are to be cast in the plates these plates are to be inclosed at each end of the pipes. Let us remark how it excels a boiler of the fire-tube model the flames rush across its : First of all. placed either horizontally or perpendicularly at option. patented design John Cox Stevens. cumulates dust. connected at its two ends with the annular surrounding water" A third type was coil boiler. Stevens showed his wonted sagacity. or tubes. The water supply is to be injected by a forcing pump into the cap at one end. . John Stevens' in Britain in Great was 1805. passing through them into the plates. who said: principle of this invention consists in forming a by combining a number of small vessels. . " The copper tube." This was the first space. as built to-day. Since his day its advantages have been fully realized in improved designs.

The sole hold of the market its that is simpler and cheaper to manufacture than efficient vastly more competitor. this change of motion must give to the boat a wriggling movement. exposing the structure as a whole to much less strain than befalls a fire-tube boiler. like the paddles I had thought of using. so that the most advantageous obliquity of their angle may be atThe principle of an oblique stroke tained after a few trials. on . single tendency " Since you were here I have made a fair experiment on Indeed. . : Junior. when I saw you last. Two men were placed at two cranks by which a wheel in the stern of the boat was turned. and. but this objection to the use of wheels I expect to obviate by an increase in their number and a consequent diminution of their diameter. As remarkable sectional boiler. November 1805 ". propeller. are fixed a number of arms with wings like those of a windmill or smoke jack. resistance of the fluid to change of motion. Robert Hare. . least absolutely necessary to have at to prevent the wheel a which to rotation gives to a boat. To the extremity of an axis passing nearly in a horizontal direction through the stem of the boat. the The sculls would also be liable to be stern of the boat. would be an awkward appendage The consideration which determined to the stern of a boat. with a stopwatch the time of passing over a given After making a sufftdistance was precisely ascertained. by turns. to try the paddles was merely to avoid the necessity of giving the boat a draught of water too great for passing the overslough near Albany. affected by the swells in rough water. These arms may be readily adjusted.14 of the LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS fire. of Philadelphia. A its water-tube boiler has also a reason is much larger draft why a fire-tube boiler it area than retains its rival. both in the loss of time and in the Besides that. it is two revolving in opposite directions the wheel compared with oars. but the continuity of movement is the same as in the scull in the wings gives them greatly the advantage over the alternation in the sculls. with a tendency to lift and lower. me. and improvement of the was John Stevens' modification of the screw as this adoption it He thus describes in addressing 16.

] .THE TWIN-SCREW PROPELLER [From OF 1804 a photograph of the rebuilt boat containing the original machinery.


" John Bourne. One important consideration in favor of these wheels is the facility with which they can be defended from all external in- My foreman promises jury by placing them in the stern.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 15 cient number of trials the wheel was taken off and the same men were furnished with oars. This wheel was to be fixed on the spindle of a rotary engine. its axis was inThe clined 30 to 40 degrees below the horizontal line. sim1785. and others. in the Stevens Indicator. ending with 1806. was put up in a very coarse manner. (5) twin screws. in 1794. where it could be turned round either way. sought by the screw propeller. * Francis B. It was proposed by the mathemati- cian. His propeller was "a wheel with inclined fans or wings. grand-nephew of Colonel John Stevens. not attended to. in which a screw propeller. besides the wings were made with a flat And in surface. issued May 9. mentions a prior patent. in 1752. whereas a certain curve was necessary. April. causing a ship to be forced forward or backward. He was mistaken. giving an account of his submarine boat. second. too." . It is unnecessary to observe that the wheel must have worked The proper angle of obliquity was to much disadvantage. Watt. en- deavoring to introduce (i) the short four-bladed screw. worked by hand. Stevens. (2) steam at high pressure. The result of repeated trials was a few seconds in favor of the wheel. in his "Treatise on the Screw Propeller. or the vertical sails of a windmill. 1893. (3) multitubular boilers. was twice by William Lyttleton. order to give a due immersion to the wheel. was used." * to establish steam navigation Colonel Stevens for six years. distinctly patented in Prior to 1802 the screw propeller England: first. that of Joseph Bramah. to have the engines going in the boat in about two weeks from this time. as the inclination of the fans or wings might determine. and might be wholly under water. by Edward Shorter. said: "Colonel Stevens considered himself the inventor of the screw propeller." London. Daniel Bernouilli. It is described by David Bushnell in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. Paucton. The same idea was afterward suggested by Franklin. (4) quick-moving engines directly connected to propeller shafts. ilar to the fly of a smokejack. in 1787. machinery. in 1800. 1867.

they declined from fear of " : public ridicule. in sailers and models which. ' Mr. steamers. effected a notable advance. No predecessor of hers had ever run fast enough to com- With her. long and sharp. whose boilers carried steam at only two or three pounds above atmospheric pressure. his son and associate. Bell. with its slow-moving engine. were the steam ferries which joined New York City with the shores of New Jersey and Long Island. too. therefore.16 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Forty years had to elapse before these elements of sucwere adopted in ocean navigation. In improving their lines. First as an im- 1810 . and even to-day a goodly ing. When to the designer asked his shipbuilders. At the time of Stevens' in cess Colonel experiments there had. Brown & construct this bow. Speed soon became a prime consideration in steamboatAt first Colonel John Stevens bestowed his attention wholly upon his motive power and machinery. Robert. a marvelous speed for that period." So Robert Stevens had to build the bow himself. began plete a trip betwixt dawn and dusk. He were no competent and engines fall back upon the paddle-wheel as a propeller. giving little heed to the hulls of his vessels. won new clipper records in speed. Until only comfortless rowboats or pirogues offered a passage across the North and East Rivers. At once this vessel bounded forward at thirteen and a half miles an hour. to workmen America to construct the boilers he planned. Bell said That bow will be called Bell's nose. In the New Philadelphia. Robert Stevens introduced a false bow. Of equal importance with the steamboats plying between the metropolis and the capital of New York. At first his father's steamers were little else than boxes with pointed ends. The New Philadelphia inaugurated a day line between Albany and New York. with any- thing but laughter at the result. pace. which parted the water with a new facility.' and I will be a general laughing-stock.

by horses. during seventeen years. than if they were wafted on their voyage by the winds instead of being propelled by the agency of fire. which are free to such vessels. by Daniel Webster. holding that the power to regulate navigation. They are. . with a central wheel turned. Stevens. the first to be provided for them. rected a boat as she entered her pier. The act demonstrates the opinion that steamboats may be . first by Fulton in a ferry to Jersey City. in the Supreme Court of the United States. included power " Said he The power to regulate : commerce does not look to the principle by which boats are moved. of built in which the first 1822 by Robert L. in a masterly argument. . this monopoly was attacked in February. Emmett. Mr. to regulate commerce. who had been a personal friend of Fulton. wholly Stevens at once planned and built shelters for his pilots. held back the progress of steam navigation in America. bestowing the exclusive right to steamboat service on the waters of New York. wheel. and Mr. in 1812. In that year he introduced at his docks string piles which diOne stormy night. vested in Congress. That power is left to individual discretion. Oakley. Chief Justice John Marshall rendered a decision adverse to the monopoly. entitled to the same privileges. unprotected thorn in the side of the Stevens family was the monopoly granted by the State of New York to Robert Fulton and his partners. clearly proving the impolicy of rewarding enterprise by an exclusive privilege. of course. Mr. Then came single boats with sidewheels.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 17 provement came twin boats. These horses were supplanted by steam. 1824. Mr. appeared in defense. . enrolled and licensed in common with vessels having sails. and can no more be restrained from navigating waters and entering ports. After much A preliminary skirmishing. Stevens' attention was his called to a pilot as he stood at from beating rain. was the Hoboken. treadmill fashion." Thus ended a monopoly which.

no definite limit can be set. would be adequate to give the project a fair trial. To the rapidity of the motion of a steam carriage on these railways. in my humble opinion. the resistance is proportionately dimin. In 1812 he published his argument as a pamphlet. he urgently pressed upon the commissioners. The flying proas of the islands in the Pacific Ocean are said at times to sail more than twenty miles an hour but as the resistance of water to the progress of a vessel increases as the square of its velocity. a general system of internal communication and conveyance be adopted. intimately connected and held together in bonds of indissoluble union.i8 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS His success with the Phoenix and her sister craft showed how mighty a stride steam could effect on He had long been convinced that a like gain waterways. as it moves in a fluid eight hundred times rarer than water. could be reaped by steam as a motive power for travel on In 1810 the Legislature of New York appointed land. which discussed a continuous inclined plane from Lake Erie to the Hudson River.000 to $3. as preferable in economy. Colonel Stevens read their report. Not so with a steam carriage.000 government. his re- He said : these States So many and so important are the advantages which would derive from the general adoption of the proposed railways. adding the objections of the commissioners. unite every section of this extensive empire. . so as to embrace and It might then. and joinders. speed. to be fed by the waters of the lake. and to report upon the feasibility of that project. to become an object of primary attention to the national " The insignificant sum of $2. a system of steam railways. On the success of this experiment a plan should be digested. . be said that these States would then constitute one family. . and rapidity of construction. it is obvious that the power required to propel her must also be increased in the same ratio. and the necessary surveys be made for the extension of these ways in all directions. indeed. that they ought. Colonel Stevens commissioners to examine the routes proposed for the Erie When Canal. ".

through so dense a fluid as water." its No action followed the granting of his charter. as But project was deemed visionary. growing as men As far back as 1795 Colonel Stevens had designed a steam locomotive. can alone determine this matter. and New York.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS ished. the principal resistance arises from friction. at twenty miles an hour. however. Year by year he closely followed the developments in railroad locomotion in England. Added to this was the trade of intervening towns and villages. of enterprise and capital. in a direct ratio with the If. a proa can be driven velocity of the carriage. in stood open before him. to the river Raritan. even at that early day transacted a huge business with one another. His great difficulty was to provide a track strong enough to support the heavy low-pressure engine of that day. . Colonel Stevens never for a moment relaxed his labors on In 1823. notwithstanding the arguments of influential opponents led by Colonel Stevens. 19 Indeed. I can see nothing to hinder a steam carriage from moving on these This astonishing ways at one hundred miles an hour. had developed the traffic on this highway until almost the whole rested in their hands. Actual experience. ." The Erie Canal was built. In 1817 he obtained a " to build a railroad charter from the State of Jersey New from the near river Delaware. steadily in population and wealth. then. New Brunswick. . with Stephen Girard behalf of steam railroads. The Stevens family. and I should not be which does not even increase . be convenient to exceed twenty or thirty miles an hour. Philadelphia an airline but ninety miles apart. able that it may not. by the wind (the propulsive power of which is constantly diminishing as the velocity of the proa increases). which he had hoped to patent during the administration of President Washington. It is probvelocity is considered here as merely possible. in practice. resolved that he should have a leading For this a door part in promoting like projects at home. near Trenton. fifty surprised at seeing steam carriages propelled at forty to miles an hour.

but in ordinary railroadthat Colonel Stevens was to engage. In 1826 Colonel Stevens built at his own cost the first steam locomotive that ran on rails in America. of stone. of pure water was to cross with it brought from supply Bergen Hill to the Little Falls of the Passaic River. Pennsylvania. and a ington. It Little Falls. and thence to WashStoves were to be erected on the bridge. and proceeding along Greenwich or Washington Street. or wood. About 1829. which. twenty-three years before the present corporation was chartered. and Stourbridge nearly four years before Stephenson won his prize with the " " Lion Rocket at Rainhill in England. Less ambitious ing. Colonel Stevens conceived a bold project. This engine was furnished with a sectional boiler of high efficiency. This " was three years " at before Horatio Allen ran the Honesdale. and elevated about ten or twelve feet above the pavement/' After crossing the river. supported by The track was to be " supported on pillars piers. which resulted in the incorporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. and coursed upon a circular track laid within a few hundred yards of the present Stevens Institute. and from an elevated structure there to cross the Hudson River upon a high bridge several made chiefly of Manila hemp. forty years afterward was developed He sketched as the elevated railroad system of New York. duly modified. iron. was not in this bold project. to a suitable spot opposite Castle Point. he projected a railroad from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Hoboken. a scheme for a railway starting from the Battery. placed near the curb stones. than the proposed line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was a scheme requiring comparatively small outlay.20 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and Horace Binney as his associates. to provide a short railroad which should complete a steam route be- . the railway was to proceed over real objective point The was Philadelphia.

These Union Line in three cities were links : Steamboat route from Philadelphia to Trenton. Robert L. . and both iron labor as and were scarce and dear T-rails. so as to give it a continuous foot. was a most inviting enterprise for Colonel Stevens. at last carving a form in which a broad and firm base was added to a T-rail. or flange. the railway between Stockton and Darlington had been successfully first As a step operated with locomotives designed by the Stephensons. at their instance. dispensing with chairs. was chosen its treasurer and general manager. New Brunswick to New York. and his wealthy associates. Before leaving home he resolved to adopt an iron rail as better than a wooden rail. In this he carried forward by an important step the advantages presented in the rail suggested by Thomas Tredgold which had a base comparatively narrow. During his voyage across the Atlantic he whittled bits of wood into varied rail contours. or than the stone stringer thinly plated with iron. in 1825. the Camden & Amboy Railroad Company was incorporated. 36 miles 25 " 40 101 miles To build a railroad between Trenton and New Bruns- wick. In 1830. and capture the traffic carried by horse-drawn vehicles. Turnpike for stage and wagons.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS tween 21 at New York that time joined by the and Philadelphia. toward building the line. which his Company had laid by way of There then no mill in America to roll was experiment. Trenton to New Brunswick Steamboat route. . Stevens wished to lay a rail which would need no chair to hold it in place. accordingly. Edwin Augustus. Stevens posted to England. in the United States. Mr. since 1825. his family. his brother. Robert L. where. Stevens was appointed its president. twenty-five miles.

They were rolled by Sir John Guest at Dowlais. New York. or toe-piece. which has become the fish-plate.wide at the base. If the rectangle a b d c conB D C is to the tains the same quantity. 2% inches wide at the head. comprised 350 bars. It was soon found that heavier rails were less B b a A An enlarged section of an Edge-rail to show the disposition of parts which gives greatest strength.] yielding." By Thomas A Tredgold.93) per Mr. since known by his rail name the world was wider at it Afterward designed. as well as the bolts and nuts which give unity and rigidity to track construction. These new rails were 16 feet long. the base of this of points support than elsewhere. so that weights were increased forthwith to between 40 and 42 pounds to the yard. When he called upon the Stephensons they showed him their . [From "A Practical Treatise on Railroads and Carriages. its As first of three inches. He designed the iron tongue. The first shipment. in Wales.22 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS On landing in Liverpool. at eight pounds sterling ($38. which reached Phila- delphia on the ship Charlemagne on May 18. weighing 36 pounds to the yard. Stevens added to his ton. rails several auxiliary devices of importance. each 18 feet long. he asked for bids on five hundred tons of such a rail as he had whittled. and 3^2 inches . the strength of the rail strength in the form of the rectangle as i^ is to i. 1831. 3^ inches high. was rolled throughout with a uniform breadth over. 1825.



the line Hightstown. its boiler " feet in diameter. Here a demonstration was given makers of light. its 1831. During the months of business. doubling the now life of his ties. was opened for traffic. 1831. but locowhen an adequate service.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS " 23 Planet. this amazement and defrom Bordentown to motives were not used until August. borrowing its vertical axle from a common wagon. feet. such as. its 3^ Water and fuel were borne on a rough four-wheeled flat car. the trial or adoption of Camden & Amboy line present many devices since familiar. to the assembled law- New Jersey. was planned and placed by Mr. Amusing are first many incidents of those pioneer times. During that year he began to spike rails Soon afterward he introduced the directly to his cross-ties. He began experiments in the chemical preservation of wood. the tank had been a whisky barrel in a Bordentown grocery. bogie-truck. 1833. much to their On October 9. the It was landed in August. Two months later the road was completed to Amboy." weighed 10 tons. The first run of this locomotive took place near Bordentown on a track 1. The boiler hose of leather had been stitched by Liberal supplies of pine generated a steam pressure of thirty pounds to the square inch. the or cowcatcher. number were ready for The early records of first pilot.067 ^ eet l n g> wrtn rails laid on stone blocks." the introducing marked improvements on at once Stevens ordered like Mr. He designed a vestibuled car. Stevens in 1832. One of the Stevens brothers . John Bull. twelve miles. was 13 feet long and were 9 inches by 20. the Camden & Amboy This engine. a man train to clear its track on a fast horse went ahead of the and warn off trespassers. is operated by the Pullman Company. a local shoemaker. in a developed model." " Rocket. a engine for line. Its cylinders firebox had a surface of 36 square four driving-wheels ran on a gauge of five feet. greatly easing movement around short curves.

a double track. Nicholas Wood. its second division.376. Pennsylvania. from Camden. nor did their panic cease until they had placed two hundred yards between themselves and the pursuing monster.64. came : next. Stevens. was 34*/2 miles. the engine left its line and slid down an embankment into an adjoining field. begun in 1829. quotes As from a description laying rails straight The manner of carriage is by of timber from the colliery to the river. This line. road. a load were drawn upon the carriage five common road. where half a dozen to farmhands were cradling wheat. far back as 1602 wooden railways joined collieries at Newcastle to docks on the Tyne. to Bordentown. under the control of Edwin A. in his " Practical Treatise on Railroads. Dur- . Its Next came the Quincy Railroad. Bulky carts are made with four in 1676: " rollers fitting these rails. that one horse will whereby draw four to two-and-a-half times as a much as if is so easy chaldrons of coals. was laid at a cost of $1." published in 1838. In America the coals. It was profitable from its first day. opposite Philadelphia. length was 12 24 miles. They fled instanter. the "John Bull came upon a curve at undue As track builders had not yet learned to raise the speed. completed in 1826 The South Carolina Railfor the conveyance of granite. so that a quick steed was always ready make safe the path for the rival horse of iron. His ability was manifest early in his career: at twenty-five his family gave him charge of the larger part of their property. outer rail at curves. was 26^ miles. about three miles in extent. was triat built at near Boston.24 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS owned a fine stud. finished in 1832. to carry anLehigh Coal & Navigation Company.466. just as first business for railroads in with their forerunners was to carry England long before. On one of " its first trips. Then followed this Camden & Amboy Railroad its first division. from Bordentown to Amboy. exactly and parallel." First of American railroads worth while thracite for the Mauch Chunk.



In 1827 Some he fitted the boilers of the North America with closed ash- pits. Robert L. His own faculty in this province made him at once a competent judge and a whole-hearted cooperator. third. In 1828. In 1837 and 1838 the brothers tried an exhaust fan on a horizontal This was so spindle in the chimney of one of their shops. Robert and First.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS allied 25 ing the thirty-five years of his railroad administration he himself with the best engineering talent in America. Stevens perfected his air-tight fire-room. This suggested to Robert L. While still a young man. they stack by a fan. the blast often force the gases of combustion through the rims of the furnace-doors. ashpit. they forced air into an air-tight stokehold. it : when worn could be replaced by a new one in a few minutes. patented in April. Stevens. Francis B. Ericsson in England installed a like fan in the Victory. he invented a cast-iron plow. a horizontal screw ventilator turning on a vertical axis at the base of the smokestack of the Passaic. with the aid of his brother RobIts moldboard was so ert. into which air for combustion was forced by a fan. 1842. commanded by Sir John Ross in an Arctic cruise. He arrived at this fire-room by steps worth retracing. This plow for years en- joyed a large sale. heel-piece was attached On the bottom of the landside a out. insuring its surface. in 1836. Stevens. A nephew of has said that pressure when would the inventors. and leave no earth sticking to Ribs were cast on its interior. strength with lightness. The final method to which Edwin Stevens came was to drive air above at- . years after its invention. plying the Delaware River. the closed ashpit was used. Edwin Stevens. effective that they placed a sister fan in their steamboat Philadelphia. curved as always to scour. The brothers. draft production. so as greatly to distress the stokers. varied thrice their they sent a blast into a closed exhausted the base of their smokesecond.

in the long series that be- gan when a primeval Edison first blew a fire with his He had a worthy successor in the son. on Matter. or hang on the walls of mubetter than seums. after arose the devisers of leather bellows. Toward the close of his life he turned with zest to metaphysical speculation. or even the refuse fuels that refuse to burn with an ordinary draft. on March 6. with carved and studded woodwork. His remains were laid in the graveyard of the Dutch Reformed Church. or. dispenses with chimneys altogether. He is from sugar cane. It shortens chimneys. or daughter. while his sons iwere perfecting their methods of mechanical draft. Mechanical draft. Colonel John Stevens passed away at the ripe age of eighty-nine. It prevents smoke. indeed. Body. or coal of poor quality. in foggy weather. an ailment treated with unusual sue- . these he completed the first. Ages therebreath. that. Incomparably any bellows are the rotary fans now whirling in every modern boiler-room. ers of men-of-war. A volume which he planned was to have comprised thirty-six chapters. New Jersey. " and part of the twenty-second. the closed stokehold system of to-day. natural yields free to use peat. With all fuels an improved combustion him a new economy of one-seventh. to the joy of design- Early in 1838. They render the engineer inof so fitful winds. also.26 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS This is mospheric pressure into an air-tight fire-room. who 'seized a palm leaf and waved it as a fan. such as linger to this day in country forges. That system is the latest feat. He had once been severely at- tacked by yellow fever. on the skepticism of Hume. lends itself to mechanical stoking. so that he may use a smaller boiler than would otherwise be required. Bergen. and Ex- Of tension/' Long before that period he had been warmly in- terested in combating the epidemics which from time to time assailed New York. his fires dependent burn as vividly as if a Northern gale were blowing.

had gunpowder exploded beneath them. But to win their of peace that Robert L. and in the field of gunnery. In 1815. For service as early as 1814. He sealed each shell hermetically. so that no deterioration took place in storage. who. doubling the value of his fuel. Let us return to the achievements of his son. all without causing them to explode. On the Colonel's recovery he wrote a descriptive article about yellow fever in the American Medical and Philosophical by his friend Register. had perfected a system of forced draft. was destroyed by one of his shells weighing 200 pounds. Some shells. beginning with the Passaic. others were taken to high towers and dropped to rocks below. Dr. He was the first engineer to burn anthracite in a cupola furnace: he afterward adopted this fuel in his fast steamboats. he began to use steam expansively. in the Philadelphia. He changed for the better every He suspended feature of his steamboats as first designed. near the city of New York. He placed the boiler on the guards . This was but one among many of his at the His activity as an inventor began exploits as an engineer. secured by screwbolts. and placed in a cannon upon striking their target they burst with devastating : effect. it was in arts projecting guards from above by iron rods. They were plunged into water. and carrying 13 On pounds of gunpowder. By a judicious placing of diagonal knees of wood and iron he reduced weight while conferring rigidity on his hulls. end of years of experiment. one occasion at Governor's Island. He strengthened their frames with ties and braces. Robert. twenty-five years after manufacture. patents periments. David Hosack. his were bought by the War Department. in the war with Great Britain he devised an elongated shell At the end of decisive exfor use with ordinary cannon.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS cess 27 and physician. four feet thick. a target of white oak. Stevens was his chief laurels.

the ingenuity which had won him fame and fortune in steam As a recreation Stevens took up yachting. and gave the engine. In the means of main valves same year. with delight. with their lessened jar and quickened Beginning with the Hoboken. the utmost speed of her day. through heavy ice between Camden and Philanext task was to build a tubular boiler of new His delphia. With the aid of a nephew. so that short curves were now turned with but slight friction on flanges. at once lighter and stronger. came by making steam itself press his packing-rings against their pistons. he inThis he vented for his locomotives a double-slide cut-off. and facilitating both coaling and stoking. In the New Philadelphia he placed steel spring bearings under the wheel shaft.28 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS of his steamers. he replaced the heavy walking-beam of cast-iron with the wrought-iron skeleton now universal. in which large timon each side prevented the vessel from bending or bebers " ing hogged. Here he exercised. 1841. In the Trenton he introduced divided paddle-wheels. for it America he introduced the hog frame. . Robert L. valves perfectly balanced. Francis B. Leaky pistons had bothered him for This he overyears. he devised a cut-off by worked by two eccentrics. He greatly promoted the adhesion of his locomotive to their rails by giving them eight wheels instead of four or six. so its as tremulous to motion and add rod. amid so much hard work. prevent necting A few months later he built a steamboat to its strength." This boat was so well contoured that she ran at fifteen miles an hour. wasting fuel and lowering speeds. with a tightness denied to steel springs or easily strode India rubber. conducing to their steadiness. In the North pace. its flames beat under the boiler and returned economy: through its tubes. afterward applied in large stationary engines. which might have been serviceable in Arctic seas. Stevens. for the first He then braced the contime.

Hoboken. P.[From a portrait in the possession of Miss M. Garnett.] . B.


In rough water her behavior was not so remarkable. drew 20 feet. Until she foundered in the Gulf of Mexico in 1869. and so sharp that where the hull entered the the bows had to be widened. the Maria was many Her lead was poured into years in advance of her time. The success of the Maria had much to do with founding the New York Yacht Club in the Her bow was long and year of her launching. Nineteen years later. 100 long and 3 feet in diameter. Springs fitted to its base enabled it to touch ground without harm. when down. she was beaten by the Magic. Her bowsprit feet main boom. to-day. The forward centerfeet. so that the Swedish yacht Coquette once passed her in bad weather. afterward King Edward VII. was built hollow of doweled staves of white pine.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS locomotion. and. in her turn. and in many respects she was the prototype of the swiftest racing machines of She vanquished the America. carrying the Prince of Wales. was victorious against every rival in British waters. at . and secured by iron trusses. increasing to a maximum of 5 feet 3 inches. hollow. in 1865. and her jib the only headsail she carried 70 This was laced to a boom. In 1860. Every contest of this Club. fixed outside on her bottom. overhauled and around the revenue cutter Harriet Lane. she once scored 17 nautical miles an hour. she remained at She was no feet in length. aft. molds 5 inches deep. barrel. 29 In 1844 he built the big sloop Maria. In a piping breeze. in beam with a draft of 6 inches under her . in smooth water. Her mainsail at the foot measured 96 feet. which. and in her outside lead. two centerboards and outside lead She was for years the fastest yacht in the world. the Maria. bound together by In iron hoops like p. with ballast. Her speed was marvelous. this feature. 26 feet the head of her class. conforming to the lines of the floor for a distance of 20 feet on each side of the keel. board was weighted with lead. wide 8 inches. sailed commanded by her owner. forefoot.

Colonel John Stevens projected a circular iron fort. And now. when. her . In 1530 the largest ship of that day.30 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS abroad. In 1841 stout armor plate could not be rolled in America. of Pennsylvania. sistant. No exemplification. Iron armor for vessels was patented by Thomas Gregg. for years enlisted the keen interest of Robert L. one of the fleet of the Knights of Saint John. John Cox Stevens. the first yacht to cross the Atlantic. John Cox Stevens was managing owner of the home and America at the winning of the America cup. be capable of this projected ship. to be rotated by steam. one of the owners of the America. moreover. certainty. To afford power with the minimum of fuel. Stevens reverted to his experiments of 1814. retained by American yachts to the present day. Mr. of this armor is on record until 1841. was to be employed. Iron armor for a warrior's body had been worn from prehistoric times. the In a formal note to 1841. for the defense of the harbor of New York. toward the close of the war with Great Britain. was sheathed with lead so as to withstand every shot fired at her. so that comparatively thin plates were to be riveted in tile fashion on the sides of She should. as to take so any desired position with ease and high speed. however. we must hark backward to 1814. to take up another naval feat of the Stevens family. In that year Edwin A. reach of shot and shell. when the United States was once again on the verge Of war with England. iron Instead of wood for construction. Stevens was the first commodore of the New York Yacht Club. in 1814. he and his brother John presented a design recommended for a steam Its motive power should be out of the vessel of war. Stevens and his brother. and the vessel herself should be proof against attack. War Department on August 13. to experiment with a sixpounder cannon fired against iron plates. then a youth of nineteen. He directed his son Edwin. as much stronger and more re- weight for weight.

in case one battery of a warship were disabled. built at Bordentown a steamboat for the purpose they was of experimenting with screw propellers of various curves. to be shotWith his brother Edwin. and steam was to be used expansively. laid these results before President Tyler. Stevens for an ironclad steamer. part of Mr. Robert L. after the failure of his first gun in 1844. These fully con- who firmed the tests by the brothers Stevens. JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS boilers their si- were to be so strong as to resist high pressure. There and then began for the navies of the world As guns of their unending duel betwixt gun and armor. the other might be quickly presented. He and to his brother. and this At that time there meant enlarging his ship so as to keep afloat her heavier burden. Stevens. had introduced a wrought-iron gun of British make. Robert L. which they compared with sidewheels as to efficiency. Stevens then proceeded to learn the thickness of plate necessary to withstand the various shot then emFrom experiments at Bordentown he found that a ployed. wholly submerged. gress authorized the Secretary of the Thereupon Con- Navy to contract with Robert L. committee continue forthwith appointed a experiments. new resisters were imperative on the Hence interruptions without number. so that.. John Cox Stevens. he began at and-shell-proof. new might were cast. But when Commodore Stockton. as it were. whose round shot easily pierced four and a half inches of iron. One of their first Next to build a dry-dock at Hoboken for their ship. then the heaviest missile of the United States Navy. once to plan and construct tasks this vessel. While thus engaged they devised a method of turning a vessel on a pivot. had been but little advance in gunpower since the victory of Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805. Her propeller was to be a Stevens screw. . target four and a half inches thick would resist a fourpound shot. Stevens had to thicken his armor. by a cross-propeller near her stern.

so as to be nearly invisible. profoundly distasteful many marks of forge and to men whose tradi- . although her plating was complete. together with the Naugatuck. and of the highest financial responsibility. Their plans included much novel mechanism. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. in seventy-five seconds. and was one of the first fleet which attacked She was a twin-screw vessel. Stevens died in 1856. his warship was still unfinished. and bore all foundry. on her center. As she lay at her basin in Hoboken. As Mr. his offer that a ship could be protected Stevens presented to the government was declined. Edwin of the United States a plan for completing the Stevens Battery. Thus it came about that when Robert L. it armored Yet meant nothing to these naval officials that the Stevens family were eminent as engineers. water ballast to three feet below her load-line. with pumps which could lift her to a normal plane in eight minutes. The Naugatuck was accepted by the government. Stevens' plans for the modification of his battery were wholly novel. ships. a small vessel. She could turn end for end. but differing from them in having a turret square and immovable instead of circular and rotating.32 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and asking outlays far beyond those authorized by Congress. to demonstrate his schemes as practicable. were in place. and her boilentailing delay after delay. she ers measured 410 feet in length. bequeathed to him by his brother Robert. The country was then in desperate and the Navy Department was paday by day. with her deck two feet above the water being . an area then extraordinary. in these features like the Monitor class of vessels built six years later by Ericsson. designers of new types of craft. 45 feet in beam inside her armor shelf. Her grates exposed a surface of 876 square feet. with their twin-screw engines. need of armored tiently hearing. twenty years after his proof at Sandy Hook by iron armor. immersible by the Merrimac.



through derangement of her rudder. and his will provided for the projected Stevens Institute of Technology at ." residing Accordingly. in 1843. Edwin Augustus Stevens was a man to whom wealth brought a keen sense of responsibility. Stevens. Much additional outlay was necessary. lars for her completion. axlike in shape. and so braced and supported as to be part and parcel of the hull behind it. Edwin Stevens died.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 33 tions were of sails and tackle. battery through all the recurrent crises of the Civil War. if a hull can little frail harmed wooden scarcely any hurt to herself. Since that day every iota of the Stevens plans has proved not merely feasible. bequeathing the vessel to the State of New Jersey. Argued Mr. that his foundation might be wisely laid and firmly built upon. and. with leaders in education he had long and earnest conferences. ran into a crib dock. as this was withheld by Congress. Stevens was busy constructing this battery. His death took place in 1868. untouched This sum was expended in 1869 and 1870. One day a North River steamer. In 1868. three years after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. she was taken apart in 1881 and reduced to junk. but It was a sad sight to her owner to see his indispensable. with a million dolin her basin. Toward the close of his life he resolved that the name of his family should " be borne by an institution for the benefit of the youth from time to time in New Jersey. The vessel then the backed out of the wound she had inflicted. an iron steamer with a steel prow could deliver with all this do damage with impunity a mortal blow to an ordinary ship. His conviction so impressed Congress that it authorized him. While Robert L. smashing its heavy timbers and displacing fifteen feet of its stone filling. Thomas Powell. but by her onslaught. every incident bearing on his work was eagerly wrought into his plans. to build a warship equipped with an immense iron ram.

1911. " President Humphreys says Stevens Institute stands for : engineering education and well-balanced coordination between theory and practice. Taylor.000. .000. while within two miles of the City Hall of New York.000. site This would provide a for an engineering college unsurpassed in America. stood at $1. including the class of 1912. to serve as its The present Castle was built in 1853. Among these are many engineers of In the class of 1883 a P~ note. son and namesake of the founder. peared Frederick Winslow Taylor. in pursuing methods begun in the laboratory and workshops at Hoboken. In June.000. of $145. had Stevens no other student of whom to boast. and bid fair to bring to an end antagonisms of capital and labor by creating . Henry its first president. a building fund of $150.550. in all three-quarters of a million dollars.000 for endowment. chiefly for endowment. Samuel B. the assets of the Institute Morton. of the original residence of Colonel John Stevens. the Castle and its grounds. including gifts from Dr. Dod. conveyed a part of his father's estate. Mr. to the Institute. that a school of mechanical engineering was formed. 1911. Some emphasis is placed on the mechanical side of engineering. and. his name would amply justify its existence.34 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS at Hoboken. of Philadelphia. and $500. Edwin Augustus Stevens. The plans of President Humphreys for the development of Stevens Institute center in the acquisition of twenty-two social rallying center.686 students. has worked out scientific management from pracIn many cases his methods have multiplied tice to rule. $340. land valued $100. fourfold the output of a factory or mill. but not such an emphasis as to make it a narrow course in educa- thoroughness in tion/' Stevens Institute. It was largely through one of its first trustees.000. II. site on the acres of the Stevens Castle estate. both at home and abroad. has graduated 1. and from Andrew Carnegie. On May 27.

Hoboken. Garnett. P.[From a portrait in the possession of Miss M.] . B.


When I was about six years of age I was taken by my father to Hoboken to be introduced to John Stevens.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS for 35 them both a new and large profit as they work shoulder to shoulder. this visit of age. John Stevens. from its founder. He was often wont to recall his friendship with the successive generations of the Stevens family. I want him to see ' ' : . who have gathered around the old ancestral home on the other side of the Hudson River. who was then years eighty-three faculties. Hewitt. passingly rapidly up the Hudson River. his constant adviser was the late Abram S. as well as his children. I was taken Hoboken and introduced to John Stevens. and had asked whose steamer it was. I said Do you know the My ' : Stevens family ? ' To which he replied ' : Yes. and great-grandchildren. His services as a Member of Congress and as Mayor of New York have earned for him grateful remembrance in the Empire State. and never were his reminiscences so full and so interesting as when he addressed the alumni on February 18. and my father said This is my son. Familiarly he called my father John/ for both bore the same name. of New York. but in possession of all his and manifesting the greatest possible interest in from an old friend and a young boy. 1897. the While Stevens Institute twenty-fifth anniversary of stitute : the founding of Stevens In- who suppose that I am one of the very few persons living can say that they have seen and known the entire Stevens family. the famous ironmaster. I will take to Hoboken of his time. because I had a few days before seen from the Jay Street Wharf a magnificent steamer. with four ponderous I " smokestacks. and that they had been built by the Stevens family of Hoboken. the finest in the world.' " you and present you to the greatest engineer to And so some time between 1828 and 1830. before the Revolution. was taking form in the mind of its founder. and where it was going. who was born in 1749. grandchildren. " father told me that there were two of these boats.

I only remember the Belleville boat had a stern wheel. There John Stevens built the first low-pressure engine ever constructed in America. with a party of machinists. not be confounded with the one whose model I see here upon the table. during the trip. father was the draftsman and pattern-maker who had come out from England. which was so often repeated to me by my father. know. this interview with John Stevens made a profound impression upon my mind. Stevens. was the deHe had it made . to erect the first stationary double-acting condensing engine remember " My which was put work in America. and captain of the boat. to supply that city with water before the Fairmount Works. stern. near Newark. or else I should not it so well. in 1804. as you all signer of what is known as the flange rail. near Birmingham in England. were erected. with my father as draftsman and pattern-maker. and my father said that Mr. and particularly of this remarkable story. His corps of workers. whose chief was an engineer named Smalman.' years " Portions of the engine thus constructed were for a time preserved in the Stevens Institute. an ironfounder. Smalman. and must be there still. John Stevens being the owner. These men. ". and on my way home my father said Yes. and not at the ' : . on the Schuylkill River. built later. the predecessor and instructor of James P. with a double screw. builder. unless transferred to the National Museum at WashBut the boat in which the engine was placed must ington. and Mr.36 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and know you. Robert L. . and myself being the passengers and we came to New York in that boat nine before Fulton put the Clermont on the Hudson. Stevens. Thus John Stevens had built for himself the first Watt engine ever constructed in America. remarked that wheels should have been placed at the side. and was brought out and erected at Centre Square.' And then they began to talk of old times. and which preceded Fulton's boat by four or five years. erected a new Soho Works at Belleville. Rhode. Allaire. Mr. included Rhode. who founded the Allaire Works in New York. It was built by Boulton Soho Works. . " Of course. New Jersey. that engine was put in a boat in which I traversed the route from Belleville to New York and back again. in Philaat & Watt at the delphia.

JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS 37 in Wales at the works of Sir John Guest. when this great empire was a wilderness. No one ever heard of any quarrel or dissension in the Stevens family. no telegraphs.. thus performed in two years a feat which at that time. " I have said enough of the achievements of this remarkable family. Together they built railroads. but I have not said enough of the other side of their personality. . I told you that I was a poor and diffident boy. ". contact with them I never was made to feel that there was any difference in social standing. the state of the finances of the world. these three brothers worked as though they were one man. . and did not see it. or even I was welcomed to Castle Point in my early youth ability. no ocean steamers. No one who cannot go back as I can to the time when there were no railways. and they were superior to their subordinates only because they were better engineers and better men of business than any other folk who up to that time had undertaken the business of transportation in the United . Robert L. States. no armored navies. and human character which belonged to the father and the three brothers of whom I have spoken. They were workmen themselves. can realize what the Stevens family has done for America. ferries. in wealth. but the superintendence of the work to the minutest part was carried out by themselves personally. and ironclad batteries indeed. was a greater performance than if a man were now to build a road from New York to San Francisco in two years. steamboats.. gentle. Robert. yet when I was brought into .. " John C. sweet. when the great West was yet unsettled. . Stevens and his brother Edwin. cannot recall the primitive condition of things. These men were the pioneers and founders who have made this country what it is. who was the business manager of the enterprise. yachts. no telephones. and the unknown elements which entered into the problem. that road was constructed and carrying passengers between New York and Philadelphia. in years. the lovely. and Edwin Stevens had tried and trusted assistants. if you will consider the development of the mechanical arts. and with such expedition that within two years from the time of undertaking the practical scheme of building the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

when they ran stage-coaches. Their leisure hours were regaled by the charms of art and music. and that the reason is always the servant of the imagination. Stevens' . During the voyage I had many conversations with Mr. and that what was wanted in this country was a higher institution which could start where the mechanic ended. " Mr. my father-in-law. . on the night beembarked on the Great Eastern for that trip from which he was never to return. I explained to Mr. Cooper was a mechanic. They knew that the emotional side of man's nature controls in the long run. and produce the engineers who were to become the leaders of modern enterprise and the captains of industry. as the Stevens family were engineers. The Stevens Institute was created by Mr. they had fine horses when they ran boats for profit to Albany. Stevens that Mr. It was my good fortune to accompany him. that. did. " But I referred to the voyage which we took together for the purpose mainly of showing some of the traits of Mr. it was fitting in every way that the Stevens Institute should be devoted to the education of engineers. Stevens on the subject of the Stevens Institute. they adorned them with pictures and beautiful obThe sense for beauty was manifest in all that they jects. while the will provides for an institution of learning/ President Morton. He was very anxious to understand the Great Eastern. Stevens entered heartily into this view of the subject. ' will.38 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS just as I would be to-day by the honored mistress of that mansion. ' . and no man ever lived who enjoyed it more. in operation for eight years at that time. with the approval of the trustees. I explained to him that all the resources of the Cooper Union were giving the education which mechanics needed. . so that I have reason to know that. Mr. and it had been fore he . which was signed on April 15. carried into effect the views which Mr. Peter Cooper. Hence. E. They did not believe that the acquisition of wealth was sufficient for the development of human nature. I believe that no connoisseur who ever lived in New York was superior to Robert Stevens in knowledge of music. A. Stevens entertained as to the objects of the institution and the place it should fill in the domain of education. had founded the Cooper Union in New York. and that his foundation was for mechanics. 1867.

spent nearly two days in the boiler-room. thus gaining the imperishable glory of being the first man to traverse the ocean with a boat propelled by steam. It will . teaching those stokers to burn anthracite coal. 39 made him so The Great Eastern. Of course. are reaping the fruits of the seed which his family sowed how abundantly in their day and generation. out. S. Stevens found that Fulton had preceded him by a few weeks in placing the Clermont on the Hudson. Stevens. and I. and there found a very discouraged lot of people who were trying to burn anthracite as they would burn bituminous coal. which not a stoker on board had ever used or even seen before. The honor is heightened by the fact that. interesting and lovable to his for want of funds. crawled down through many devious passages until we reached the boiler-room." * in 1912 beside eventually comprise six stories accommodating the technical and scientific departments of the Union. their fire went I. the beneficence. seventy-two though he was. he boldly took the Phoenix by sea from New York to Philadelphia. *The "Abram Hewitt Memorial" was erected Cooper Union. Sir James Anderson. This is a simple illustration of the character of Mr. thus securing the monopoly of the navigation of that river. When Robert L. " The Stevens family in the last generation were creators You gentlemen who have profited by as well as founders. They were men not only of great sagacity and untiring energy. while Fulton had imported his engine from England. The Captain. Stevens. came to us and asked what he should do. of Edwin A. as used in propelling the boat which ran from Belleville to New York in 1799. and which I believe to have been in part identical with the one I have referred to.JOHN AND ROBERT LIVINGSTON STEVENS Stevens. Stevens used one which he had constructed in America. but of a high order of courage. had but a scanty supply of bituminous coal. and foresight. which was supplemented by a stock of anthracite. Stevens. So Mr. and you will be astonished to learn that he and mostly he. which friends. which we succeeded in doing so that we duly arrived at Brest.

in trebling its efficiency. the steamboat at With enterprise and perseverance he put work in earnest: soon his example was men followed on both sides of the Atlantic by scores of acute of business. earned a good dividend. Why was it left to Fulton. here and there. won long ago. tual was their carriage of passengers and freight. The steamboat was launched and its deck. a Newcomen engine. while we It is well laboriously seek possessions of much less worth. is less honored by use than it deserves to be. ered in the mechanical age. to accomplish a feat so simple? Because civilized nations had not fully awakened to what the steam engine stood ready to do for them. we are often told.ROBERT FULTON RICH harvests. body and mind. so puncson. This was what Robert Fulton thought more than a century ago. and neglect our inheritance. await explorers who : will but pass beyond the horizons now limiting our studies of atom and molecule. Watt. he distinctly saw. 40 . But the usual prime-mover was a water-wheel. It is also true that much golden knowledge. Before his day. and so recently as 1807. ignored by heedless eyes. it would be well also to bring plow and seed to vast areas that have for many years lain fallow. All this is true every word said on behalf of original research is just and worth heeding. Its supreme plied long before he trod value. And Fulton had shrewd common sense His boats on the Hudfrom their first trip. a windmill. turned a winch or pumped a mine. He is commonly supposed to have invented the steamboat. had ushas well as a keen prophetic gaze. We inherit. He did nothing of the kind. that discovery should steadily advance .

Chapman. Henrv T. of Brooklyn. exhibited at the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.] .^^^Z-T^^* ^* -^ [From the "Portrait of Himself" owned by the late Col.


old. derrick of a shipyard. a task which propeller. as well as to hoisting and pumping. invented. Pennsylvania. where In 1768. His father. and in several places far apart. The farmhouse in which Fulton was born is still standing: it remains. taken aboard ship as an aid to sails? This question oc- curred independently to many engineers at the same time. his parents removed to the town of Lancaster. created new horses. with its new economy. than to link proved much less difficult than to secure its adoption. boats and ships were often becalmed for days together. with but a small estate for their maintenance. a neigh- He . as it met his gaze as an infant. on November 14. Under these circumstances. when Robert was only they had formerly lived. came in his way. He hammered age his natural out pencils from stray bits of sheet-lead that employed increased. or to a screw engine yoke it to a pair of millstones or to the The steamboat was. he did not excel at his printed lessons. fields for itself: it was soon applied to spinning-jennies and Could it be looms. and these he draw with an ease and accuracy that steadily could soon sketch a friend's likeness. Lancaster County. Who was the man who accomplished this feat? Robert Fulton was born in Little Britain." gifts Even at that early began to to appear. Robert could receive but scant education. of the same name. of Scottish-Irish blood. 1765. When but ten " head was years old he told his schoolmaster that his so full of his own ideas that there was no room for the storage of dusty books.ROBERT FULTON 41 or an inclined plane gliding under the patient tread of Watt's engine. three years of age. had immigrated from Kilkenny about thirty years before. in When he was a year part. as frequently they faced adIt needed no more ingenuity to verse gales and currents. Like many another boy of original powers. to a a steam paddle-wheel. his father died. and why not? On every sea. leaving a widow and five children. accordingly.

which were then scarce articles and he asked why he wished to part with them? Robert replied our rulers have requested the citizens to forbear that illuminating their windows and streets as good citizens we should respect their request. and I prefer illuminating the heavens with skyrockets. Tut. and other considerations. He had friend of Fulton's father. ' ! ' ' ' ' . the following notice was published in The excessive heat of the weather. where he asked the price of the largest pasteboard. earnestly longed that he himself might too. tells us "On July Lancaster : i. at home and in neighboring He had enough houses. whose home was adorned by family portraits from the brush of West. sir/ said Robert. which made an admirer of West. lived been a warm adjoining county of Chester.' Robert had candles prepared and went to John Fisher. some day be a in this boy. No. not only artistic faculty. who kept powder and shot Fisher was astonished at Robert's desire to part for sale. or a new machine. TIMOTHY MATLACK. Young Fulton had him born mechanic. he left Fisher's store. the present scarcity of candles. 1778. living near the jail. tut '. " " ' By order. said that's an impossibility. he said that he meant to make rockets with them. There was a streak of adventure whose biography of Fulton appeared Reigate. with the candles. : in 1856.' Cossart.' Having procured the powder. July " ' 4th. the in the boring landscape. young Robert ardently admired. Having bought several sheets. he had the constructiveness of a The best gunsmiths in the State were Isch .42 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Benjamin West. induce the Council to recommend to the inhabitants to forbear illuminating the city " ' on Saturday evening next. brushmaker. artist. and entered a small variety store kept by Theophilus Cossart.' : ' . These and other of his canvasses. artistic judgment to feel that West was a master: he painter. there is nothing impossible. Secretary.

Robert made fun of these mercenaries in more than one spirited caricature. chum. sent out by King George III. there was a threat of war. to be But at that time fruitfully revived. and there. Here his skill with the pencil stood him in good stead he drew new pat. and other parts of pistols and guns. This feeling was intensified by the quartering in the neighborhood of a troop of Hessians. locks. together with his . there in was more in the air of Pennsylvania than an interest the mechanics of navigation. formal engagement or apprenticeship. as we shall duly see. and joined in their whole-souled hatred of the Tories. While peace prevailed. This service of paddle-wheels clung to the young sportsman's memory. . All this atmosphere of conflict. and a threat to be soon fulfilled. he made capital stocks. and his figures proved true when tested with powder and ball. taking his turn at poling the boat. without a gunsmith. Fulton was eleven years old when the Declaration of In- dependence was signed in Philadelphia. Robert found the exercise more severe than he liked.ROBERT FULTON & ert 43 Messersmith. so the boys used it for several seasons as they fished on the Conestoga Creek. Naturally he imbibed the convictions of his kith and kin. their outlines Yet more: he computed the best proportions for a firearm. it demanded less muscular exertion than : poling. he learned the art of While still a boy. But Robert was not always at work sometimes he took a When he was about fourteen he went with a holiday. on a fishing excursion. Soon thereafter he built a boat driven by paddle-wheels. As a boy and a youth he saw all that led to the War of the Revolution and later he beheld the founding of the Union. Christopher Gumpf. ination of George Washington as President. near Rockford. terns in his skilfully and well imagination as were as clear were the finished arms to his eye. barrels. \vhose premises were near his home. Robhad free access to their workshop. with the nom.

that. On his twenty-first birthday he came home with money enough to buy his mother a small farm in Washington County. he went to Philadelphia. It was during his stay in Philadelphia him attached friends. had risen at the same time. Fulton sought to secure a series of them for Philalate in 1786. Sulphur Springs of Virginia. as we shall presently note. there to represent his country with distinction." " Paul " and Barnabas. West received him most hosEngland this and kindness Fulton endeavored to requite. his good nature and good will. then the capital of the country. about to embark for France. gained He was presented one day to Benthen in his seventy-sixth year. . so much pleasure did he feel in wielding pencil and brush. moderate though it was. it was plain that his health . told deeply upon his mind and heart. pitably. West's pictures were then to be had at prices comparatively low. but he failed to collect the fund required. who was jamin Franklin. He did that and more. art drew him more strongly than arms. to fame and fortune in London from him he might reasonably look for aid and counsel. He resolved to go abroad. when seventeen. To-day the Academy of Fine Arts " in that city has West's Death on a Pale Horse. After a refreshing sojourn . But as Fulton grew from youth to manhood. that Fulton acquired the tact and courtesy which marked his difficulties him ever afterward. was His lungs showed weakness he had worked too long and too hard in an ill-ventilated studio. Benjamin West. where he could study art and enjoy a holiday His friend." and Christ Rejected." three characteristic compositions. he sailed for Mr. at the Warm delphia. there to earn his bread at the easel. and so notably smoothed as an inventor and a pioneer. in Lancaster. his and address. While talents in Philadelphia. So well did he draw and paint.44 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS learning the trade of a gunsmith. At home impaired.

alive to the benefits which canals would confer on indeed. England was his pamphlet on this subject that first directed Fulton's mind to canal-building. Said road. The vast estate of the Duke of Bridgewater held minerals of great value. manlike view of transportation as a national unifier. needed coal such as in the lands of the Duke. to unite the Atlantic and . and closing when driven forward. hensive scale. was new devices. with the effect that. Both noblemen were warmly interested in engineering as well as in fine art there was much to win their regard in the young American. art became eclipsed by engineering. who was as much at home . Eads' scheme of a trans-isthmian railPacific Oceans. prolific in much In 1794. opening as thrust backward in the water. Lord Stanhope one day told Fulton that he meant to equip a boat with a steam engine. while traveling as an artist in Devonshire. he was a man of paper He projects rather than a practical inventor. using a propeller modeled on the web foot of a waterfowl. Planes of this kind were duly adopted on the Morris and Essex Canal in New Jersey. Fulton. was defrom these Fulton took a broad. from the Earl Stanhope was of a wholly different type Duke of Bridgewater. Captain James B. statesveloped designs. in his own brain. already an important center for manufactures. Fulton discussed with the Duke every de- abounded tail of these projected waterways. Manchester nearby. at the lathe as at the easel. Fulton told the Earl that such a propeller was not feasible.ROBERT FULTON 45 Fulton. it was fully . be- came acquainted with the Duke of Bridgewater and Earl Stanhope. if they could only be brought to market. It would meet so resistance as to be unendurably slow. He invented and patented double or inclined planes to carry a ship overland from one canal stream to another. freed from the toil of his brush. to build him canals on a compreBrindley. and per- manently. who at length engaged the engineer.

He also designed a mechanThis was long ical dredger. and pleaded with the National Government for a comprehensive canal policy. This aqueduct could be rendered A . the highest standing 126 feet from the ground. at Pont-y-Cysyllte. and a rope-making apparatus. foreran the excavator. In 1810 he wrote the Legislature of New York on the same His advocacy in mind. when Fulton was living in Birmingham. he devised a marble-sawing machine. a machine to spin flax. since familiar in surface mining and railroad construction on both sides of In 1795 he invented an iron aqueduct. a commissioner to investigate the feasibility of conpointed This necting the Great Lakes with the Hudson River. During this year. and erected with simple much more water-tight structure on this plan was built over the Dee. were supported on staging. whose the Atlantic. each of 52 feet. used in England. a year before his death he urged it with force and eloquence. it parts could be cast in open sand. and bind the whole country together in bonds of social intercourse. but chiefly by railroads. or power-shovel.46 he : LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS "I contemplate a time when canals shall pass through every vale. Let us pursue Fulton's interest in these waterways until we reach 1807. To return to 1794. an enterprise which gave a golden impulse to the fortunes of New York City." His forecast of national unification is fulfilled. to several of which were similar bridges. winding around each hill. project fired his imagination. in quick succession. easily than stonework. when he returned to America. not far from Boulton & Watt's manufactory of steam engines. His persuasions finally blossomed in the building of the Erie Canal. twenty miles from Chester its spans. for canals. principles applied Some of these bridges built for the Surrey Iron Railway. were provided with endless ropes for haulage. He pillars. he was afterward apsubject. using water- . which have reduced canals to a subordinate place.

as a draughtsman every line from his pencil is clear and As a modeler he was equally skilful. " was a singular forecast of the tragedy in 1812. was to discharge loads from cars or wagons into slides leading to wharves. which cost Napoleon the flower of his army. aboard a ship bound for New York. The Burning of Moscow." published mishap befell his treatise in 1795. published it Another task in art was his huge pano- rama. " on Canal Navigation. A In 1797. new chapter in Fulton's life opened when. These gifts neat. presenting original designs for locks and other acThis work displays Fulton's excellence cessories of canals. a cherished friend. He was to lay the draft of a treaty before Napoleon. then minister France from the United States. delineating an early conflagration in the Russian capital. and proceeded to Russia with that purpose. France and England were temporarily at peace. fell a victim. publicist." This canvas. Barlow. greatly extended since its alliance with steam. The Columbiad. who received him most cor- In Mr. He took credentials to Joel Barlow. the load for each horse or wagon. giving all di: mensions. so as to dispense with horses and their towpaths. in that year. Barlow's house Fulton resided for seven years. Barlow. During this period Fulton il" lustrated his host's ambitious poem.000. in 1807. were partnered with uncommon practical ability.* But it was not to illustrate poetry or to *In the memorable retreat from Moscow." which was dedicated at a cost of $5.ROBERT FULTON 47 power. Another of Fulton's plans. he went to Paris to patent his inventions. who. the speed of projected machinery. and offer them to the French people. through extreme cold to . and drove him from Russia. to Fulton. an eminent American dially. These inventions were described and illustrated in papers which were lost at No such sea in 1804. produced in 1800. His computations of cost were exact and cautious. with careful estimates of revenue and net profits. traveling in a carriage.

Barlow could proceed no further. of Connecticut. had failed. which paralyzes or kills its victims by an electric shock. on December His biography. These he called torpedoes. This apparatus. in 1886. furnished Fulton with means for the construction of an A improved machine. near Rouen. that it Fulton's first torpedoes failed: their failure taught him how to improve his plans. eliciting no response. but Fulton saw in it the might prove Late in 1797. His amended designs were offered to the Dutch Government through Mr. Fulton built his first diving-boat. from crudity of design and faulty workmanship. Mr. and which stamp Fulton as an inventor of the first rank. 1812.48 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS David Bushpaint panoramas that Fulton came to Paris. and submerged for three hours. Next day Fulton took his boat down the Seine to Havre. Vanstaphast. sunk with intent to destroy the invader's warships. a village near Cracow. ambassador from Holland to France. was attacked by pneumonia on his way to Wilna. and privation. on July 30. 1800. fatal to germ of a weapon so deadly war itself. during the War of the Revolution. This he offered to the Batavian Government. . the river at that point being about twenty-five feet deep. At Zarnaweic. by Charles Burr Todd. She was launched on the Seine. with aid from Barlow. At this juncture a Dutchman. Schimmel- compenninck. from the cramp-fish of that name. where he carried out further experiments. nell. where he was to meet the Emperor. he gave the inventor no encouragement. Soon afterward he built at Paris a second and improved Nautilus. By 1800. he died. had applied clockwork to magazines of gunpowder. missioner was appointed by the Batavian Republic to examine Fulton's scheme. the Nautilus. partly with profits from his panorama. and there. It embodied original features which survive in all the submersible craft of to-day. appeared 24. Fulton began experiments with cylinders of gunpowder exploded under water.

On her deck in a groove lay a small mast. fired Through his friend. He again descended and returned to his first point of departure. were the handles of the oars. which could be erected from a hinge. Fulton received from Napoleon an order to direct his torpedoboat against the British fleet. or a fitted with elliptical buckets. No picture of the first Nautilus is known to exist. If receive 60. while amidships was the handworked mechanism that revolved the propeller. about six feet in diameter. The anchors and hoisting apparatus were in a compartment right forward. Whether this propeller was a screw. just abaft was a mast built of light spars framed together so as to stow snugly along the top of the boat when submerged. 1801. selves in.ROBERT FULTON . enabled the vessel to descend at will. The tor" turtle. and remained under water twenty minutes. 49 She had iron ribs and was sheathed with copper her shape was that of a long narrow egg. controlled by a lever. It is said to have had a superstructure which gave it the look of an ordinary boat when on the water. She rose in obedience to a force-pump. then blockading the French coast. arranged screw fashion. . the secretary of the port of Brest. At the top forward rose a dome-like conning tower with glass scuttles. This Nautilus was finished in June.000 francs he destroyed a warship of ten guns he was to with rewards rising to 400. the Hotel des Invalides. emerging after a voyage of several hundred yards.000 francs ." the pedo appliance was like that of Bushnell's wood screw coming through the dome of the conning wheel tower. and was tested on the Seine above Fulton and a sailor shut themwith a single candle. amid the applause of thousands of spectators. The torpedo itself was fitted with a gun-lock by a lanyard instead of Bushnell's clockwork. The keel was a heavy metal bar which formed a counterpoise and steadied the boat. is uncertain. A reservoir for water. In the interior.

so This mechanas to explode when they struck their target. it turned to the right or left at pleasure.50 if LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS he blew up a vessel of more than thirty guns. then 10 feet. This failure chilled friends in the French received no re- the ardor of his it army and navy. They were provided with a trigger." This Nautilus plunged and rose while perpendicular. managed ward from France. Its compass was capacity. then 15 feet. Monge. as the machine could bear no greater pressure of superincumbent water. escape. 1801. In later experiments air was compressed in a brass globe to a pressure of two hundred atmospheres. but had no effect on his own sanguine spirit. in the harbor of Brest. My boat had 212 cubic feet enough oxygen to support four men and two small candles for three hours. affording a supply for a lengthened voyage. Laplace. but she Fulton. were appointed by Napoleon to examine and In a note to report upon the performance of this Nautilus. a bomb containing twenty pounds of powder being used.four gun frigate. Three leading members of the National Institute. therefore. ism was tested by the destruction of a sloop during August. " them Fulton said: On the third of Thermidor (the eleventh month of the French Republican calendar) I commenced my experiments by plunging to a depth of 5 feet. I went no further. and Volney. proved himself a man of decided political inconEarl Stanhope had. as sucIn the House of Lords he warned the cessively improved. and so on to 25 feet. kept himself instancy. The bombs to be fired from this boat were of copper. and varied from a capacity of twenty pounds of gunpowder to ten times as much. containing unaffected by submersion. British nation that Fulton's weapons boded ruin to the He now . all along. For a whole summer Fulton pursued one British vessel after another with this Nautilus. formed regarding Fulton's boats and torpedoes. Once he came near a to seventy.

at the early age of fortyseven. The ends sank immediand ately. 51 Negotiations were accordingly opened with Fulton. The succeeding government. 1803. 1805. should my country at any time have need of them. under Lord Granville. Pitt died. It lifted the brig almost and broke her in two. set sail against the French Fulfleet in the harbor of Boulogne. years. let whatever may be your reward. Seventy pounds of powder sufficed. but without success. Shortly afterward. and soon laid his plans before Mr. on October 15. refusal concluded: " At all events. including a torpedo boat of Fulton's. I will never consent to these inventions lie dormant. ton's torpedoes were in perfect order. the period of his patent. the explosion took place. the prime minister. 1804." On January 23. he was invited to exhibit He his inventions to officials of the British Government. Mr. reached London on May 19. derstand their mutual interest too well to war with each . about one thousand dollars. I would sacrifice all to the safety and independence of my But I hope that England and America will uncountry. and in September. asked the inventor if they might supHis press his weapons if they wished. and Fulton recorded " : Exactly in fifteen minutes from the time of drawing the peg and throwing the carcass (torpedo) into the water. Pitt's castle. 1806. It was proposed to pay Fulton a salary of two hundred pounds. and one-half the value of all the vessels that he destroyed within fourteen An expedition. Fulton blew up with torpedoes a heavy brig at Walmer Roads.ROBERT FULTON British fleet. nothing was seen but floating fragments. in case of purchase. per month. Pitt. bodily. Were you to grant me an annuity of twenty thousand pounds a year. who remarked that these weapons might annihilate every fleet in the world. Fulton's friends were dispersed. near Mr. but they were handled by gunners without experience in their control. and in the ensuing change of ministry.

I saw that the growing wealth and commerce of the United States. had not been born. taking a far look ahead. and I have no desire to introduce my engines into practice for the benefit of any other nation. Seeing this. or . and. after a single decisive battle. He lived. and would compel every government to adopt the simple principles of education. In his day electricity was unmastered. I turned my whole attention to finding out means of destroying such engines of oppression by some method which would put it out of the power of any nation to maintain such a system. would abolish war. uniting high energy with a lightness which to-day gives it the freedom of the skies. however. Fulton. could not foresee these and other modern resources of invention." Fulton far excelled his predecessors in the construction and control of torpedoes. Steels. existed only in qualities which. industry. and its igniting. and their increasing population. of course. before it was possible to bring submarine warfare beyond a moderate degree of effectiveness. to-day. are deemed weak and inferior. And the explosion engine.52 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS other. the Whitehead and other models. and a free circulation of its produce. declared " : In his " Thoughts on Free Trade " he After this (laying his views before the Directory of France) I was convinced that society must pass through ages of progressive improvement. drive them to the necessity of resorting to European measures by establishing a navy. believed that his pro- motion of canals would do much to insure peace. and other strong and tough alloys. and his devices were the precursors of the Lay and Howell torpedoes. propelling. before the freedom of the seas could be established by an agreement of nations that it was for the good of the whole. while his plunging boats and torpedoes. perhaps. and directive services were unimagined. would compel them to look for a protection by sea." Fulton.

In his " Torpedo War. and increased to their present enormous size and number: then may not science. in 1810. When Schwartz invented powder. point out a means by which the application of the violent explosive force of gunpowder shall destroy ships of war. word from Fulton himself should be heard at this alloys. now appear extremely simple. have no conception of such a combination of art as we now see in ships of the line those movable fortifications. armed with 32-pounders. armor is now reinforced to a doubled resistance. proceeds an unending warships conflict. firearms. and carry destruction to every harbor of the earth. in the speed and dirigibility of submarine or aerial craft. he said: " Although cannon. are increased in weight. an armor is rolled of steel so stout and tough as to arrest the heaviest shot.ROBERT FULTON 53 the seesaw which they create betwixt the arts of attacks and of defense. and furnished with wings. and they are still improving. bows and arrows. yet we here see the very slow advances to their present state of perfection. which. ships of war have been contrived. as successive strides are taken in the production of stroyer is built. or p. to spread oppression over every part of the ocean. and the whole detail of ammunition. for a little the chemistry of explosives. only within Tora few months to face shot of new penetrating power. and He certainly could totally change the whole art of war. First. . At once projectiles are improved in contour. it may be presumed that his mind did not embrace all its consequences. in her progress. lets designers of and so their catch breath.erceive that his discovery would supersede the use of catapults. in A point. are built The of stronger alloys." published in New York. armor. Very soon a torpedo de- while. and they pierce the armor easily. pedoes are devised which threaten to send every warship of an enemy to the ocean floor. In consequence of the invention of gunpowder. Hence I conclude that it is now impossible to foresee to what degree torpedoes may be improved and rendered useful. and give to the seas .

the topic uppermost in Henry died on Decem- ber 15. steam navigation had been brought to his notice by a neighbor. and there is a grandeur in persevering to success in so immense an enterprise so well calculated to excite the most vigorous exertions of the highest order of intellect. mind as the enginery of destruction. in It is altogether probable that his boyhood and youth. He was more fortunate in New Jersey. so he went no further than to construct a model which embodied improvements on his first design. Henry owned several of Benjamin West's pictures. in 1763 built and suca steamboat. William Henry had. and require only to be organized and practised. in so good a cause. William Henry. John Fitch. that I hope to interest the patriotic feelings of every friend to America. among the frequent callers at his house. whose Legislature granted him the exclusive right to build and use any kind of . and to humanity. and these attracted Fulton. seems to have thought wrecked was by Henry the time unripe for his enterprise. that of steamboats. to produce that liberty so dear to every rational and reflecting man. 1786. he had kept in view the Peaceful commerce had as large a building of a steamboat. after its launching. to justice. Maryland. This inventor. who deserves place in his more lot. as a visitor. praise than has fallen to his Henry often discussed with Fulton his own mind.54 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS My the liberty which shall secure perpetual peace between nations that are separated by the ocean? conviction is that the means are here developed. just about the time that Fulton embarked for England. and Virginia." While Fulton had been devising and improving his plunging boat and torpedoes. He tried in vain to secure aid from the Legislatures of Pennsylvania. who in 1785 presented to the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia a model of a machine for propelling a boat by steam. it worked Soon cessfully accident. As a boy. a skilful mechanic from Connecticut.

1786* he placed a small boat or skiff on the Delaware River In 1790 he propelled by oars moved by a steam engine. his engines were at once compact and strong. built another and improved steamer. also in 1786. drove a boat at four miles an hour. 1786. prophetic. of a modern ocean greyhound. and never met with an acmiles an hour. stands. It ran passenger more than two thousand miles. and he adopted screws as his propellers. as we have already seen. with marked approval. On July 27. he launched in 1804 and 1805 two steamboats.Shepherdstown. driving along the bank of the Delaware River. which ran at seven In June of that year it began to ply as a boat between Philadelphia and Trenton. His feat was witnessed. New cident. on the Potomac at . he saw the little steamboat of John Fitch. which attained a speed of eight miles an hour. a pond which occupied the present site of the Tombs in Centre Street. Virginia. had two of these propellers. Ever since 1786. seems to have remained unknown to Fulton. all this enterprise in commercial adoption. he had resided abroad. His boilers were of sectional design. of Hoboken. One of his steamboats. to the credit of John Stevens. on the Collect. But all this advance in engineering. indeed. But the most memorable success attained by any early inventor of steamboats in America.ROBERT FULTON 55 boat propelled by steam in the waters of the State for fourHe formed a joint-stock teen years from March 18. employing a steam engine to force water abaft in an impelling stream. on its way to Bordentown. in- corporating original features of great value. One day. and proceeded with experiments. propelled by a screw. In York. and even . James Rumsey. 1796 or 1797 Fitch launched a small steamer. New Jersey. he employed steam at a pressure of fifty pounds to the square inch. After a long course of ex- periment. by General Washington. company. He resolved to outdo what Fitch had done.

who now became Fulfly find ton's equal partner. very similar to that of a smoke-jack. then Minister of the United States. its first Proceedings Institute of Civil Engineers. He had once used a primitive kind of screw propeller. square floats. although he was aided by Mark Isambard Brunei. one of At that time the the most eminent engineers of his day. after proterritory. and for some unknown reason abandoned it. he wrote to Dr." Chancellor Robert R. Edmund Cartwright: have just proved an experiment on moving boats. small. fastened to an endless belt. Tests with models proved that paddle-wheels. was one of the framers of the Continental Constitution of the State of * New York. were more efficient. was one of the leading publicists of his so he that time. discussed steamboat projects with Chancellor Livingston. and each State could reward an inventor.56 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS the striking experiments with steamboats in Europe appear In Paris he had often to have long escaped his attention. had built steamboats of disappointing slowness. brought to their joint interests wide influence and high prestige. and kept in motion by a steam engine. with it a of four parts. . or an introducer of inventions. with a view to navigation in America. and. with a monopoly duly defined as to period and Livingston was offered by the Legislature of a monopoly of the steam navigation of the Hudson River. I applies the power to great advantage. New York longed study. as London. such as he had turned by hand as a boy on the Conestoga. while residing at Plombieres. and it is ex* tremely simple. 1796. United States had not established its patent system. had taken part in drafting the Declaration of Independence. drew plans for his first steamboat. who. 1844. It occurred to him that the form of propellers might be chaplets. years before in America. on his accomplishing a successful voyage upon its waters. best On " I February 16. Fulton. Livingston. He had been a member of the Congress.

WILLIAM SYMINGTON'S STEAMBOAT "CHARLOTTE DUNDAS" In March. Unfortunately. completing 19^ miles in six hours. was regarded with indifference by the people of Paris. had administered to George Washington his oath of office at his inauguration in New York. she ran six miles an hour. negotiated the pur- chase of Louisiana from Napoleon. In that reconstruction a lesson was taught which American builders of steam craft have never forgotten. its draught 3 length feet. than the hull broke in launched it . Fulton completed With pecuniary his aid steamboat. its beam 8 feet. Its hull of was 66 feet. the hull had to be rebuilt. against a quick breeze. ran through the long reach of the Forth and Clyde Canal. This experiment. Her cylinder was 22 inches in diameter with a stroke of four feet. at a speed of four and a half miles an hour. tugging two vessels. on August 9 a trial trip took place. In July.ROBERT FULTON 57 Chancellor. Chancellor Livingston. its construction was flimsy no sooner did the machinery come on board. near the palace. The machinery was little harmed by its drenching. Fulton floated his vessel once more. from Livingston. two and sank. while Minister to France. and on the Seine early in the spring of 1803. each of more than 70 tons' burden. although really epoch-making. When she went by herself. The steamer remained for months on the Seine. while light. without calling forth . their hulls. 1802. are always abundantly strong.

Fulton and several gentlemen who at the outset chanced to come on board. in 1802. as I considered the more publicity that was given to any discovery intended for the general and having the privilege secured his making any enby letters-patent. in the following year a better designed steamer had attained a still quicker pace. croachment upon my right in the British Dominions. much was not afraid of power of control. and Symington was asked by the Duke of Bridgewater to design steam vessels to ply on his canal. a water-tube boiler. In consequence. patented by Barlow in France. 16 (of the Forth and Clyde Canal). " During the trip Mr. In May. four miles west of the canal. he pulled out a memo- randum-book. reached a speed of six miles an hour on the Forth and Clyde Canal. which I answered in a most explicit manner. I was well aware. though in the United States. and. had. after putting several pointed questions respecting the general construction and effect of the machine. where the boat then lay. in eighty minutes. and affording so extended a surface to the fire that steam was raised with a new rapidity. to which question I said none. so the better I . Fulton saw at once that Symington had surpassed his own achievements. news came to him of the steamboats of William Symington. so he called on the Scottish inventor in quest of information. to the great astonishment of Mr. when Fulton was his plunging boat A third steamboat. I caused the engine fire to be lighted up. I had no good. and carried him from Lock No. Symington's account of the visit appears in " Russel's Scott Steam and Steam Navigation": J. The first of these boats had demonstrated its success in 1788. Fulton asked if I had any objec- " tions to his taking notes respecting the steamboat. in England. he jot- . One feature of its equipment was noteworthy. and in a short time thereafter put the steamboat in motion. the Charlotte Dundas. on behalf of and torpedoes. This crowning feat aroused interest through- out Great Britain. 1804. and returned to the place of starting.58 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS any remark.

670). His later services. Even in those days of slow mails. he saw that his future career lay in launching steamboats on American With characteristic promptness he proceeded to waters. did much toward making impossible a repetition of so costly an ignorance. did not know of experiments so decisive as those of Symington. it seems inexplicable that Fulton. notwithstanding his fair promises. in October. a shipbuilder at Corlears Hook. where he was constantly meeting many of the best informed men of his time. of Birmingham. on behalf of steam navigation. Fulton aid. I never heard anything more of him till reading in a newspaper an account of his death. its price beengine his feasible 548 ($2. lived in the chief city of con- tinental Europe. through sheer ignorance of what Symington had accomplished years before. reaching New York two months His drawings were forthwith placed in the hands of later. While the hull was still and Livingston ran out of funds. a brother-in-law of Livingston's. of belated publication. until his return to England. Fulton must have been chagrined to discover that. along the canal but he seems to have been altogether forgetful of this. who had operated steamboats with success. As Fulton's negotiations with the British Government for submarine warfare gradually drifted into failure. of Hoboken. On . 1806. while moving with him on board. we must remember. as. his own plans for a steamboat had been misdirected and were. on the New York. he sailed from Falmouth.ROBERT FULTON ted 59 down particularly everything then described. He said no. wholly forestalled. To John Stevens. Soon afterward. For motive power he ordered a steam from Boulton & Watt. indeed. they offered a third interest in their venture if he would come to their East River side of unfinished. Fulton. as he disapproved Fulton's design. ing Charles Brown. drawing-board." . with his own remarks upon the boat. to complete a design at the earliest moment.

6o LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS another occasion Fulton was so hard pressed for cash that he spent a whole evening trying to persuade a friend to advance him $1. the dry the wise calculation of losses and expenditures. I have often loitered unknown near the idle groups of strangers. provided that the remaining $900 could be borrowed without delay. indeed. his plea. Fulton's Folly. the project When I was building my was viewed by the public either : " MACHINERY OF FULTON'S STEAMBOAT "CLERMONT. or with contempt. and heard various inquiries as to the object of this new vehicle. My friends.000. as a visionary scheme. sneer. These loans were at length effected. They listened with patience to my explanations. Next day he resumed $100 as a loan." 1807 with indifference. but all the lenders stipAll in vain. but with a settled cast of incredulity on their countenances. his friend proffered ulated that their names be withheld. ' . or ridi- The loud laugh often rose at my expense. As I had occasion daily to pass to and from the shipyard while my boat was in progress.' Never did dull but endless repetition of cule. but they were shy. were civil. gathering in little circles. the jest. dreading the ridicule which would attach boating. The language was uniformly that of scorn. favor of the first to so foolhardy an experiment as steamFulton narrated to a friend the continuing dis- New York public steamboat.

" : The Clermont was 150 feet long. from bany. The engine cylinder was of 24-inch diameter. for her Fulton thus narrated the journey: on August Al- the Editor of the American Citizen. you will have the goodness to publish the following statement of facts. and 7 Her tonnage was about 100. or hiding its reproaches. and " To give some satisfaction to the friends of useful improvements. After her first season. cross my path. the wind was ahead no advantage could be derived from my sails: the whole has. at one o'clock on Tuesday time. a warm wish. encouraged by financial success. and arrived in New York ing. in the steamboat from Albany. 13 feet beam. On Wednesday I departed from the Chancellor's. been performed by the power of the steam engine. and arrived at Clermont. equal to five miles an hour. and arrived at Albany at five in the afternoon distance forty miles. twenty-four hours distance no miles. at one o'clock. the seat of Chancellor Livingston. and 8 feet wide. the Clermont was strengthened throughout and widened to 18 . equal to nearly five miles an hour. 1807. time eight hours. a bright hope. to prevent erroneous opinions. On Thursday at nine o'clock in the morning I left Albany and arrived at the Chancellor's at six in the evenI started thence at seven. " New York 17. veiling its doubts. going and returning. " I left New York on Monday. The boiler was 20 feet long. Throughout my whole way. duly launched and equipped. at nine in the morning. feet in depth of hold. at four in the afternoon." Chancellor Livingston's estate on the its Clermont. SIR I arrived this afternoon at four o'clock. and 4 feet stroke. and boat. 7 feet high. time thirty hours. Hudson was called name was bestowed on Fulton's steamstarted first trip to The Clermont. As the success of my experiment gives me great hopes that such boats may be of great importance to my country. therefore.ROBERT FULTON 61 a single encouraging remark. Silence itself was but politeness. The sum is 150 miles in 32 hours.


some years in adThe Legislature of New lines in Europe. The propelling water-wheel is placed between the boats to prevent it from injury from ice and shock on entering and approaching the dock. Fulton thus described her feet and feet each of 10 beam. horses. March. is for passengers. which is 50 feet long and 5 feet clear from the floor to the beams. confined by strong transverse beam knees and diagonal braces. and Fulton was requested to design the required boats. its York extended adding monopoly each to Fulton and Livingston. having neat benches." . establishing the first were Neptune. two in number. The whole of the machinery being placed between the two boats. They were constructed by Charles Brown. covered with an awning. one of them. forming a deck 30 feet wide and 80 feet long. vance of similar regular line of steamboats in the world. she never puts about. Elisha Boudinot and other citizens of Newark subscribed' $50. Both ends being alike. yet they present sharp bows to the water. line. the Raritan and the Car of added to the Clermont.ROBERT FULTON feet. the builder of the Clermont.000 for a steam ferry between Jersey City and New York. leaves 10 feet on the deck of one boat for carriages. boats. ferry service from New In after considerable delay. and have only the resistance in the water of one boat twenty feet beam. by Fulton. 1812. A York to Jersey City followed. and there is also a passage and stairway to a neat cabin. and cattle the other. beginning her regular trips fifteen " She is built of two days later. Although the two boats and the space between them give 30 feet beam. the Jersey. and on July 2. 5 deep in the hold: from other each which boats are distant 10 feet. furnished with benches and provided with a stove in winter. 63 while her engine was improved from plans furnished Two more boats. and each having a rud: . crossed the North River. 1811. five years for new boat of their up to a limit of thirty years. der.

which was crowded with spectators. there were not. especially in the Western To his old and States. and the voyage has been performed wholly by the power of the steam engine." During the winter of 1807-08.1813. Having employed much time. This is the way ignorant men compliment what they call philosophers and projectors. then fast coming under the plow. yet I feel infinitely more pleasure in reflecting on the immense advantage that my country will derive from the invention. The morning I left New York. quick conveyance to the merchandise on the Mississippi. was named the North River. and down in thirty. Fulton was well aware of the golden harvest that steamboats would reap in America. money. The power of propelling boats by steam is now fully proved. This was the first permanent steam ferry ever established. were putting off from the wharf. as it will you. the Clermont. The distance from New York to Albany is 150 miles. and. residing near Washington. and zeal in accomplishing this work. great pleasure to see it It will give a cheap and fully answer my expectations. both going and coming. faithful ally. or be of the least utility. I ran it up in I had a light breeze thirty-two hours. and other great rivers. and parted with them as if they had been at anchor. Brooklyn. I overtook many sloops and schooners. I heard a number of sarcastic remarks. Joel Barlow. the York. she made regular trips . a sister-vessel to the Jersey. was launched and placed in service. he wrote " : steamboat voyage to Albany and back turned out more favorably than I had calculated. while we. which are now laying open their treasures to the enterprise of our countrymen. thirty persons in the city who believed that the boat would ever move one mile an hour.64 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In 1813. accomplishing their trip of a mile and a half in fifteen minutes. perhaps. was joined to New York by a similar service. and although the prospect of personal emolument has been some inducement to me. beating to the windward. during . These boats ran every half hour during the day. it gives me. rather My against me the whole way. Missouri. as virtually rebuilt.

under a penalty. with kitchen. cards and all to cease at ten o'clock in the evening. and works much to my satisfaction. N. and 50 cents for each half hour they offend against this rule. the first torpedo-boat. or. in 1815. contained 54 berths. June in complete operation n. rooms.ROBERT FULTON 65 on the Hudson for several years. first of $1. making the voyages from New York to Albany. " It is not permitted for any person to lie down in a berth with their boots or shoes on. cleanliness. on an average of 35 hours. Fulton wrote to Charles Wilson Peale. Last Saturday she started from New York with seventy. neatness. " As the comfort of all passengers must be considered. The enlatter . and steward's room. trie equipped with rounded ends for approach at either shore. At the time of Fulton's death. in the great cabin. Passengers have been encouraging. there- fore. and the first steam ferry-boats. pantry. when trade has not its usual activity.50. well for these times. 150 miles. which included the first steam war frigate. the money to be spent in wine for the company. or in the great cabin. are not entitled to lie down in a berth. that those who wish to sleep might not be disturbed. the steamboat The Emperor of Russia was under construction for the Russian Government." Some tell of the regulations posted on this steamboat quaintly of manners and customs a century ago in America: Way-passengers. regarding the enlarged boat: " " CLERMONT." persons " games are Before the death of Fulton.. which is doing very steamboat is My now Y. not permitted that any persons shall smoke in the ladies' cabin. who are not out for more than half the night. under penalty of $1. In the ladies' cabin.50 and 50 cents for every half hour they may offend against this rule. 1808. he had built seventeen boats. It is. and floating docks to receive them. the portrait painter. She has three excellent cabins. larder. bar. rather. " and order are necessary.

Shortly after his return to America he offered his tor- pedoes to the Federal Government at Washington. Fulton was given his torpedoes. than any feat of that afternoon was his destruction. and was afterward taken up by other contractors.66 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS terprise was postponed. a mile discommoding effect. and if I would let the fifteen minutes. with which. main" in the hands of a righteous nation. by a torpedo. was granted him for his tests. of a large hulk brig in the harbor of New York. premean to blow up a vessel. He was ever a severe critic of his own plans. He pointed to a copper case. It 170 pounds of powder. and before five of his fifteen minutes had elapsed. on July 20. I doubt not that this fortificaThe circle around Fulton tion would be blown to atoms. and this success only led ments in construction and control. his auditors crowded round him with a an opportunity to prove the value of ernor's Island." contains clockwork run was enlarged in a twinkling. him to imagine improvewhich he did not live to complete. standing under the gateway close by. This he set in motion with the remark: " Gentlemen. While he was explaining their mechanism. there were not more than two specMuch more striking tators within sight of the speaker. they taining that would insure universal peace. 1807. this is a cisely in its present state. to which was attached a clockwork lock." Fulton had a warm friend in President Jefferson. Govfrom the Battery at the foot of Manhattan Island. He invited the magistracy of New York and a party of citizens to witness his torpedoes at work. Largely at the instance of the President. I charged torpedo. whose interest in applied science was second only to his devotion to the duties of government. from Fulton's steamboat project had not wholly allured him his long cherished plans of submarine warfare. He had derived his idea of torpedoes from David Bush- .

being fired with its muzzle under water. within the genius of inventive faculties of man." ship. be ignited beneath the bottom of a first-rate man-of-war. with penciled sketches. the means of placing a torpedo under a ship in defiance of her powers of resistance. Secretary of the United States Navy. and that . it is proved that seventy pounds of powder. He who says there is not. hence it is admitted. air. thirdly. and through the sides of the enemy. it would instantly destroy her. that the waterproof locks will ignite gunpowder under water secondly. which. and that a cable of any size can be cut by that means. as usual. which. Paul " " It is proved and admitted." Hamilton. first. that if a sufficient quantity of powder. with much else. I place my cannon so low in the vessel that their portholes will be below the surface of the water. Fulton said on February i. in his Destroyer. will sink the vessel attacked. through the ton's Ericsson. " All this may be pedo War. Fulton sent a long letter describing his experiments in submarine gunnery. proved and admitted. at any required With these immediately important principles apdepth. from six inches to ten feet or more.ROBERT FULTON nell : 67 another weapon of attack was original with himself. Thus the cannon. In the course of a letter to the Hon. the question naturally occurs. This was ordnance used under water instead of. To ex-President Jefferson. exploded under the bottom of a vessel of two hundred tons. as usual. 1811 : Torfound. from one to ten feet below the waterline. it is proved and admitted that a gun can be fired under water. whether there be. I believe. in his book. con- cluding: Instead of having the cannon and portholes of a warabove the surface of the water. developed Ful- scheme much further than was possible with the scant resources at his predecessor's command. the bullets will pass through the water instead of the air. need not be more than two hundred pounds. letting in the water in quantity. will blow her up. .

our coast. to give them stability under water. " compound engine of this kind will cost from $800 to $1. Charleston. . . and they who do not believe in its effect may put their confidence to the proof by sailing over it. In commission a 54-gun ship costs to maintain $100. believe that he has penetrated to the limits of man's inventive powers. . six-feet-sided. . and then time deliberately to search for the torpedoes. fifteen-sixteenth-sunk-water dungeons. 100. the anchored torpedoes. referring to a I leave the reader to make his own conclusions. Yet one ship of 54 guns cannot guard one port against one 74-gun ship. 20 to be placed in the Delaware between its forts or batteries. unless first they had strength to take possession of the land and forts. 100 should protect New : " Of A . Thus four ports could be guarded so as to render it impossible for an enemy's ships to enter any of them. I do not mean to object to ships to protect . figure of one of these boats : critic of Fulton's He said. or to take them up or put them down when necessary. unwieldy. although the first cost of that vessel in anchored torpedoes would guard at least three ports against ten ships of 74 guns. Boston. the money can be better expended in torpedoes.000 a year this. I have had the pleasure to show you the improvements I have made on these since the meeting of the committee in New York last fall. or for aiding forts or batteries to defend harbors. There is a very simple mode to convince any unbeliever of the advantage which this kind of engine will present.000: 320 of them could be made for the first cost of one ship of 54 guns of these. must. 100. say. at five per cent. and to judge whether such torpid. and the respect for our harbors which it will create in the mind of an enemy let me put one under water.. sixinch-decked. are cal- " . and that he has contemplated all the combinations and arrangements which present or future ingenuity can devise to place a torpedo under a ship. of course. but when considered for harbor defense... represents two million dollars in capital." Commodore Rodgers was an unsparing torpedoes and submarine boats. York.68 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS consequently torpedoes can never be made useful.

Golden. but so that her deck should not be submerged. she was to " He means of an air-chamber . She was of a size to shelter a hundred men under her deck. by an air-pump. could for a moment check Fulton in his endeavor to bring submarine warfare to success. which will be under water. so as to expel the -water from it entirely. as no shot could strike it from a vessel but at a very great angle. the upper half. but her deck was to be stout and plated with iron. be exhausted of air. however severe. which would not require so much strength as might at first be imagined. . as common boats are but when in reach of an enemy. By merely pushing the shaft forward and backward the water-wheel would be turned. and then would fill with water or. or more. By means of the air-chamber. The wheel was to be turned by a crank attached to a shaft. so that when the vessel was to be propelled only a part of the underpaddles should be in the water. . and run along the middle of the boat until it approached her bows. and in as perfect darkness as if shut up in the Black Hole of Calcutta. That chamber communicated with the water. particularly the men who manage them are confined to the limits of their holds. to be kept at a greater or less depth in the water. his biographer. the ball would ricochet on a slight resistance from a hard substance. any required quantity of air could be forced into it. Through this shaft rungs were to be passed. by like that on board the Nautilus. when not in hostile action. that should penetrate the stern to the air-chamber through a stuffing-box. at least. and was to be moved by a wheel placed in another air-chamber near the stern." No opposition. of which the crew were to take hold as they were seated upon each side of it on benches. thus describes a submarine boat which was projected during the closing days of Fulton's life : contrived a vessel which was to have a capacity. . and was shaped like a divingbell but it could at pleasure. she was to be kept. moving in the air. so as to render it ball-proof. The sides of the vessel were to be of ordinary thickness. and the boat propelled. because. upon the surface.ROBERT FULTON when 69 culated to supersede the necessity of a navy.

nor. go any given distance in a given time. paddles. or the velocity which they should run in proportion to the velocity which the boat is intended to go. a later biographer than Golden. finished." this vessel to the model of Reigate. He has left the proportions and velocities to be discovered. He presented a Government. He has not given any rule to make a boat of any given dimensions. and the mechanics he had employed were incapable of proceeding without him. without being heard or discovered. says that Fulton derived from nature a hint for his submersible. Her motion in this situation would be perfectly silent. Under authority of the Executive he commenced Before the hull was building one in the port of New York. which he supposed she might do in fogs or in the night. has he shown the means of constructing a boat which can be of use. by which it was approved. or resisting chains in motion by a . in fact. notebook he jotted down a criticism " : This imperfection of plan makes me believe that M. His design was that she should approach an enemy. wheels. and do execution by means of his torpedoes or submarine guns. This he imitated in the expansions and contractions of a large reservoir of air. his country had to lament his death. In 1802 he examined the patent of M. and therefore he called this contrivance a mute. being thoroughly acquainted with the pneumatic machinery by which fishes rise to the surface or lie at the bottom of the sea.70 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS sink. Fulton was an engineer in his every fiber. and he has not as yet mounted a boat to navigate by steam in such manner as to be of use to society. Des Blancs for a steamboat in his . Consequently. so that nothing but her deck would be exposed to his view or to his fire. for this invention to be rendered useful does not consist in putting oars. Des Blancs has not found the proportion which his paddles should bear to the bow of the boat. if he has not known the velocities he has not mounted or deand the proportions posited a description by which an artist could construct a boat to go any given number of miles an hour.

ROBERT FULTON steam engine distinct 71 but it consists in showing in a clear and manner that it is desired to drive a boat precisely any given number of miles an hour what must be the size of the cylinder and the velocity of the piston? What must be the size and velocity of the resisting chains? All these things being governed by the laws of Nature. . and he backed them with a courage that made him a terror to ters. March. In 1812. the mind of Fulton at once reverted to his In long-pondered plans for naval offense and defense." this inequality of throb would not have been heard." Fulton went to see this marvel humbugs. as a mob of defrauded patrons smashed his machinery in pieces. Till the artist knows the necessary proportions to this and all other sized boats. his In 1813 a German immigrant. exhibited in New York a machine which he boasted " as a perpetual motion. he must work in the dark and to great uncertainty. The proprietor of the show disappeared." Fulton's mind was crystal clear in seeing that a plan should proceed on trustworthy weighing and measuring. knocking away some thin laths which joined the frame of the machine to the wall. too." Had the rotation been due to a real perpetual motion." he the reached a back-loft. Congress authorized him to supervise the building of the first steam vessel of war ever constructed. the real Invention is to find them. perceptions were unusually keen. 1814. on In minor matthe precise adaptation of means to ends. and can not be said to have made any clear and distinct discovery or useful invention. this is a crank motion. Why. catgut. he no sooner heard the throb of the apparatus than he ex" claimed. Following up There mystery in the person of a poor old wretch gnawing a crust the while he turned a sat the explanation of the crank. when the United States declared war with Great Britain. he exposed a " strip of moving catgut which turned the perpetual motion. . Fulton called the show- " man an impostor . Wilhelm Redheffer.

was. 1815. two bowsprits and jibs. on October 29. reared by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. For many years Fulton's heirs sought payment from Conpatentee. and gradually sank until February 23. in His remains were interred in the a vault belonging to the Livadjoining churchyard. he testified at Trenton. and on the fourth of July following. she had portholes for thirty 32-pounder guns. well. The weather was stormy. or Fulton the First. two masts. and three daughters. without her equipment. This the Demologos. now Battery Place.300. from his residence. He left a wife. whose lungs had for years been weak. was launched. Colden. in 1901. On Febru- ary 17. In January. peace with Great Britain was declared. six days before Fulton's death. 66 feet in length. with a channel between. thus describes him: who knew .72 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS vessel. She had two hulls. and four rudders. in 8 hours and 20 minutes. $76. for a paddle-wheel. to Trinity Church. for fees as a and for outlays. 1815. in a suit which sought to repeal laws in the was which interfered with the plying of ferryboats between the New Jersey shore and New York City. a son. him Fulton's biographer. and Fulton. Cadwallader B. a distance of 53 miles. in the rear of i Broadway. with a medallion portrait. 1814. ingston family. one at each end of both hulls. Three months afterward the engine of Fulton the First was reared. very prime of his activity that the career of this great man came to a close. when he breathed his last. that Above vault a handsome memorial. from the yard of Adam & Noah Brown on the East River. this debt. the vessel made a passage to the ocean and back. It was paid. He returned home. 15 feet in width. took a severe cold. thirty-one years after his death. gress for his services as engineer of this ship. 2 Marketfield Street. His burial took place next day. Her parapet was 4 feet 10 inches wide. nee Harriet Livingston. New York. In 1846.

he believed that he was making war so terrible that soon it should wholly cease. his dispositelligence and thought. and correctness. always rejoicing in the boons to mankind which were enfolded in his plans for steamboats and canals. so that they bear the marks of his hands to this day. As he sketched new engines of battle. by engineers in Scotland and America long before his experiments. cordial manners. his sentiments were often interesting from their originality. ents gave him an unembarrassed deportment in all comHis features were strong and of manly beauty. He improved plunging boats in every detail of their construction and equipment. livened by cheerful. His alliance with Livingston. devised by David Bushnell. gave him an advantage as a pioneer of which he availed himself ably and boldly. and here he borrowed only to restore a hundredfold. He expressed himself with energy. Whether promoting arts of peace or of war. and a projecting brow expressive of inHis temper was. in Fulton's designs became an instrument wholly new. He was a many-sided man. Fulton steamboat won his laurels chiefly by his introduction of the seen. as he owed more to his own experience and reflections than to books.ROBERT FULTON " 73 His person was slenand well formed. Of submarine gunnery." der. Fulton rose to the front rank. as he took up tasks widely diverse. He was fond of society. mild. The torpedo. who held a monopoly from the invented. and. As an inventor and improver of weapons of war. and. He panies. he was the undisputed creator. with possibilities yet to be determined. and instructed or pleased by his sensible conversation. had large dark eyes. his submarine boats and torpedoes. Nature had made him a gentleman and bestowed upon him ease and He had too much good sense for the least gracefulness. which he always ention lively. as we have State of New York. fluency. A modest confidence in his own worth and talaffectation. but well proportioned Fulton was about six feet high. he took views as wide as the world. .

indeed. Now that fields of human action are divided and subdivided. With all this variety of accomplishment he was a shrewd man of business and a warm friend. may no longer be possible.74 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS He was a cap- each of his talents lent aid to every other. minds of his inclusive horizon no longer appear. and. ital draftsman and painter. a mechanic and an engineer. an inventor and a researcher. .



a pleasant little village of Massachusetts. in Westboro. who bore the name he gave his son. When he had nothing to do on his land. Eli. he had a lathe to turn his chair posts and rails. a complete kit of tools for cabinet-making. and in nothing right. bears a bronze tablet as a memorial. it was at his workbench that he excelled. The house When he else. as he grew Eli soon big enough to handle a jackplane or a gimlet. preferred tasks in the shop to tasks on the farm. was of English blood. Eli thought it the most wonderful piece of mechanism he had ever seen. 75 . . chisels. his handiness with hammers. took the watch to pieces and rewith an instrument of fairly good tone. No mishap befell the exploit. having learned what woods and strings were to be chosen. and to execute other work requiring a nice touch. of his nativity was destroyed long ago its site. he made chairs for his Beside neighbors. Whitney's father. His father had a watch that had cost him a round sum. but Eli's was an austere man. famous as the inventor of the cotton gin. his dexterity was rewarded He now began to Westboro musicians. so that years elapsed before ___ his son divulged this daring feat. on Johnson Road. and wheels for their wagons and carts. sixteen miles east of Worcester.ELI WHITNEY ELI WHITNEY. who had feigned illness and stayed at home. and saws proved him At school he stood high in arithmetic. was twelve he made a fiddle. and so was his wife. One Sunday. 1765. All this came under the eye of his son as a child. was born on December 8. repair fiddles for assembled father its parts. In good Yankee fashion he was both a farmer and a mechanic. and under his fingers. while the family were absent at church.

" earn a decent profit at making nails. but men. He was quick. and his father said yes. and in their manufacture Whitney built up a Not only ladies. Just then ladies fastened their bonnets with long metal pins. Eli . withal. where he saw many a tool and device to be copied on his return to Westboro. replaced old knife-blades with new. At Yale he paid his expenses partly by a loan from his father. when Eli kept his word to the letter. then in active demand. now became lucrative business. brought table-knives for home a fine set of occasions " of state. surpassed him. and a young fellow of energy and enterprise finish that. mand a helper. owing to the Revolutionary : War. His step- thirteen mother. as part of her dowry. as many another teacher has found. This project his stepmother warmly opposed. As Whitney passed into youth he felt within him a pulse of power which called for the best training: at nineteen he resolved to enter Yale College. decisively. at he sharpened knives and axes. Plainly enough here stood a born mechanic. was twenty-three before In the meantime he taught school at intervals. finding. Further additions to his tool chest enabled him to with the remark: the right tools. too. and gave every job so good a other tasks boy though he was.76 Eli's LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS mother died when he was a child: when he was his father married a second time. When peace with England was declared. no mechanic in town His business grew large enough to deHis quest for this helper took Eli forty miles from home through a succession of workshops. that teaching is a capital mode of learning. was no longer worth while. Eli examined them I could make knives just as good with Not long afterward one of these knives was accidentally broken. and gave him as good a market as had war. but fashion smiled nailmaking on our young mechanic. his customers: at odd times his lathe was a-whirl to turn out walking-canes.

At the close of the eighteenth century there was no profession of engineering to attract and develop Whitney's unmistakable talent. There was gain in this lateness of his education. as knowledge. He secured an engagement with a school in South Carolina. stuWhitney asked to borrow. Mrs." Bail was given. week he mended it so thoroughly that it worked as well as It " " I think ever. a piece of experimental apparatus out of order. To-day students of the Whitney stamp take up engineering as a profession. on their way to Mulberry York their home. he was ated. Said he: must go abroad for repair to the shop it came from. which " " No. get him to go bail for you. unstaled by premature familiarity. Meanwhile his mechanical acquitted himself with credit." ^ In 1792. At college he wrote essays like those of his classmates." said the carpenter." Within a I can mend it. he was an Park. and took passage on a ship from New to Savannah." promised Whitney. and soon make their mark. Not long afterward he espied a carpenter busy in a house near the college. and Whitney began work. about seven years older than most of his classmates. in his twenty-seventh year. ambitious In discussions he of topic. and then I'll lend you these tools. : mechanic spoiled when you came to college. . At once the carpenter exclaimed " There was a good dents always spoil good tools. for a time at least. dawned upon the mind of a man. The owner of this house is your landlord. so he chose teaching as his field. On board was the widow of General Nathanael Greene with her family. Greene saw at once that the young New Englander was a man of brains and character. remembering his success in earlier years with his pupils. twelve miles from Savannah. plying tools of a new kind. Furthermore. Whitney was graduIn those days of short and simple courses.ELI WHITNEY 77 whom he repaid within three years of graduation. One day a tutor found aptitudes were not gathering rust. and rather flowery in diction.

the manager of her husband's estate. When Whitney reached Savannah he found that the salary offered him was not a hundred guineas. Early year Mrs. and began to read law. One evening. One evening. Usually this task was taken up when regular work Then the slaves. he can make anything. apply to my friend. was ten hours' work for a quick hand. women. Greene said " : Gentlemen. who resided on planta- better frame. but only fifty. said that his home had lain so far north that he had never . Whitney availed himself of this kind offer. children. Whitney. Mrs. Greene received a visit from three comrades of General Greene. but an inventor of the first rank. as his hostess sat embroidering. At three pounds that time. who shook the dozing and was over nudged the slow. but that cot- agreed that ton had lint its much or little no value owing to the high cost of dividing from seed. the course upon which he had now determined. with their vital bearing on profit or loss. In her ungrudging hospitality Mrs. Whitney saw at a glance how he could make a this he accomplished next day to her next delight. she complained that her tambour frame tore the delicate silk of her pattern. took up his abode at Mulberry Park. men. Greene then hospitably invited him to her mansion. as her visitors deplored the lack of a machine to supplant this tedious and costly process. where he would be at liberty to study law. the college of Phineas Miller. thus appealed to. Mrs. and who often talked about sowing and reaping. Mr.78 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS alumnus of Yale. sat around a taskmaster. and for the day. and tions near Augusta. and who afterward became her husband. Whitney. They of the up-country land belonging to themselves and their neighbors yielded good cotton." showing them her tambour frame with an array of her children's toys which he had made or mended. which he declined. to part a pound of lint from of seed. as he had expected. Greene soon discovered that she was entertaining not an angel.

either as it stood or as it might be modified. was out of the question. So deeply did the conversation impress Whitney. while the seeds. instead of fingers of flesh and blood. so that the roller gin. such as Whitney had to treat. so that the seeds would be broken off and reFirst. . attached. greatly to its damage. and kept about one-sixteenth of an inch apart their rotation drew the lint inward to a box. with its seed firmly its lint. was shorter than the Sea Island variety. Teeth " ratchet wheels. and a coil of . would have but he was not able to try these them. Occasionally a small seed was caught and crushed by the rollers. so that the task of separation had never occurred to him. These assembled. how was when he found iron plates thin and strong enough for the purpose. he felt that it was high time that fingers of iron did In this simple work. The roller gin. narrow he to thrust the lint through these Diverse plans suggested themselves. of Greene's daughters had a pet bird. he began to consider his problem. of immemorial form. Upland cotton. He thought that a little good plan would be to thrust the lint through slits a narrower than the space between the cylinders of a roller gin. too large to pass between the rollers. grooved lengthwise. and obtained a small packet of As he pulled the seeds one by one from their seed-cotton. and its seeds were smaller and more firmly with its long staple. were torn off and fell into another box. was then used on Sea Island cotton Such a gin consisted mainly of two rollers. wheels until at hand. lint. slits? main behind. Iron in another form was and this he adopted for his first experiments. and became mixed with the lint. the basement of the Greene mansion he forthwith set up a workshop with a bench and a few common tools." as he called cut in circular iron plates. then. that next day he went to Savannah. answered. later. One Mrs.ELI WHITNEY 79 attached to seen cotton as plucked from the bolls.

This prompted the notion that wire needles or prongs would serve to thrust lint through narrow openings. then. that the wire should have a gentle curve opposed to the direction in this which the cylinder rotated. He found. Week by week armed cylinder was tested. and for a few minutes the lint would be duly thrust between the slits in a breastwork. but to draw it to a suitable thinness by appliances which the untiring mechanic made there and then. But . But the wire was too thick. and disposed them in various angles and curves. Day by day he tried various lengths iron wire to WHITNEY'S COTTON GIN of wire.8o LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS make its cage had just been unpacked. also. He discovered that the prongs worked best when pro- truding about an inch from their cylinder. Nothing. and the seeds forced off with gratifying thoroughness.

one morning. and on June 20 he petitioned . it swept the lint from its prongs into a box. armed with bristles to form a rotary brush when soon the wire teeth became clogged with to stop. They urged him to patent at once his amazing invention. Greene now invited her friends from near and far to view its hundreds of tiny the close of the winter. Phineas Miller. Mrs. unfortunately he did much would be needed. Whitney completed a by hand as to ask no more exertion than a grindstone. each planters in doing as much work as a human hand. which was certain 4o bring him wealth and honor. Toward model so easily turned fingers. Mrs. ran four times as fast as the wired cylinder. so that work was this Whitney puzzled by difficulty. Greene picked up the hearthbrush and " " The very thing Beasked Why don't you use this ? hind his breastwork Whitney set up a second wooden cylinder. and embark on the troublous sea which surrounds every inventor. and arrange for the manufacture of his machines. when. who proposed that in Whitney and himself should become equal partners patenting the cotton gin and setting* it at work throughSouth. At last he yielded to the entreaties of his friend. 1793. The her assembled company were enthusiastic in praise of the inventor's ingenuity. a firm to be long remembered in the industrial history of America. and. and they clearly saw what his gin meant for the South. On May 27. His model was soon beautifully constructed by his own hands. not foresee the how Miller agreed to provide the necessary event proved. studies Whitney declared that he was his loth to bid farewell to law. the two friends entered into partnership as Miller & Whitney. Whitney now posted to Connecticut to execute the model required by the Patent Office. as out the capital. and trouble was at an this end.ELI WHITNEY 81 lint. had : ! . the profession for which had prepared him.

the Secretary of State. was Whitney denied any share whatever in the vast wealth he had created ? At the outset Miller they sought to take as their & Whitney the gins in fell into a cardinal error : own toll all Georgia themselves. for this loan.82 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS for a patent to Thomas Jefferson. Miller's credit slowly sank from bad to worse. son examined Whitney's model with a thorough compreits extraordinary merit and promise. This good news Whitney repeated to his classmate and lifelong friend.000. every pound of failure in yielding them a revenue. soon came to the end of his resources. 1794. which constantly harassed Miller & Whitney. while mechanically a success. was an utter In the very year of its invention it had prompted the planting of a crop which yielded about five million pounds of cotton. then became necessary to borrow $2. Philadelphia. besides legal interest. Josiah Stebbins. and it aroused the planters to anger and resistance. meant that their cotton gin. 1795. then. until soon this became the main product of the South." Miller. and at last seven per cent. the gin factory established by Whit- . was exacted. This lowness of exchequer. was that year devastated by yellow fever. Their provocation was increased when. And every year thereafter saw more and more cotton planted. whose services included supplying cash for prelimIt inary outlays. asking how the gin was built and used. He addressed a cordial inquiry to the inventor. and one pound in three of their product. in March. and requesting that a machine be hension of sent to him. This delayed the issue of a In the meantime Mr. a premium of five per cent. then six. a few years later he had to pay five per cent. Jefferpatent until March 14. Why. a month. adding. which passed through Whitney's gin. This levy was exorbitant. with " I hope to make something of the characteristic restraint : gin yet. then the capital of the Union.



the Patent Office in Washington was destroyed by fire. gradually lowering the fee until it stood at $200. without inclusion of saws either in his claims or his drawings.* But the contest with Holmes was by no Miller It *In 1804. and serviceable copies were set going by the hundred throughout the South. was toll was withheld. Miller & Whitney sued Holmes for infringement. saws were kept slightly dull. Even this moderate downright dishonesty. cutting off for the supply of new machines. He acknowledged the justice of this decision by paying & Whitney $200 as royalty on one of their gins. so as to tear the lint less than did needles. with its drawings. In the first rough draft of his claims as a patentee. partly in a formidable competitor. and partly through an omission in Whitney's patent. instead of wire prongs or needles. patented a gin which. Miller & Whitney soon found that their tolls were too high. which copy remains on file to this day. of Georgia.ELI ney at WHITNEY 83 New Haven was destroyed by fire. and secured a judgment against him. Miller & Whitney sued Arthur Fort and John Powell for infringement in the United States District Court in Savannah. and Whitney's original . using a saw of the kind which Whitney had openly employed in early experiments. and discarded in favor of his wires. employed The teeth of these circular saws of the kind now universal. or certainly higher than planters would pay. 1796. On May 12. misfortune of his life that in his patent only wires were mentioned. Hodgen Holmes. As part of their evidence they adduced a certified copy of Whitney's patent. which opened the door to a vexatious infringement. therefore. months These machines many were simple enough to be easily imitated by local blacksmiths and carpenters. In 1836. Whitney had included saws It was the chief as alternative devices with these wires. winning an injunction. so they agreed to accept a royalty for the use of their gins. in the Court House. had been clearly proved in court that Holmes' machine was essentially the Whitney gin. and the Holmes machine.

The specifications of 1841. . and my machine was perfectly described to him. alleged copies of his patent and drawings were placed in the Patent Office by some one whose name cannot now be ascertained. and lodged in the office of the Secretary of State. copies side by side with their originals. was reduced to ashes. commenced a suit against this man to have his patent vacated. Nor did the draftsman of 1841 take the trouble to watch a cotton gin at work. His was vacated and declared to be void. His further course was narrated by Whitney in a letter to Josiah Stebbins: Several patents have been issued for machines on One of the patentees [Holmes] claims as his invention the making the rows [as] teeth of sheet iron instead of wire. By some neglect of the judge. It is also plain that the principle is the same in whatever way the teeth are made. D. disclosing a singular falsification." These drawings differ widely from the originals: they include saws as alternative devices with prongs or needles: saws had no place in the drawings of 1793. We was patent and that his patent was surreptitious. if executed in oak and iron. upon a new Democratic District Judge being patent. A. with a paragraph not in the original patent: "There are several of making the various parts of this machine. The machine he drew. my principle. we obtained a judgment on the ground that the principle ". even by drawings of every part. reprints these alleged by him in Charlotte. He came forward and paid up the costs and purchased a license of us the same. and that they may be made in a variety of ways. .84 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS means at an end when judgment was rendered against him. and sixteen years after Whitney's death. and we now hold his note given for that license. would refuse to work. together with their particular shape and formation. close thirty-three years after the patent had expired. abridged from those of 1793. with its drawings and model. are pointed out and explained in a description with drawings attached. as the [Patent] Act directs. in " Cotton. modes . Tompkins. After a tedious course of litigation and delay. Mr. to use the machine for which he pretended to get a patent. or mistake of the clerk in entering the judgment. in 1901. The fact is. which." published North Carolina. he was told that was my original idea. In 1841. He applies its rotating handle to the brush cylinder instead of to the thrusting cylinder.

the first person to whom the We machine was shown. Mr. forming a circular saw. They were endeavoring to have his claim to the invention set aside. and suffering the teeth to project. After another series of delays. The two cylinders were produced in court." * of Georgia. by an ingenious device. upon which the Judge declared that it was unnecessary to proceed any farther. Whitney adopted the following plan. and to Whitney's cotton gin as protected by that Act " The operation cramping of genius as of this [patent] law is the prevention and it respects cotton machines. the teeth were cut in plates. In the course of fight against him. in his "Biography of Whitney. inserted into the cylinder of wood.ELI WHITNEY 85 appointed he found means to revive the cause. They accordingly swore the saw teeth upon Whitney. and the witnesses were called on to testify which was the invention of Whitney. Whitney. positive witness of the fact. Mr. and although I have no idea that any court can be so abandoned as to take any serious notice of it. while in the machine of Holmes. and the wire teeth upon Holmes. on the ground that the teeth in his machine were made of wire. or iron surrounding the cylinder. 3. and thereby put a have already one complete stopper on that business. in . his From Whitney let us who led the return to Governor James Jackson. still these designing rascals pretend to uphold his claim and make a handle of it to our disadvantage. contrived to give the saw teeth the appearance of wires. message of November : 1800. which was the spring of 1793. he thus refers to the Patent Act of 1793. 1832. the principle of both being manifestly the same. and which that of Holmes. a mani- * Professor Denison Olmsted. besides Miller's family. in order to show how nugatory were the methods of evasion practised first by his adversaries. says: " In one of his trials. while he prepared another cylinder in which the wire teeth were made to look like saw teeth..." . consisting chiefly of sinking the plate below the surface of the cylinder. yet I should like to obtain such testimony as will show it [the circular saw] to be my invention. and when his own judge was obliged to give judgment against him." published in the American Journal of Science.

it appears by the present [Patent] Act. but lina] $100. is filled with these actions. in some small degree. they ought to be suppressed. and who demand. his firm. and in many respects a cruel extortion on the gin holders. however. I do not doubt the power of Congress to grant these exclusive privileges. and which sum. are made liable to penalties in a court of law. or using it without license from the patentees. for it has been asserted that Miller & Whitney's gin did not. tendency is certainly to raise the price of the [produced] to render the machine article from the exclusive privilege or article worse from the prevention of competition or improvement and to impoverish poor artificers and planters who are forbidden from making. but in all cases where they may become injurious to the community. in the erection of which the patentees do not expend one farthing.000. . are made tributary to two persons who have obtained the patent." government granting the patent. as they now think their right secured. The Federal Court docket. I am informed from other sources that gins have been erected by other persons who have not taken Miller & Whitney's machine for a model. Whitney. for the Constitution has vested them with it. but which. . . in case of doing so. answer the intended purpose. $200. who. .. provements. . on The rights of these imtrial. The two important States of Georgia and South Carolina. It suits of individual industry are entitled to the has always appeared to us that the private purmost sacred protection of the laws. on the lowest calculation. it is said. it is in their power to raise to treble that amount. are merged in the rights of the patentees [Miller & Whitney]. on behalf of son: ". or. resemble it. it is supposed.86 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS fest injury to the community. as I am informed. or the parties be paid a moderate compensation for the discoveries from the . and inviolable and that a good .00 for the mere liberty of using a ginning machine. will make by it in the two States [Georgia and South CaroMonopolies are odious in all countries. . replied to Governor Jack- . vending. Their more particularly in a government like ours.. . where this article [cotton] appears to be becoming the principal staple.

therefore. governments. substantially agree that they will afford to the author of the invention the most ample protection in the use of his discovery for a certain term of years. must suffer without acquiring the claim to be presented before the solemn tribunal of public opinion. it shall become public property. in making a defense of our property right. under pretense of official duty by our chief magistrate. after that period.ELI cause. speak of the exclusive right to carry on a trade or manufacture as a monopoly/ and not of the proThe tection which government chooses to give the arts. There can be no doubt but that an invention in the arts must remain the exclusive right of the inventor under the most oppressive laws. and. Your Excellency is ' will permit us to palmed on the public to our disadvantage in the opprobrious term monopoly/ The respectable authors [Edward Coke and Adam Smith]. while the secret is confined to him. to enable us trivial injuries to preserve towards entitled. remove the deception which ' principle of the patent law. we shall draw a veil over the passions which have brought it into question. silence on our part might be supposed to sanction the abuse. it is well known that every inventor must incur the whole expense and take . be our apology for meeting Your Excellency on this ground. and even of its final loss to the public on the death of " to its inventor. on condition that. by enacting patent laws. WHITNEY 87 where private right alone was concerned. and political persecution openly commenced against us. you that respect to which your office is " In the first place. evil To remedy which and to stimulate ingenious men vie with each other. whose names were brought forward to sanction your opinion on this subject. consists of a fair compromise between the Government and the author of the invention. and shall consult the genius of our government rather than the acts of your administration. The urgency of the case must. passing over the degraded condition to which the State has been reduced. But when the title to our property is slandered. and. and many instances have occurred of the preservation of the secret for years. Your Excellency will please to observe. shall only notice the measure in which we are immediately implicated. And in carrying into effect all such discoveries.

or a well attested account of a machine for cleaning cotton upon the principle of ours. are not new to us. and under protection of was perfected. the public advantage must of necessity go hand in hand with his acquirements [acquisitions]. which was known previous to to in the executive so useful an art. if he fails. At the time it was brought forward. the invention The idle stories which Your Excellency condescends to repeat. we believe the utility of our invention well known and candidly admitted by all rational men. and. which awaited some improvement in the mode of ginning. his loss of time and money does not always constitute his greatest mortification. and wealth. but the place they hold message requires us to observe that we know of no pretensions of this kind which can stand the smallest examination. which would have better suited the perpetrators of vice than the industrious and successful improvers of flattering auspices " Under such the law. and our invention. and. and gratitude were promised to the fortunate exertions of genius which would insure the culture of green-seed cotton to the upcountry. and of time and labor which is unrewarded. honor. unless it excels all others in point of utility. we have always considered them as harmless. of which we has been improvement have not complete evidence of our previous knowledge. while they only served amuse some ingenious mechanic. and which for many years has waved in distant view and buoyed up our hopes under adversity and oppression. and we shall challenge the most distant parts of Europe and Asia to produce a model. there were millions of pounds of cotton in the seed. But whether the form that we have adopted [the needle gin] is the best and deserves the preference to that in common use in the up-country [the We . in which. or paid In the for. with a view to dividing with some other person the credit of the invention. since the in- on himself the ventor cannot expect his invention to be employed. if he succeeds. experimental use. at great expense in money. which has never been repaid. present case. " have not even ascertained that a single made upon the machine.88 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS entire risk of the success of his invention. and now Your Excellency would direct your influence to blast the harvest so hardly earned.

This book contains other data of prime interest. to be The Governor of Georgia. and report with all despatch. as the chief cotton-growing State. North Carolina. . or suppressing the patent." 1901. published in Charlotte. if the bargain is to be all on one side. This committee recommended that the Senators and Representatives of Georgia in Congress endeavor to obtain a modification of the Patent Act in so far as it affected the cotton gin. by D. to be against us. A." * forbear giving . and the persons who would defraud us of our right are to be the sole judges of the compensation to be made. asked to transmit copies of this report and its recommendations to the Executives of South Carolina. North Carolina. petitioned in full in "Cotton. appears to us to be injudiciously chosen. their patent the price being at modification did. . and the Southern States relieved from a burdensome grievance. with a request for the cooperation in Congress of their Senators and Representatives. experience must determine. in this respect. Her planters. as suggested by William George Jordan of in New was York. " as well as to limit the it. price of obtaining a right to using In case this present unbounded. to be laid before their Legislatures. the oppression would be too manifest. then Congress was to be induced to compensate Miller & Whitney for their invention. At present public opinion. for in the first of these cases. and Tennessee. The proposition of suppressing the patent is so bold a thing that we it comment. not was to be cancelled. " The alternative which Your Excellency suggests of paying a moderate compensation to the patentees. . Spurred by this appeal." prove feasible. in thousands. we acknowledge.ELI WHITNEY 89 saw gin]. And now entered anticipation of the House of Governors established by President Roosevelt in 1908. *These communications are given Tompkins. was the first to respond. South Carolina. Governor Jackson appointed a committee to examine the cotton gin question. conclusion.

On November 15. To reitself. Tennessee paid about $10. New It Haven. Secretary of State. & Whitney to refund such license fees as in the State. and to furnish the State collected had they with two model machines.000. less five years on every saw within her borders. this news came to Whitney in from his friend and agent.90 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS buy the Whitney patent. From other States. for collection. and this vote Whitney with reluctance accepted. their Legislature to and on terms In Sep- which seemed liberal. By this time the yearly cotton crop was more than thirty- good five million pounds. a vote of $50. With hope rekindled. enacting a tax of two shillings and sixpence a year for This tax. imburse $20.000 for his patent. as was his wont.000 being paid to him on account.000 was passed on December 1 6. A. go to Miller & Whitney. requiring Miller six per cent. D. Russell Goodrich. 1802. .000 to the patentees. Mr. the State levied a special tax on cotton gins. was now the eighth year of his patent. country was thriving as never before. Whitney maintained that South Carolina should pay not less than $100. and the unfortunate inventor had received from it little or nothing. he started in an open sulky. It was to netted them about $20. tember. 1801. and from James Madison. After and the whole broad belt of cotton prolonged discussion. pausing in Washington for a few days' rest. Whitney duly reached Columbia. he received letters so cordial that they rendered him service in his later negotiations.000. and pleaded his case with tact and skill. Next year Tennessee fell into line. From President Jefferson. of course . many cotton planters had grown rich. to the petitioners at least. Tompkins estimates that $10. from New Haven for Columbia. North Carolina followed suit. the capital of South Carolina. imposing an annual tax of one shilling and sixpence per saw for each of four years.000 was received by Miller & Whitney so that their gross revenue was $90.

benefits. with punctuality and good faith and I beg to observe farther. in direct violation of the common right of every citizen of a free government. indeed. had grown strong enough to control the Its contract with the patentees was annulled. must continue to derive the most important already realized immense profits. to the very soul. without the exhibition of any specific charge. not a voice.ELI WHITNEY 91 This greatly diminished by their legal and other expenses. laboriously. remonstrance the inventor cried: " In a bitter I was seized and dragged to prison without being allowed to be heard in answer to the charge alleged against me. To gross dishonesty was added sheer brutality. a cotton gin. the South Carolina. and exclusively devoted many years of the prime of my life to the invention and improvement of a machine from which the citizens of South Carolina have . which is worth to them and from which their posterity. and added incalculably its to the value of Southern plantations." a heart. frankly declared vote to Miller from the first. to the latest generations. millions. for created for the reward South their sole was having its principal crop. I have manifested no other disposition than to fulfil all the stipulations entered into with the State of South Carolina. . that speaks to us here! Ostensibly the action against Whitney proceeded on the ground that a Swiss inventor had anticipated him in devis- ing a machine which was.. in return. And when I consider that this cruel persecution is inflicted by the very persons who are enjoying these great benefits and expressly for the purpose of preventing my ever deriving the least advantage from my own labors. a swindler.000 paid them a few months before. has stung me feelings It is is altogether inexpressible. Legislature. the acuteness of my and a villain. and. that I have industriously. and suit was entered to recover the $20. the promise to pay them was rescinded.. Within a year of enmity against them in & Whitney. to be treated as a felon. in effect. and. It was .

died on December 7. Incomparably more important was the question. But the House of Representatives voted favorably. ised. Twice the lawmakers of North Carolina sought to abolish the tax im- posed for the benefit of the patentees of the cotton gin.92 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS as agreed. halfway Litin the four years of her agreement. and execute the construction with own hands. leaving Whitney to combat his fell into foes single-handed. and twice the attempt was a failure. whereupon the Senate took a second vote. suspended its tax. its adoption was defeated by a tie vote. . therefore.000. bad health and 1803. in the Senate. completing the $50. and. worn and worried by unending contests with plunderers. recording 14 Yeas to 12 Nays. further charged that his firm had not refunded license fees and had not delivered the two models as prom- Whitney showed that the licenses not yet refunded amounted to only $580.000 voted them by South Carolina. and other steadfast friends of Whitney. would have lost their case. We be sure that they rejoiced greatly when at last they received their $30. This committee took eviit dence with fulness and impartiality concluded that : Whitney's claim as inventor of the cotton gin was unquestionable and that. the State should reenact : When this report came up the agreement with his firm. and pleaded that his delay of a few months in furnishing his models was due to a wish to his embody improvements. If a single Senator who voted Yea had changed sides. As this sovereign State had been may copied by her sister commonwealths in recognizing the rights of Miller & Whitney. this question was referred to a committee of the Legislature. Miller & Whitney in all probability. have been forced into bankruptcy. tle wonder that Phineas Miller. Tennessee. so also was South Carolina followed in her attempt at repudiation. Who invented the cotton gin? At the instance of General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.

and been used only by a small portion of the community. and each kept the other in countenance.. Hence there arose associations and combinations to oppose both.ELI WHITNEY A 93 His foes prevailed. and it can seldom happen that an invention or improvement is so strongly marked. But the use of the machine being immensely profitable to almost every planter in the cotton districts. principally. ended. In vain did Whitney recount that his gin multiplied a thousandfold the efficiency of labor. favored his petition. It was not interwoven with anything before known. were interested in trespassing upon the patent right. Thus overborne a were by they one of the most as far was as concerned. there were separate sets of this machinery in motion within fifty yards of all . My invention was new and distinct from every other. although. At one time but few men in Georgia dared to come into court and testify to the most simple facts within their knowledge relative to the use of the machine. reviewed the forces which withstood him : " The difficulties originated. it was refused. From no State had he received as much as half a cent a pound on the cotton separated by his machines in a single twelvemonth. In one instance I had great difficulty in proving that the machine had been used in Georgia. both against the right and against the law made for its protection. in the with which I have to contend have want of a disposition in man- kind to do justice. and can be so specifically and clearly identified and I have always believed that I should have no difficulty in causing my rights to be respected if my invention had been less valuable. Demagogues made themselves popular by misrepresentation and unfounded clamors. Whitney sentatives districts from the cotton remarkable chapters in the annals of industry. it stood alone. in the course of a letter to Robert Fulcivilized ton. so as to confer stupendous benefits upon the Southern States. When Whitney applied to Congress few Reprefor a renewal of his patent. at the same moment. Whitney. . by enabling them to supply the world at a low price with its chief clothing. multitude of opponents.

In 1793.000. bags.000. the cotton exported from the United States was valued at $36. an American vessel arrived at Liverpool. in 1825. It was seized by the Custom House. says Denison Olmsted. six This huge figure was soon utterly eclipsed. for lack of cotton at a low fectively united both : price. Whitney's wheels undoubtedly served to rivet the shackles of the negro slave. five bags were landed at Liverpool . in 1787.846. Cotton came and the West Indies." Whitney.000 of cotton were harvested in the Southern States.000. and there in the Southern States of the Union a little cotto Great Britain mainly from Asia where slaves or coolies plucked lint ton was sown in gardens. engine yet. and all so near that the rattling of the wheels was distinctly heard on the steps of the Court House. 108. the in which year Whitney devised his gin. the year of Whitney's death. two years later Arkwright devised his spinning-frame for warp.000. in 1788.000 and all other ex. at least 5.000 pounds. Whitney's biographer. For seventy years after its birth the cotton gin exerted as striking an influence in the field of politics as in the markets of the world. considerably less. under the conviction that cotton could not be grown in America. indeed. its manufacture had but limited scope. worth about $770. in 1774.000. In 1785. 7. When cotton planting was still unknown in America. Hargreaves invented his spinning-jenny in 1767.000. from seed with their or turned the slow and Here ringers.94 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS the building in which the court sat. with eight bags of cotton on board. chiefly because of its handsome flowers.094. Compton ef- machines then came Cartwright's All these were cheaply driven by the steam power-loom. In 1784. of And Watt. 282. created the keystone for which the arch of textile industry stood agape. Let us leap now to ports at $30. with a estimated at crop 1912. the tasks for . faulty roller gin. pounds in 1786.

of length and strength of staple. than planters entered upon To plow the ground for cotton. also. each of a He places a fiber bespecific length and strength of staple. Experiments. will settle this question. No sooner were Whitney's machines set up. gave all hands lucrative work the year round. much more flexit. its is at enlarged image once measured as he runs a small toothed It is wheel along its probable that all the Cotton Exchanges adopt this simple apparatus and the standard grades suggested by the Bureau. so that. Since his time. the roller gin has been much improved. little Whitney's saw Fans separates most of the cotton grown in America. Thus entangled in its the skein of invention are gin. changed from the form he gave ible and lasting than those of 1790. wealth and power thus won played a leading part in Seof the cession. the fate Union trembled in the balance. In overhauled being this work the Bureau of Plant Industry at Washington is are times playing a leading part. so as to abolish disputes Union will as to the lengths and qualities of specific fibers. to pluck the bolls in their successive harvests. like every other industry. so as to gain a little upon the saw gin. two glass plates. and will further decide upon the claims regarding new models of gins. is in the light of scientific management. and steels. a new and immense profit. during four years of Civil War. . Mr. to sow and weed and till its fields. Cobb. have been added to its brushes. Its assistant director. twixt upon and recorded devious of the line. before and after ginning.ELI field WHITNEY 95 hands were few and not especially gainful. are afoot with a view to ascertaining the speed Tests at which a given grade of cotton should be ginned. These when cotton culture. appear to-day in the machines descended from his model. Nathan A. and throws a screen the length of that fiber . has divided cotton into eighteen grades. threads of bane and blessing. and then to gin and press the The lint. as less liable to damage the staple.

are the gifts of war to peace. and in distant France. To-day of the chisels planes. with inestimable gain. and many a tool of industry is but an old weapon in a new guise. From ruder stones have plainly descended the hammers of our shops and factories. that sparks were struck for the 'first fire-kindler. Battle-axes. told early foresters how to fell oaks and cedars with a new ease. en- He chose the manufacture of firearms. and engines. has cleft skulls by the myriad: to- A day not one man in a thousand is deft enough to shape an arrowhead such as were common in prehistoric days. Here he introduced economies which have gan French and so designed many of their parts that they could be applied to any carriage of their class. Prodigal experiments. with all that that has meant for art and comfort. This was the beginning of standardization in manu- which took a vast stride under the guidance of Whitney. he cast about for a field of terprise suited to his talents. Those methods facture. All this bequietly enough.96 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS bein- To come back to Whitney and his defeat. Swords. passed long ago. about 1765. so greatly inured to the benefit of industry as to parallel the revolution he wrought in cotton production. There. Manifold. flint. General Gribeauval reduced the gun-carriages of the artillery to classes. from plows to divide furrows to the steam turbines which impel ocean greyhounds. machines. are the dignified parents of knives and of carpenters and masons. such as governments alone conduct. but a pair of scissors. strong and sharp. at Toledo a steel-worker offers a visitor as a memento not elastic. were in hand for years by the chief War Departments of Europe . as an arrowhead. When he came convinced that he must abandon all hope of an come from his invention. indeed. keen and a sword or a scimetar. The methods which he originated in the production of arms we shall presently observe. It was probably in smiting one flint against another for battle. to the production of tools.

to produce steel



armor of the utmost



projectiles of surpassing might.

Alloys thus created, which otherwise would never have seen the light of day, were then

bines, motor-cars,

calmly appropriated by builders of turret lathes, steam turand even scoops for dredges.

Gunpowder, when



to soldiers,

changed the

face of war, by making a steady aim and a clear eye count for more than prowess. Let us note what industry does



compound of saltpeter. During the years of the War, which broke out in 1861 at Fort Sumter, the Northern States burned more gunpowder in their mines,


and quarries than on

their battlefields.

It is


and fog the lines of every powder in station the world. That Napoleon might life-saving his and carts transport powder heavy artillery, he gave the best roads since those of Rome. To-day these Europe highways bear burdens greater than Napoleon ever laid on them, as they carry the freight and passengers of Italy, France, and Switzerland. And throughout its vast and expanding breadths, what is the organization of modern industry, under such a captain as Whitney, but military rule over again, with due
that carries across sea

Instead of a commander in uniform, we have a chief at his desk, who, like Grant or Kitchener, is at the head of his army because he deserves to be. His duty is
to plan the cutting of a canal, the building of automobiles, or the construction of a railroad. Every man in the ranks,

whether endowed chiefly with brains or with hands, is well aware that most will be done and most divided when orders
are faithfully obeyed.


worthy successor

to Eli


Taylor, of Philadelphia,* who has quadthe rupled output of metal-cutting machines by an elaborate study of how they are best designed, fed, and operated.



*His methods are set forth in "The Principles of Scientific Management," and "Shop Management": New York, 1911.



Under such a leader the rule of thumb gives place to the much more gainful rule of science. No machine-tender of


to an instruction-card

drawn up



by such a chief. The best way to exert himself is sketched before his eyes, and to do anything else would be to produce distinctly

For ages have

shoulder, fought opposed brigades.


brigades, shoulder to Incidentally, all learned loyalty to a competent

These lessons have been inherited by free men who employ their knowledge and skill to build, not to deleader.

They turn

their steel not

the obstacles of nature, that nature

upon other men, but upon may let fall its arms

and become

their friend.


Whitney, a standard-bearer in this from weapon to tool, from war to peace. In 1797, when he was in the thick of his law suits in Georgia,


return to Eli

with the stream steadily against him, he despaired of winning any reward whatever from his cotton gin. So he cast about for a field where his ingenuity and organizing faculty

would yield him a competence. This field, wherever found, must be safe from depredators. His choice fell upon the








the influence of Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury, Whitney on January 14, 1793, received a contract

for 10,000 stands of arms at $13.40, amounting to $134,000, a good deal of money in those days. Of these arms, 4,000 were to be delivered by the end of September, 1794, and the

remaining 6,000 within the twelvemonth thereafter. Bonds for $30,000, signed by Whitney's friends, were given for the due fulfilment of his contract. He began work without a day's delay. He had not only to build, he was obliged to design, many of the tools and

machines he needed. He must gather and test unfamiliar woods, metals, and alloys. His workmen had to be trained
to tasks never before attempted in

America or elsewhere.


but his credit was high.
his ability,



had hardly any


and were proud to become his sureties when he borrowed $10,000 from the Bank of New Haven. Secretary Wolcott, on behalf of the Government, advanced $5,000 when the contract was signed, and stood ready to grant more as soon as manufacturing was fairly under way.


New Haven knew

Whitney chose, as the site of his factory, a stretch of land at the foot of East Rock, two miles from New Haven,
where a waterfall gave him the motive-power he required. When once work proceeded in earnest, he found his main He difficulty to lie in the poor quality of his raw recruits. wrote to Mr. Wolcott


I find

my personal




essentially necessary

work, than I apprehended. be depended upon, and the best workmen I can find are incapable of directing. Indeed, there is no branch of the work that can proceed well, scarcely for a single hour,
unless I

and oversight are more conto every branch of the Mankind, generally, are not to




The slow pace of his work-people perturbed his calAt the end of a year, instead of 4,000 muskets,
his contract
It was eight years instead of was out of hand. His factory was

he could deliver only 500.

two before

planned as a single huge machine, of a type wholly new. In an armory, before Whitney's day, one man made locks, another made barrels, another carved stocks, and so on.

Each man, highly


produced by himself a


This division of labor Whitney suppart of a musket. so planted by apportioning work that little or no skill was


He separated the various tasks necessary to a produce musket, planing, filing, drilling, and the like. Then, at each of these operations, simplified to the utmost

For their assistance he indegree, he kept a group busy. troduced three aids, since indispensable in manufacure



drilling by templets or patterns, filing by jigs or guides, and From first to last a model musket milling irregular forms. was copied with precision, so that every lock, for example,

was exactly


every other





the parts needed to form a weapon were assembled, they united as a musket much superior to an arm produced on any other plan. In case of repair, a new part exactly filled

the place of an old part, and at trifling cost. Year by year invented Whitney many tools, machines, and improvements

None of these did he patent: he had the cotton It is a great patented gin, and that was enough. achievement to contrive a new and useful machine. It is a

need arose.


greater feat to confer a new efficiency on chines in a broad field of manufacture.




Whitney's methods were duly adopted by the Government Armories at Springfield, Massachusetts, and Harper's Ferry, Virginia, where their economies soon exceeded
$25,000 a year.
similar plans,

In 1856 the British
in 1871


Office installed

and 1872 the example spread to Russia and France, Germany and Italy. Every advance of design in engines and machines gives standardization a new field and a new gain. Engine-lathes, automatic planers, modern milling machines, and the Blanchard lathe for carving irregular forms in wood, are but new fingers for the hands of the men who to-day follow the footsteps of the musket-maker of New Haven. A striking contrast appears between the Springfield Armory of Whitney's day and that Armory as now operated. Colonel Stephen English Blunt, in command, says under
date of






the Springfield plant equipped as it is, with sufmachines so that each of the 1,004 machine operations on the rifle has its particular machine, thus avoiding the necessity of changing fixtures and adjusting of tools and machines, it requires 24 working hours to make a comficient





rifle. To make 10,000 rifles would, therefore, require 240,000 working hours, or 30,000 working days of eight hours each. On account of the size of the present Armory it would, of course, not be economical to work as few as loo men. The smallest economical working force for this plant would be 600 men they would make 10,000 rifles in 50 working days. It would take 100 men at least two years to make 10,000 rifles. The Springfield Armory has a plant capable of manufacturing 10,000 rifles in less than seven days, working double shifts if the necessity should arise. " The musket manufactured by Whitney under his contract of January, 1798, was a flint-lock, 59^ inches long, .69-inch caliber, had about 45 component parts, and fired a round bullet of one ounce, at a muzzle velocity of 800 feet per second; while the latest Springfield rifle is a magazine rifle 43.2 inches long, .3O-inch caliber, has 105 component parts, fires an elongated and sharp-pointed jacketed bullet weighing 150 grains, less than one-third of an ounce, at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second."

In 1812, Whitney was awarded a further contract by the Department, this time for 15,000 stands of arms. Then followed contracts with the State of New York, and


with leading firms throughout the Union. His system was constantly extended and improved, so that he earned an

ample competence, as he had hoped

at the outset.

He was


sure that he could safely incur the responsibilities of

matrimony. In 1816, he became engaged to Miss Henrietta Edwards, a daughter of Judge Pierpont Edwards. They were married in the following January, a son and
three daughters being born to their union.
piness of the great inventor


to be brief.

But the hapHis repeated

journeys between North and South, taken, as they were, in an open vehicle, and often at inclement seasons, had imIn the course of 1824 paired a frame naturally rugged. he developed a distressing malady, which ended his life on January 8, 1825, shortly after he had completed his fiftyninth year.

His conduct as a patient was

in line with his



career as an inventor. He inquired minutely into the causes and progress of his disease, examining charts of anatomy by the hour. In the intervals between his parox-

ysms of agony, he devised

surgical instruments for the reof himself and of others in like extremity. Eli Whit-


ney, in his years of vigor, had created for his fellowmen beyond computation: under the shadow of death

he sought to subtract from their pain. He had planned a for himself and his family he requested that it be duly reared after his death.

new mansion


What manner


man was


Whitney, as

in health


strength he strode across the Green in New Haven? Like George Stephenson, he was cast in a large mold, and stood

head and shoulders above ordinary folk. He was a kindly man, whose friendships were warm and clinging: his hand never relaxed its grasp of the chums of his youth. Many



honest: this

man was


his fate often to be scurvily treated,

scrupulously honorable: it and then his refaculty, of course,

sentment made him

His chief


invention, his ability to strike a

new path out of an This talent was not confined within the
Every building he

walls of his factory.

and these

included dwellings for his

his original brain. He tions and walls, with prophecy of

people, bore the marks of used cement liberally for foundaits


wider applications


of his desk were fastened by a single Even the mangers for his lock, in a fashion now usual. He placed a small cattle were improved at his hands.

The drawers

end of each halter, so that its wearer could head with ease, and yet could neither entangle itself in its rope, nor waste its hay. His judgments were slowly matured: they were never expressed before they were ripe. In experiment, in his quest for materials, in his choice of lieutenants, he was patience itself. He could plant to-day, and for ten years
at the






calmly await his harvest. Unlike most inventors, whatever he began he finished. New projects beckoned to him in


vain, so long as unfinished work remained on his hands. unflinching will of the man revealed itself in the hour

of death, as his tremulous fingers were lifted to close his

SEVENTY years ago a great triumvirate, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, were the idols of America. Their portraits adorned parlors and offices, courtrooms and capitols, from one end of the Union to the other. Here and there an admirer, more prosperous than his neighbors, had a bust of one of these worthies on his mantelpiece. The continuing remembrance of these great leaders is due in no small measure to the thousands of pictures and effigies thus set up throughout the country, and still to be found in many a farmhouse and mansion of South Carolina, Kentucky, and


at last

We may

feel certain that all three statesartists, so

men grew

thoroughly tired of posing to

that they rejoiced at a reprieve, at least so far


were concerned.

This was promised one morning in 1840, as Clay, Calhoun, and Webster were invited to view busts of themselves copied in wood by a cheap and simple process. These figures, beautifully executed, awaited them on a
table in the rotunda of the Capitol.

Beside them stood

Thomas Blanchard, who seemed

truth incarnate, so trans-

parent was his eye, so straightforward his speech. Yet he said that these admirable busts had been carved on a lathe

of his invention almost as readily as so many gunstocks. This machine he had invented and patented long ago, but only that year had he built it on lines delicate enough to
Its chief business, indeed, had been to for shape stocks guns, handles for tools, lasts for shoes, and Pirates had been so numerous and active tackle for ships.

reproduce statuary.

a band, that this wonderful machine had brought ventor but little reward. He had, therefore, come to




ington to ask from Congress a favor without precedent,

[From a

portrait in the possession of F. S. Blanchard, Worcester, Mass.]

mounted on an From axle. to take precise measurements. to sever a hide into thongs. Rufus Choate." Sculptors. " who opposed the inventor's petition. When knives were joined with wheels. In the Capitol. that contrivance are descended all the grindstones of to- day. That such a task should own be performed by a self-acting cutter was simply amazing. Webster exclaimed: " Blanchard. was accorded a third term for his patent. could only say: Blanchard has turned the heads of these Congressmen. ' ' so we need after day. their union at once conquered a vast field forever denied to simple knives. beneath the table where he displayed his busts. remains the Its principle flashed into his core of its successor to-day. or bits of shell. and bidden to grind blades of iron or bronze. and carborundum. Blanchard's lathe. As repeated in oak the principle of came it How simple clearly into view. which probably began work log turning beneath a burden dragged on the ground. Much more recent than the as a round knife is the wheel. brain because among the prime resources of his workshop were revolving cutters. ment reproduction of a bust they were obliged. by themselves. repeating each dimension with anxious care. This union was prophesied as soon as a stone was rounded into a wheel. ground of the high utility and singular originality of and in view of the inadequate return he had derived from it. . as it first left his hands. or mere wheels. was a basement room where the inventor showed the machine " his lathe as it the classical features of Washington. corundum. thanks chiefly is. day In their to view the Blanchard machine. on his invention. from moto moment. to hack a root or a tree.THOMAS BLANCHARD 105 a second renewal of his patent. and the wheels of emery. Let us retrace a few of the steps which led to these marvelous tools. to divide a fish or a bird into morsels. the eminent jurist of Bosthe ton. came not wonder at his victory. after all ! to Webster. Knives or chisels were doubtless in their first estate mere flints.

much simpler than these. the tasks are bolder and the pace swifter. : every such wheel has its appointed limits it removes iron or steel. rim a score of sharp is The second wheel has at As the first wheel feels its way along every contour of the original stock from end to end. In his lathe he broadened their scope by nothing less than a leap. Cutters quite as keen and strong were in daily use by Blanchard for years. cutters. spring against the rotating stock to be copied. A wheel armed on its rim with steel cutters. pressed by a weight or a three feet apart. which enough from its block to leave behind a copy When task. was born in Sutton. A spindle forming the outer boundary of this carriage may freely swing through a wide arc: it carries two wheels of like diameter. is small enough its to touch its every point. Let us look at his machine as it produces a gunstock. as in modern milling machines. copper or brass. started. once the lathe is is duly set and work proceeds His to a finish without a touch from than attendant. much easier when he copies a simple diagram with a pantograph. were used to plane iron by Bramah as early as 1811. In a much wider province of shaping. therefore. the inventor of this wonderful machine. Parallel to this axle is hinged a rectangular carriage. Worcester County. its path removes wood of the model stock. particle by particle. sliding gradually from one end of the lathe to the other. for then he has to trace with his fingers the whole course of every copied line. Revolving cutters. On an axle slowly revolved are placed a stock to be copied and a wooden block in every way larger. sweeps off a thick shaving or even a goodly slice. its its duplicated by the cutting wheel. about One of them. Massa- . Strange that to reproduce a figure of three dimensions should be less trouble than to copy a figure of but two! Thomas Blanchard.io6 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS But ablaze in ten thousand machine shops at this hour.

ORIGINAL BLANCHARD LATHE. U. Armory. 1822 [Museum. S. Mass. Springfield.] .


and he glanced without interest at the Nor was there much else handicraft of his ingenious boy. Why not repeat this marvel at his father's for weavand encumbered now with hoes and harrows. like the blacksmith's. thrifty farmer. Thither Thomas was taken one day to see a horse shod.THOMAS BLANCHARD chusetts. once used farmyard. With stones and bricks gathered from the Near home? house was a shed. old and In new. big iron wedge. Samuel Blanchard. were among the first settlers in His father. of mingled French and English blood. The nearest blacksmith's shop was six miles off. feat. 107 on June 24. from which the lad chose pieces likely to be serviceable. chisel. At ten years of age he whittled from cedar shingles a tiny mill. only much smaller. tools in the neighborhood to nourish the budding powers of this young mechanic. firmly driven into a log. though a Yankee. How large a family he had we do not know. This boy's talent for building and contriving was manifest almost from his cradle. Fuel was needed next: where was he to get it? When his mother's back was turned he took coals from her kitchen grate. His . His ancestors. but o. Thomas was the fifth. 1788. cared little about and machinery. new to the boy. of scrap iron. to be impelled by a breeze The poor fellow stammered badly. and this him much thoughtless ridicule. plows and ing. would do for his anvil. one corner of its attic lay a heap spades. he built a forge. smith weld two pieces of iron as if mere dough on a baking-board.f his six sons. When these preparations A were well under way. these. working. and it was but seldom that his father went there. His father. thoroughly drenched. he watched What most amazed him was to see the This with both eyes. At school he was brought it was ever with seemed backward: shy and joy that he dropped his slate and copybook to take up a penknife and or a brook. was a hardthat vicinity. he quietly conveyed to his forge. Thomas heard joyful news.

our young inventor took occasion to : observe that a hand-parer. As the lad stood surveying his proved impossible. he took his first step as ventor. From that day forward . But it was a good while before a farmer of him. learn blacksmithing if mechanic. and never let a job : Thomas Blanchard undertook His father had hoped to make his second task at a forge. leave your hands unless it is the best you can do. His scolding was qualified by paternal admiration of the spunk and gumption so plainly in view. he saw that his son was resolved to be a " Well." an in- While yet a schoolboy. for to the boy. schoolmate one day told him of an apple-paring A machine of lightning pace that he had seen in Boston. but its knife at once slid toward the core of the fruit. holding fast to his father's injunction of thoroughness. my boy. and when with reluctance. which now pared its fruit just as it should. he said you like. in strode his father. its spindle swiftly rotating an apple as the crank was turned. Their absence would give him a chance to weld a dozen bits of iron together if he liked. " I will make one. always kept Accordhis thumb close to the rind he was slicing off. ingly he added a gage of wire to his blade. instead of removing its rind. But to weld any of the reason. to soften his metal." Within a week he built Blanchard said a parer of wood and iron. so as fully to learn an art not so easy as it seemed to be. Without so much as a hint regarding its construction. When his parents drove off. wondering what all this smoke and fire were about. He saw ond time on the blacksmith. To remedy this fault. then his iron scraps unknown hot enough. he was soon plying a bellows at his In a few minutes its blaze was fierce enough little forge.io8 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS morning were to visit father and mother next a friend twenty miles away. that his fire was not with dismay that he must call a sec- darkened lumps of metal. by way of gage. so that it took any shape he pleased. Only learn it thoroughly.

ar- ranging a clockwheel so that it advanced one tooth every time a heading blow fell on a tack. His apple-parer taught him a lesson he never forgot: that and far if a machine is to supplant the human hand.THOMAS BLANCHARD Thomas Blanchard was : 109 in high favor at paring bees near he could easily peel more fruit than any six rivals together. so timed and directed as to produce tacks Machines better an& faster than human hands ever did. for this purpose had been brought out long before. Blanchard's brother looked askance at this contrivance. taking it with him as he went from place to place in a round of factories and shops." Blanchard was about eighteen when he began to build a tack-making machine. an elder brother. and this young Blanchard He mentioned his project to his believed he could design. At every hundreth blow. where. it must faith- fully imitate every successive act of that hand. that they might go into packets of a hundred each. Stephen. announcing that it was time to fold up a packet. a bell was rung. who said : : machine can do it. Blanchard's parer was a hit both social and mechanical. a few miles from Sutton. kept twenty and it boys and at a vise. " no It takes a knack to make a tack brother. At West Milbury. One of the hands in the factory was emone. Blanchard devised a self-acting counter. . It ployed to count tacks. He without practical success. no matter how quick their fingers and thumbs. but sympathy. He gave Thomas work he headed tacks one by was so tedious a task that the lad became disgusted. A machine that would avoid their faults would be profitable. especially when Saturday night brought him a mere pittance as wages. men busy at tack-making. hammer in hand. For the next six years he kept at work upon it at odd times. gave him confidence to attack devices for work much more serious than apple-paring. but its inventor was not to be chilled by lack of determined to pass from counting blows to dealing blows.

This finger brought down the blank into the gripping dies . that these operations were duly copied. mere trifle for so valuable a property.000. Blanchard carefully studied the successive operations of making a tack by as many hand he then so disposed his levers and wheels. with a force and at a speed far surpassing the possibilities of fingers and fists. : mind well as twelve machines. while keeping their dies ground and in good order. the left-hand knife stoppe'd. This tack-machine was so well designed that it remains to this day much the same as when it left its modeler's shop. As soon as the steel for a tack was cut off. he felt that he could bestow no further improvement on the thoroughly built model he now showed his family. and the : right-hand knife held the blank by the aid of a steel finger. In this cut. both upper knives worked as one. the one-thousandth ing part of an ounce was placed on his his patent for this machine for Blanchard sold palm. his knives and hammers. First of all. When he had reached twenty-four. their profits were encouraging. all with better heads and points than those of hand production. each strip as broad as a tack is long. were too small to be shaped by maHe was silent when a machine-made tack weighchinery. As they charged the prices then paid for hand-made goods. His machine steadily poured out two hundred tacks a minute. His brother Stephen had been sure that tacks of ordinary size. thin plates of steel were divided into strips. an earlier plan was discarded that very day. The purchasers shrewdly marketed their tacks without disclosing that they were made by machinery. him a goodly price: it was a This to seemed $5. In Blanchard's time it was fed by hand in its modern forms A single tacker and a quick boy can now it feeds itself.i io LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Whenever he saw how to simplify the action of a knife or hammer. such as fasten carpets. Just enough steel for a blank was then cut off by the contact of two upper knives with a lower bed knife below.

15. LCourtesy of Henry Perkins Foundry Co. 6. carrying tack to gripping dies. Rest 16. 12. and after the two jaws have together cut off the blank. 7. 14. of a width and thickness suited to making the required tacks. Clearer. 10. 2. The bearer (14) is under that portion of the wedge which is to form the head. Feed gear. Feed-rod.THOMAS BLANCHARD . actuated by cams on the spindle. for nipper rods. Bridgewater. Haul-off lever. In operating this machine the plate. Gripping lever. i. Heading lever. Spindle. Logy jaw for cutting plates.] die. the logy jaw (4) comes to a stop. 9..3 III 15 BLANCHARD TACK MACHINE 3. Fiddle-bow. which holds it to be headed by the header (6). . Elbow or feed arm. u. Nippers for holding plate. and the blank or wedge is carried down between the leader-tool and the bearer to the proper point to be taken by the gripper (3). cut off a wedge-shaped blank with the thick part of the wedge toward the header (6). As soon as the header recedes and the dies open. 4. Carrier jaw. the tack is ejected by the clearer (Q) operated by a cam on the hub of the balance wheel. 5. The plate is turned over every half-revolution by the fiddle-bow operated by the elbow and feed-rod from the gear (7). 8. Barrel. Mass. jaws (4 and 5). 13. is held in the nippers and fed through the barrel The barrel is set at such an angle that the two (10) by means of a weight. Boom. Spring to hold tack while carried to the 17. Connecting-rod to operate heading lever.

Before the end of that week he had added controlled by a lever. . Blanchard's success in devising this tack machine brought New England as a man of rare skill Naturally enough he soon took part in the quiet revolution then under way in the manufactures of America. most tacks have their heads formed by a hammer. This task factory. a few miles from his brother's tack was an armory which produced muskets of high Its proprietor welded his gun barrels under a quality. what ceed at the rate of 275 tacks a minute. dies of corresponding outline are employed. a sum which the gunmaker was anxious to reduce. while a tool came up and delivered a blow which formed the head. and with no waste of either metal or motive-power. In modern machines these five operations procentury ago. hammer. and then turned them for almost their whole length on a lathe. looked critically at its lathe.112 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS which closed upon it. as was his wont when in deep study. and a knock-out attachment drove the finished tack into a pan beneath. To-day. itself. an appliance which would mechanically finish his muskets. and asked him to devise. and the production of interchangeable parts. A little labor would be saved rolls instead in continuous of in flat him fame throughout and inventive faculty. The dies now opened. If heads of round or other shape are desired. if he could. Blanchard carefully inspected a completed weapon. der the impulse received from Eli Whitney and his comIn Milbury. which executed the flats and ovals of a butt with ease and at to the gun lathe a simple cam motion. leaving about three inches at the breech to be chipped and filed along two flat and oval sides. He sent for Blanchard. where a subdivision of labor. and began a monotonous whistle. of finishing cost one dollar per weapon. as in Blanchard's time. fingers of flesh had to do a Fingers of steel do A minor imif provement suggests the metal were fed sheets. was constantly advancing un- peers.

and muttered to himself " : I am not so sure of that. still on view in the Museum of the Armory. works nearly six times as In addition to setting up his lathe. and other mountings His absorption in all this arduous toil diof a musket. It carved two gunstocks per hour. One of these appliances cut square mortises to receive the lock." There and then the desire to build a self-acting lathe to turn gunstocks took possession of him." Yes. where he erected. smaller and neater. while a journeyman was " : Well. large copying lathe. a twin cutting and copying wheel. fast." Within a month Blanchard built a lathe which ! : carved so neat a gunstock that it hardly asked a touch from sandpaper. I'll think it over. Department. his imagination a hinged carriage to hold a feeling wheel. Massachusetts. watching this cam at work. In an instant there emerged to thirty miles from Sutton. Blanchard next entered the service of the United States One of the company was an admiral who injocosely: "Can you turn a seventy. barrel. and that he was the man to invent it.THOMAS BLANCHARD trifling cost. 113 One afternoon. in a 1822." replied the inventor." Blanchard overheard this remark. While manifold schemes for this machine were afloat just below the level of his conscious thought. Washington securing his patent for this lathe. he was driving homeward through Brimfield. : and beside it. and refused dismissal from his mind. Blanchard created or improved at least a dozen machines for the manufacture much of firearms. verted his attention from his chief item of property. the . for I turn gunstocks. One of them said to his comrade " I guess that man's crazy. Day by day he felt more and more convinced that such a lathe was feasible.four frigate?" Armory at Springfield. Its suc- cessor. He cried " " I have got it Two passers-by heard this exclamation. he said to a shopmate Blanchard can't take my job away from me. Blanchard exhibited his machine at the War While at quired " " if you will furnish a block. butt-plates.

ii4 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS lathe. Blanchard appealed to Congress to have a high tariff imposed upon these wares. . he model. after years of delay this was enacted and the importations from Canada came to an end. This precaution secured a just title to the inventor. In its latest form a Blanchard lathe cuts six to ten pairs of lasts per hour.It was in developing the manufacture of shoe-lasts that showed the wide scope of his copying carTo form a left-foot last from a he caused his pattern and his wooden block last. his patent did not extend to Canada. his invention for years scarcely netted him any income whatever. His troubles with rogues began. The United States Armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry paid him a royalty of nine cents for each gunstock turned on his lathes. who noted the date. This gave a horde of pirates a welcome soon more than fifty of their machines were opportunity. had called in two witnesses. He and employed copying portionately larger Blanchard first riage as duly modified. on the morning when he had first tested his his patent. depending upon their size and the finish desired. Of course. a wide a from variety of lasts. right-foot With equal simplicity he to revolve in opposite directions. to be exported to the United States free of duty. found that a caveat had been filed on the previous day. Apart from these payments. The five cutters of a last machine are so shaped as to take cuts successively deeper and deeper. he original patent. . copying running throughout the country. before the issue of his While he was building his first model. Blanchard. To hunt down and punish these thieves was both costly and baffling. But the would-be pirate was foiled. proproduced single pattern smaller. indeed. was watched by a machinist who copied his work day by When Blanchard reached Washington and applied for day. so that his lathes taken across the border made lasts by the million. passing out of Vermont and Maine northward into Canada.

his descent from a Huguenot of Rochelle. but enlist capital. a forerunner of the motor-cars of to-day. Blanchard did not always stay indoors at his work. and dif- A Blanchard lathe thus equipped attracted much attention at the Universal Exposition of 1857 in Paris. He exerted himself to form a joint-stock company to build a railroad across Massachusetts. ton. In 1825 he built in Springfield a steam vehicle which sped along its highways at a rattling pace. its comwhen Blanchard sought to none was forthcoming. with their tracks so much less resistant than roadways. in their lengths of path. also. and he left their advocacy to other promoters. with a line from Albany to Schenectady as its first link. For that great artery the Governor had wrought valiantly for many years. He was a pioneer in adapting steam to transportation by land and water. January 23. He then proceeded to where he explained his project to Governor ClinAlbany. turned sharp corners without It was its controlled with strain.THOMAS BLANCHARD fering proportionately. Blanchard was now convinced that the time was not ripe for railroads. who. with a model steam carriage. On mittee reported favorably. 115 wheels differing in size from the feeling wheel. . mirers of Blanchard recalled. went forward or backward as power could be Blanchard clearly foresaw a great future for railways. hill and doubled when a was to be climbed. ease. 1826. Governor Clinton heard Blanchard with his accustomed courtesy. as it executed in miniature exquisite reproductions of life-size busts of NaThe French adpoleon III. whose success was not long delayed. to the State Legislature. submitting his plans. . and the Empress Eugenie. While railroading had been in his thoughts. and told him that his proposal came too soon after the exhausting demands for the Erie Canal. with many another refugee.readily as a horse. with pride. brought rare skill to his new home in America. suggesting that the Empire State should build a comprehensive railroad system.

As the result of many experiments. the Massachusetts. He boldly employed steam at a pressure of 500 pounds to the square inch. remained merely in the stage of for years been plying with had discussion. In this stretch of water there were falls and rapids having a total extent of 600 feet. 300 miles apart. to be sometimes weak and faulty. to withstand a pressure so extreme he was restricted to boilers of small size. Lawrence. and the Mississippi. a few miles distant. Of course. This led him to examine processes for steaming timbers. aware steamboats of the While railroads had economy attending its use. profit Blanchard did all that lay in his power to confer a like boon on the Connecticut River. Blanchard found the knee timbers. hesitation. Blanchard designed the steamer Al- legheny. so that a free channel was opened all the way to Springfield. and other steamers. he designed a machine which bent steamed timbers quite free from frac- . Even to-day it would be repeated with In 1830. the the St.ii6 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS he sketched a variety of switches and the like. But he found leaks to be unavoidable. For the traffic thus offered. and lubrication so difficult at the great heat involved that his experiment was abandoned. for which he paid a high price. he bestowed original features upon them all. He noticed that usually these products were badly cracked and splintered on their outer curves. the principal business men of Hartford decided to improve the navigation of that stream flowing by their city. to ply between Pittsburgh and Olean Point. which were duly adopted when locomotives began their transformation of America. and then bending them into forms needed in shipbuilding. In the Massachusetts he employed two steam engines. Accordingly a canal was Enfield built to overcome Falls. Blanchard built the Vermont. In building the hulls of his steamers. In 1826. Of course. so coupled as to avoid dead centers at the crank pin. Hudson.

the fibers of wood. Its 117 curved links grasped a stick. It also profitably turned out handles for plows and other farm . as Blanchard's predecessors To stretch was to had done. which .000. while a stout screw firmly pressed the wood against its container. His machine proved to be by far the most lucrative of Blanchard's inventions.THOMAS BLANCHARD ture. BLANCHARD'S MACHINE FOR BENDING WOOD does little harm or none at all. he them weaken employed only compression. For its applications to ship timbers he received $150.

. and his sterling honesty gave unimpeachable value to his judgments. during the remainder of his life. showing Blanchard an oldif asked him he could furnish a frame that would not break apart when let fall to the ground. 1864." redollars. his wide and varied experience in machine shops. royalty plied the Pennsylvanian. on your sales. manufacturer of school slates came from pictures with frames much A Philadelphia one fashioned square day. and. Here. a considerable part of his time was devoted to acting His intuitive perceptions as a as an expert in patent cases. In this last-mentioned field. He died in Boston April 16. Two thousand " Five hundred is enough. at the age of seventy-six. it provided slates and than those made of stronger and wood. finding 'it none the worse. chipped off the corners so as to leave it an oval." said the inventor." said Blanchard. mechanic. and then steamed and bent around it an oak strip fastened by an iron loop. His visitor consented. it LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS curved felloes for wheels. Blanchard's income from his patents was now ample. slate. and. with the result that he paid Blanchard more than two thousand dollars during the first year of their contract. and he removed to Boston. Blanchard took the slate. small straight jointed as it seemed. asked Blanchard his terms for the right " to manufacture such a frame for slates.ii8 tools. the inventor reaped a harvest which astonished him. The slatemaker let this frame fall to the floor repeatedly. " Give me five per cent.


of Brooklyn.l .[From a painting by himself. Museum of the Hrooklvn Tnsti le of Arts ziml Sripnops. using a mirror By permission of the his portrait is exhibited at the owner. G. William Rasch.

Morse Artist that he was. And. lamps. They dealt. to keep its current from leaking what electrical intensities are best away. with only trifling volumes of current. he placed pencils 119 in . They accomto use. how They had to learn plished nothing less. and furnaces which may be as far off as three hundred miles. and attract an armature of an ounce or two. They had to find out what wire end. than the long-distance transmission of electricity. and how properly to enwrap the tell-tale cores of their electro-magnets. for long or for short lines. quite without his lieutenants knowing to they were breaking ground for other conquests as decisive as their ow n. and always. it. it operated : a Morse circuit of eighty miles. but all the while they were making straight the paths for the modern engineers who send millions of horse-power from Niagara. first is the commanding figure.SAMUEL F. B. at its journey's should excite an electro-magnet. to be sure. or a hundred miles. to chains of motors. and from other cataracts the world over. Seventy years ago so few could see that this great boon lay within easy grasp. seventy. MORSE OF all the services of electricity the chief is its carriage of our words with the speed of light. how to place it. that the pioneers of telegraphy had to fight many a hard battle before they came to victory. In American telegraphy. 1844. Professor Charles Graf ton Page in 1838 designed a simple dynamo as a rival to voltaic batteries on Christmas Day. with so little loss by the way that. r Morse and sought convey an it electric current forty. as These inestimable services had their unregarded beginning an aid to telegraphy almost at its birth. and of the motive-power into which it may be instantly converted. therefore.

was a man of force and initiative. For this mastery of men and events he was equipped by nature and nurture. the Amerat the Andover. He owed much. Rev. he sought information from investigators. . First Congregational He was settled as pastor of the Church in Charlestown. secured votes from lawmakers. nearly everything. filled its treasury. . his installation and the American Tract Society. Massa- chusetts. however large his debt to these devisers. and borrowed with nothing in pledge but his to his capital own fervid hopes. Samuel Finley. " American a teacher in New Haven. the American Bible Society. a grandthe Rev. after many a storm. he began writing his Geography. who became of daughter president of the College of University. But. Morse served his parish all the more fruitfully because he looked beyond He took part in its bounds. and to their interpreter. on April 30.120 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS electric fingers in such wise that. won wide acceptance throughout the Union. engaged its crew. the day of Washington's inauguration in New York as President of the United States. Jedidiah Morse. who counted Daniel Webster among his admiring friends. Dr. and while reason. A fortnight after he married Elizabeth Ann Breese. To begin with. enlisted inventive skill superior own." which. who planned its voyage. and. and with good Before he was licensed as a clergyman. Professor Leonard D. indeed. now Princeton . he was well born. 1789. Alfred Vail it was Morse who was captain of the ship. to a succession of discoverers all the way from Galvani to Henry. New Jersey. Dr. with the address and tact of a born diplomatist. Theological Seminary founding ican Board of Foreign Missions. His father. duly completed. the Rev. they might record their signals simply and indelibly. instead of waving idly in the air. With a tenacity never for a moment relaxed. anchored in port at last. Gale however much his first instruments were transmuted by his partner.

he was sent to a preparatory school in Andover.SAMUEL On recall Hill. and he earnestly toiled for a proficiency which might win his . a cripple plain that a slight jolt in his have patterned him as a minister of the unable to leave her chair. He began to feel that his skill and joy at the easel were pointing to his career. Thanks to his example and loving discipline. When failing sight obliged him to have assistants at his desk. toward art declared itself early. with a comparatively small income. his son was ever a man of profound it religious is convictions. he chose the three young Morses. to eminent forbears. Thus generously did their father. Dr. 1791. after a brief sojourn at home. At that time the president of Yale College was Timothy Dwight. he was followed by his brothers. MORSE 121 April 27. strong upon every student under his care. en- Thither. he attended a school kept by Old Ma'am Rand. he proceeded to Yale College. he painted miniatures at five dollars. tering at sixteen. kaleidoscope would His bent Gospel. a teacher of national fame. was born his famous son. As one reads his intimate letters. within a year or two. When four years of age. Morse. Young Samuel outlined her features in a style so unflattering that he received more than one rebuke from her long rattan. like the shepherd whom Chaucer praised. B. where he was fitted for Phillips Academy. Rev. and drew profiles at a dollar. was all the stronger paternal. When seven years old. was baptized Samuel Finley Breese. near by. with the trio for an intimacy which became Samuel Morse's knack time in seizing a portrait was mean- improving by constant practice. His molding influence. provide his children with thorough education at his own alma mater. who. in F. Sidney and Richard. and not as a painter and an inventor. in a house at the foot of Breed's Charlestown. recommended the narrow way by walking therein himself. Thence. To eke out his modest expenses.

122 father's LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS concurrence in his desire to become an artist. activity. 1809 : to his father. they are upon He has given us some very fine experiments. a few years later. And meanwhile. Yet. in the mind of this man. Day's lectures are very interesting. so Morse. a post which he filled with How he sowed the good seed in Morse's distinction. gave the telegraph to America. fruitfully impressed this young student? then professor of physics. taking hold of hands. and nourished. he had but moderate skill as a mechanic. and in the mind of nobody else. Who was the teacher at Yale. I never took the electric shock before it felt as if some person had struck me a slight blow across the arms. his inventive powers were not remarkable. and just because he filled and connected voltaic cells. let us bear in mind. rose to the presidency of his university. noted the vibration of compass needles. was not a probable man to be Columbus of American telegraphy. who. he received could then bestow. charged and discharged brain Leyden jars. who. written on Mr. may turn upon an all-round appeal to a student's intelligence. and we all received the shock at the same moment. his was planted with seeds which more than twenty years afterward germinated in his recording telegraph. evidently. the whole class. His natural bent was strongly toward art. . day by day. he was no chemist neither had he the talent nor the ambition of a researcher. mind is told in a note from Morse March 8. Jeremiah Day. electricity. he learned all was then known about electricity. upon bringing to his view the whole circle of human In a golden hour a latent and unsuspected thus be awakened. was kindled the spark which. the . by experiment and interpretation. term by term. " . formed the circuit of communication. before the faculty may brief springtime of responsiveness has passed forever. that the best scientific instruction that any American college As part of his course. Much. all in good time.

1810. I should admire to be able to go with him. and of his One day they built a fire-balloon. He felt an impulse ever growing stronger On July 22. in 1810. which will probably be in the course of this week. and with decided skill. toward " I art. Dr. That famous artist was . with him." His father and mother already had had proof of his abilwith the brush. B. Morse now consented that Samuel should adopt painting as his vocation. I would desire to study with him during the winter." Morse was also much indebted to Professor Benjamin Silliman. I will give you some account of them as soon as they are delivered. as you shall think expedient. But this sort of thing was to Morse play rather : than work. Day has given us two lectures on this subject. as he expects to return to England in the spring. with so assured a touch that his father was convinced that there was in his The Landing of son the making of an artist. Experiments other than electrical at times exercised the ingenuity of Morse. I still think that I was made for a painter. On its second voyage it lurched against the middle college building. and who employed in his experiments Volta's pile and crown of cups. MORSE 123 Mr. for my studying painting. he wrote to his parents released am now from college. he painted the Pilgrims at Plymouth. took fire. but of this we will talk when we meet at home. It was speedily arranged that.SAMUEL lieve there are F. He had depicted them both. in a family group. it to ashes. and a Cruikshanks' battery. and I would be obliged to you to make such arrangements with Mr. and am attending to As to my choice of a profession. as he had suggested. and was soon reduced brothers as well. some time before this at ity college. he should study with Washington Allston. Allston. who then taught chemistry at Yale. Just before his graduation. and sent skyward. and I betwo more remaining. and.

West " Very well. This he submitted to West. but the finished beginnings." pointing places which had many scrutiny for handed the . Morse again presented it to warmly accorded. " " see you have not marked that Not yet." nor the articulations muscle. not finished ? " . drawing back to Morse. " said. Praise was asked Morse. " . saying. Well. sir go and finish it.joints. Well." resir. on the soon to cross from his native America to his studio in Lydia. and here. Very " but he ended up with. Morse intended to offer for exhibition at the Academy a drawing from a small cast of the Farnese Hercules. and began work at his easel with diligence. than they were felt. " to be exceedingly good. sir." said West. if possible. proving his work. no. " " I cannot finish it. escaped the untutored eye of the young student. full of confidence." said you long enough. Morse now spent three or four days retouching and imIs it " Very well. After strict some minutes. I have you have learned more by this drawing than you would have accomplished in double the time by a dozen halfIt is not numerous drawings. sir." said West plied Morse. London. morning Allston presented him to Benjamin West. " It is finished. but once again West indeed. Morse engaged a lodging at 67 Great Titchfield One Street." finish it. resolved.124 . No sooner were they pointed out. and much commendation." West acreally finished at last." " " look here. 13. until. On arriving in London. go and Morse almost tried in despair. . however. Oh. He and Morse sailed on July from New York for Liverpool. indeed . LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS 1811." . very well go on and finish it. and a week was devoted to a more careful finishing of the drawing. then in the zenith of his renown. Now. deeply chagrined. West. to unfinished and here." replied West of the finger. the leading American artist of his time. to have his critic drawing was knowledged the drawing say that the clever.

and says that I must send a cast of it home to you. B. . . sir I have always told you that any painter . the exercise of which spirit by parents toward their children has been the ruin of some of the greatest geniuses." Allston . West was also extremely dewith it. Museum of Yale University. . sir. 1813. and that it will convince you that I shall make a painter. my first attempt at sculpture. pointing to the figure. His pains production were richly rewarded. Mr. which included canvases by Turner. Twenty- . To the day of his Morse sent to the figure in its death he treasured a copy of The British Press of May 4. Northcote. and Wilkie." The picture painted from this Academy Exhibition. my biographer will never be able to charge upon my parents that bigoted attachment to any individual profession.. but displayed thought. which makes a thorough draughtsman. said. he says it is better than all the things I have done since I have been in England put together... Morse showed West a cast of this Dying Hercules. furthermore. written on September 2O> 1812: //- "I have just finished a model in clay of a figure (The Dying Hercules). " Look there. and you are a painter. West called his son Raphael. He said it was not merely an academical lighted figure. it cast from disappeared and Both the model and a no trace behind. MORSE 125 character of one. Lawrence. .. This picture hibition is now in the Art plaster model. is extremely pleased with it. I hope that one day my success in my profession will reward you in some measure for the trouble and inconvenience I have so long put you to. Mr. can make a sculptor. Finish one picture. If it is my destiny to become GREAT. and. His won a gold medal at the Exleft of the Society of Arts." How well he laid to heart the severe lessons from West appears in a letter to his parents. in which his picture is declared to be among the nine best paintings in a gallery of a thousand.SAMUEL F. and worthy of a biographical memoir.

it had the darkness. suffered ness. news was brought of an important victory over the rebels. the United States and England were at war. In proof he related to Morse : While the King was on a visit to me. and remarking their delicacy. " The messenger then said to me " Are you not gratified at the success of his Majesty's : " ' ' troops ? " ' No/ ' I replied: I can never rejoice in the misfortunes of said the King. the messenger immediately traced him to my studio. ' long be a fit subject for any government. in 1838. It testified to the courtesy and savoir five years itol at faire of Morse.' One day Morse paid West a visit whilst he was painting " West carefully examChrist Rejected. One day.126 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS afterward Morse came upon the cast in the CapWashington.' Right. and communicated the intelligence." his canvas of ined Morse's hands. Not finding him at the palace. Benjamin West. He heard more than ." the young artist. His quick eye was attracted by something white glimmering in It was the cast of his Dying Hercules. To locate his wires he descended to a vault which had long been closed. If you did.' approvingly on : please. who had laid it aside and forgotten all about it. if you ' my " countrymen. he was installing his telegraph in an upper room there. he said " Let me tie you with this cord and take that place while When he released I paint in the hands of the Saviour. that you had a hand in this picture. rising and placing his hand ' you would not my shoulder. his unfailing characteristics through life. that he was everywhere received with hospitality and kindHis illustrious compatriot. West said: "You may now say. been given to the architect of the Capitol." West was not the only man of eminence whom Morse met during this long stay in London. no cooling in the friendship which had long bound him to King George Third. While Morse was in London.

the banker- poet. and was a delighted junior which gathered around Rogers. and thither he returned for good and all. he met. rising to popularity as a painter of genre and historical pieces. a warm-hearted youth. to any other. Leslie returning the compliment by limning his friend as a Highlander. Wordsworth and Crabbe. Yale he had learned quite as much from his fellow-students as from his professors. Leslie taught drawing at West Point. also. For a few months. Men of the world are apt to prefer the company of artists. three years his Leslie was junior. West. in 1833. Flaxman. B. and their venerable compeers. artists of that era cote. MORSE 127 one monologue from Coleridge. Painters human nature they observe with the adhesive gaze of men storing impressions for use. but he found the Military Academy a poor exchange for London. From youngsters of the brush he heard criticism and And as he retouching or reserve. now became. of decided talent and unquenchable enthusiasm. His portrait. in Spanish costume. first outline to the final var- Of his younger associates the most notable was his chum and room-mate. went from one studio to another as a welcome visitor. from the nishing. he saw what patience and fidelity go to the making of comment without every good picture.SAMUEL in the circle F. Charles Robert Leslie. He wrote an admirable life of his friend a handbook for young artists packed with solid Constable. which took place in 1859. as by the formal precepts of Allston. In London he was as gainfully instructed by young artists. and an autobiography published after his death. born in England of American parents. Of the great he saw something of Fuseli and NorthAt Turner. like himself. Every portrait painter of mark cultivates the sympathy such as Morse see much of nature and : . was the first that Morse painted in London. and Sir Thomas Lawrence. sense and wise counsel.

. in carved his life he planned. It is much when an inventor has this measure of the builder in him : in the very act of making suggests his model. Lessons not so im- portant. What have artists and inventors com- Mainly breadth and vividness of imagination. Albany worked with electrical apparatus. Nasmyth and Alvan Clark. that he out a of may bring revealing glance curiosity. These men were craftsmen as well as artists in both fields they passed from old to new. at years one of the glories of the Louvre.128 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS sitter at ease. as mature Pieta. with chisel or file. in happy independence of model-makers. in viewing electrical experiments from outside the In New Haven and New rut of professional treadmills. both with plastic clay and with the brush. the dome of Saint Peter's. Thus it came about that. revealed the combining talent of a real inventor. some of it better than . were learned by our young he was quietly advancing in nicety and sureness of touch. a roof for that Picta. Da Vinci devised canal-locks and painted Mona Lisa. but valuable enough. of self-approval: and this sympathy remains with the which puts a nervous or impatient artist when he still : lays down his palette. and in Princeton. by-and-by. hundreds of students had York. His first telegraphic register. from inheritance to discovery. measure of mechanical ingenuity. its its creator feels that here and there he can better design or construction. And thus the query in itself. twenty-one. he could fashion his student of art telegraphic recorder with his own hands. though clumsy. of introspection. In less exalted ranks of this hierarchy of artist-inventors mon? we may remark Fulton and Daguerre. for many Michael Angelo. And then he was fortunate in having a fresh eye. To imagination Morse joined other dawn while to their He had a fair gifts. : They could descry the approach of neighbors darkness still prevailed. They divined what to other men was inscrutable then they gave it form with pencil or brush.

indeed. He received no offer for his picture." . throb by throb. inventor of the cotton gin. with pencil or pen. he promptly opened a studio. By way of introduction he exhibited The Judg- ment of its Jupiter. and no sitter favored him with a call. and have two more engaged.SAMUEL F. while it kept him ignorant of many important advances in knowledge. But. In the autumn of 1816. With no work for his brush. and adapted it to fire engines. Remote. so great is the desire for portraits in the different country towns. make an independent fortune in a few years if I devoted mystill am here I T self exclusively to portraits. B. with the aid of his brother Sidney. Yet he was the only one of them all to bid electricity write its messages. What fall back upon? Nothing but touring from town to town with his easel in quest of patrons. I think I shall get along well. four miles from his native Charlestown. and the following winter. Let us see how he fared. was his easel from machine shops and chemical laboratories. from Liverpool for Boston year abroad. on August 16. In Boston. he wrote to his resource could he parents " I : have painted t" o portraits at fifteen dollars each. This pump was commended by that acute critic. That very remoteness. an improved pump. for which the public encouraged him with voice and with nothing else. alas! like the portraits Morse stood ready to paint. in all likelihood gave him a truer perspective of the distant possibilities of science than if he had been an engineer or a chemist. MORSE 129 any that had fallen in Morse's way. ingenuity. he sailed on the Ceres. it was not in demand. 1815. In the course of his fifth studies to be fairly closed. Eli Whitney. Morse deemed his On August 21. and many more I believe I could talked of. From Concord. he traveled through New Hampshire and Vermont. his mind reverted to the mechanical contrivances which had often suggested themselves to his He devised.

where he met with cheer- ing success. to be president. When he had reaped the Northern field pretty thoroughly. Joel R. Their union was of happiness unalloyed to the end of her days Morse and his wife were lovers. life was the early death of his devoted He had now artist entered upon the checkered career of an at times. in pressing whose work was. On Oci. It was a case of love at first sight. In a few weeks he had listed one hundred and fifty patrons at sixty dollars each. at a friend's invitation. for which that he had talent. Academy was chosen of Fine Arts. With his wonted public spirit. as in every other. making friends wherever he went. which. the beautiful and accomplished daughter of Charles Walker. his lot was one of sunshine just after his wedding at Concord. He drew a good many portraits with the understanding that they were to be completed in the North. of which a friend. The one supreme tober : sorrow of his helpmate. For the Common Council of Charleston. whither he must soon return to rejoin his wife.130 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS During the next month he met at a party Miss Lucretia Pickering Walker. He now Washington. he had cherished in contemplation. he took pant in founding the South Carolina Poinsett. In this regard. he was married to Miss Walker at Concord. for two years. with an early betrothal. 1818. demand. He executed his large canvas . He hoped that this work might lead him from simple he felt portraiture to historical painting. Every day that Morse remained in Charleston increased his vogue. a leading citizen of Concord. and earning fair prices for his work. to Charleston. Morse continued his tours. he painted a portrait of President James Monroe. he went. At length he felt warranted in assuming the responsibilities of matrimony. conceived a picture of the House of Representatives at in which the portraits of seventy leading mem- bers should appear. with long intervals of idleness and the imminence of sheer want.

" In this studio the first Chancellor Kent. and much admired. of New York. B.50 a week. on the corner of Pine Street. opposite Trinity Churchyard. with no particular profit to Morse or himself. and have taken for my studio a fine room in Broadway [No. subject.SAMUEL in the F. the picture came into the hands of the late Daniel Huntington. Morse would have been glad of other sitters. MORSE 131 1822. Morse's skill as an artist and as a mechanic came into play autumn of during the summer of 1823. and on December 21. 96]. . for $6. and disappointment was again his wanted it. In constructing and operating this machine he was aided by Mr. fifty cents less than I . who proved portrait he painted was that of to be a nervous and fidgety as troublesome. and wrote to his wife : his residence I have obtained a place to board at friend Coolidge's at $2. New York does not yet feel the influx of wealth from the Western Canals. Auger. whose gallery it long adorned. 1823. the more at once. 1823. who carved busts of Apollo and other statuary. It requires some little time to become renowned in such a city. . Nobody and wide. It is now in the Corcoran Art Gallery at Washington. Morse wrote to his wife : permanent place of residence in proper it seems that it should be a push at New York as a my profession. Morse wrote to his wife in anything but : a festal key . " On August I 27. After many vicissitudes." expected to pay." The more think of making in During the ensuing month Morse took up New York. but in a year or two she will feel it. although it was exhibited far portion. just But the Chancellor was not followed upstairs by any other patron. when he devised a sculpturing machine in New Haven.25 per week. with Christmas at hand. and it will be advantageous to me to be previously identified among her citizens as a painter.

and that she should pass away in his absence added pang to pang. after much cloudy weather. He was commissioned by the City of New York to paint a portrait of Lafayette. This blow was almost more than Morse could bear. through a quarrel with the powers that were. to find Lafayette as agreeable in a studio as in a drawing-room. of the Senate. Mr.. and Morse's chief. the historical painter. the one society of artists in New York. and once more the poor artist knew the bitterness of balked hopes. While he was painting this picture. Poinsett. who have been Minister to Mexico. To-day the journey may be accomplished in less than seven hours. but which to decide upon I am completely at a loss. his wife had suddenly died. brush there was soon unmistakable proof. Of his high standing with his brethren of the he painted too few of them to yield him a living. Colonel Trumbull.132 " LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS My cash is almost gone. . Morse was to enjoy a little sunshine. On his return to Washington. . which hangs in the City Hall of New York. He proceeded to Washington forthwith. nor can I decide until I hear definitely from Washington in regard to my Mexico expedition." He was was to duly appointed attache. and Colonel Hayne. 1825. was then president of the American Academy He was of Arts. and I begin to feel some anxiety and perplexity to know what to do. he received word that on February 8. did not enter on his mission. and al- commended themselves to the fraternity artists. He and his wife had been devotedly attached to one another. An aggravation of his grief was the six days and nights' constant travel which then divided Washington from New Haven. Edwards. He now resumed work in his Broadway though of his canvases studio.. But Mr. applying for some situation in the legation soon to be sent to Mexico. I have thought of various plans. But. Morse finished his portrait of Lafayette. I wrote to General Van Rensselaer. utterly heartbroken.

Academy 15. thanks to their energy and ability. with usefulness both to his associates and the public. resided in Haven for six years. B.SAMUEL F. a family journal of a After a severe struggle their newspaper became profitable. Morse exaid. of Philadelphia. Samuel Morse. during a brief stay in New Haven. Sidney and Richard. still flourishes in New York. there came to him bad news from New Haven. But it was not in producing high temperatures that Morse was to use electricity. a galvanic calori- motor and his deflagrator for the combustion of metals. the Rev. MORSE 133 accused of inhospitality to young students. and established religious character. Samuel's brothers. a group of painters and sculptors proposed tional to found a NaAccordingly. fifteen artists were chosen by ballot as foundation members. While Morse was at work with his wonted industry. His father. with honor to himself. which had recently acquired from Dr. was dying. and on other grounds he was generally disliked. 1826. He observed with wonder how . to whom in every extremity he could turn for sympathy and On June 9. its name classes shortened. With the children of his son pired in his sixty-fourth year. he attended in New York a course of lectures by Professor James Freeman Dana. The Observer. The Academy. had not lost sight of the amazing developments in science of each passing year. In he New had Samuel. with art- much expanded and strengthened in the recent years of its history. Hare. Dr. in 1827. of the Fine Arts of Design. In their discontent. a post on January he held until 1845. removed to New York. 1826. he often visited the laboratory of Professor Silliman. seven years later. In 1820. 1823. The path of his interests and of his ultimate triumph was cleared and broadened when. with Morse as president. Now came warmth and light to the seeds long ago planted in his mind at Yale. three years before their father died. of Columbia College. in his devotion to art.

curved as a horseshoe. and force of habit saddles that choice upon their army of successors. near London. this clutching effect that he chose. Other inventors. This action. he prepared and These were among the first lectures on art ever heard in America. deflected the needle much more than before. of Woolwich. His practice as a painter had steadily grown. to become familiar with the masterpieces of all time. at Copenhagen. and most wisely. when bent as a ring. But what particularly impressed him was an electro-magnet invented. by William Sturgeon. this wire. an effect noticed by Romagnesi at Trent in 1802. Amid this pressure of toil. so much more positive and energetic than the swaying of a compass the iron was It needle. until now he was offered more commissions than he could execute. and independently remarked by Oersted in 1819. at once became magnetic. Their quality widened his circle of friends. at leisure. around which were coiled a few feet of copper wire. He saw how. By way of insulation the iron had received a coat of varnish.134 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS first a straight wire conveying electricity deflected a nearby compass needle. only to lose its magnetism the instant that the current was cut off. Morse. . less sound in judgment. to refine his taste. there. Yet for all his goodly income as an artist. and improve his techdelivered a series of discourses on the fine arts. Here was a strip of soft iron. Italy. for the register he eventually designed. But Morse's interest in electrical progress at this time was but an incident in a life devoted to art: he turned to the laboratory for the refreshing which comes with a change of outlook. of Halle. and bore fruit in a professorship five years afterward. preferred a vibrating needle as their agent. was dissatisfied with his pictures. When an electric current passed through this wire. rooted itself deeply in Morse's brooding mind. following an experiment de- vised by Professor Schweigger. now in his thirty-ninth He resolved to visit year. in 1825.

on his southward course. which he was to paint while abroad. B. Near Lyons. proceeding through France. either as canvases for He sailed from New York on or original works. took his way to the Italian frontier. landing in Liverpool twenty-six days CHAPP thereafter. TELEGRAPH In England he met Leslie and other intimates of his youth. . he saw the waving arms of a Chappe semaphore. and. 1829.SAMUEL A F. copies November 8.800 nique. MORSE 135 score of his friends at once subscribed $2.

this theory by placing a white ball in a box. " I have observed in a picture by Rubens/ said Morse. so placed. mass of years since. or of blue. hot. the warm the middle tint. in his " Hisof the Arts in tory America. This picture is now in the National Gallery. give the same relative result. according to my theory.' On one occasion his friend Allston said to him.' ' ' . and it will not harmonize with the rest of the picture/ Morse found the drapery belonged to the mass of light. which has been confirmed by all his subsequent studies of the works of the great masters. I found that ' ' He saw in it that the highest light was cold. lined with white.' Morse exWhat do you mean by your theory ? 'It is so it is in Allston immediately said plained it. " Mr. negative. He says that he has tried . the reflections. and said. cool the shadow. Your theory has saved me many an hour's labor. when standing before a picture by Paul Veronese. I have painted that piece of drapery of every color. and. while standing before an unfinished painting. during his sojourn in Italy. ' ' Morse. . ' ' : . His desire to please and help others always made others desire to please and help him. Morse has told me that he distribution of colors in a picture formed a theory for the many light." says : London. of New York. He became in- . the shadow (which. on examination. nature / and has since said. formed many delightful friendships. I found the picture foxy.136 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS such as he was to banish from the world. that it had a foxy tone. In the Vatican and other great galleries of Italy. learning many a golden lesson as he plied the brush. William Dunlap. On February 20 he found himself in Rome: without losing a day he began to copy Raphael's School of Athens for Robert Donaldson. According to my theory. Balls of orange. The high light of the ball is uniformly cold in comparison with the local color of the ball. he copied with industry. and convinced himself that the system of Paul Veronese is the order of nature. it must be warm paint it fleshcolor. ought to be negative) was hot Whenever I found this to be the case.

fraternized with enthusiasm. so far apart in their labors. He cited Franklin's experiments with several miles of wire. nobody project for Of what electrical Gauss. The . His portfolios filled. B. and Schilling. MORSE 137 James Fenimore the novelist and did sooner in no then was Italy Cooper the artist meet than an attachment began. whom he painted a speaking likeness. but Morse was now silent. and a neighbor asked.SAMUEL F. mined his life ever after: "If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit. Jackson. who had corresponded with the " American Geography. On October i. Morse deemed his post-graduate course at an end. Morse owed to his father a close intimacy with Baron Von Humboldt. spoke of the length of wire in the coil " Is the velocity of an electro-magnet. perhaps. Dr. " its of electricity reduced by the length of conducting wire? Jackson replied that electricity passes instantaneously over any known length of wire. telegraphy. only to end with Cooper's life. the two : timate with the great Danish sculptor. the talk at dinner turned on electro-magnetism. his commissions for pictures duly despatched. Charles T. and afterward at Potsdam. and discourse with the utmost charm from his vast store of observation and thought." Sometimes the author of the great explorer would seat himself beside Morse as he painted at the Louvre. and. of Boston." So far talk proceeded. for the most memorable voyage of his life. During a later visit to Paris. a entertained had ever else he as knew. 1832. Thorwaldsen. he embarked at Havre for New York on the Sully. Soon after the shores of France had receded from view. a discoverer of anesthesia. for that very reason. who sat near Morse. of friends. in which no appreciable time elapsed between a touch at one end and a spark at the Then Morse uttered the conviction which deterother. I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted instantaneously by electricity.

you hear of the telegraph one of these days. the times were ripe for practical telegraphy. In truth. and he foresaw what mankind would reap by the instantaneous conveying of intelligence the prospect spurred him day and night.138 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Weber had accomplished in needle telegraphy in Germany. he drew rapidly and preThese plans. so that. France. If this could take place in Germany. As his ship neared in himself a said to her commander. The electro-magnet of Sturgeon. at Albany. Morse had one of the unfailing marks of greatness. Nor had news reached him of the still more striking experiments of Joseph Henry. a few months prior. From boyhood he had been drawing and sketching. at last. each advancing in a path of his own. to cross. for the task he himself. and America. are preserved in the National Museum at Washington. His native ingenuity had been exercised in constructing his pump and his sculpturing machine. All his life his imagination had swept broad horizons." Morse had unconsciously prepared than one. as the Sully bowled along toward New York. England. why not also on the bosom of the Atlantic ? The feat was feasible wherever there were brains to take newly created tools and build with them. as the wonder of the world. the threshold of electrical communication. On the practical side : . had enabled several ingenious men. the galvanometer of Schweigger. Captain. lined. Captain Pell: should Well. knows nothing about. he was wholly ignorant. " He and in his purposes stubborn obstacle might Many would overcome it. wherever there was imagination to pass from the known to the beyond. Here was a remarkable instance of how an inventor may independently devise a scheme long before embodied in apparatus he. remember the dis- Sandy Hook he covery was made on the good ship Sully. confront him. in more ways now took up with a stout heart. His confidence could not be shaken. as then outcisely his plans for a telegraph. and became a sheer obsession.

to his deep its procession of improvement of income. I " to ' : Strother. dormitory. of Virginia. which served as a studio. therefore. he was happy. His diet was mainly tea of his own brewing and crackers. B. and soul. He had three other pupils. and one day the professor came in. was on the fifth floor of a building on the northIn succession east corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets. I paid my fifty Morse was a faithdollars for one quarter's instruction. when my second quarter's pay was poor. workshop. as no rival inventor was happy. General Strother. professor/ I answered. and I soon found that our professor had very little patronage. from having means to carry recruited. my remittance did not come as expected. boy. with its forceful grasp. and subsequently New York. indeed. MORSE 139 of his project. " ' my Why. had he remained at home. and took as much interest in our progress as more. But he was very I remember that.SAMUEL F. a " Porte Crayon. than we did ourselves. out telegraphic experiments. how are we off for * ' money? I am sorry to say I . courteously Well. On artists. and said. patrons would undoubtedly have been So far. to that structure stands the present Morse Building." well-known contributor to magazines as his fortunes thus sketched Morse at this crisis in : went engaged to become Morse's pupil. he had hardly cash enough to pay his landlord and grocer. due. his return to New York Morse lost chagrin. ful teacher. From Nassau Street he removed to University Place. but with no his place in of three years found. His commissions for portraits were so few that he was obliged to give lessons. Near the window stood a lathe on which he turned out the brass apparatus which he devised and slowly improved. and found him in a room in University Place. Only rigid economy enabled him to keep together body and His room. that he had In his absence he had dropped from the memory of many acquaintances from whom. in choosing as his servant the electro-magnet.

do/ " It I paid the money. signal proof was at hand. Of the distinction he more successful than himhad won as a painter. ex-President of the United States. never made who would gladly have come to his aid. a member of the committee. I shall be dead by that "'Dead. his distress to friends with the utmost dread of debt. dire though his straits be. alleging the incompetency of . but good. who stood second only to Allston. but ' expect a remittance next ' week/ Next week/ he repeated sadly time/ .four hours. A Congressional committee to paint these pictures. in the As high esteem accorded him by his fellowPresident of the Academy of Design. was authorized to appoint artists The artists of America urged the selection of Morse. to be followed by grievous disappointment. such as were now required for the ro- tunda of the National Capitol. he was ambitious to paint historical canvases. A housedog lives better. and. means beggary. Your life depends upon people who know nothing of your art. was a modest meal. artist. " ' Would ten dollars be of any Ten dollars would save my ' . he exartists erted an influence as wide as the Union. a man known might artists. : he said This is don't be an ' my first meal for twenty. keeps him alive to J: suffering/ Morse. all that I had. As we have already seen. who was not in the running. And he felt comfort. and we dined together. offered a resolution that foreign artists be allowed to compete. It Strother. ' sir?' I said hurriedly service ? life that is all it would : '.140 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS I have been disappointed. after he had finished.Yes. dead by starvation/ " I was distressed and astonished. John Quincy Adams. and the very sensitiveness that stimulates an artist to work. and care nothing for you. and his methods were copied by a score of self.

Morse's apartments were on the third floor of the north wing. with very self *In Scrtbner's Magazine. none too soon. under his fore his hands " in his new home " : There. has an illustrated article on his father's pictures. Let us now hear how his models took form. "Samuel F. was for sixty years a picturesque landmark on Washington Square. Adams caused Morse's name to be rejected by the committee. And yet the rebuff was a blessing in disguise it transmuted Morse the painter into Morse the : Had he set up his easel in the Capitol. MORSE 141 artists This gave offense to American severe reply to Mr.SAMUEL American and their painters. Mr. it is altogether likely that his telegraphic project would have faded from his mind. Edward Lind Morse.000 inventor. labors on the telegraph made it impossible to proceed with the work. Morse was appointed professor of the arts of deBesign in the New York City University at a fair salary. March. friends.* Rescue from another quarter was at hand." he says. 1912. torn down in 1894. would have been. This structure. Morse. B. he returned to his friends their subscriptions." . looking forth on a broad stretch of grass and trees. Adams appeared in a New York journal from the pen of James Fenimore Cooper. In 1835. but the last years of his long life the artist could not recall this blow without emotion. To the writer to be Morse. who did not sign his letter. for a large historical painting such as his rotunda picture Morse chose as its subject The Signing When his of the First Compact on Board 'the Mayflower. B. Adams believed affront until A Morse had never heard of Mr. I immediately commenced. his lodgings in rooms were quite ready he hastily removed from Greenwich Lane to the University building. In his present dismay a group of friends rallied to his relief and comfort. himan artist. read he Adams' Cooper's letter. the Painter. subscribing $3. F. Mr. day by day.

in proportion to the length of the spaces. thus closing the circuit the current passing through the helices of the electro-magnet caused the pendulum to move and the pencil to make an oblique mark upon the paper. which. making a mark resembling a succession of Vs. composed of carpet-binding. The spaces between the types caused the pencil to mark horizontal lines. bringing the prongs of the fork down into the mercury. and vibrating across the paper as it passes over the center wooden drum. . three wooden drums. short circuit of embracing the helices of the electro-magnet connected with the positive and negative poles of the battery. moved by a weight to carry the paper forward. instrument was made up of an old picture or canvas frame fastened to a table. to experiment upon first my invention. and terminating in the mercury-cups. in the meantime. The tooth in the lever falling into the first two cogs of the types. opposite to an fast to the pendulum. and carried forward by points projecting from the bottom of the rule downward into the carpet-binding . the circuit was broken at the mercurycups. . the wheels of an old wooden clock. with a small weight on the upper side. moved by a wooden crank. a pencil at the lower end of the pendulum. in contact with the paper. resting on an endless band. and a tooth projecting downward at one end. operated on by the type. a lever. the pencil passed to and fro across the slip of paper passing under it. When the instrument was at rest. the pencil making another mark as it returned across the Thus. and a metallic fork also projecting armature made downward over two mercury-cups. a wooden pendulum suspended to the top piece of the picture or stretching-frame. which passed over two wooden rollers. as soon as the first type in the type-rule (put in motion by turning the wooden crank) came in contact with the tooth on the lever. the circuit was broken when the pendulum returned to its former position. upon one of which the paper was wound and passed over the other two. had been put in motion over the wooden drum. it raised that end of the lever and depressed the other.H2 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS My limited means. and a wire. pressed by the points of the type. long or short. an electro-magnet fastened to a shelf across the picture or stretching-frame. as the lever was alternately raised and depaper. a type-rule and type for breaking the circuit.

L. g. I. lever suspended from N. Fig. F. O. cylinders united by a linen belt. N. M. cylinder on which paper received its records.MORSE FIRST TELEGRAPH INSTRUMENT A. clockwork. . L. two cups of mercury. E. 2. D. Fig. wooden pendulum pivoted at f. which. B. cylinder from which paper was unrolled. MORSE PORT-RULE. O. cylinder on which paper was afterward wound. voltaic cell. when depressed. weight for clockwork. rule or composing stick. electro-magnetic armature. i. completing an electrical circuit. plunged into J and K. C. k. standard. pencil carrying a weight.

Gale. this contrivance was fully set forth in my patents. among others. putting it in the circuit. making use of the magnetism of the current on the first to close and break the second. each with an independent battery. on my subsequent patents. and. the second. and to make and did make distinguishable sounds for telegraphing. was matured as early as the spring of 1837. therefore. first rude as it was. A practical mode of the ultimate object was within grasp. so as to be insufficient for any practical purposes at great distances and to remove that probable obstacle to my success I conceived the idea of combining two or more circuits together in the manner described in my first patent. by passing the current through it. and so on. if I could obtain the least motion at the distance of eight or ten miles. my confidential friend. was to ascertain at what distance from the battery sufficient magnetism could be obtained to vibrate a piece of metal. to another. I was enabled to and did mark down telegraphic intelligible signs. clude the possibility of constructing an apparatus of such mechanical finish as to warrant my success in venturing My . and. " Up to the autumn of 1837 my telegraphic apparatus existed in so rude a form that I felt a reluctance to have it means were very limited so limited as to preseen. that the electromagnetic power was more available for telegraphic purposes. however.144 " LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS With this apparatus. and exhibited then to Prothat the . Early in 1836 I procured forty feet of wire. knowing that. This result suggested to me the probability magnetism to be obtained from the electric current would diminish in proportion as the circuit was lengthened. to Professor Leonard fore the D. fessor Gale. the third. and possessed many advantages over any other. I found that my battery of one cup was not sufficient to work my instrument. who was a colleague in the university. I also experimented with the chemical power of the electric current in 1836. I exhibited it to some of my friends early in that year. and I turned my thoughts in that direction. and succeeded in marking my telegraphic signs upon paper dipped in turmeric and a solution of the sulphate of soda (as well as other salts). My chief concern. such one circuit of the impulse communicating as that described in my patent of 1840. and completed beof the year 1836. I was soon satisfied. Having arrived at that point.

Alfred Vail's attention became attracted to my telegraph. Morse" by Samuel I. copyright 1874. at the end of his trip. trigger-fashion. and a second current. it was enough. carries the message for a second long journey and so on. . chapter. opens a new flood-gate of power. was an original device of his own. B. by a slight and feeble movement. then the acknowledged chief of American physicists. Relaying. I my pencil for my subsistence. indefinitely. Prime. That lifting brings two wires into contact. in order to save time to carry out my invention and to economize my scanty means. electricity. from " The Life of S. F. is not so Morse as essential features of his telegraph. I had no wish to expose to ridicule the representative of so many hours of laborious Prior to the summer of 1837. was ready to by the kind permission of D. Appleton and Company. might arrive utterly fagged out. whose discoveries had been adopted by fore. Other extracts from the same work follow in this * Taken New York. thereimportant now as at first." Morse's relay. I had for some months lodged and eaten in my studio. and * this was my mode of life many years. an indispensable link in his telegraph. Professor Joseph Henry. In days of old. In the simple relay due to Morse. and preparing it myself. depended upon straitened were friends the stinted manner in which I lived. but if he had just strength enough to pass his budget to the next man. I was in the habit of bringing my food to my room in the evenings. B. An attenuated pulse from a distance arrives barely able to lift the armature of an electro-magnet. day so powerful are the currents in general use that single circuits of a thousand miles are common. To. thought. A carrier. of much strength. so my circumstances that. at which time Mr. Indeed. MORSE 145 its public exhibition.SAMUEL upon F. when letters were borne by a chain of messengers. procuring my food in small quantities from some To conceal from my grocery. each of them bore a pouch for a stage of his journey.

find some difficulty. and made without a proper knowledge of scientific principles. . in inducing magnetism in soft iron ? has determined it. that all attempts of this kind are premature. does a succession of magnets in" troduced into the circuit diminish the magnetism of each ? " No. the electro-magnetic telegraph is associated with the various chimerical projects constantly presented to the public. for the application of electricity as a motive power " MY DEAR PRINCETON. and I have in the arts. in the minds of many. or number of batteries. and I most sincerely hope you will succeed in convincing our repIn this resentatives of the importance of the invention. intensity with long. or of ribbon. at a given distance from the battery." " Is it quantity or intensity which has most effect (4) in inducing magnetism in soft iron?" "Quantity with short. These questions Morse reduced to writing. The case is. February 24. you may. by a single impulse or from a single battery 1 i ) " "No. however. and particularly with the schemes so popular a year or so ago. Duly followed by their answers they ran thus : Have you any reason to think that magnetism cannot be induced in soft iron. in reference to your telegraph. wires. at the distance of a hundred miles or more. from the first. of wire." apparatus?" " (2) Suppose that a horseshoe magnet of soft iron. 1842. since. and by a given sized battery." " Have you ascertained the law which regulates the (3) proportion of quantity and intensity from the voltaic battery. SIR : I am I have asserted." Professor Henry wrote to Morse this inspiring word " : pleased to learn that you have again petitioned Congress. enin regard to the electro-magnetic telegraph. of a given size. receives its maximum of magnetism by a given number of coils around it. necessary to overcome the resistance of the wire in " " Ohm long distances. tirely different Science is now fully ripe for this application. perhaps.146 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS answer any questions that the inventor might submit.

and the devising a plan for carrying it into practical operation. of the perfect success of the invention. Morse 1837. unless some essential improvements have lately been made in these European plans." Morse's invention of the relay enlisted him a lieutenant without whom his projects might have come to naught. a son of Judge Stephen Vail. and Dr. of a scheme of this kind is a matter for which little credit can be claimed. " With my best wishes for your success. In February.SAMUEL F. issued a circular of inquiry regarding telegraphs. and. if proper means be afforded. but the bringing it forward at the proper moment. with much esteem. " The idea of transmitting intelligence to a distance. 1837. " stone. This was a student at his University. " JOSEPH HENRY. Professor WheatLondon. has been suggested by various persons. The mere suggestion. all attempts to reduce it to practice were necessarily unsuccessful. New Jersey. when the developments of science are able to furnish the means of certain success. of Germany. I should prefer the one invented by yourself. patronage. from the time of Franklin to the present but until within the last few years. at Morristown. of About the same time with yourself. somewhat developed. to complete his it . are the grounds of a just claim to scientific reputation as well as to public . proposed : plans of the electro-magnetic telegraph but these differ as much from yours as the nature of the common principle would well permit. and if possible. Steinheil. MORSE 147 not the least doubt. It spurred A him have model of the telegraph. copy of this circular came into Morse's hands. or since the principal discoveries in electro-magnetism. On September 2. exhibited his apparatus. owner of the Speedwell Iron Works. accepted by the Government. by means of electrical action. at the request of Congress. the Secretary of the United States Treasury. I remain. since it is one which would naturally arise in the mind of almost any person familiar with the phenomena of electricity. B. " Yours truly. however. Alfred Vail.

. Morse's mechanism. months of untiring labor." He peras said. he strongly the man who should remake the crude ap: paratus which clicked and swayed before him. wheel it recalls one of the supreme expansions of electrical In a case on the main floor of the National Muempire. Vail rolled up his sleeves and began work. and lengthened indefinitely a line of comVail decided to embark in the enterprise. His wish rested on solid ground he was a mechanic and an inventor to the tips of his fingers. demonstrated how suaded his father to advance $2. of all time. floor of a small mill near his father's On the upper house in Morristown. would send a message for only about forty feet. and arrangement of form would open a new world to improved in human power. munication. and defray the cost of patents. and exhibit it on request. with Vail was convinced that this telegraph. unless much longer distances were feasible. Morse now granted Vail a partnership. and. in its first form.000. is the original Morse telegraph as it came into the hands of Vail. before Vail saw it. They are used to-day in essentially His family. he produced instruments which were virtually perfect. This meant failure. settled: Could vital question was una electricity impel message far enough for ? But a practical success When Morse showed him it his relay. seum.148 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Alfred Vail in the audience. have kept in of the inventors one pride great in With its crumbling waterthe mill in repair to this hour. with just the forms he bestowed upon them. with one-fourth interest in the United States patents: it being agreed that Vail should improve the apparatus to the best of his ability. desired to be What was more to the point. " sink he afterward or swim with it. at the University. duly parts. which was deemed enough to build an instrument acceptable by Congress. Beside it are the instruments developed from that telegraph a few months thereafter by Vail. in Washington.

and all hazard of failure was at an end. and simplified in many ways. Torches. which had one space vacant. Morse's signals were at first numerals only. gave Morse help so Morse was vital that he was admitted to a partnership. indicated a particular tablet: the right side indicated a particular letter on that special tablet." Each was retranslated into numeral was signaled by type which bore protruding teeth Each type was of corresponding number. each comprising five letters. An alphabetical code of signals is recorded by Polybius. Thus 3842. using only one voltaic cell. exposed on the similar torches on This plan was copied. Here Professor Leonard D. issuing at last in the codes of modern armies and . except the fifth tablet. This code was the final term in a series of symbols. let us " wheat. left side. as set forth in a dictionary. automatically making and mechanically From this expedient Morse circuit. electric an breaking passed to his chief invention. Gale. This was promptly done at once the distance to which a message could be sent was multiplied a hundred-fold. such as for many years had been used in the navies of the world." When 3842 was received at a suppose. twenty-four Greek letters were distributed in five tablets. the reduction of spoken sounds to written signs. bade graph of Joseph Henry. worthy to follow that supreme stride in language. Gale. B. drawing upon the tele- in 1831. produced by saw teeth and flat spaces on the metallic bars which completed a circuit. set up in Albany Morse use several cells and told him to wrap his electro. that of an alphabet represented by dots and dashes. a moved along tape. one hundred and In that scheme the fifty years before the birth of Christ.SAMUEL F. meant distant station. suitably spaced. magnet with many coils of wire instead of one coil. varied. In sending a despatch every word had to be translated into its : number. it " wheat. MORSE who 149 occupied the chair of chemistry at New York University. one to five.

he represented " " Nvv-iw-^v~fvA-v</-pw^ K l* ! rjvc N o ) ~p q *l? A ROUGH DRAWING MADE BY MORSE IN 1870 TO SHOW THE FIRST FORM OF THE ALPHABET AND THE CHANGES TO -FHE PRESENT FORM [By permission from The Century Magazine. New York.-" Abraham published in 1809." He said by method of expressing and signifying one's mind to any distance by objects either visible or audible." published " showed how in fives to and b's could be arranged an For alphabet. : " " " fire-works. in his Cyclopedia.150 navies. as bells. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Written codes once occupied the leisure of Francis in Bacon. provided that they are capable of two differences. revived the code of Bacon. or cannon.] e " This contrivance shows a aabaa. 1912. using Rees. " The Advancement " a's of Learning. signify example. " " I . who in 1605. March. speaking-trumpets.

swayed from side to side. . published of Conversing Through The In 1829. It is clear that the the briefest signals to their German code-makers sought to give the letters most in use." In the middle of several letters this defect." the letter oftenest used. which knocks and He saw that fewer " . James Swaim. For example. . to day is afflicts five letters of his alphabet.SAMUEL and " e F. he introduced a space. Smithsonian Report. then s z is a. ". we have seen. B. as Morse required sixty times. and is thus liable to con". . employed once while Vail." ranking in its frequency second to " " and Weber.were divided " cases. was the pioneer. MORSE " 151 " 2 " instead of " " a " " and b " as elements." being . the first electric telegraphs employed a magwhose swayings to the right or left signified In this field Schilling the alphabet and the ten numerals. c " " . and "e" being ". e " " " " " " " " comes first. then as carefully noting in in its now what the local newspaper of Morristown. he represented by a single scratch." o. one knock stood for this " a. Alfred revised his signals. devised a like code they signified e by one motion to the left." At page 357 he describes alphabetic binary notation in its successive phases." a single motion to the single movement to the right was " " e.* In Germany netic needle. ." Philadelphia. quantities its types .". probably as early as 1830. as * William B Taylor in the on " Henry and the Telegraph. Three years later Steinheil devised a code which differed but little from its forerunners. took counsel from The e is " " Jersey man." . a Wall. as it held a pen or pencil which." Morse's original recorder. " represented by " " " " i fusion with ie. in 1833." in scratches were the two diverse signals. has a memoir . Thus " was denoted by 11211. 1878." and t. of Mural Diagraph or the Art ." n." Gauss left was t. in his code a " e. Long before day printers had ascertained in what proportions the " " In English various letters are used in composition. than five signals would suffice for part of his code e. and copied by Morse.

It is used Its utility is not confined to electric telegraphy. the touch. peals to almost every one of our senses. with a charged electrical taste. In the article just mentioned. " The American Electro-magnetic Tele- graph. scoring an inestimable advance on the unrecordable swings of German needles. and the hearing. controverts Mr. telegraph may be dispensed with in emergencies. by intermittent flashes of light. it is sounded upon whistles and bells to convey intelligence to and from steamers cautiously way through the obscurity of fogs. ascribing " Vail's conception of to Vail the dot-and-dash alphabet : an alphabetical code. has never met with the appreciation that it deserves.152 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS the marked a zigzag on paper traveling beneath. a son of Professor Morse. which he credits to Professor Morse. Alfred Vail died in Morristown on January 18. in nearly every day brings to notice some new field of It apusefulness for this universal symbolic language. the Indeed. based on the elements of time and space. adducing decisive fact is that Alfred evidence newly discovered. Pope. Mr. It has been repeatedly declared that he and not Morse devised the dot-and-dash alphabet. in his book. Vail improved this instrument by giving its armature an up and down motion. 1888. to signal. and between the different vessels of a fleet. in the Century Magazine for April. conductor and a knowledge of Vail's alphabetical code. a claim set forth in detail by the late Franklin Leonard Pope. 1859. Pope said." . gives an illustrated description of the dot-and-dash alphabet. He thus registered dots and dashes in a continuous line. even the transmitting and receiving instruments of the electric feeling their fact. A Vail. Edward Lind Morse. between far distant stations of the Coast Survey." issued in Philadelphia in 1845. adding two pages of messages in its symbols. and. In the same magazine for March. for it may be interpreted with almost equal facility by the sight. 1912. as in the familiar sounders of to-day derived from his invention. or the zig- zag lines of Morse's first register.

B. and accompany Morse to Europe to obtain patents. Philadelphia. amid applause. This fourth was contributed in and Vail. With high hopes Morse and Vail next proceeded to Washington to exhibit the telegraph to Congress. 1838. Smith paying all expenses and fees. Francis O. President Van Buren. MORSE 153 The amended Morse alphabet was introduced to the pubon January 24. in fact.fourth interest in Morse's patent. Smith. report a line bill The Hon. Smith was to be the legal adviser of the partnership. tered a prophecy since In the course of a long letter to Mr. Judge Vail. The Chairman of its House Committee on Commerce was the Hon. J." in the . with the speed of thought.000 to build an experimental from Washington to Baltimore. now authorized Morse to apply for patents in Europe. a knowledge of all that is occurring throughout the land. it is not visionary to suppose that it would not be long before the whole surface of this country would be channeled for those nerves which are to diffuse. from one-fourth to one-eighth. at New York University its signals : were transmitted easily and clearly through ten miles of In a few days Vail conducted an equally successful wire. exhibition at the Franklin Institute.SAMUEL lic F. shown new manner in which they carry forward any project which promises private or public advantage. His faith in the telegraph was as fervent as that of Morse. his Cabinet. of Maine. 1838. reducing Vail's interest. Morse utmore than fulfilled : " From the enterprising character of our countrymen. be equal parts by Morse it noted. and other public men of distinction. Mr. making. through whom an exhibition was arranged in the Capitol. viewed the telegraph at work with astonishment and commendation. He agreed to resign from Congress and become a partner with one. Smith was instructed to appropriating $30. Smith. on February 21. encouraged by these successes. one neighborhood of the whole country.

" Mechanics' Magazine for February 10. Sidney and site Richard. enabled him to form one of warmest friendships of his life. copied from Silliman's Journal for October. and accordingly entered into a contract to that end with the Russian Counsellor of State. the sun. 1837. He was denied a patent for " England on the ground that his telegraph had been pubA full description had appeared in the London lished. Thirty minutes were required for an exposure at that time. He next sought to introduce his telegraph in Russia. whose photographs were then exciting the civilized world. New York. 1838. and requiring six conductors between its terminals. Morse was pleased to na. land. while it included an indelible record. E. on the northeast corner " a palace for of Nassau and Beekman Streets. so that portraiture was out of the question until quick plates were devised.154 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS On May fulfilment of Morse's prophecy came with leaden 16. In Paris he heard of the achievements of Daguerre. Daguerre received Morse with open arms. erected on the roof of their new building on the of the present Morse Building. In London he found that Professor Wheatstone and Mr. Cooke had patented a telegraph based on the deflections of five magnetic needles. and explained every detail of his process. 1838. He invited Daguerre to and requested permission to see the results of Daguerre's experiments in the art of painting with sunbeams. Morse demonstrated that his system was much more simple and economical. he sailed from New York for Eng- But the feet. When Morse returned to America his brothers. as he thought that malevolence could easily interrupt communication. S." as Mr. But the Czar refused to ratify the contract. while a failure so far as his the main purpose was concerned. Count Meyendorff. Morse's visit to Europe. with a view to Morse introducing it in America. examine his telegraph. where he had no difficulty in securing a patent. Morse then proceeded to France. a room .me it.

or the beginning of October. The first experiment crowned with any success was a view of the Unitarian Church. Morse wrote . They are full length portraits of my daughter. which required all my time. and that impure. he pursued his experiments with great success in his rooms Square. I abandoned the practice to give my exclusive attention to the . he said: As soon as the necessary apparatus was made. I commenced experimenting with it. had I mastered the process of Daguerre. He expressed himself somewhat skeptical as to its practicability. door view was from . and with the eyes closed. telegraph. While this structure was in progress. I obtained the common plated copper in coils at the hardware shops which. was about fifteen minutes.SAMUEL F. I specially conversed with him in regard to taking portraits of living persons. if I recollect. " at the New York University on Washington In a letter of February 10. taking of daguerreotypes as a means of income. from the third-story window on the staircase of the University. ficiently still for a successful result. The time for taking an outfifteen to twenty minutes. and also in group with some of her young friends. " In my intercourse with Daguerre." to Regarding the possibilities of Washington Allston: this new art. and this he considered too long a time for any one to remain sufNo sooner. on the roof of a building. 1855. only in consequence of the time necessary for the person to remain immovable. The time was from ten to For five or six months I pursued the twenty minutes. . MORSE 155 with a glass roof. They were taken out-of-doors. 1839. in the full sunlight. single. The time. I have now the results of these experiments taken in September. B. in which Professor Morse experimented with the new and beautiful art. than I commenced to experiment. in which the pate was exposed to the action of the light in the camera. was very thinly coated with silver. with a view to accomplish this desirable result. The greatest obstacle I had to encounter was in the quality of the plates. however. of course.

Judge Vail became thoroughly disheartened. as the bee gathers her sweets for winter. or. detail destroys Nature. in the results of Daguerre's process. 1840. and we shall thus have rich materials for composition. but the House had fallen into utter apathy regarding the whole scheme of electric telegraphy. how to look at Nature. One effect. or. he records taking a portrait in ten seconds. which Morse and his partners had confidently expected. Morse's visit of ten months to Europe bore no fruit whatever. Artists will learn how to paint. I think. has taken the pencil into her own hands. that they might through the country and reap a goodly harvest. will undoubtedly be to banish the sketchy. how to estimate the value of true art. was tied up with conditions which rendered it worthless. eral effect without detail. Our therefore. studies will now be enriched with sketches from Nature which we can store up during the summer. The only patent he secured. forsooth. because. and an exhaustless store for the imagination to feed upon. Meanwhile not only had Congress omitted to vote the $30. Apart from his friendship with Daguerre. how to criticise. general effect. 1839. and she shows that the minutest detail disturbs not the general repose. and foolish the idea which some express that it will be the ruin of art." Morse became so skilful with his camera that. and. At this ebb in their fortunes. rather. for every one will be his own painter. As Daguerre's process was not patented in the United States. and amateurs. He came home in April. connoisseurs. that from France. a Morse travel this good many enterprising young fellows came to instruction in photography. In for at least way he launched twenty camerists who acquired local fame. His advances in . slovenly daubs that pass for spirited and learned those works which possess more gen- to be How narrow . artists. in No- vember. and no wonder. rather.000.156 " LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Art is wonderfully enriched by this discovery. having failed to induce any govern- ment to adopt his telegraph.

MORSE 157 esti- much more than at the outset Morse had His son had reconstructed. so far as the invention itself is concerned. too. Chairman Smith. had been reported with eulogy to Congress. and Washington. two years past. I find myself without sympathy or help from any who are associated with me. tions in New York. and. its proprietors will urge me from It it in . for want of means. that I might have a sum to put my telegraph into such a position before Congress as I am crushed to insure success to the common enterprise. Alfred Vail had parted with one-half his original interest in the net returns from the Morse patent. the " telegraph vain. to leave it. and . rather. denying myself all pleasures. however reluctantly. His hopes. and even necessary food.SAMUEL cash were F. and the Capitol. was no Mr. asking a grant of $3. " ' . or the Navy Yard. although near the end of well Iron Works. or. were irrepressible. if I once get engaged in my profession again. which mated. I have devoted all my time and scanty means. living on a mere pittance. He was willing to take a slice of bread if refused a loaf. yet pursuing.. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. To secure the cooperation of Mr. This appeal met with no response. everything is favorable.. and chilled. I shall be compelled.500 to build a line between the White House or one of the Departments. Philadelphia. . whose interest one would think would impel them at least to inFor nearly quire if they could render some assistance. B. Morse wrote to Smith: for aid While. So. dashed his tether. unless I have the means from some source. I will not run in debt if I lose the whole matter. Ready-to-halt. . that they who know how to ask (which I do not) could obtain in a few hours. He modified his request from Congress.' is true. He had conducted the exhibithe instruments of Morse. And what added to Judge Vail's depression of mind was the financial panic which had just swept the country. laying a heavy hand upon the SpeedBut Morse. and means of so trifling a character. Faint. recreated.

and then duly signed by the President. resolved that in case he received no for an answer he would return to his easel and abandon telegraphy for good and all. six in number. the bill was passed. that my bill has passed the Senate without a division. once again he applied for aid to Congress. lost. exception. In the Senate. Morse wrote to Vail : You will be glad to learn." On March " 4. during the last hour of its 1843." In December. March 3. thanks to the activity of Judge Vail.158 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS I have known the full meaning of it. 1843. . This was the turning point in the history of the teleMy personal funds were reduced to the fraction of a dollar. and which is to contribute to the happiness of millions. Yeas to 83 Nays all the New have been session. would have sustained me through so many and such lengthened trials of patience in perfect- and ing it. were Yeas. without bright." . He was greatly heartened when the Committee on Commerce. or adverse. Morse forthwith became superintendent of the telegraph His line which was to unite Washington with Baltimore. Morse took his final stand. . Had these votes been withheld. and had the passage of the bill failed from any cause.000 in furtherance of his plans. doubtless. Nothing but the consciousness that I have an invention which is to mark an era in human civilization. deserve the highest gratitude of us all. and without opposition. friend : Morse long afterward wrote to a " graph. 1842. so that now the telegraphic enterprise begins to look The whole delegation of your State. the appropriation would . . recommended an appropriation of $30. for the second time. there would have been little prospect of another attempt on my part to introduce to the world my new invention. The bill passed by a vote of 89 Jersey votes.

J. in James . 1859 [From a daguerreotype taken about Cumming the possession of his son. Vail. 1807.Born September 25.] 1853. Morristown. Died January 19. N.


Instead of either pencil or pen. 1843. He He soon became ashis modest was day work with his began found out how to imits unite several circuits with a single battery. On March sistant superintendent: three dollars a remuneration.500 a plus year. throbbed with a grati- fying resonance. in Baltimore. Next day. had long be- plan to failure. This method. repeated to Washington. in telegraphic construction. MORSE 31. was at fault. a feat of portance as telegraphy lengthened and interlaced lines further improved his register. customary skill and verve. had Vail but known it. the famous message sug" What hath God wrought " gested by Miss Ellsworth. on April i. liable to become blunt or broken with use. He which embossed the paper der. British experience in mind. he belted the last insulator at Mount Clare. and the instruments. B. A Grove bat- tery of one hundred cups was provided. the cylinder was belted with a narrow groove. usually sound. part of handsome University at Ithaca. who had been a traveling poles and suspending their wires. took the contract for rearing the This was his first venture fortune. May 24. Then he fore approved itself in the lines of Weber in Germany. Vail's judgment. Then followed a familiar . Morse sent from Washington to Vail. this Defective insula- resorted. through their forty miles of wire. Vail 159 was $2. To With tion In one detail. from pole to pole Washington. in Baltimore. strip as it rolled around its cylinaid this indenting effect. expenses. New Cornell began stringing his wires in an industry which yielded him a which went to found Cornell York. to aerial suspension. just where it received the steel point. and in masterly fashion. on May 23. he believed that his wires should be laid in underground conduits.SAMUEL salary F. and of Ezra Cornell. agent for a patent plow. he attached a steel point to his armature. and brought with success. as advised by Professor Henry. Dyar in America. ! (Numbers were The signals received at Baltimore xxiii:23).

His declination. is i minute. one dollar and thirty-two cents. in Washington office. ascertained by telegraph that Battle Monument with a Square. one dollar and four cents. tion of his telegraph. for the quarter ending March 31. that the telegraph could determine longitudes new accuracy. 34. the receipts of the line were only one cent at the . Captain Charles Wilkes. in Paris. who had commanded the famous expedition around the world. and one cent for each additional word : . confirmed the Washington telegram. 1846. to this day. next day. despatch. the National Democratic Convention met in Baltimore. But such faith in the telegraph as might exist bore little fruit in all. however. Disappointing as his financial returns undoubtedly were. failing.43. conversation between the two the first in a series history. For its first four days its income was.868 seconds east of the Capitol in Washington. mar his code. fifty cents for ten words. to drop the spacings. Morse now carried out a highly important scientific applicaIn 1839 he had suggested to Arago. the Vice-Presidency was offered to Silas Wright. skepticism preas to this mysterious telegraph. vailed But this was to be banished. The sixth day was Sunday. characters: afterward. About this time Morse recast and improved his alphabet. and within two days after Miss Ellsworth's first. 1844. In European . and five cents for each extra word.160 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS cities. received by telegraph. On the seventh day sixty cents came in next day. ten cents for ten words. doubts were at an end. in Baltimore. Let us recall the rates at first one cent for four $203. works. On the fifth day the receipts were twelve and a half cents. On June 12. which shall end only with the last page of American At both in Washington and Baltimore. from Washington to Baltimore. from Washington to New York. to nominate candidates for its ticket. when on May 26. which. was hailed by the When their messenger from delegates with incredulity. Almost two years later.

Atlantic. bears no suggestion of the phrase or the sentence which it " " " signifies. as ate day. Now for " in the National Museum. to stenographers and all with round. B. Astonishing accuracy is attained in handling these codes. the words must be as unlike as possible." Parallel with the shortening of words has proceeded the development of secret codes. ordinary note-takers. especially when . Medehulp in a cable code means your order for additional goods received too late to ship with previous order will forward at once. MORSE 161 codes these spacirigs do not occur." By an international agree: ment. gain Usually the let" " ters chosen for an abbreviation suggest the word. no code-word may exceed ten letters. In these codes. much extended since his phrases most in use. D. of course. by devising brief and simple abbreviations of the words and His lists.SAMUEL F. and each. Morse now inaugurated a practice which has greatly economized the time and cost of telegraphy. have spread from telegraphers THE BALTIMORE RECORDING INSTRUMENT OF 1844 C. Washington. In a minor detail of communication.

it would enjoy. in what seems to be sheer nonsense. Further aid. 1846. Congress.000. line. operator in New York. has fallen into but one error in a year and a half. voted $8. its made equal to its expenditures. Postmaster-Gen" The operation of the telegraph between eral. thus finding impossible the national adoption " The Magof their enterprise. graph patent.000 toward the maintenance of the line joining Washington with Baltimore.1 62 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS one remembers that the words follow one another in arbiAn trary succession. subscribers of $500 each was Ezra Cornell. organized netic Telegraph Company." Thus revenues ended the Office. for $100. : any could be rate of postage that could be adopted. headed the list with $1. was Morse offered his patents to the Government The Hon. Riggs. New York. the first of many such companies of $15. under and Washington refused. receiving code messages from an Atlantic cable." for the purpose of constructing and operating a telegraph line from New York to WashAll concerned were confident that the longer a ington. reported Baltimore has not satisfied me that. received subscriptions to the amount leading house of bankers in Washington. Baltimore. and Wash: . Corcoran & Among the This time exceeded. But from the fruitage of to-day let us return to the hard work of planting the seeds of modern telegraphy.000. 1845. bu't With the extension of wires from Baltimore to New York began the triumphs of American telegraphy. as hopes of Morse that his telegraph should be a governmental mode of communication.000. in within reasonable limits. in addition to its original grant of $30. on May 15. the more business per mile Their company. supplementing the Post now in Great Britain and the leading countries of Conti- Morse and his fellow-owners of the telenental Europe. urgently needed. As soon as " A few weeks more April 20. A America. Morse's hopes were not merely fulfilled. he was able to say and Boston.000. Cave Johnson. Philadelphia.

. . I can easily ask to repeat the whole. MORSE 163 ington will be connected. My skilful operators have printed these characters at the rate of as many as 177 He must be an expert penman who letters per minute.SAMUEL F.' wrote him ' * : and ' 1's/ and do not separate your words. the most expeditious mode known of recording thought" Morse signals. and also New York.in fav of maj. can write legibly more than 100 letters per minute. I have a telegram in which 94 characters were distinctly written in one minIn one instance a battery of two cups operated a line ute. he had this to say on December " 15. of perfect contact in touching at your end. .. B. . It is Sometimes your not the fault of our local battery here. or nearly . leaving out ' ' ' ' the whenever you can." made com. and do not separate the two dots of the O so far apart.' Butler made communication in favor of majority .' separate ' them so long that they shall not be will generally e 8. for example. and when h follows t. Besides these are many 30 to 40 miles each. was accurately transmitted to the Baltimore Sun at the rate of 99 letters per minute. consequently. . rule '. . for at other times it worked perfectly well. my mode of communication equals. on the subject of the war with Mexico. 433 miles. and Buffalo. ." As to the speed of transmission. ' Butler Although Vail's expertness as an operator came to him in full slowly. I think. his commanding ability as an inventor was . 1846: The President's message." And " again : Strike your f ' dots firmer. but for want. branch lines of of 130 miles with perfect success. equals.. dots were not made. 428 miles. Albany. at first He found Vail not quite careful in sending his " You confound your m's.' The beginning if ' of a common word you be sufficient not.' t's. Condense your language more. . Be particular to-day. rule.

covered The Morse recorder has passed out of use except in schools where. A further simplification of equal worth entered next. who had the ear and first At touch of an accomplished musician. it was simple. suggested by Thomas C. Morse signals solely by the always regarded permanent marking of signals on essential features lated at this paper as the core of his system. Hearing was disdo it perfectly.i6 4 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS installed as a swing from the morning that telegraphy was business enterprise. to everybody's astonishment.] have been inherited by every key manipuhour by operators throughout America. Vail. of New York. or type-carrier. was next built and improved.. To-day an effective relay is but four ounces in weight. with its incidental botheration. Operators of quick ear soon interpreted the sound of the armature-lever. New York. to learners in pairs. it was accurate as well. discarding the port-rule. it declares how they stand in . of Morse. dreading liability for But it exerror. A spring lever form of this device. tended itself irresistibly. soon found that he could send well-timed free-hand signals. by which signals could be readily sent. In a few weeks he constructed a circuit-closer in the shape of a finger key. and. he stoutly opposed this reading by ear. Its VAIL'S ORIGINAL FINGER [In the cabinet of the KEY OF 1844 Western Union Telegraph Co. : a receiving relay weighed 185 pounds this he rapidly reduced. Avery. and. and quite unbidden. and to to to do be able new work.

between which the armature plays. his armature-lever. he concluded that Vail deemed that he had merely improved the inventions of Morse although . a review of the facts. 1888. sonal claims.SAMUEL F. too. and Vail. all serve to-day on the operator's table. Gradually the contributions of Morse have fallen into disuse. To augment their efficiency. he was debarred from taking out patents in his own name. a wire dipped in mercury. Why did not Vail lay claim to the Morse apparatus? The late Franklin Leonard Pope discussed this question in the Century MagaAfter zine. Henry's rough-and-ready transmitter. During the seven years which followed 1837. up any persafety. he transformed them almost beyond recognition. is replaced by Vail's finger-key. inscribed on a model of his indenting register. Often the question perfecting arises. borrowed by Henry from Page. Sounds. Vail. of April. maintain themselves as inPrior to 1837. and the instrument of to-day is virtually due to Henry and Vail. Henry's battery of several cells. his wire circuit. greatly bettered in form and material. them. it was remodeled by Vail. Moreover. are now the one means of receiving a telegram. MORSE 165 speed and accuracy from day to day. at first merely incidental. in an article already mentioned. in 1831. but changed in no essential particular. seems to have believed that. the work of Morse and Henry. as a co-proprietor nor set with could neither honor. modern receiving instruments are manufactured to emit a loud. affording him an intense current. his electro- magnet of many coils. The adjustable stops. a year before Morse embarked on the Sully. the American telegraph was dispensable. In the instrument of Morse and Vail. he " wished to preserve the peace- . and the bell struck by that lever. To use his own words. much survives of the simple apparatus devised by Joseph Henry in Albany. in reality. as modified by later inventors. clear note. the Morse patents were constantly and of bitterly assailed in the courts. B. as a partner with Morse.

in their of 1842." . one-twelfth of an inch thick. is to be drawn over the wire conductor and its gutta percha covering. from Newfoundland to Ireland. on the exterior the tube. nine or twelve : " inches. He took copper wire. in the canal at Washington. are to be laid of parallel with the interior conducting wire. Morse was undoubtedly the captain of the ship. about a mile off. Three or four characters had been transmitted. about one-sixteenth of an inch in thickness. that is to say. say four or five of the former and the rest of the latter. a single conductor shall be laid down. he proved that its signals could take way through water as well as overland. say. or rope yarn of the same size. he wrote to Faraday: Taking for granted a successful result of the experiment on the propulsion of a current to the required distance. thickness also of one-eighth of an inch with gutta percha. and insulated it with The cable thus produced was pitch. and India rubber. with gratifying He naturally regarded success. I have proposed that the cable conductor be constructed in the following manner The conducting wires of the circuit to be the purest copper.166 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In the joint venture of Morse ful unity of the invention. of. tar. when the line was severed by laid the anchor of a passing ship. in the first instance. But he owed vastly more to his first mate than he ever acknowledged. each not less than one-eighth of an inch Each wire to be insulated to the in sectional diameter. While Morse was experimenting with his telegraph. then a thin tube of lead. During the following December Morse repeated this experiment. If it should be decided by the company that. and these are to be confined in place by two spiral cords wound in contrary directions and crossing each other around the cable at intervals." and himself. and then a series of strands of common iron wire and of hempen cord. On September 30. the summer from the Battery at the foot of Manhattan Island to Governor's Island. 1854. with confidence the project for an Atlantic cable.

are more complicated. B. arriving in Liverpool nine days afterward. wire was landed on the American shore. sought to introduce it in Europe. for there is the usual array of prejudice and interest against a system which throws others out of use. as soon as his telegraph was an assured triumph in America. while they are ingenious. more expensive. and easier deranged. and note how Morse. periment. stacles to contend against. which required two wires The General Commercial Telegraph Company to complete a circuit. He offered the Company his instruments for a thousand pounds. 1857. to enter upon long and faithful service. with only one-half the speed of the Morse apparatus. It may take some less efficient. Morse was an invited guest. sailing on July 13. much the largest steamship of her day. particularly the opposition of the proprietors of existing telegraphs. 1845. plus one-fourth of the cash they would save their purchasers. was obliged to return to England. I have now no doubt. took a keen interest in the unremitting labor of paying out On the fateful-mornthe line and testing its conductivity. Next year a second For a decisive excable was laid. On this errand he sailed from New York on August 6.SAMUEL F. But let us turn back a page or two of telegraphic history. only to prove a failure. But that mine is the best system. and Morse ing of August n. On October " I 9. was laden with a strong and carefully manufactured Two weeks thereafter the cable. and I have many obyet. time to establish the superiority of mine over the others. all that I have seen. This offer was declined. Morse wrote to his daughter: know not what to say of my telegraphic matters here There is nothing decided upon." . of London was then operating the British telegraphs with Wheatstone and Cooke's needle instruments. 1866. line the parted abruptly. the Great Eastern. MORSE 167 When the steam frigate Niagara was commissioned to lay He the first Atlantic cable.

Mr. Mr. for example. when Morse was fifty-six years of age. Boston. only vocal. but. . some time mode. apprehended that the Hudson River might not be crossed with success. In 1846 his American patent was reissued: it defined with new precision the claims of his original patent of 1840. and gave the project much thought. Vail. and the American Telegraph acclamation. Regarding a lines as they radiated It printing telegraph. the most ingenious of before one of the all. From day to day he could watch. mine has proved superior. as elsewhere throughout his tour. in his work ' entitled The American Electro-magnetic Telegraph. my more simple mode would inevitably supersede the more complicated ". in comparison with the method I had devised. . and is now adopted by that Government. duly laid. friend and co-proprietor in the Telegraph. he was but homeless from the day he left his father's house in all . Mr. 1846. on the ground. and Washwas ington.i68 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In Vienna Morse exhibited his telegraph to the Emperor and Empress of Austria. Experience has proved that when my system is put to the test in competition with the common letter-printing telegraphs of Europe. since. he wrote Brequet. Morse received hearty commendation. the building of telegraph from New York. My Vail. was intent on producing a printing telegraph.' discusses the whole matter." Until 1847. In Vienna. however. with fatherly pride. were such a mode perfectly accomplished and in actual use. however. worked perfectly from the moment of its immersion. and with this and nothing his acquaintance with else to cheer him he returned home. in 1837. I uniformly discouraged him. Bain's letter-printer. Here. Proceeding to Paris. to M. worthless. not that such a plan was impracticable. he renewed Arago. was examined with mine publicly convened in that ever assemblies learned and most largest carried the day by capital. A cable. who presented him and his telegraph to the French Chamber of Deputies. a French electrician : on April 20.

he had estabHaven. He rose at half-past six o'clock. near Poughkeepsie. But these victories were costly. in his study until eight o'clock. This was a severe hardship to a man of his warm domestic To be virtually homeless sharpened the sting of feelings. granted 1840. were but moderate. but he had to earn his bread sit elsewhere.000. greatly to his aid and .SAMUEL his youth. He felt warranted in rearing a roof-tree for his remaining years. not his easel. and seldom could he by his hearthstone. with a prospect of steady increase. MORSE 169 Soon lished himself in New after his marriage in 1818. and robbed him of a goodly part of earnings which. He next placed his business affairs in the hands of a trusty . friend. chiefly through the of Professor Joseph Henry. New York and he married Miss Sarah E. A wellinformed estimate of his net returns from his American His first patents places them at $80. and remained breakfast. recommendation tended for seven years. On a table at his side stood a telegraph key by its aid he could converse with friends hun- when he had : dreds of miles away. . the daughter of a cousin. Morse's life at Locust Grove was placid and simple. Amos Kendall. expired June 19. F. 1854. Now. and he may well have often doubted whether he had been wise in choosing art as his career. When legal contentions were intermitted. As a homestead he chose Locust Grove. Again and again in the courts he had to adduce evidence that always won him victory. but his telegraph. He had conferred a nervous system upon America it vibrated at his will. at last. formerly United States Postmaster-General. was constantly obliged to withstand infringers of his patents. the Hon. poverty. even in the gross. But this hope was unfulfilled he . began to yield him a moderate income. It was exin patent. and no more. and then retired to what he hoped would be rest and peace. B. and in sharing it with a wife. Griswold. Most of his day was occupied with reading and writing.

In view of these facts. in the name " "PARIS. September SIR : i. and details of practice. soliciting their good on behalf of the inventor. but from every quarter of the empire they ask for the Morse. Morse. with its broad library and study. and this was burdened with conditions which made it valueless. in hand. Secretary of State. and a charming home it was. His appeal was favorably received. and in view of the comparatively scant remuneration which he had enjoyed from his American patents. his apparatus went into service. New York. Far and wide throughout Europe. with a dignity and courtesy unaffected by his burden of years. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Some years after taking up his residence at Locust Grove. from France.o cheer. the third house west of Fifth Avenue. in four annuities. by the advice of friends holding high official stations. This became his home in winter. 1 -ever. as we have seen. Count Walewski. Here the present writer was presented to him in his eightieth year. he bought a commodious house at No. General Lewis Cass. testimonial. worked out in America at his instance. Minister of Foreign Affairs for as secretary of the international committee acted France.i. He said that he had just received pleasant news from Germany Many German inventors have devised new and ingenious telegraph instruments. 5 West Twenty-second Street. in 1857. It is . sent copies of this memorial to Ministers of the offices United States in Europe." : " Morse. were adopted in all the leading countries of the Continent. which took a He addressed to Morse this cordial note: with lively satisfaction that I have the honor to announce to you that the sum of four hundred thousand francs will be remitted to you. obtained but one patent in Europe. 1858. Even then he stood erect. adorned with pictures from his own brush. namely. issued a memorial claiming some indemnity from the Governments of Europe within whose borders his telegraph was at work.

most beautiful mode of communication. a who discovered that the earth may serve instead of the sec- ond wire which. This discovery. so you may be inclined to procure my portion of reward in America. I have reduced to one-half the conducting wire. Professor Steinheil was a gentleman: never for a moment was his mind warped or clouded by professional He had invented an elaborate telegraph instrujealousy. Morse received from Europe compensation equal to that accorded him in his native America. the example of two men who had spent a great part of their lifetime in solving the same problem. of Russia.SAMUEL F. 30. and he always said so. contributions of the other do not make the other super- MUNICH. as I contributed to procure the acknowledgment of your invention in Europe. the diIt was this distinguished man telegraphs. ment but Morse's was better. . than this collective act of reward. neve" nought him a penny. of Sweden. of Piedmont. It would certainly be a noble example. . and fluous. of the Netherlands. The note from Count Walewski was followed by rector of German word from Professor Steinheil. and as a reward. . and of Turkey. . as an act of justice. of Austria. and also made it surer and Now it will be a satisfaction to me if this my cheaper. October What we have done You have contributed the quickest. . of your useful labors. contribution toward solving the great problem should be rewarded by my friends in Europe. Nothing can better mark. originally. This is Steinheil's note to Morse : : " ". appearing not . of Belgium." In this gratifying mode. But I cannot suppress the wish that. simplest. seldom seen in the world's history. as an honorary gratuity. B. for telegraphy stands side by The contributions of the one do not encroach on the side. of the Holy See. 1858. the sentiment of public gratitude which your invention has so justly excited. was deemed indispensable as a return line. of Tuscany. MORSE 171 of France. which at a stroke cut down the cost of construction by one-half. altogether personal.

with an occasional spurt of 52 words. First of all the signals are reduced to perforations in a paper strip. Many operators receive their messages directly on a typewriter. Of Allston. the Western Union Telegraph Company. at each perforation these springs meet. England. This strip is rapidly swept between two metallic springs." The example of Europe in behalf of Morse was not followed by America with regard to the eminent German electrician. his master *On October its 5. to Portland. Mechanical transmission is gaining ground steadily. well advanced in the eighth decade of his friends. stretches headquarters in New from Ogden.563 nautical miles apart. re- him a public banquet at Delmonico's. Nova Scotia. was undying. when Professor Morse sent his famous despatch from Washington to Baltimore The longest land line of the Company. Daniel solved to accord Huntington. a numerous and influential band. 2. During the past thirty years manual transmission has not increased its pace. This entertainment took place on December 29. His great contribution to the wealth of the United States never brought him anything beyond vocal thanks. each striving that the services of the one should be rewarded in the land of the other. Utah. They present a wonderful advance within a period of less than seventy years from May 24. Its longest ocean cable unites Canso. Gratitude. the quickest men reach 40 words a minute. once aroused in his heart. Chief Justice Chase. Oregon. paid him an eloquent tribute as an artist whose successes at the easel had prefigured his triumphs in telegraphy. Ordinary operators send 25 words a minute. On the line connecting Chicago and San Francisco by the southern . 1911. who had been Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabinet of President Lincoln. allowing an electric pulse to enter the line. at York. but as friends. reported the following interesting facts and figures. who had been a pupil of Morse's.172 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS as rivals. with Land's End. 1843. 1868. was chairman.* Morse was a man of clinging affections. without a repeater. 908 miles. When Morse was his life. the eminent artist of New York.

while. This honor came from the hands of President Day. New York. B. 2. and notably. in presenting to Yale College Allston's celebrated painting of Jeremiah. . had conferred upon Morse the degree of Doctor of Laws. At the end of 1910. was followed by a donation of ten thousand dollars to the TheoAn equal donation went to logical Department of Yale. a speed of 70 to 80 New York and Chicago. Today a subterranean line is being completed which will link together Washington. In aerial lines four wires are often so disposed that four telegrams are sent from each terminal at once. Yale College. the Western Union Telegraph Company had 30. of which he himhad long been president. This will eliminate all risk of a break in communication by storms or snowfalls. with the result that on the best lines 250 letters a On submarine wires two messages may be minute are forwarded simultaneously despatched without confusion. who. with commendable promptitude. because of defective insulation it failed utterly. Between route. The original wire from Washington to Baltimore was placed underground. New York. on land wires four such messages seem to be the limit of feasible practice. at the same time. fora service at once telegraphic and telephonic. New York and Boston. as professor of physics. three tele- phonic conversations are in progress. on of the Bible to the Sciences. indeed as the far back as 1846. In token of this feeling to the artist and the man. This picture. to endow " The Relation a lectureship to bear his father's name.163 operators in its employ. F. Similar apparatus is employed on ocean cables.785 miles in length. which cost Morse seven thousand dollars. MORSE 173 and in youth his generous friend. He did honor to Allston's memory a second time. This degree from words a minute is attained by automatic transmission. had undoubtedly given Morse his first impulse toward the telegraph. he ever spoke with loving veneration." Long before this. New York. Baltimore. the automatic receivers print their messages on typewriters. Philadelphia.SAMUEL at the easel. National self Union Theological Seminary. he presented Leslie's portrait of Allston to the Academy of Design. and Boston. and several other pairs of cities.

Power. were assumed by his sons. The ties of affection binding these three together were strong. New York. and where he had accomplished his great work. Sidney. In 1871. harder to bear. Another statue. of heroic size. shortly after he was able to come downstairs. his brother. This kept him in bed three weeks: he endured the severe pain and imprisonment with serenity. Much comes to a man by remaining on earth. and his debts. In his eighty-first year. in Printing . and. was unveiled in Central Park. In the autumn of 1868. and by nations by all the way from Turkey to Sweden. died abroad. Other afflictions befell him. even when he remains long after the labors which have won him renown. this time of Benjamin Franklin. his only surviving brother.174 his LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS alma mater was the most cherished of the scores of showered upon him by colleges and universities. It was modeled by Byron M. and cast in bronze by Maurice I. It stands close to the portal at Seventy-second Street. At first Samuel could contribute nothing. he insisted upon paying one-third. Thanks to his unimpaired constitution. Morse died. Morse received the unusual honor of having his statue reared in the city which had long been his home. Pickett. he fell and broke a leg. learned societies at home and abroad. As he advanced in years he suffered the inevitable indistinctions One morning in the summer of 1869. was going upstairs. on June 10. 1871. most appropriately. so that all the brothers might share and share alike. leaving no estate whatever. Rev. firmities of old age. This statue. Dr. Devotion to Yale was always part and parcel of Morse's religion. When prosperity came to him. as he he threw away his crutch and walked about almost as erect as ever. passed away. was erected soon afterward. amounting to a considerable sum. Richard. the youngest of the trio. It may be fitting here to mention an act in which they joined to do honor to their father's memory.

their Its inauguration was fixed for Morse to 1872. ' one has more reason to venerate his name than myself. on April 5. fortitude He went home In a the old school. B. Those of us who remember him as he would occasionally stroll through Madison Square. he said zens I esteem it one of my highest honors that I should have : : been designated to perform the office of unveiling this day the fine statue of our illustrious and immortal Franklin. I was confined to my bed. his illustrious May example of devotion to the interest of unifruit for the versal humanity be the seed of further good of the world. After Morse had withdrawn the cord that removed the covering " Mr. Morse was now in feeble health. 1872. as might have been expected in midwinter. unveil The committee statue charge requested great of a American had subjugated electricity with the hand who. and all his was demanded to bear its pain. circle of friends he was fond of fun. loved him most. So ended the life of the remarkable man who established American telegraphy. In his family he was regarded with veneration. MORSE in 175 New York. De Groot and Fellow-citifrom the bronze. with strangers his manner was that of highbred reserve. The day had been unwisely chosen." to die. He died on April His funeral took place from the Madison Square 2. Presbyterian Church. with dignity as his chief characteristic. recall a figure quite six feet in stature. January 17. almost to the last. erect and firm. invitation. Neuralgia seized him. if I have to be No lifted to the spot/ Franklin needs no eulogy from me. of a master. it was bit- terly cold. But he insisted on accepting the like himself. When requested to accept this duty. Yes. sinking in strength a little every day. F.SAMUEL House Square. His large blue eyes had the steady look which Here was a gentleman of sees men and things as they are. and I said. but I could not refuse. Those who knew him best .

1800. Were it as cheap as glass or steel. Meantime equal dignity arose without aid from fire hides were tanned into leather. In new sand fire fused into and intensities. alloyed carbon to form arts of with iron steel. he bade a sinew fasten one hide to another. by plaiting leaves and grass into roofs. food and shelter. leather and paper. steelmaking. glass. exalted in value by art the tanner added new strength and durability to a sheepskin.CHARLES GOODYEAR AIR and water. paper was unrolled from birchbark. the steelmaker bestowed upon iron a heightened elasticity. a hour he struck from and thus flints. to smelt lead and iron from their ores. successor to Governor Eaton as head of the company of 176 . of that sound New England stock which has given many leaders to America. His father. from the papyrus. on December 29. namely. using as an awl a thorn plucked from a In a cactus. by rending hides into raiment. and. From those remote times to the present day there has been but one worthy addition to glass and pottery. Amasa Goodyear. from Thus were gifts of Nature the fibers of many other plants. it would be just as commonly and usefully em: : ployed. and their sister arts date back so far that their birth has faded even from myth and legend. golden caught spark harnessed flame to hollow a tree into a canoe. Amid his lowly kindred he soon declared his primacy by wielding sticks and stones as weapons and tools. were the first gifts of Nature to man. Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven. the vulcanized rubber due to Charles Goodyear. to harden clay into pottery. Tanning. was descended from Stephen Goodyear. Connecticut. Next he shaped flints into rude chisels and knives.

[From the painting by G. Healy. A. P. Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.] .


like himself. farm tools of steel. young Goodyear learned a lesson he never forgot. on the contrary. " He says: I do not claim to have a mechanical talent. springy. Those which first engaged my attention were in the hardware line.. who. Not seldom a well-to-do farmer deemed that he paid the inventor a compliment in ac- tools of like novelty. Of these the best were the forks. I have taken great satisfaction in trying to improve articles of necessity or convenience. was brimming with Yankee ingenuity. was an unfailing staff in At seventeen he went to Phila- where he mastered the . Several of their other products were scythes and clocks. The forks were light. giving clear promise of the man.. which slowly supplanted clumsy tools forged from wrought-iron at local smithies. Charles Goodyear disclaimed any special talent as a mechanic. life his religious faith every onset and repulse. They manufactured metal buttons and spoons. In producing other and some simple farm machinery. As customers grudgingly bought . for the use of men. and durable yet their very lightness and fine finish often excited suspicion. with characteristic candor. founded the colony of Charles Goodyear. Independently of all pecuniary considerations. And yet. as a boy. and such as . cepting one of his forks as a present. have an aversion to bestowing thought upon machinery when there is anything complicated about it. At twenty-one he returned to New Haven. and became a partner with his father in the firm of Amasa Goodyear' & Son. throughout delphia. the His example acted elder Goodyear was constantly at work. was studious and resolute. as' we shall note. 177 in 1683.CHARLES GOODYEAR London merchants who. but. as a spur to his son. prenticeship of four years. these steel forks. .hardware trade The in an apthus experience gained he turned to good account at a later period. devised by the elder Goodyear. In youth he had some thought of entering the Christian ministry: New Haven.

always contesting the common maxim that.178 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS my occupation. a grandson of Charles Goodyear. mainly stocked from his father's workinvincible shop in New Haven. He refused to Goodyear gave credit too freely. his creditors granting him a long period for the discharge of their claims. and in 1830 he avail himself of the would divest him of bankrupt law. if possible. His father. Especially acute and fruitful are *Of these sted. she looked for victory with his own In the second year of their marriage. the best way of improving it. partly because bankruptcy titles to unfinished inventions. greatly improved the welt-sewing machine that bears his name. faith. of New York.. \During her husband's long battle. . At first this business thrived. were immediately connected with ever I When- observed an article in common use in which there was obviously a great defect. his studies of refinements in architectural design. where he established returned Goodyear a hardware store.* No matter how dire the straits into which Goodyear repeatedly fell. resents the fourth generation in a remarkable line of inventors. for the interest of trade. and his difficulties went steadily from bad to children two survive: Miss Clarissa Goodyear of Winand Professor William Henry Goodyear. but was obliged to suspend payment. or removing the defect. Goodyear married Clarissa Beecher. His : decision was unfortunate his prestige in banking circles was gone.' " ' In 1824. his wife bore her part with unrepining cheerfulness. He has acquired international honors as a student and author in the field of fine art. both for illumination and for generating and burning combustible He repgas. I commonly applied my mind to the subject to find. . in connection with oxygen as a source of intense heat. is the inventor of a variety of acetylene and other gas apparatus. things should be made so that they will not last too long. Nelson Goodyear. to Philadelphia. Curator of the Department of Fine Arts in the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Charles Goodyear II. their happy union was blessed with seven children. Connecticut.

and made thin scale. and what good things they were likely to leave unbought. His father had made his mark by improving the tools and machinery for farms. if it could be made uniformly thin and could be prepared so as to prevent its adhering and becoming a solid mass. he was. " A from a bottle or a shoe. As to his feelings in bondage. and suggested that this would be very useful as a fabric. Happily he found merciful men among his jailers. mostly from Brazil. boyhood he had worked with tools as a manufacturer and a merchant he had learned just what people wanted.CHARLES GOODYEAR worse. where the natives derived it from the Even in its crude juice of the Hevea and other trees. He faced all this hardship without flinching or complaint. afterward came under my notice. who allowed him to use a bench and tools. the wonderful and mysterious properties of this substance attracted my attention. lumps and flakes. it was a substance to excite the curiosity of a brain so inHe noticed that. as imported from Para to New York. again and again imprisoned for debt." " My small. my hopes were never for one moment depressed. Why did not Charles Goodyear stick What led him to gum elastic as the obto this goodly field ? and toil? This is his answer: his thought ject of While yet a schoolboy. the profits from his ingenuity. 179 Under the cruel laws then in force. though Goodyear to set up as an inventor." came to the United States about 1800. quisitive and exploring as Goodyear's. elastic first Gum . More than once he thus earned enough in prison to send bread to his wife and children. He believed with his father. From . determined In those dark days. during the next ten years. he wrote: anticipations of ultimate success in life were never changed. as it soon did from the warmth and pressure of my hand. peeled a strong impression on my mind. that it was high time that many an old appliance gave place to something new and better.

All the wares made in North America had the same limited serviceYet why should not Yankee ingenuity and skill ability. he would ward off bankruptcy from factories whose owners had risked their all.i8o LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS gum was soft while this and yielding. it was tough in an extraordinary degree. In New York. so as . But with all these The excellent qualities. was liable to decompose at a temperature of 100 Fahrenheit. at the wareroom of the Roxbury Rubber Company. and in summer became as soft as suet. although in winter they froze to the hardness of iron. he . He went home to ponder deeply what he had heard. He declared that if Goodyear could prevent this ruinous change. its obstacles had been wholly surmounted. Goodyear had supposed that. before huge fortunes had been embarked in this business. one morning. last and worst of these failures was impending came to Goodyear's knowledge in an unexpected way. and raincoats. as then manufactured. He disclosed to necticut upon the Goodyear that rubber. At once the Roxbury agent saw that there stood before him an inventor of talent. only That the to land in one disastrous failure after another. For weeks he revolved in his brain the problem of curing or tanning rubber into an indifference such as leather displays to ordinary cold and heat. to find that its mode of inflation was defective. offering for sale a new and improved tube which he had devised for this lifepreserver. it would stretch further than any other material he had ever handled it was waterproof. gum elastic had glaring faults. Some weeks afterward he revisited this wareroom. he examined a life-preserver. Surely. or so. surpass the crude and faulty manufactures of Indians in Brazil? Over and over again the manufacturers of Con- and Massachusetts believed that they had come secret of preserving and curing gum elastic. he would not only enrich himself. natives who gathered the gum molded it into galoshes that to be into overshoes made lasted for years.

. attractive in style. " He tells us: I was blessed with ignorance of the obstacles I had subsequently to encounter. A Ralph B. fulfilment lay in that very great melted gum elastic much as if tallow its This was why manufacturers of rub- ber goods avoided working at temperatures above 100. will most likely be discovered by accident. Steele. before he could know with certainty that his manufactures would not deI was encouraged in my efforts by the rewhat is hidden and unknown. at least twelve months. of New Haven. spreading it with a rolling-pin lent by his wife. At hrs With first he worked in his small dwelling.. now advanced him a little capital. the hope before him of a goodly reward. and cannot be discovered by scientific research. Soon his admixtures were applied to emboss cam- brics. there to the conviction. if at all." This bold prophecy was more than presently see. and is most ob- compose. but soon learned that the difficulties attending the experimenter in gum elastic obliged him to await the return of both warm and cold weather. . easy But were they as good as they to put on and take off. 181 must be some way to do this. who produced rubber raincoats. for which there was at that time a fair demand. warned customers against bringing them near a fire. that every obstacle to successful curing would yield to persistent assault. . Indeed. flection that serving of everything related thereto.CHARLES GOODYEAR thought. Goodyear all along had been bothfriend. and often much longer. and Goodyear soon covered his shelves with hundreds of pairs of rubber shoes. He came from which he never budged. which from the shambles. and by the man who applies himself most perseveringly to the subject. Goodyear began experiments with some Brazilian gum elastic. heat. seemed ? We shall see. Macintosh. fulfilled. and that he and nobody else was the man to conduct that assault. as we shall And agent. where he mixed his gum by hand.

Silas Carle. Good- withdrew all further aid. provided him with a lodging in Gold Street. so he applied it to his trousers with no sparing hand. This method enabled him to make of gum . Jerry Ireland. and he was firmly glued to his Only when a pair of shears had been diligently plied around him. To his alarm in a few minutes his legs self from were cemented together. to whom he was in debt. had to sell linen she had way. And what of the rubber shoes he had molded in hun- dreds of handsome and convenient pairs? By way of test he left them alone until warm weather. not dissolved in turpentine. to pay their nearby village. Shortly after the casks were rolled into his premises. underwent a tanning. where. He thought this due to the turpentine he used as a solvent. Then.182 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS ered by the persistent stickiness of his gum. His friends. to any solvent whatever. resolved to acquaint himwith that liquid gum. He rejoiced when he was able to buy a few casks of gum. spun at her wheel. This adventure was decisive. In that interval. a fair test would condemn or acquit the accused solvent. icals he required. his wife. Good- year had been so sanguine of success that this failure was mortifying in the extreme. was Jerry once more a free man. If he could secure a supply of gum elastic. elastic One of his first advanced him the chemcompounds was a union and magnesia. W. It taught Goodyear that the stickiness of gum elastic inhered in itself. when boiled in lime water. a single hot day melted them into formless and reeking dough. kept liquid by a little alcohol and nothing else. should they throw good money Goodyear placed his family in a soon afterward. his man-of-all-work. this. John Sexton. where a friend. and was not chargeable bench. Why after bad? year betook himself to New York. he was called out by an errand for an hour or two. with banishment of stickiness so far as surfaces went. A good-natured druggist.

resorted to machinery. elastic produced a compound of so little elasticity and Shortly after this balking strength as to be worthless. moment. For these. where machinery and motive-power were available. One morning he ornamented a piece of gum elastic with bronze. iron. and boiled it in a weak solution of lime. So he employed lime in larger proportions. he impatiently threw aside as spoiled and useless. which it with nitric acid. Wherever the nitric acid had touched the gum. none too soon. On removing the fabric from its bath. which he printed in hand- . and discovery. picked it out of his rubbish-heap. in the autumn of 1835. he received prizes at the fairs of the Mechanics' and American But Goodyear soon saw that this lime-water Institutes. and some small ornamental articles. From these he patally tanned. But there was something in the look and feel of that shriveled A day or two later he sheet that clung to his memory. uncovering sticky gum " I have not used lime enough. touch vinegar or other acid. he saw that part of the bronze had been washed off.CHARLES GOODYEAR 183 a few sheets of rubber of fair quality. when at once the beneath. at any process had but slight value. with a rich reward. and examined it. and its surface was virtu- Goodyear sagaciously followed up this golden before a week had passed he was producing thin rubber sheets. only to find the He. terned table-covers and aprons. surface coat of lime was neutralized. a sunbeam lighted up Goodyear's work-table. cured through and through. with its tougher fibers of wood and In Greenwich Village. Its products might. hint . To detach the remainder he touched This instantly darkened the gum. resulting mixture too biting for his hands. To this mill Goodyear often carried a gallon jug of slaked lime from his room in Gold But lime intermixed with gum Street." was his comment. three miles away. he hired a bench in Mr. now part of New York City. therefore. Pike's mill. all stickiness had departed.

in year's fortunes dropped to a low ebb.* . He immersed gum elastic in a mixture of 100 parts bisulphide of carbon and 2| parts of chloride of sulphur. But the panic of 1836 forced Mr. Alexander Parkes. who proffered With little delay the firm of Goodyear & Ballard was formed. of to the inventor. a chemist of Birmingham. William Ballard. globes from sheet rubber. invented a vulcanization requiring no heat. After an immersion of from i| to 3 minutes. famous as Commodore Vanderbilt.. All the cold processes for curing rubber. and the factory had to be closed. as he afterward called designs. some ing which had pestered him in early experiments. he employed a drying stream of air at about 78 Fahrenheit. New York. Pre- paring for a large business. date from his happy observation of the effect produced by a touch of nitric acid. Ballard into bankruptcy. Goodyear's thin fabrics were so novel and durable that This attracted the interest of financial aid they readily found a market.1 84 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS This acid-gas process. The vapor of heated chloride of sulphur is sent into a container in which the goods fully expose their surfaces. afterward . whether devised by Good- year or his successors. A vapor cure. is sometimes employed for thin fabrics. Again GoodOne afternoon. Had she been absent. *In 1846. and began manufacturing. depending upon the thickness of the goods. requiring but moderate temperatures. the scraps of her husband's pasteboard patterns would have gone to Her deft fingers dovetailed them into bonnets. and then in water mingled with a little chloride of lime. they rented a wareroom on Broadway. and later in Staten Island. first in Bank Street. By dipping his wares in a weak solution of nitric acid. Staten Island.^At this period of Goodyear's experiments. worn waste. in Eng- land. at church by herself and her daughters. his wife was She it was who first built schoolroom his constant helper. he gradually improved in every detail. New York. . he avoided the scorchit. he could not pay his fare to New York so he pawned his umbrella with the ferrymaster.

but only to reach the pawnshop a fortnight later. In Roxbury he met Harry Willis. His thoughts centered in rubber. Goodyear difew branches of its With an eye to busi- ness he took in his wallet a few samples of his best wares. and who treated him most hosAnd never did Goodyear need a friend more than pitably. or mixtures of gum. everything that could be pledged had passed out of his hands. arose without a : keepsake remained in Goodyear's pocket. a This loan tided him over two or three brother-in-law. for these goods His scanty tableware. In a moment the cash was in his palm. At in that time. When. but the 185 keep the wolf from his door. Goodyear borrowed a hundred dollars from James DeForest. 'When he saw garments of wool.CHARLES GOODYEAR To of aprons and tablecloths. aims than was Goodyear. straits grew desperate. under stress of demand want. " What can I do Great was his astonishment to be asked " no affront was was sure that When Goodyear for you ? intended. sped toward a pawnshop. The at last . at last. not so weak. without a penny He put a valued keepsake in his pocket. by His turns. the largest rubber factory in Roxbury. sails of canvas. now part of Boston. dwindled to little more than a few cups which. Thither alive America was rected his steps. it was only to imagine how much better all would be if molded in rubber. hoping that at least a work might be and stirring. Roxbury and its neighborhood were suffering from . held weak tea. they were circumferenced by rubber. months of experiments which proceeded all day and far into Never was a discoverer more obsessed by his the night. One morning his family crumb in the cupboard. boats of ash. he resumed the making fell slowly to zero. and to buy food. now. who had been his fellow apprentice in Philadelphia. On his way thither he met a creditor from whom he had reason to dread reproaches. he said that a loan of fifteen dollars would be most useful.

pensable step toward vulcanization. Haven. by Dr. His reward was rubber freed from all stickiness. Good fortune now paid him a second visit. great. the resumed 1837-38. He did not then know that he was never to do a better stroke of business in his life. His new methods of production he patented.i86 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS an utter collapse in the rubber trade. in later days. the winter of tanned. should have embarked fortunes in producing goods liable to offensive putrefaction. who had published the fact in his " History . and for a brief season his skies were cloudless. to his projects. That gum elastic loses its viscosity in a solution of sulphur in turpentine had been discovered in 1832. cently 1834. and more. with a surface well cured or it There was nothing for in but to return to New where. as reas there had been a boom of the wildest. deemed to Thousands of speculators. selling licenses in connection with his acid-gas process. who had been a foreman in the Eagle Rubber Company at Woburn. In this trade. But so it was and to the craze had now succeeded a panic. Hayward patented this process when Goodyear bought the patent. where he produced a few rubber goods on his own account. leading him to the very threshold of vulcanization by the friendly hand of Nathaniel Hayward. Massachusetts. small and be shrewdness incarnate. and expose the compound to sunshine. This ghostly counsel he had obeyed. he said. L. This gave him a decent income. At Goodyear's suggestion. and Goodyear found nobody to look at his samples. other victims launched their all. Hayward was permitted to use its factory. To-day it seems incredible that New Englanders. had plunged into rubber as recklessly as. a German chemist. or to listen . in worthless gold-mines and oil-wells. he had been bidden to combine sulphur with gum. Goodyear manufacture of overshoes. In a dream. Leudersdorff. for this purchase was the first and indis. When this Company failed. in improved qualities.

To give them a leathery hue he had used chromes. and as a crushing blow. thin rubber wares. up for a prolonged test before delivery at Washington. white lead. he obtained almost as good a tanning as afterward from the heat of ovens. to his chagrin. wholly ignorant of the light. although the season was summer. they kept their shape and promised to keep it permanently. This discovery came suddenly. These admixtures he blamed for the wreck- age which met his eye. not in of India Rubber. But if his pigments were at fault. new values conferred on sulphurized rubber by high temfelt peratures. On some tanned from surface to surface. and might richly repay investigation. were as effective as greater heats from fuels.CHARLES GOODYEAR 187 His knowledge came to him." a vision of darkness. Goodyear now right track at that his feet were firmly set in the he placed thin sheets of united rubber and sulphur in a sunbath for hours together. The Postmaster-General gave Goodyear an order for a large supply of mail bags. beneath their hardened nearly as sticky as ever. Then. This remarkable fact is quite much still a . it indorsed his rubber in a most influential quarter. of last. He thought it well to hang them gum was as . the When his wares were bulky he found. This order the inventor noised abroad. and vermilion. skin. When moderate temperature. that. When he came back. He manufactured the bags with all despatch and. as he called it. Then and always he marveled that solar rays. . unutterable was his dismay to see his mailbags on the floor in malodorous decomposition. All went well so long as his fabrics were thin enough to be solarization. however. to refresh his jaded body and mind. Goodyear took advantage of to produce new varieties of of these he printed newsa others he few papers. but in ordinary experiments by dayHe remained. he took a holiday. shaped into attractive ornaments. mystery. Without pausing to resolve this puzzle.

and was justly debarred from sympathy. were thrown on his hands by their purchasers. cold and hungry in a dingy room. for a few months. unsustained by the excitement and pomp of a battlefield. but simply of bread and a roof. He tells us at this pinch. sustained as firmly as if he distinctly be- held what the next few months would unfold to his view.i88 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS a curing more blameworthy was which sank but little into the body of his wares. Indeed. who for was obliged to cease manufacturing.upon himself. he kept up his tests of new compounds. they had to be deprived of the scanty comforts necessary to their advanced age. indeed. Then came the day when. That season he had not only manufactured mail bags. but he always took care to dream with his feet on a rock. through utter absence of demand for his wares. was not un frequently reminded that I could at any time improve my circumstances by returning to the hardware trade." " In his heart's core Goodyear's faith was unshaken that he would yet make rubber in masses as he had long made it in films. He says: . : For four years I had attempted in vain to improve a manufacture that had entailed ruin on all concerned. It was generally agreed that a man who could proceed further in such a course fairly deserved all the distress brought I . His aged father and mother were sharing his home. Day after day. Haysome time had been his assistant. he earned an occasional dollar by making fabrics in thin rubber. and other goods. continuing a fight as dismissed. faithfully as ever did an enlisted champion. it was not a question of comforts. had to be Here. he ward. All these. cushions. Now. He was a dreamer. stood a hero. as disgusting refuse. eking out his modest expenses by recourse to pawnshops. but life-preservers. Again the ill-starred inventor sank to the sorriest plight.

What was of supreme importance was that upon the border of the charred fabric there was a line. and was perfectly cured. to this remarkable effect. a similar fabric before an open fire with the same result. I had hardly time enough to realize the extent of my embarrassment. or border. being carelessly brought into contact with a hot stove. who were present. he narrates : quest. at While on a visit to Woburn. which would make it better than the native gum. which. it might divest the compound My of its stickiness throughout. I was surprised to find that a specimen. As on former occasions. Upon further trials with high temperatures I was convinced that my inference was sound. unlike any before known. I casually gum Father was holding near . I carried on at my dwellingplace some experiments to ascertain the effect of heat on the compound that had decomposed in the mail bags and other articles. and who were acquainted with the manufacture of gum elastic. last alighted at the end of years of baffled upon vulcanization. I directly inferred that if the charring process could be stopped at the right point. Nobody but myself thought the charring worthy of notice. However." How " Goodyear. since gum elastic always melted when exposed to a high degree of heat. more than realized. were to be." Goodyear's daughter has " left this word regarding her father's first unwitting vulcanization: As I was passing little in observed the piece of and out of the room. charred I endeavored to call the attention of like leather. When I plunged India rubber into melted sulphur at great I then exposed heats. before I became intently engaged with another experiment. for the time at least. which had escaped charring. it was always charred. as it afterward proved. my brother and others. if possible. my mind buoyant with new hopes and expectations. retrieve the lost reputation of my invention. never melted.CHARLES GOODYEAR 189 " I applied myself with unabated ardor and diligence to detect the cause of my misfortune and. words reminded my hearers of other claims I had been in the habit of making in behalf of other experiments.

as when he nailed it up. cloth. to prove lasting and pliant. At other times he held rubber against the steaming nose of a tea-kettle. laden with a batch of rubber. and I noticed that he was unusually animated by some discovery which he had made. Next morning he brought it in. his he of cured a sistance family. observing how the rubber slowly hardened until six hours had Beyond that period. the proportion of sulphur Expedients of manufacture which have long been built into a routine had. to be to rubber. of the value of his discovery. He nailed the gum outside the door in the intense cold." His first successful treatment of sulphurized rubber took There. It was perfectly This was proof enough flexible. resolution ! For months after Goodyear had mastered the art and mystery of vulcanization. altering.igo the LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS fire. he coated a lump of passed. while resistant to heat and But no such moderate and changeful temperatures cold. rubber with ashes or sand. Then had experimented with everyAll in vain. on occasion. fabric after another. grip. Yet again. Part of it went into a cap for himself. This oven. in those gloomy days. until he thing in the market. no cloth had a lasting he simply mixed cotton fiber with rubber. as those of a fireplace in would meet the demands now clearly Goodyear's vision. and held it up exultingly. he was vexed by rubber peeling He tried one textile off the cloth on which he spread it. under strict control. he would watch far into the night. through and through. At first he had put up with the oven where his wife baked her loaves. and . he found that only harm was wrought. to toast it for an hour or during a whole day. with the asplace in front of a fire in his bedroom. square yard of rubberthicker than any fabric he had hitherto treated. fumbled for and found by this lonely and ill-equipped exAll honor to his sagacity and to his unswerving plorer. He required a high and steady heat.

saw the splendid prize of perfected rubber. he was a martyr fresh experiments. placed at it his disposal. He. coat. Now that triumph to dyspepsia and gout. Here for several weeks he conducted fruit- Then. with an India rubber purse in case I happen to see without a cent in it. never robust. or spread the first sheet of paper. of these great boons the unique distinction of Goodyear that he arrived at his discovery by himself. Clad in a complete panoply from his oven. he would his arouse wife to down directions for night jot dawned upon him. nor pain. and shoes. could chill his ardor in attackOften in the ing the obstacles which remained in his path. that is he " ! Goodyear's health. and with haustion. he now walked abroad.CHARLES GOODYEAR 191 he had just the cloth he wanted. vest. Goodyear deemed this fabric second only in importance to vulcanized rubber itself. underwent a strain but fatal in these years of tribulation. field One what precautions. as these suggested themselves to him after hours of incessant thought. Baldwin & Haskins. once more to attack the chief diffiful experiments. at last. well satisfied with his progress. : He " : tells us that an acshall I recognize How him ? " The response " was If you meet a man who has on an India rubber cap. When a long dictation came to an end. or tanned the first leather. alone. But neither qualm. and no one sion of toilers who bestowed each It is upon mankind. all was true . within what limits. else. a marked man. he would fall asleep through sheer ex- of rich promise at this time was the use of steam as a vulcanizer . improbable that one unaided man fused the first glass. through the struggles and defeats of years. He. have access a plant his to a behooved him to ascertain. quaintance of his was once asked Goodyear. and just such friends at Lynn. He must comprehensive steam plant. In all likelihood it was a long sucesIt is altogether culties of vulcanization until. they were surmounted. stock. he returned to Woburn.

it was suggestive of an important fact to one whose mind was previously prepared to draw an inference from any occurrence which might favor the object of his research." In truth. Sulphur thickens at a moderate temperature. and only seems. only to flow freely at a higher temperature. I am not willing to admit that they were the result of what is commonly I claim them to be the result of the closest called accident. While I admit that these discoveries of mine were not the result of scientific chemical investigation. They have seen a boomerang fly forward during one-half its sweep. and then quietly expand just before it freezes. golden accidents.. my notice that re- Newton's gaze. They are well aware that may reveal. often with no properties they definite expectation as to what employ new. who try both likely and unlikely experiments with equal care. They dare to Nature return upon themselves. When Fortune. They have observed water slowly contract dur- ing one degree after another of its cooling. Rubber united with sulphur has a discontinuity first it even more remarkable: at softens with heat. such as befell Goodyear. possibly ical pressure. application and observation. there stood beside him neither partner nor lieutenant. to be anomaly and contradiction. of electrical strain.192 to LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS that vision. and then to the supreme discovery of vulcanization ? On for this point his convictions were clear : ". and of mechanheat and of intensities light. happen only to explorers who deserve them. I was many years seeking to accomplish this object. in what seems. who test new compounds. and allowed nothing to escape Like the falling apple before lated to it. exacting mistress. that crowned him with laurel at last. but .. dangerous. and then fly backward to the feet of its at times the paths of thrower. Are we to call it accident that brought Goodyear first to his acid-gas process.

although he was almost a stranger. During this final siege of the wolf he was offered liberal terms gum. when even those who were blessed with health were confined within doors. Coolidge. his were at times were part profits they trifling. would be almost wholly supplanted by his new and better method. vulcanization. enfeebled by was. B. But the recollection of a kind greeting received some time previous from Mr. he came to the verge of starvation. so that. nothing at all . its market? It was nearly two years before he could convince anybody that his rubber had value. at last perfected vulcanization in its he found to his sorrow that if invention is difis still When Goodyear had essentials. ficult. Far and wide he than its offered vulcanized rubber. and stated to him my condition and my hopes of Coolidge. suggested a visit to him. persuasion more difficult. and new and priceless qualities. of Woburn. At last I reached the dwelling of Mr. greatly cheered the anxious inventor. with news from other European cities where the manufacture of rubber was thriving. My feeling was that the face of nature was a fit emblem of my own condition cold and cheerless. and of a quality steadily improved. all but exhausted. resided at a distance of some miles. And those two years renewed his familiarity with downright want. He went on producing articles of new For the most design. during a long and severe snowstorm. and the 193 takes on compound hardens. I resolved to reach his house through the In making my way against the driving snow I was storm. illness as I " He . Rattier & Guibal. He recites: During the winter of 1839-40. as often before. he told them. I found that my family was left without food or fuel. This process. yet.CHARLES GOODYEAR heighten that heat. much more elastic parent by heat or But whc would take up its manufacture and create cold. for the exclusive use in France of his acid-gas process. unaffected by a leading firm in Paris. O. This offer from Paris. nearly as durable as leather.

abroad. he had been plagued by the fermentacompounds. Often his goods showed blisters where. in misery. success from He received me cordially. " . . also. he explained its great merits to listless ears and averted eyes. of course. He traced this to delay between and mixing baking his rubber. He tells us: I felt in duty bound to beg in earnest. but also with facilities for continuing experiments on a small scale. the day when the public should awake to what vulcanization meant for its convenience and gain. carried any impurity. and not only supplied me with a sum adequate to my immediate wants. giving rise to steam. that there must be despatch betwixt the kneading trough and the oven. if need be. this. He found that some blisters sprang from small quantities of acid which had carelessly been allowed to enter his tion of his So. would generate gas and raise blisters. Goodyear found it necessary to lift his temperatures slowly and evenly. Another heated. magnesia. however slight. taking pains never to carry them unduly high. if his white lead. breaks soon followed. Whatever faith he had once inin to have died beyond hope of his seemed spired public But neither hunger at home. could swerve him from his purpose or chill his enthusiasm. Goodyear did not fold his hands and bemoan his fate. . While he was thus patiently banishing faults from his process. nor indifference resurrection. constant offender was moisture. He was taught what the bread-baker had learned long before. From the outset of his labors." While awaiting.194 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS my discovery. In another quarter he was sorely perplexed. As a final precaution. sooner than that the discovery should be lost to the world and to My inability to convince others of the truth of myself. He diligently sought to overcome the difficulties which clogged the detailed working of his process. or other admixture. when turpentine. .

When a specimen of considerable dimensions was heated. and this inflicted great loss before it was at last in winter. as the weather was warm. heating them before an open fire with brushwood which the kindness of my neighbors allowed me to gather in the fields. or to bring them to comprehend the importance of the subject. was made overcome. and produced a state of mind such as could have been ill endured but for the excitement caused by efforts to surmount . but shortly after the discovery of vulcanization I collected and sold at auction the schoolbooks of my children. as I was unable that sum" mer to supply myself with more substantial fuel. it enabled me to At this step I did not hesitate. gave me intense anxiety as to the results. The occasion. about six feet square. charity alone can for it I subsisted at as well to call things by their right names. some of my fellow townsmen were induced to assist me in building a brick oven. small as the amount was. or some article of necessity. All my previous specimens were made from thin fabrics. I had now grounds of assurance which had never existed with regard to previous improvements. library My had long since disappeared. Summer returned and they were not softened by heat: there could be no danger on this score. canization) My discovery (of vul- and its specimens did not stiffen by cold. as they were made at a temperature of 270. was a frequent expedient. the gum fermented. and it is little else than charity when the lender looks upon what he parts with as a gift. In the spring of 1839 I had manufactured some tolerably perfect specimens. When these specimens were exhibited. it seemed impossible to avoid blistering. How is this period. in other circumstances. tell.the obstacles I met with. The next thing to be done was to manufacture specimens of sufficient size to satisfy others of the merit of the invention by a trial of the goods. which brought me the trifling sum of five dollars. . which could be heated before an open fire. and the certainty of success. The pawning or selling some relic of better days. in which some comparatively large But before vulcanization could be attempted. warranted the measure which. goods were to be baked.CHARLES GOODYEAR my 195 assertions. At first I was unaware of the difficulties in the way of operating on a large scale. proceed. would have been sacrilege.

I commenced operations at Springfield. representing the situation of my family. and through the many law. two years of age. Emory indebted for practical success. both on account of their intrinsic joint friend. William DeForest. and lay my project before Mr. and stayed at the house of a friend who made me comfortable for the night. I was Out of reconfident that he would help me. who agreed to furnish capital for manufacture on account. Mr. Rider's merit. who happened to be in my friend's office when he received my letter. am I Rider. he disappointed me. " I then wrote a note to a sincere friend of mine in Boston. These I wrapped up with intent to show them in New York. They were passed through a heated cast-iron trough.suits to which they gave . I thanked God for being turned back to the rescue of my family." continues Goodyear. I next ad- A dressed myself to a brother-in-law. When I arrived in Boston. and he did. my gard with a severe reprimand for not turning my attention to some occupation that would support my household. This enabled me to go to New York. even more than to their pecuniary aid. who was in perfect health when I left home. a distance of ten miles. William Rider. Massachusetts. I strayed into East Cambridge. uniformly heated.196 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and there was nothing for it but to be content with a few specimens which had been nianufactured before an open fire in my own dwelling. At this time I invented the shirred or corrugated goods which afterward became famous. from whom I obtained fifty dollars.. to learn on the threshold that my youngest boy. for a dealer had refused to keep his promise to provide them with subsistence.. failure. having a short time before manufactured some rubber compound in sheets. me seven he sent and children wife for dollars. A former employee of mine. which was a source of heartfelt gratitude. stranger to me. was then dying. leaving me once more without resources. This success had barely time to receive fair public demonstration when Mr. at that time in Boston. " In the fall of 1841. promised that if I would call on him in that city he would lend me fifty dollars*. To the firmness and perseverance of this and to the skill and assiduity of his brother. "before Mr. sent me a barrel of flour. . Mr. William Rider failed. Early next morning I walked home.




elegant ribbons which
. . .


shirred, attracted the

Mr. William DeForest, who brought them to and favor. He furnished the capital for their manufacture, so that I was able to proceed with my * improvements in the vulcanizing process."
attention of public notice

One morning,

ber, a bailiff called to

while Goodyear was baking a batch of rubdemand the immediate payment of a

considerable debt. escorted to

In default of compliance, Goodyear was

Often before he had been led to prison, jail. but now, with commercial success almost within his grasp, his resentment was keen. His long maintained opposition to bankruptcy at last gave way: he accepted its relief,
determined that his merciless creditors should badger him no more. In a few months the tide of his fortunes turned, and he was receiving a goodly revenue from his licenses.

At once he paid his debts to the last penny, disbursing in all $35,000. For a brief season he now entered a quiet
sea and enjoyed fair weather. As he recalled the storms stresses now receding into the past, he was philosopher


to say


Although sometimes disheartened by the apparent loss of time from hindrances, I have, on the whole, good reason to be reconciled to these temporary delays, being well aware that the law of necessity, under one form or other, is the only one under which invention will thrive or accomplish much. Millions might have been spent without -effecting anything in comparison with what has been done. Money is indispensable for the perfecting of improvements, but it is trial and necessity chiefly that are effectual in bringing hidden things to light. In other words, however indispensable money may be to carry out an enterprise or perfect the
* Shirring deserves a word of description. A parallel series of thin rubber cords, while stretched, are interwoven in a warp of cotton or As the fabric leaves its loom the rubber is allowed to contract. silk. In so doing it produces the puckering effect called ilhirring.



improvements of an inventor, it will avail but little in bringing to light that which is unknown, especially where the subject cannot be approached by any known laws of science."


under the eager
far outsped.

the qualities of vulcanized rubber unfolded themselves tests of Goodyear, his rosiest dreams were




did not expect materially to improve

upon the good

qualities of the original gum. object in experiment was limited to restoring gum to its original state, and even that I almost despaired of. success in imparting to gum




new and


valuable properties, and at the same time the useful qualities it had at first, has not

ceased to surprise mankind wherever it has become known. This substance, aside from the difficulty of treating it
chemically, was in its native state as wonderful and mysterious as any in nature, and is rendered yet more wonderful by the change wrought in vulcanization. This change may be compared to that wrought in a perishable skin or hide by tanning, which converts it into a beautiful kid or substantial leather; or, to that wrought when iron This comparison is baked with carbon, and issues as steel. with steel holds good, not only as to result, but also as to method, except that, instead of carbon, sulphur is employed. In both cases a high temperature is required. From the





removed an



changed in its properties as contrasted with its ingredients. The most powerful solvents of gum elastic affect it but

or not at



elastic melts at a


moderate heat, and cracks with the ordinary cold of a winter day. Vulcanized rubber is indifferent to extremes of both heat and cold. My process works no mere improvement of a substance, but, in fact, produces a material wholly new. The durability imparted to gum elastic by vulcanization not only improves it for its own peculiar and
legitimate uses, but also renders it available for a variety It may appear abof new purposes never before imagined. surd to compare the lasting quality of rubber with that of wood and metal, yet because rubber resists corrosion and decay, it is far preferable to oak or iron, as experience








without effect on rubber. Without injury a brass, rubber vessel holds potash and potash promptly destroys leather and wood. Many other substances are hurt or So is its parent, ruined by water; rubber is waterproof. gum elastic, a fact turned to account long before vulcani-



zation." *


In 1848, Goodyear, with his unfailing skill, began making hollow balls and similar goods. Against a containing mold, he forced a layer of rubber by air slightly compressed. Of

*Gum elastic is not the only substance which is greatly exalted in value by simple treatment. A parallel discovery to vulcanization was that of John Mercer in 1850. This English chemist and dyer found that cotton fabrics bathed in a solution of sulphuric acid, or He proved, also, caustic soda, were almost doubled in strength. that paper and linen are improved in the same way by like immerHis method, familiar as mercerization, to-day produces many sion. cotton textiles which resemble silk, and also the papers, like parchment, used to cover jars of preserved fruit, and to wrap the costlier kinds of crackers and sweets. Mercer's original discovery, like Goodyear's, was quite unintenHe thought that an alkaline solution passed through a thick tional.
test this supposition he made bleached cotton fabric pressed thrice through a calender to make it compact. On this filter he poured a caustic soda solution of 60 on the Twaddell scale. The



would be weakened.





six folds of fine, strong

slow, and it fulfilled Mercer's expectation: the the cotton showed a strength of but 53 on the Twaddell scale. And now John Mercer, as an observer, came forward as of kindred to Charles Goodyear. He noticed that the cotton

was very
it lef*t

solution as

had undergone remarkable changes; it had become semi-transparent, and had gained thickness at the expense of length and breadth. Most important of all, a weight of 22 pounds was now


to break off a piece of mercerized cloth, as compared with the 13 pounds which had sufficed before treatment. In dyeing his new fabrics, Mercer found that their receptivity of color had been greatly increased. Strange to say, he found that heat checked the mercerizing process; at 212 Fahrenheit, it wholly ceased. This in contrast to the strength added to rubber at temperatures gradually

heightened to 270.



equal value were the thin veneers he now vulcanized between hot plates. But it was in compounding, not in details

of manipulation, that he took his next great stride.

His brother Nelson discovered that to increase the percentCharles age of sulphur added hardness to a compound. Goodyear, following up this discovery, soon created a diversity of products quite as useful as soft rubber,
like soft

and un-

rubber in not being liable to slow oxidation, with eventual brittleness and decay. One brand of his hard

another kind superGoodyear shrewdly pointed out that, in most cases, these new rubbers could be used instead of

rubber replaced bone and whalebone

seded ivory and horn.

tusks and whale fibers, steadily growing scarcer and dearer. The specially tough varieties of hard rubber known as


ebonite and vulcanite, have created an important field for They may be turned in a lathe, or carved
steel tools, as if


ebony or boxwood, for cabinet-work.

are impervious to water, uncorroded by acids, and non-conductors of electricity, they afford electrical insulators of

As they

unapproached quality, and form indispensable parts of the best telegraphic and telephonic instruments. These hard rubbers, almost metallic in appearance, remind us that
at first


called his






supposing their sulphur to be as metallic as their lead.


per has often been used by portrait painters instead of canvas or wood, and Goodyear determined that hard rubber should be tested for a like purpose. Accordingly he had a series of family portraits executed on hard rubber, and with gratifying results, as this material is unaffected by

dampness or wide fluctuations of temperature, and
neither to crack, warp, nor decay.




of these pictures, a

portrait of himself, is reproduced for this chapter. It was executed in Paris, in 1855, by George P. A. Healy. Rubber,

prepared by vulcanization a word not coined by Goodyear. James Brockedon, a partner of Mac-

hard or



intosh, in the


manufacture of raincoats, with the Vulcan of


Goodyear process


This term has taken firm root in the English


To understand how much

and science owe to Good-

us place side by side a piece of vulcanized rubber, year, and a bit of gum elastic, such as his process begins with. Except for its dinginess, the gum reminds us of wheaten

Both gum and dough are elastic at common temperatures; and both become brittle in wintry air. Two
joined lumps of dough adhere so firmly that they cannot be separated; just so with gum. As new and golden qualities

appear in a baked



in the parent paste,

gum, properly compounded and heated, blossoms

into a

new wealth of

properties not foretold in the crude juice

of a rubber plant. Vulcanized rubber is than gum. When free from adulteration
so that

it is

much more elastic much tougher,
belts or tires.

Because born

forms durable gloves and shoes, at a temperature of 270 or so,

can bear
it is


heats not exceeding these extremes. indifferent to cold gum, in touching

ice, loses

just as

its elasticity



it is

as flexible as ever.


bring rubber

to brittleness

demands the cold of

the zero of Fahrenheit.

vanished in the oven, it fore it is heated, a rubber compound is perfectly plastic, This so that it may be molded and modeled as if wax.

below liquid air, 312 Because the stickiness of gum has may be kept as clean as glass. Be-

makes the manufacture of


shoes and garments as simple

To round as the pasting together of their paper patterns. out its circle of adaptability, rubber lends itself to every art
of the printer.
It takes perfect impressions from steel and from copper plates, type and stone; and, unlike paper, it It is easily bronzed, asks for no preliminary dampening. It readily

gilded, or japanned.

combines with pigments,


pecially with lead oxides,

which shorten the time needed for


Last of


Goodyear remarked,



a capital

electrical insulator.

Since his time, electricity has


empire a thousandfold, so that rubber to-day covers
to build,

millions of wires bringing currents into offices, factories,

and homes, and helps

even greater number,

in designs but faultless, of efficiencies nearly perfect. Of late years, the manufacture of rubber has become, for the most part, highly specialized. few large concerns

dynamos and motors, telephones and sounders,


produce a large variety of wares which may demand as many as four hundred formulas in their preparation. The period
required for heating each article is determined, and the right temperature is maintained with precision. Steam, because easily regulated, is employed to heat the ovens: its pressure



reach 600 pounds to the square inch. Rubber, prepared and vulcanized with the utmost care, may

retain its original excellence for ten years.

To produce artificial rubber has long been the aim of leading chemists. In 1892 Professor William Tilden derived isoprene, a colorless liquid resembling benzine, from turfew weeks afterward he noticed that a bottle had spontaneously formed several lumps of rubber. Isoprene and rubber are alike in the number and variety of their atoms they differ solely in the architecture which unites these atoms as molecules. Professor Tilden found that his artificial rubber, like the natural product, consisted of two substances, one of which was more soluble Yet more in benzine or carbon bisulphide than the other.
pentine. of isoprene
; :


this artificial

product entered into combination with sulphur, forming a tough, elastic compound. As striking was a discovery by Dr. F. E. Matthews who, in July, 1910, sealed up
isoprene and sodium in a tube. In the course of the next month he observed that the liquid had become viscid, and

contained a


upon a


Sodium thus rubber of prime quality. career as an important means of trans-



Other modes of converting isoprene into rubber have been discovered by Dr. Fritz Hofmann and Proand researchers of distinction are fessor Karl Harries

now endeavoring

cheapen isoprene as a basis of manuTires for motor-cars molded from artificial rubto

ber have


as well as


Para rubber: a


so se-

vere putting planters on their mettle. Their hope is that, by improved and enlarged cultivation, they may face their chemical rivals as successfully as have the planters of

camphor trees. The elasticity which so strongly characterizes rubber is shared, in minor degrees, by many other substances, a few of

produced by the chemist.


white substitute for

obtained by stirring sulphur chloride into linseed, or other fatty oil, mixed with petroleum spirit. After a few


minutes' thorough stirring, the oil thickens, and becomes a similar substance, dark in color, somewhat elastic mass. is derived from a vegetable oil heated to about 380 Fahren-




flowers of sulphur are added.


the mixture




develops elasticity. But every substitute for extensible in only a comparatively- slight degree.

In this chief quality, rubber and its next of kin stand far apart, reminding us of the immense disparity in magnetism

between iron and
ily, nickel.


nearest relation in the magnetic fam-


late years, the art of

blending rubber with cheaper

substances has been highly developed. Here as in every other field of this manufacture, the pioneer was Goodyear

He mixed

rubber with



with carbon

from coal

with earths, metallic oxides, metals, and ores

found that a little lampblack in a wind and weather. To articles he strewed sawdust and produce specially light, cork into his kettles. Let him tell how he mixed powdered and treated his compounds
finely pulverized.


compound conferred

resistance to




Sulphur is sometimes mixed with the gum in the process of crushing or grinding, in the proportion of half an ounce of sulphur to a pound of gum. At other times it is dusted as flour upon the goods before they are placed in the
heater; this

white lead, or

commonly done when the mixture contains when the coat of gum is thin and "the goods Another mode is to generate sulphurous gas in

the heater containing the goods.,. When fabrics thinly coated with rubber are taken from the spreading machine, they are as adhesive as the native gum, and great care and skill are required to prevent their surfaces adhering toAs a precaution, the sheets are rolled up in cloth, gether. or dusted with flour. The articles to be manufactured are first cut out from a sheet, their seams are washed clean from flour, and the cleansed parts are brought into contact and pressed either by the fingers or a small band roller, so as to unite them firmly. Then the article is ready to be Some articles, such as shirred goods, air pilvulcanized. Other articles, shaped lows, and the like, are cemented. without cloths, require to be put on forms or lasts, or into molds or must be otherwise supported. This prevents change of shape, for the first effect of heat is to soften the rubber compound; only afterward does hardening take The ovens are heated either by steam or hot place. air. Steam is not used in the cases where it causes disFor car and other springs, drapery, stayed comcoloration.



pounds, and

Vulcanization else, steam is preferred. the temfour to six which hours, during usually requires perature is gradually raised from about 250 to 270 Fahrenheit. Variations in temperature and in time of exposure follow upon diversity in the thickness of goods, and also turn upon the kind of compound employed."


While Goodyear was applying his rubber to art and industry, in fields for the most part profitable, he was not to
be lured into manufacturing as a vocation. He maintained his family in comfort, and then devoted the remainder of

income loom to his
his his

to experiment.



His notebook, a priceless heirshows how fruitful and sweeping were His sketches, drawn with skill and spirit,

are certainly divergent enough.


Here are anchor-buoys and
overshoes for horses to

hammocks and


wear on icy pavements, tarpaulins and tents, printers' rolls and engine packing, self-inflating beds and baptismal pants, He offers us a hat with a floor-mats and baby- jumpers.


receptacle for papers in its crown, secured by a rubber cord. a traveler on shipboard he presents a waistcoat, easily

distended with air in case of shipwreck. Goodyear strangely overlooked an important application of rubber, to the tires of vehicles, as invented and patented
in 1845,

by Robert William Thomson, an Englishman, who

took pains to exhibit his wheels in America as well as at home. To-day a leading branch of the rubber industry furnishes tires, solid or pneumatic, to wagons and carriages, to

and motor-cars. Thomson's tires came out just As devised in 1845, forty years too soon for acceptance. they are essentially the tires rolling at this hour through the



and Broadways of America.

give him the credit long unduly withheld from him, the worthiest of all the successors of that wonderful

Thomson, to was



a wheel, for Thomson gave the wheel a new His tire was a holefficiency by bidding it tread upon air. low belt of India rubber, inflated with air by a condenser



from which the pump of to-day is lineally descended. His was formed of several thicknesses of rubber, soaked and


dissolved rubber, with careful vulcanization

of the tube as a whole.



most attention

in his



width of

five inches.

Thomson had
his tires



well as ingenuity;

proved sound and durable. One set of them ran twelve hundred miles " " without distress. But these aerial wheels excited
only the Oh's

from the


and Ah's of empty wonder; they were mere freaks of invention, and then quite


1868, tires of solid rubber began to encircle the



wheels of heavy traction engines in England. Soon afterward they appeared on the wheels of chairs for invalids, and
trucks for baggage and freight. When velocipedes came in, their vogue was stimulated by the use of rubber tires thence

they passed to the supplanters of velocipedes, bicycles and tricycles. destiny of renown attended a tricycle owned


by a lad of Belfast, who, wishing to outrun his comrades, appealed for aid to his father, John Boyd Dunlop, a vetMr. Dunlop came to his son's assistance erinary surgeon. most memorably. He took three pieces of stout rubber tubing, welded each into a circle, inflated this circle with air from a pump to form a tire duly fastened with tape to a wheel of the tricycle. Forthwith that machine outstripped every rival on the ground. Dunlop patented his invention, only to find that he had been anticipated forty-five years
before by Thomson. in the nick of time,
tury too early.

But Dunlop saw

that, while

he was

Thomson had been

nearly half a cen-

Dunlop and his friends at once formed a joint-stock company, and possessed themselves of patents for clinchers and other indispensable auxiliaries. Then they proceeded to make and market their tires with so much skill and address that soon they were masters of a huge business, with branches

throughout the world.

Since 1898, motor-cars have been perfected, and are now adapted to touring, to the transportation of passengers and

Despite recurrent freight, in scores of excellent models. competition from leather, wood, or steel, rubber for tires holds the field. In many cases it is armored with leather,

and usually

this leather bears studs of steel.

ence accorded to rubber
outlives leather,

The preferIn earned. it far resilience justly most formidable rival it drinks, as the


say, a stone

which would perceptibly


a leather


and severely jar a tire of wood or steel. Motor-car become hot at high speeds, so, to avoid further vullittle

canization, they contain but

free sulphur.



Vulcanization takes place only when there is a little sulphur in ex- For mechanical goods and mold work. free. but the chemistry of vulcanization has been closely studied For boots. he its sail knew no rest until that boat was launched and facilities His workshop afforded him but scant as compared with those of the wellunfurled. opposite each interval on the adjoining circle appears a wheel thus armed runs better than if its rubber paw. leaving one per cent.CHARLES GOODYEAR bloom on a tire 207 ingenuity has betokens its presence. but of rubber combined with such metallic oxides as produce a compound more tough and durable. in vulcanites and other hard goods. paw vantage damaged. Good tires are never made of pure rubber. per cent. for instance. Much been exercised upon sectional tires. nothing else. the proportion becomes one-half. its outer circles Goodyear was not a mere draftsman. whereas a pneumatic tire would need costly repairs. combines. . For all that many diverse processes. of sulphur is added to rubber of this quantity two . three per of late years. with and without heat. and raincoats. When he had outlined a lifeboat and its sail. That remarkable man struck the bull's-eye of his target. his practice to-day but little departed from. A rubber were disposed in one uniform circle. and upon chains intended to bite the dust. Each without rubber. shoes. Many heavy freight wagons bear tires of solid rubber in twins. thirty intervals rubber pads or paws which surround it. have cess. is sought to supplant Goodyear's method. further adis if a or becomes worn that. of sulphur is admixed. nothing but remain for his successors. let us suppose. each wheel having two distinct series of circle has. cent. as much as six to ten per cent. it is easily A and cheaply replaced. But in many wares the admix- tures of cheap ingredients with rubber are adulterants and Not only mechanical mixture with rubber. to sketch a design and go no further.

nothing molded of rubber was his devices for safety at oftener in Goodyear's sea. Often when he broached business. test a fresh project or design to a : man of he met with the remonstrance " Why bother to novelties when so many wares devised long ago enjoy a profitable demand ? first " Goodyear's invention in rubber was an improved valve for a life-preserver. From the hour when first until the close of his life. to insure escape from peril. lieved the constant loss of life at sea to be mainly due to sheer neglect. suspenders. so he sought appointed factories to lay one of these concerns under contribution. " Regarding his devices he wrote : articles will proper investigation and public trial of the proposed demonstrate that there is no real necessity for such constant loss of life by mariners as now occurs.ao8 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS now vulcanizing his wares. bolster and pillow. But the inventor found it so difficult to have his instructions carried out. This. that he soon tempt. he offered to the New York agent of the Roxbury Company. cushion and footstool. aboard ship. should be hollow and He He beinstantly inflatable. It was and ovens Goodyear should have new compounds tested and new articles produced. He wished that every table and chair. he examined a life-preserver. he discovered divides manufacturers abandoned the athow wide from researchers. whose approval of his ingenuity heartened him greatly. scale elastics for shoes. agreed that in their mixing-rooms directed by personal friends. and in other ingenious forms. manufacturing on a vast and the like. Must men continue to be drowned because their fathers were ? Must treasures continue to go to the bottom of the deep because there are offices where they can be insured? A . mind than gave months to designing and testing life-preservers shaped like accordions. From them he chose the of Connecamong Naugatuck Company ticut. it will be remembered. a gulf In experiences of this kind.

LIFE./ HORSEMAN IN WATERPROOFS [Drawn by Charles Goodyear.Bo AT [Drawn by Charles Goodyear.] .] i.


Reswimmer's see belt. is how much the art of the merchant viewing these and other obstacles to success. and the demonstration of the practicability and utility of the thing conceived. It is the first ' A ' . even though the first idea did not originate^ with him. might be written on the peculiar difficulties and embarrassments to which they are subject. receive a smaller volume compensation for their labors than do inventors.' are the children of misfortune and want. as a general rule their labors Their hard fortune begin. a mistaken notion that an invention consists in vague idea of it. Goodyear was thwarted less by declared opposition than by stolid indifference. . and ought not. may utterly miss public favor.' . for. need not." In his endeavor to safeguard the mariner. Probably no class of the community. is in some countries considered the author of an invention. time and money to be spent. and causes them to appreciate and understand it by dint of perseverance. An individual who performs all that is necessary in these ways to bring an improvement to the notice of the public. Nobody but himself took to heart the drownings which year by year he summed up with grief and indignaHe marveled that millions of pairs of galoshes and tion. and innumerable difficulties and prejudices to be encountered. It takes far more than that to entitle one to the merit of an invention. said. and end in necessity. before the work is accomplished. continue. between the bare conception of an idea. to exist. Goodyear " toward the close of his volume on Gum Elastic": ". and never a rubber lifeboat. whose wares. and seldom a He began to needed to create a market for the inventor. but the whole may be summed up in a few words. without an adroit and persistent canvass. suspenders should be sold every twelvemonth. " It is often repeated that necessity is the mother of It may with equal truth be said that inventors invention. there is almost always a vast amount of labor to be performed. in any country.CHARLES GOODYEAR The loss 209 to the world is and such a state of things none the less on that account.

and this means needed to manufacture deprives him of all reward for his in- takes out letters-patent for his invention. in rightful owners are benefited by it. which he counts as property. especially if they can make some The community cannot slight alteration and evasion of it.210 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS often calls forth the expression of pity and compassion from the public at the same time. He usually finds it the most difficult of all tasks to persuade mechanics to perform a novel task whose utility they do not Often a well-conceived plan comes to failure. So he renews his attempts until the . cause wrong materials are chosen. In most cases an inventor at first knows little of the difficulties he has to encounter. he has not the completing the article. but which amount chiefly to a permission by government to fight his own battles. There will be found persons in every community unprincipled enough to pirate the invention. they can leave the world better off for having lived in it. Patents are commonly evaded. and the patent law is so ineffectual for their protection. universal application. His attempts may be foreign to his occupation. He . if they do. that the public does not value them much. beperceive. or. nor can they be expected to do so. it is seldom that the There is. such cases one alleviating and consoling reflection to wellsuccess has crowned their attempt. the danger of its loss by the inventor is proportioned to its utility and importance. all how much remains He he expected it to do. always be expected to understand the merits of the cause. since competition has given the thing they and genuity " toil. But he has little to be done to make his invention has probably exhausted his own resources his friends in and the resources and patience of his devices. However valuable and important an improvement may be. obliging him to resort to a mechanic or a machinist for the various parts of the thing he designs. or from a defect or overDefeat only confirms the projector in sight in construction. and disciplined minds. machine does idea profitable. . there are too many ever ready to encroach upon their inventions. for in too many cases the purchase of a patent is equivalent to the purchase of a If the discovery is of unlimited importance and lawsuit. his conviction that he is right he sees in his mind's eye his invention working as much to the admiration of others as to that of himself. however.

he was a patentee had been unfortunate. had manufactured rainproof coats of gum elastic. unaccompanied by any information as to how it had been produced. Thus it came about that his American patent was dated June 15. the varia- ." as These remarks plainly tell us that Goodyear's experience. bethe of Mr. using naphtha as a solvent. to find also the period of exposure to heat that produced the best result. they say. 1844. A partner in Thomas Hancock. method which constantly arose under he found that every his And new step but broadened the horizon for fresh experiment and research. dilatory in seeking such protection as patents might grant He always wished to incorporate in his claims the in advances hands. because his improvement is simple and. avoiding the great error in most attitled to the more tempts at improvements. and no one is en- monopoly of thought. is so simple thought of it. received from America a piece of vulcanized rubber. For twenty years prior to Goodyear's discovery. practical. after ascertaining the temperatures that suited any compoufid. Until I noticed this necessity I was often sadly perplexed. therefore. It would be certainly just to say that the 'inventor should be rewarded on that very account.CHARLES GOODYEAR want that at less cost. trayed presence this firm. they are apt to 211 encourage encroachments for an interested reason. Its odor. as the same compounds exposed to the same temperature were sometimes good and sometimes bad in practice. Macintosh & Company. In truth. of London. Hancock had long sulphur. The any one would have thing. that of complication and mystery. been combining sulphur and rubber in his his next steps are recalled in his " own experiments : " History of India Rub- ber Manufactures " : I found that when submitting the compounds containing sulphur to heat it was necessary. however. This delay opened the door to a shrewd rival in England. just five years after his discovery of vulcanization. him.

' ' them while the examination was going on. " thought now occurred to me that in the end proved A extremely valuable. within certain limits. which I knew would not be injurious to rubber. But I now know I was frequently thwarted by my want of information as to what caused the differences in tion in time being often I appearance. and I fully expected to find In this I was greatly disappointed. knowing how freely I could use it. I immersed them again. thus at once indubitably opening to me the true source and process of . Revolving in my mind some of the effects produced by the high degree of heat I had employed in making solutions of rubber and sulphur. of course. turning black and becoming hard and horny. After they had been immersed for some time I examined them. it occurred to me that. or even more. vessel.' for. and immersed in it some slips of cut sheet rubber about half an inch wide and one-sixteenth of an inch thick. tan color. On the fourth withdrawal I found to my great satisfaction that one slip of the rubber was perfectly changed. which was somewhat at random.212 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS from one hour to between six and seven hours. these slips changed. than to watch for any promising appearance in any of the scraps and to improve upon them. and found that the rubber was tinged of this tan color to a considerable depth.' retaining the same tan The other slips remained in the sulphur color throughout. without injury. All the way through these experiments for producing the 'change' (vulcanization) I had no other guide. and found that the surface had assumed a yellowishI immersed them again. I now replaced them and raised the temperature of the sulphur and allowed them to remain immersed for a considerable time. on applying the tests. and particularly in regard to the temperature employed. On withdrawing them the second time I cut one of them across with a wet knife. This was strong evidence that the rubber had freely absorbed the sulphur. the slip nearest the fire. and on withdrawing I found the lowermost. as the melting-point of sulphur is only about 240. in oil of turpentine. I found that not the least chang' ' ing effect had been produced. On the third examination I found that the tan color had quite penetrated through the slip. it would be well to see what would ensue on immersing a slip of sheet rubber in sulphur at its lowest meltI accordingly melted some sulphur in an iron ing-point.

It was not until January 30. you could not separate them after their surfaces came in contact and It is " well elastic up . 1852. argued this as his last case. New Jersey. the great lawyer said: known that the articles manufactured of gum If they to the year 1834 were entirely useless. they became sticky. he heard that two years later London would hold an International Exhibition. at Trenton. through his agent. William Newton. observe in the publicity which he managed to give In 1849. receiving as his fee $10. with all his wonted eloquence and power. much of it exquisite in design. By this lack of severely. In the course of his plea. And promptitude as a patentee. I well remember A friend in rubber." ' ' 213 change in all its pure and pristine sim- Hancock. took out a patent in England on November 21. that Goodyear. 1844. Especially commended by the official judges was his array of hard-rubber ware. having thus arrived at the vulcanization of surfaces by immersing gum elastic in molten sulphur. if exposed to the that I cold.000.CHARLES GOODYEAR producing the plicity. and a hat of the ceed very well with them. and it was. medals which came to the United States. He won the verdict. Goodyear's case against Horace H. as we may his wares. On the 8th of the same month. were exposed to the sun. he resolved that his display should be one of the most striking in the Crystal He received one of the five council Palace. I I did not suctook the cloak one day and . patented his method in England. New York sent me a very fine cloak in India same material. an infringer of his patents. 1843. Daniel Webster. as attorney for the prosecution. In August of the next year. Goodyear lost yet he was a man of much shrewdness. they became hard and rigid. came before the United States Circuit Court. had some experience in this matter myself. Day. this agent secured a patent in France.

and many persons passing by supposed they saw standing by the porch. Do not fail to call on the receipt of this. that material is hard like metal. 1844. in It would be painful Connecticut. and elastic as pure gum elastic. as I feel some anxiety on account of my family. " ' CHARLES GOODYEAR." Mr. 1840. stance : from his good spirit and but particularly affecting from that circumridicule in a " " ' ' DEBTORS' PRISON. Mr. on the spot. for no one would bestow that upon him receiving indignation and friends. and started a factory. is perhaps as place as any on this side of the grave. good a resting- "'Yours truly. Mr. Goodyear went to Naugatuck. half clad. It inask again if there is made this invention. Here is a letter of his written cheerful vein.' : " Later in his plea. I MR. he picking up with his own hands little billets of wood from the wayside. : GENTLEMEN and see me at my have the pleasure to invite you to call lodgings. who is troduces quite a new being nothing less material into the than elastic metal. Webster continued " : In January. to speak of his extreme want the destitution of his family. the Farmer of Marsh- mounted field. April 21. Webster said " I anybody else than Goodyear who he? Is the discovery so plain that it might have come about by accident? It is likely to work important changes in the arts everywhere. and possibly to establish an India Rubber Factory for myself. Why. which.214 set it LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS out in the cold. it with the hat. It arts. BOSTON. that is as great and momentous a phenomenon occurring to men in the . after all. to warm the household suffering reproach not harsh. and to communicate with my family. JOHN HASKINS OR LUKE BALDWIN " ' My father will probably arrange my affairs in relation to this Hotel. I surIt stood very well by itself.

When Mr. his purse was emptied of its last dollar. and to promote the manufactures which bore his name throughout Europe. which. accompanied by his family. Macintosh. European rights. Hancock's partner. In London he was called upon by Mr. being that can stand up. Now. Goodyear had left America in poor health to her husband's sore affliction. of Frankfort-on-the-Main. cost him fifty thousand dollars. But he expressly acknowledges Goodyear to be the first I say that there is not in the world a human inventor. That is certain. the famous manufacturer of raincoats. of the daughter. He . Charles Goodyear. Emil Deckert. To this union is three children were born. Paris. took passage to Europe. . this fact cannot be denied it cannot be discredited it cannot be kept out of sight. believing that equity was on his side. Hancock has been referred to. Hancock patent to This offer Goodyear relinquish a suit for infringedeclined. of London. Who is he? Mr. her symptoms grew steadily worse. and yet become elastic like India rubber. as it would be for a man to show that iron and gold could remain iron and gold. but the legal verdict went against him. who survived him. and say that it is his invention. Webster had won his case. she passed away. Of these the only survivor a wife of Dr. except the man who is sitting at that table. ." . with its contents.CHARLES GOODYEAR 215 progress of their knowledge. somebody has made this invention. assembling every product of vulcanized rubber then known. Goodyear. to emulate the example of London. His claims as a patentee in America were greatly strengthened by the decision at Trenton he crossed the Atlantic in the interests . held Fanny. who offered him oneof his half the ment. His outlay was extravagant. and. 1853. joined to the depredations of an agent. University In 1855. During the summer of 1854. Mrs. In March. Goodyear contributed a palatial booth. Goodyear was united in marriage to Miss Fanny Wardell. the an international exposition on a scale surpassing that of the British metropolis.

His friends proffered bail. He had scarcely left his steamer when he was arrested on a claim originating in France. Most pired in 1858. when he sailed for New York.216 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS to was unable pay his debts. 1858. Goodyear took to his bed. contending that the claim was fraudulent. he clearly proved in court. To pay his way he had to pawn interests his wife's jewelry. His wife's turn of strength. he was able to travel to Bath. legal and financial. With the shadow of death upon his brow. house a large tank for tests of . and sent farewells to his skilful nursing led to a measurable reEarly in April. in view of the wholly inadequate returns it had yielded him. embarrassment. "" All this strife. so that necessity again brought him into the clutches of usurers. where he hoped for peace and comfort in what remained to him of True to his chief purpose as an inventor. Meanwhile his in America had fallen into confusion through neglect. which exfor seven years. models of life-saving One morning. Once more in America. He bade his family good-by. up in his craft. suffered disabling infirmity. Goodyear's were brought into something like order. for years. where he remained until May. near Paris. his trusted attorney embezzled sum from him. and his own. and was locked up the close of in Clichy prison. tracts. Toward December he se- cured release. He firmly declined This fact bail. and at once posted to England to bring to bay certain audacious infringers. With the prospect of a respectable income from his licenses. while occupied with these models. 1856. was renewed justly his patent. he fitted life. came upon a man who had. Bad health prevented his giving proper attention to his business. and his health improved a little. His stay in Bath was clouded by friends. Goodyear decided to make his home in Washington. when he was at once honorably discharged. a large affairs Some of his licensees utterly ignored their conTo cap the climax.

he death. and soon all hope was at an end. Early on Sunday morning. to pause in New York. Goodyear started might clasp his at once. a final blow to this loving father. On northward way he was obliged. taking quarters at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. as the belfries of Fifth Avenue pealed their invitation to worship. through sheer exhaustion. breathed his last. . 1860. in her hand he That farewell.CHARLES GOODYEAR word came from Connecticut 217 that his daughter was dying. There he learned of his daughter's was That he should have been absent in her last hours His symptoms every hour grew more alarming. July I.

He was sadly lacking in business ability. his decent little property slipped through his fingers. and this wonderful boy is in a little . It was from her that John Ericsson came by his unbending will and tireless energy. discovering how the wheels and pinions were built. Ericsson's mother was of Flemish descent. is seated on a bench Swedish village. the famous builder of canals. who for some years worked a small mine which he owned in part. so that. Olof Ericsson. who became the greatest engineer that Europe ever bestowed upon America. with a Scottish strain in her blood : she was a woman of brains and force of character. it drew from England a good many men trained by Telford. after more than one call from the bailiff. a toy sawmill. From the very first his bent was toward construction and nothing else. and what they did. As a child in his native Langbanshyttan for hours together he would watch the machinery of his father's mine. a hundred miles away. as foreman of a gang of rock blasters on the Gota Canal. and a small set of drawing-instruments he has made them all with no other tools than the jack-knife and gimlet beside him. how they moved. lively and vigorous. Ericsson was eight years old his father removed to Forsvik. His father. From among them Olof Erics218 . Notwithstanding the poverty which thus befell him. designed to carry the waters of When Lake Venern into the North Sea. he was faithful and most generous in the education of his three children.JOHN ERICSSON BOY of nine. A John Ericsson. a year memorable in American annals the place is Forsvik in Northern Sweden. He is showing his father and mother a tiny pump. . was a man of education. As the work proceeded. The time is 1812.

MacCord. S.] .[From the painting by K. 1889.


the rank of captain in the Swedish Army. as I now pro- That John Ericsson was a born commander was proved when he was given charge of six hundred. From the English controller in which he soon John learned English. were day by day drawing out his great natural powers to observe. of grading and building." in physics and mechanics. and to knit cause to consequence. he was soon proficient. At seven- who could tell he was irresistibly drawn to military but that he might become a general and win national renown? He joined the Twenty. Had I taken a course at such an institution : " should have acquired such a belief in authorities that I should never have been able to develop originality and I make my own way pose to do.third Rifle Corps. It but added a new field to the . a title which he retained with pride as long as he lived. and soon Ensign Ericsson was one of the best marksmen on its roster. : to reach the eye-piece of his leveling instrument. when he was twenty. he was excelled. in 1827. in the variety chance." very fortunate. three years later. of works nearby whenever he had a The details of blasting and excavating. He was already a good draftsman when these lessons be- gan . the lad received instruction as telling as that of classrooms. now taught field-drawing. By grace of the Crown Prince of Sweden he was accorded. Nils and John. Years afterward a friend said " It is a pity you did not graduate from a to Ericsson : Ericsson replied No. This sally into the profession of arms threatened the loss of Ericsson to the engineering world. teen. and.four. of work going on around him. as he spoke it Meantime. it was technological institute. John's course included chemistry. Swedish troops employed as laborers on the Gota Canal he was then so short that he had to stand on a stool in his fourteenth year. It was a striking case of rich soil enjoying the best culture. life. algebra. and geometry.JOHN ERICSSON 219 son engaged teachers for his two sons.

220 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS empire in which he became the unapproached master. his complexion brilliant with the freshness and glow of healthy youth. the man. and on both sides of the Atlantic. Mazeline. Life of John Ericsson." fully illustrated. has served as the chief source of information in writing this chapter. eyes head. That of Sauvage commended itself to him. By the kind permission of its publishers this work . He now took up with enthusiasm the study of guns. Mr. The broad shoulders carried most * splendidly the proud. where he joined the staff of M." " At twenty-one. by Charles Scribner's Sons. and was soon drawing their details as swiftly and accurately as in hoists. with a cluster of thick. light blue. erect head. and comparing the newly devised screw propellers of Delisle and Sauvage. brown. Mr. in the when there was nothing larger than a United States Navy. clear. Church was for years an intimate friend of Captain Ericsson." is he At that early age Ericsson had already left Sweden. C. Here he remained about a year. at a time 4O-pounder and nights of eager study that Ericsson acquired a firm grasp of military and naval practice. glossy curls encircling his white massive foreHis mouth was delicate but firm. It was in these days word as to Ericsson. by William Conant Church. as he threshold of his career : A " now stood on the says his biographer. copyright New York. W. nose straight. described as handsome and dashing. and he became familiar with 8o-pounders on the Baltic. From Sweden. the famous shipbuilder. 1890. proceeding to Havre. learning much about the design and construction of ships. who appointed him to be his biographer. with a slight expression of sadness. *From "The two volumes. and bright. His experiments included all the explosives then used in later years he drew plans for engines and and culverts. Church. to stand him in good stead in after life. bridges the contours of guns he passed to a study of the explosive forces which guns are built to resist.

The originality of the young Swede had now wide scope. why not reap like profit by attaching bellows to the furnace of a steam boiler? From bellows in this application he soon passed to a centrifugal blower. where its fuel was wood. been a success in Sweden. refuse from . and soon admitted him to a partnership. he scored one Tradition has it that Ericsof the triumphs of his career. he installed an air compressor which worked a pump at a considerable distance. where he sought a market for a new motor. With an old experiment of his father's in mind. Another task for air in motion next engaged him. Ericsson was just the assistant* he was looking for. that of intensifies a blaze mechanical draft. In England the fierce heat of coal rapidly destroyed its working parts. In so doing he was a pioneer of a new and great economy. and Ericsson for creator's joy. He had long known that a blacksmith by a bellows. in improving its contour at a later day. son chafed under the iron discipline of his French employer. in Cornwall. the firm becoming Braithwaite vision of a & Ericsson. Even to a casual eye the superi- the first time knew a rowed cash. John Braithwaite. so that he turned his eyes to England. and iron. Ericsson sought employment as an engineer. a device which he patented in 1828. he had designed before he left home an engine whose working cylinder should be filled with flame When his plans were embodied in brass instead of steam.JOHN ERICSSON 221 and. At tin mines near Truro. It had 1826. This was the first time that compressed air was used to transmit motive-power. he ority of the man was always master manifest: to the discerning engineer and manufacturer. and at once set up his engine for a new test. With $270 in borwent to England. He engaged him at once. arriving there on May 18. of London. which heightens the value of all fuels. the engines worked perfectly. His invention a failure. and makes it feasible to burn low-grade peats.

and stuck to pumping by hand. afterbuilt ward returned to the boiler for another cycle of duty. in so far as it could be protected . which Captain John tion. now universal in vessels of war. and the like. Surface-condensers. to build his refrigerators and coolers. His firm was employed by Felix Booth. At that time the exhaust steam from engines was condensed by a jet of water which mingled with the condensed steam and wasted much heat. What if the water. an invention of remarkable nativity. derived from this invention. and securely sealed from a surrounding stream of cold water. David Napier. inclosing the vapor or liquor to be chilled. He built the first steam fire engine ever constructed. In 1829 Ericsson installed a boiler with a blower on the Victory. of protecting machinery from shot by placing it below the water-line. From the sea this tireless innovator returned to the land. afloat on a steamboat of nine miles an hour. and. it sent a stream over the tall chimneys of a London brewery. using a forced draft. salt or fresh water to a condenser with sealed tubes around which tubes might course reduce the steam to pure water.222 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS sugar-cane. a London distiller. to building a surface-condenser on tfce Victory. was adopted in 1835 for the protection of London. well worth recalling. and other inventors had sought to replace water jets by surface-condensers. Ericsson introduced on that memorable ship the plan. with thoroughness. He to contain exhaust steam. These consisted of thin copper tubes. This crude process Ericsson saw could be gainfully superseded by his distillery cooler. did choke their hose with gravel and filth ? A steam engine. are to-day inIn addition dispensable in steamships and vessels of war. It Ross commanded on was for this boiler that his Arctic expediEricsson devised his first surface condenser. only to be foiled by a slowness of action which Ericsson overcame. James Watt. But the municipal authorities saw no good in this engine. often taken from gutters.

1829. inch. " His next great task was building the Novelty. ^55 the height of its chimney was restricted to and its boiler pressure to fifty pounds per square It must consume its own smoke: its price was to be Five months were granted to the competing ( $2*677) ." a loco" " Rocket in motive which competed with Stephenson's of at for a five hundred October. THE NOVELTY LOCOMOTIVE Built by Ericsson to compete with Stephenson's Rocket. 223 from the riverside but for a land engine London had to wait until 1860. but when Ericsson heard of the contest only seven . at ten miles an hour. . prize tion. Rainhill. pounds offered by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. three times its own weight. The successful engine was to draw. which weight was not to exceed six tons fifteen feet.JOHN ERICSSON . 1829. thirty-two years after Ericsson's demonstraSo much for the official stupidity and inertia which were to harass and balk him all his life. builders.

machine-tools of utmost precision. He believed it it wasteful. await steels of new tenacity. more than aught method for the reduction of steam pressures. the per- formance there of greatly to his locomotive was so remarkable as reputation as heighten his an engineer. but he never learned just how wasteful was. Stephenson. Ericsson was an unsparing critic of the steam engine. and won the prize. In his early days. until zero is approached. In 1831. He showed rare versatility in the tasks he now took up let us glance at two of them. also of Ericsson's design. " Rocket Stephenson's duly finished the course. fitted inclined planes upon its inner surface. he set up a hollow metal drum. Ericsson then built another To drive a pump. which even to-day would the Novelty " " be creditable speed. with ample time for experimental runs.224 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS weeks of this period remained. else. this swift motor had its speed reduced by hand-wheels but the velocity was so high as to ruin the belts. While its pace never exceeded 24 miles an hour. " " reached 32 miles. side. and. Stephenson adopted a steam-blast for his chimney: Ericsson used a blowing-machine with better effect. opposite Liverpool. admitting steam at the center. . so " " Rocket were that they ran with steadiness those of the diagonal. meas- . to Ericsson's lot. so that. Although Ericsson was defeated at Rainhill. and. All his life long. actuated by pistons. step by step. only to score another The steam-turbine was as yet below the horizon. rotary engine. . at Birkenhead. " " his to of his the flue-sheets greatly chagrin. In design the Novelty was the better engine of the two: its connecting-rods were horizontal. to failure. a feasible amended plans of lubrication. was able to correct minor faults in his design and to give his engine fall thorough workmanship. causing a severe racking motion from side to way before it " . Novelty gave This good fortune did not had completed the prescribed seventy miles. the drum became a motor whirling 900 feet a second.

His device was improved by Lilley in 1819. On the outside of these tubes. he was convinced that steam would soon give place to a better prime-mover. The air as exhaled warmed the gauze. in its simplest form. whicrT he patented and exhibited that year. and by the Rev. In ignorance of this fundamental fact. and this gauze then warmed the air as drawn it into the lungs from the atmosphere. resembles the aspirator of metallic gauze which. but air. Harvefeldt that a engine of common spirit-lamp might well drive an 100 horse-power. na d proved that a pound of the best coal in burning gives out no more heat than. as long ago as 1797. was worn by many British folk under their nostrils in winter. and that engines using oil. explosively. Ericsson perfected a new and excellent regenerator for the caloric engine. are much the most economical converters of It was neither oil nor gas. or gas. While he imof the steam and proved design engines again again. This device. Ericsson chose as the medium by which he hoped to super- Unfortunately he greatly overestimated the energy contained in a pound of coal or other fuel. that heat into work. and invented important adjuncts for their boilers and cylinders. In 1833. The principle of this aspirator was applied to air engines by Glaze- through brook. in an English patent. tion To-day we know that his dissatisfacwas well grounded. He was wont to quote with approval the dictum of Professor sede steam.JOHN ERICSSON 225 . be it remembered. cold air from the cooler passed in an opposite direc- . a few years ago. Ericsson expected far too much from his regenerator. Robert Stirling in 1827. would yield one horse-power for 5 hours and 42 minutes. urement as a science and an art had not reached exactitude in his later years. was long before Joule. in 1843. Through a fagot of small thin copper tubes the heated air passed out of the working cylinders into the cooler. he neglected its lessons. All this. fully utilized.

c'. h. g t engine. supply-piston. valve. d d. connected to the working-beam of the engine. open to atmosphere. to admit air into regenerator and working-cylinder. letting air into. piston-rod of the same. e'" air-tight vessel. pipe. . alto the working cylinders. below connecting the two pistons together. working-cylinder d' d\ holes at the junctions of the two cylinders through atmospheric air passes in and out freely. c. *'/'. working piston. and e' e' self-acting valve for letting air out of the same. k. d" d\ rods e e. 1851 b b. //. /'. discs of wire-net. worked by engine. working piston filled with clay and charcoal to prevent transmission of heat from below. e' self-acting valve for a.226 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS ERICSSON CALORIC ENGINE. had a of five working piston 14 though only horse-power. valve for letting air out of same. to carry off air after its passage through . supply-cylinder. regenerator. . It was this necessity for large dimeninches in diameter. air-receiver. tion its on way . fire-place. . This engine.

which. In such places caloric engines may find a new field. as in Sweden and America. or is compressed before use. it must be raised through 490 Fahrenheit to be doubled in pressure.JOHN ERICSSON sions 227 air which proved fatal to Ericsson's hopes that was to In the course of his long oust steam as a prime-mover. working medium of his engine. At 550 the metals in an engine are warped. he took In choosing air as the a wrong turning more than once. to enjoy a field try estates. And be it noted that the modern air engine is much more efficient than when it left Ericsson's hands. has been improved by Rider so as still in pumping on farms. and for the is it water supply of villages and small towns. Since 1833. but motors driven. absorbs heat much more quickly than does air. at 390. Hence a lower temperature. converted into electricity. may be worth while to burn the fuel for motive-power. the steam engine has been multiplied about tenfold in its economy. as water. it must rise from. perforce. Ericsson was a man who linked himself to a few friends and no more. and counIt It is largely used for irrigation. say. first suited to arid regions such as those of Arizona Where winter is long arid fuel dear. gun-fashion. with no risk to working surfaces from overheating. and. and the destruction of working parts begins. career he was so often a pathmaker that. as it in parts of Northern Canada. and at that point only two-thirds Contrast is added to the initial pressure of working air. of about 390. and to-day its rivals are not air engines. solely with exhausts and then warm buildings from engines. 60 to 550. that is. marks the limit to which heating is safely carried. he fell into his chief and most costly error. It design. Water. this with steam. too. In England. it is simple in needs no and all New Mexico. lubricants are burned or decomposed. In . asks no skill in its attendant. plantations. by the explosions of oil-vapor or of gas. has a pressure of 200 pounds to the square inch. Whether air be used directly from the atmosphere.

Amelia Byam. . Ogden was an observant man. was large enough to include the woman who was to engage his heart. He who ment to Ericsson. discolored by the rising water. and others equally ingenious. she tiful Ericsson was already wedded to his engineering projects. were not the only objects of Ericsson's attention. intelligent. told whether Thus. beheld. instruments on board vessels in port. slightly was compressed in proportion This depth was registered on a lump of tallow. affording them a new means of safety. it A below the tube. highly When Amelia Byam was nineteen. John's Church. whose wife had a half-sister. as we shall see. as he often did. and Ericsson thirty-three. is in general use to-day. with the notion that the ordinary sounding lead could be easily improved. and this led to an intimacy ment fraught. not. mariners were enabled to take sounding without stopping their ships. fathoms or feet. its air gage which. especially in music. and although until her death. one day. Ericsson took a glass tube filled with air. to its dial in depth of immersion. This device. Lord Kelvin im- proved this tube by lining it with silver chromate. But saw her. Paddington. they were married in St. the a mechanical turn of mind.228 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Liverpool he formed the acquaintance of Francis B. closed it at the top. Among his earliest acquaintances in England was Mr. though limited. for the first bottom or had struck time. gave his suggestion for an improvethereupon constructed a sounding modified. he was struck. leaving its base open. and this pre-occupation his wife. meant neglect and unhappiness for In 1865 they parted. Consul for the United States. disposition. Inspecting. the most fascinating he had ever as he was wont to say. She became a beauand lovely woman. Ogden. Charles Seidler. generous in and accomplished. as this tube sank in the sea. His social circle in England. When Ericsson first was but ten years of age. with consequences of great moMr. with to Ericsson.

and. Cheered by this pace in a mere model. hardly stood as high as his shoes. To-day organ. to some and self-sufficiency extent. his chief defect. cements. so that practice everywhere may : of the best anywhere. In plain terms. or. and the electrical corrosion of metal structures is investigated. Every leader draws freely upon the new knowledge and economy thus placed at his service in requital he contributes what he can from his own experiments and experience. Nothing is more remarkable in Ericsson's career than his ignorance of advances in physical research. He was kind and generous to the point of magnanimity. and 3 feet propeller gave . In the formative years of youth and early manhood he had been much the ablest mind in his little circle. are standardized. girders and rails. great task. and concretes for the behoof of their brethren the world over bolts and screws. in native ability. 45 feet long. they never 229 met again. became but. had full play in his next In 1833. he had the defects of his virtues. ized corps of engineers are testing steels. it was hard for him to brook opposition. they corresponded. fire-prevention proceeds apace. Ericsson proceeded to build a real steamboat. but his temper was ungovernable. originality of conception His Three years later it he built a steamboat model whose screw a speed of three miles an hour. turned to profitable account by rise to the level scores of contemporary engineers who. him with all their hearts. quite ungoverned. This inured to his originality as a designer and an inventor. 8 feet beam. he began experiments with propellers of various contours. on the London & Birmingham Canal. at least. and his masterful will often sank into sheer wilfulness. by standing aloof from his peers. his habit. Only within narrow bounds was Ericsson ever master of the art of living with others.JOHN ERICSSON in 1887. Where he felt himself to be right. it was his enemies hated His friends loved him. he often missed the victories only to be won by brigade attack.

and Ericsson invited the Lords of the Admiralty to take passage in her for a trip on the Thames. For a time final his patent brought him a fair royalty. for its use of the screw. his friend in Liverpool. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS She was launched in 1837. and Wood- . was the ever built for propulsion. 5 feet 3 inches in diameter. Engines. rod coupled to their one crank-pin. applied to the iron steamer Robfirst ert F. Its two cylinders and the connecting- make the vessel steer. The screw but he was the first to the direct actuation of screws. threw tradition to the winds. Stockton. employed gearing in the actuation of his screw. it would be found altogether useless in practice. The decision in the United States courts was that the screw propeller could not be protected by a patent. Ericsson's chief rival in England. Blaxland. They came. the Francis B. at ten miles an hour. in 1838. Smith. direct-acting engine was well known before Ericsson took sketch a form so correct that up at the outset it worked with high economy.000 equally its among five of designers. A few months engine of a new and economical worked at right angles to each other. Lowe. with characteristic irreverence. and named in honor of Ogdcn." later. but he had to maintain a con- stant fight against aggressors. Two propellers. directly turned the proThis engine. in 1837. divided $100. the power be: " ing applied at the stern. to it would be absolutely impossible Ericsson designed a steam type. were much too slow for propeller it . Quoth the SurEven if veyor of the Royal Navy. were so fitted to the This little steamer moved vessel that either could be used. because. Sir William Symonds the screw has the power to propel a vessel. peller shaft. Francis Pettit Smith. The British Government. Ericsson. but only to shut their eyes to plain proof that a screw was a better propeller than paddles. Ericsson. and coupled his propeller directly to a fast engine. as then employed for paddle-wheels.230 draught.

will they In 1837. and was so gratiOgden fied that he immediately ordered for the United States Navy two iron steamboats. Stockton. who was building the Delaware & Raritan Canal. was a failure financially. and then independently revived by several projectors of mark. and to witness a trial trip of one of the vessels he had ordered. . its beam 10 It was driven by a double-cylinder. of a device long neglected. named by Ericsson the Robert F. at a time of widespread panic. Ogden. son gave her a trial trip on the Thames. Mr. ried out. If car: A pay?" Thus his career in England. Ogden and Ericsson. with results equally good from an engineer's point of view. he debtors. with Mr. But commercially his demonstration bore no fruit to bring British officials : it and the British public required years of persuasion to adopt the screw propeller." Ericsson applied his propeller to other English craft. All his life long. from London Bridge to Greenwich. On his way thither. Ericsits machinery. Returning home. Ogden. he paused in London to consult his friends. prise. Stockton was promoted to a captaincy. to be fitted with Ericsson's steam and was visiting He machinery and propellers. met Lieutenant Robert F. the firm of Braithwaite a time was & Ericsson became bankrupt. Stockton. feet. of the United States Navy. and thirty other passengers. this. 1839. its draught 3 feet. though professionally brilliant. the famous prison for That year. Her suc" imcess was unqualified. 231 striking case. An Ericsson spiral propeller completed In January. Lieutenant Stockton. and ordered to the Mediterranean. through his friend. immured England in quest of funds for the enteraccompanied Ericsson on a trip of the Francis B. Its length was 70 feet. Ericsson was dominated by the ingenuity " and boldness of his conceptions seldom did he ask. and Ericsson for in the Fleet.JOHN ERICSSON croft. direct-acting engine of 50 horse-power. inducing the Times to forecast portant changes in steam navigation.

and. This speed was moderate. Lawrence. 1839. Every detail was lowed worked out. he grew discontented with his post. ably in the summer from his plans.232 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In 1839. But opposition arose. in sixteen hours. built on her first trip from Brockville to Montreal. in honor of Captain Stockton's place of residence in New Jersey. probably his constitutional impatience of control by others. the canal barge Ericsson. Five other vessels. Conhad authorized the construction of three gress warships. engine a prize from the Mechanics' InAnd if the Navy hesitated about adopting his screw propeller. but the Ericsson proved her ability to keep a safe course through the Longue Sault and Lachine Rapids. so that the name propeller St. and hailed with joy the prospect of a visit to America. offered America plans such as no other engineer in the world could then prepare. Ericsson became superintending engineer for the Eastern Counties Railway. her diverse guns. fortified by his thirteen years of observation and study in England. and it was not until 1842. For some unre- corded reason. the most tumultuous of the St. he won with his of fire stitute New York. he sailed for New York on the Great Western. were placed upon the Rideau Canal and the " " came River. after a rough voyage. aimed. Lawrence signify a to . on November 23. equipped with the Ericsson propeller. including engines and motive power. and the mechanism by which they were to be mounted. such as he expected to build. plied of 1841. ordinary shipowners were At a date not now ascertainable. She was named the Princeton. arriving. while in its service he devised a machine for constructing embankments. This Swedish artilleryman. one hundred and forty miles. He brought complete plans for a steam frigate. that the keel was laid of Ericsson's steam frigate. probalive to its merits. First of all. Meanwhile Ericsson found much to do. and fired. on Stockton's assurance that Ericsson would be alto build one of them. three years later.

equipment was bestowed upon the Revenue Cutter Lake Erie. Stockton at last received orders from the United States Navy Department to build a steamer of 600 He at once engaged Ericsson to draw its plans and tons. launched and equipped. Stockton reported to the Navy Department that the Princeton dis" great and obvious advantages both over sailingplayed ships and steamers propelled in the usual way (by paddles). She was exhibited with triumph. or agitation of the water. making no noise. during her conEricsson and Stockton drifted apart. By the end of 1843. out of reach of an enemy's shot. 1844. had the faults of a forging strong length: . the Clarion. supervise its construction. Her inaugural closed with a shocking fatality. was fitted sels with an Ericsson propeller. smoke. with the distinct understanding This vessel. plying between New York and Havana. in the fall of 1841. she can surprise an enemy and at pleasure take her own position and her own distance/' All true. of the naval martinet. as also were seven vessteaming out of Philadelphia to various southern ports. duly that he was to be paid for his services. The and imperious designer. With engines lying snug in the bottom of the vessel. This model weapon. grew weary of the condescension. Unfortunately. was named the Princeton.JOHN ERICSSON 233 In the United States. conscious of his powers. freight steamer driven by a screw. On February 5. Ericsson had been in New York two years when. not to say the arrogance. irascible Princeton. On board were guns with self-acting locks. though forged of the best iron. But Ericsson had no mention in a report from which might be inferred that it was Stockton who had designed the struction. no fewer than forty-two vessels on American and Canadian waters like A Jefferson on were actuated by Ericsson screws. patterned after a wroughtiron gun which Ericsson had designed in England and brought to America.

Captain R. thanks to its reinforcing hoops. the gun was fired about three hundred times with charges varying from 25 to 35 pounds of powder. but he does not seem to have doubted the strength of Stockton's gun. but a foot wider at the breech. killing several members of tain Stockton. which he called the and then sent to New York to be bored and finished under It was of like caliber with his model Ericsson's direction. one above another. Parrott for During the Rodman and its heavy guns. C. As now universal. He was the company. were shrunk over the breech of the gun up to its trunnion bands. so as to break joints. Civil War the Union looked to Major T. Stockton designed a gun of his own. Their differences naturally grew more and more embittered. Hoops a remedy. Ericson adopted an expedient of wrought-iron. Its appearance of strength was deceptive. lineally descended from the Ericsforged son weapon on the Princeton. and with shot of 212 pounds. J." It was duly forged. and these joints were so close that the outer band seemed a single piece of metal. and these. by this amazing result. . twelve inches. with a paternal partiality for his own gun. so that cracks appeared in its trial firing. as we shall observe. This source of strength was duly remarked. under a final charge. harm not discovered until too late. However. three and one-half inches thick.234 wise. Thus reinforced. so as to Prompted pierce a wrought-iron target 4^ inches thick. Ericsson. it LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS was weak transversely. as were and hooped. it burst. advised Stockton to use " " it instead of the Peacemaker on the inaugural day. " Peacemaker. and much heavier throughout. He had slighted who now stood aloof in Stockton's distress. These hoops were arranged in two tiers. was promptly summoned. and severely wounding Capacquitted of blame by a court of inquiry which Ericsson. gun. Ericsson's model gun on the Princeton had proved sound and safe. Harm had been suffered under the forging hammer.

at the time he volunteered his services. The Naval Committee of the House of Representatives unanimously reported a bill to . considered that the opportunity accorded him to exhibit to the world the importance of his various patents would be satisfactory remuneration for all his services in getting them up on so magnificent a scale." son. and her sliding chimney. he sent to the Secretary of the United States a bill for $15." So much for omitting to reduce to matter of business. and his pace was twice that of an ordinary draftsman. One hundred and thirteen days more had been consumed in superintendence and travel. but in France and England. distinctly agreed that if his plans were successful he was to be compensated. and spirit-level.JOHN ERICSSON 235 Ericsson's services as her designer and builder now involved him in the most unpleasant contest of his life.000 as ing Navy inventor and designer of her apparatus. the drawings occupied him two hundred and seven days. The success of his plans was acknowledged. which could be reduced to a height of five feet above the deck.080 for professional services in supervisthe construction of the Princeton. concluding: "Captain Ericsson. In March. where they received the flattery of Besides. If this slight projection had been carried away. why should the Navy Department refuse to pay him for services strictly professional in supervising the building of the Princeton? Merely to execute imitation. the draft. quarrel. Ericsson's bill was referred to Captain Stockton. would nevertheless have been continued with efficiency. 1844. who wrote a long series of objections. clearly understood afterward warped by a bitter personal " Ericsson termed the deep rascality of writing a weighty at the outset. at the beginning. by which the elevation of a piece of ordnance might be readily and precisely ascertained. because forced. and not only in America. gun-carriage. including $5. or damaged by a shot. and and what Erics- Stockton.

How work on with an empty purse could he meet his pressing debts ? At one time his bank balance fell to $23. and Ericsson was never ill This injustice." From by the this sale pecuniary distress he was for a time relieved to the Government of the steamer Massainterest.000 in anticipation of full and prompt repayment. In March. negmoney. I shall have to cut my throat. but the House defeated it by a In 1848 a similar bill was defeated by small majority. refusal of payment for the Princeton. solely due to his having disbursed as much as $6. propriating the funds he has for meeting a bill at the end of next week. his anger was heightened by his dire poverty. On September 16. however. I should ruin the young man's credit by not being able to refund the money by next Wednesday. the Senate ordered that Ericsson's papers be referred to the Court of Claims. " I received 1846. if in addition to my anxiety already experienced. and he has done so for to-day. It decided in Ericsson's favor. Now. in which he had an and by the receipt of $4. and with a trembling hand. chusetts. My In my despair I resorted to the expedient of asking Delamater (the engine builder) to help me. . he wrote to his friend. I4th yesterday opened it your worst fears were realized. Sargent: and of letter the afternoon.236 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS pay Ericsson his claim. and the Senate Committee reported a bill for its payment. 1856. then recently established. much usage on the part of na- tional officers in later years. and This was one reason ican.300 for the application of his fresh-water apparatus to that vessel. soured Ericsson to the core. an adverse report from the Senate Naval Committee. why At never took root in a he never really became an Amercountry where he lived continuthe first ously for his fifty years. lected to appropriate the paid. Congress. John O. apI turned nearly crazy for a few minutes.

the clay measures of Wedgewood. All these engines had. But his drawing-board held him in a subjection work. He was vitally interested in the intensity of flames beneath a steam boiler.JOHN ERICSSON By 1848. checked or stopped the propelling engine. The difference . : never relaxed threatened : the he took no interest in politics until slavery life of the Union. giving an engine of its own. always as a conqueror. After he came to the United States. nobly and indispensably he served the nation see. ally enlarged their dimensions. Ericsson continued his experiments with hot air as a motor. survives as one of the most trustworthy ever invented. Then his soul was aroused. in case that bad weather. that of supplanting the steam engine as a prime-mover. until a cylinder of 30 inches diameter succeeded to the 1 4-inch cylinder of his first American design. 237 had climbed out of debt by sheer hard His rage against Stockton and the Government had calmed down in October of that year he was naturalized as a citizen. Hence. in 1839. building He gradueight caloric engines between 1840 and 1850. for he could conceive nothing meaner than the How desire of one man to live on the toil of another. In measuring their extreme temperatures. and devised a thermometer which registered the degree to which the heat expanded its confined gas. or accident. metal chests with wire meshes in which the outgoing air left much heat for the incoming air to absorb. improved his surface-condenser for steamships. as worthless. so as to be independent of the engine driving the screw. or within a cupola furnace such as ironmakers employ. the task it He of condensation would not be interrupted. in which he was once again pioneer. This method. he discarded. But these and other creations were but the by-play of a mind intent on a supreme task. Ericsson at this period entered many diverse fields. Ericsson . we shall duly Versatile in an extraordinary degree. as regenerators.

with multiple expansion. and. 6 feet stroke. a ninth engine. having a two-foot stroke and two compressing cylinders of four feet diameter. and 4 air-compressing cylinders of 137 inches diameter and 6 feet stroke.000. build this vessel required about half a million dolher engines costing $130. to cost $17. two regenerators contained twenty-seven million burned in and Ericsson estimated that but eleven ounces of coal were producing one horse-power for an hour. movably held them to be great disaster of his Contributions to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. her draught 17 feet. Her length was 260 her breadth 40 feet. In view of the fact that the engines consisted of four working cylinders of 168 inches diameter. it may be claimed that in point of magnitude and rapidity of construction.238 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS between the incoming and outgoing streams than 350 less in temperature was never In 1851 he designed Fahrenheit. in were wrong. the paddle-wheels of the caloric ship Ericsson turned around in the dock." To lars. Its cells. in the latter part of 1851. and the most elaborate auxiliaries for economy. propelled by paddle-wheels actuated by the caloric engine. above all. feet.000. If his figures right. its apparent great economy of fuel. inclined some enterprising merchants of New York. correct. the motive machinery of the caloric ship stands unrivaled in the annals of marine engineering. and pushed with such vigor that within nine months from commencing the construction of the machinery. Ericsson imHow this led to the one professional career is told by him in his 1876: " The regularity of action and perfect working of every part of the thirty-inch engine in 1851. and within seven months of the laying of the keel. Ericsson's engine surpassed If this any feat steam engines which. This work was commenced forthwith. to accept my proposition to construct a ship for navigating the ocean. with a ton- . never burn less than one pound of coal as against to-day possible to estimate was the best his eleven ounces.

Above working cylinders were four supply cylinders. 1854. slow as it was. Instead safely. Blowers were added to force the and make good a deficient area of grate surface. of 137 inches in diameter. all our anticipations were realized. Ericsson expected to reach a pressure of 12 pounds to the square inch with his engine and calculated that this would give a speed of ten or even twelve miles an hour. At the very moment of success of brilliant success Fate has dealt me the severest blow I ever received. connected the mammoth of each set of cylinders. in a letter to his friend. 1852.JOHN ERICSSON nage of nearly 2. We attained a speed of from twelve to thirteen turns of our paddle-wheels. in During a trip on April New York Bay. But draft. like huge camp kettles. were bestowed in pairs midway of the vessel. fulfilled his promise. each 14 feet wide. and a failure in speed would not have condemned his vessel if a quicker pace seemed feasible when his design received revision. Her four working cylinders. she left New York for Washington. and started on her trial Six weeks afterward. This gait. arriving there notwithstanding a stormy passage. over the furnace fires. or single-acting pumps. of resting on the keelsons.200. 16. but it was found impossible to exceed eight miles. equal to fully eleven miles an hour. and these pistons had a pistons total capacity of 43 cubic feet. each 14 feet long. details The Ericsson returned to New York. was launched. Eight the piston-rods. two forward and two aft. they were suspended. a sudden squall and sank. the Ericsson was struck by. on February 1853. out of a fair sky 27. five 239 months later she 5. trip January The keel was laid in April. and was in many much improved. during which. in the usual manner. This was her designer's account of the wreck. Mr. without putting forth anything like our maximum " . Sargent: fell a thunderbolt. 1853. We yesterday went out on a private preparatory trial of the caloric ship.

It had been proved. The men. nine best ever built. a freak of the elements effected utter annihilation in the space of a few minutes. as a steamer. The unfortunate ship was lifted to the surface: it was decided to convert her into a steamer. Two years of anxious labor had been brought to a successful close. became terrified and ran on deck without closing the ports. I need not tell you what my feelings were as I watched the destructive element entering the fireplaces of the engines. of the finest harbor in the world. the finest and strongest ship. Ericsson maintained that his caloric his masterpiece. still . which. Virginia. in prinIn January. yielding under my feet. air cannot compete with steam as a motive power. the day being very fine.240 power. to New York ment as an escort. disappeared inch by inch." A . him was the believing that its motor. when our beautiful ship was struck by a terrific tornado on our larboard quarter. in metic. with such solid grounds for exultation. careening the hull so far as to put completely under water the lower starboard. remains bore of ex-President the 1858 James Monroe from Richmond. the men on the freight deck had opened to clear out some rubbish. as her air engines had developed but 300 horse-power. so far as we could learn. that in very large dimensions. and the hold filled so rapidly as to sink the ship in a few minutes. such as those of the Ericsson. perhaps. Its failure left ciple. carried coals on the Pacific Ocean under the Union Jack. and as the noble fabric. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS All went magnificently until within a mile or two of the city (on our return from Sandy Hook). ever built was gliding on the placid surface. both in design and construction. Bulk and weight. with the Seventh RegiDuring the Civil War she served as a At last she was converted into a sailer. with all the inflexibility of arith- The Ericsson. and with such perfect security from danger. beyond dispute. and within a few cable-lengths of her anchorage yet. more sudden transition from gladness and exultation to disappointment and regret is scarcely on record. unfortunately. and transport. life ship was afterward. All his . 1855. oppose the project.

the beginning of a demand which . Mr. and for the water supply of villages many were applied on farms to threshing. so will it At any rate." . to save its author from starving. steadily widened. as applied in the present steam engine. Tyler. on the other side of which ran water on its way to the His plan was . : . hoisting gear for warehouses. on Of late years air plantations to ginning and other tasks. Blood- good ". tune. I must do something to obtain bread. In 1838 he sought to link it to the steam engine. as well as from the rivalry of electric motors.JOHN ERICSSON 241 months after the Ericsson foundered. Every experimental trial made has more than realized my anticipations as regards the rapidity and certainty of depositing and returning the caloric on this remarkable system. Stoughton. .for a long period A These Ericsson engines were yoked to printing presses. .. Mr. and ships. it cannot fail to be sufficiently useful again. Accordingly I have determined to return to my The plan to is less brilliant less startling original caloric engine. more motive power may be obtained from a mass of metallic wires of two feet cube than from a whole mountain of coal. Now. they were busy in mines and mills. for irrigation. thoroughly familiar with steam engines of new types. . to send exhaust steam through tubing. substantial. and vindicate to some extent my assumed position as the opponent of steam. they were employed for pumping. nevertheless. he had better for- While Ericsson overrated the regenerator. but as it proved yield power practically twenty years ago. he wrote to his business associates. engines have suffered severely from the competition of lighter and more forceful engines burning gas or gasoline. . On the principle of the improved caloric engine. its worth was. but success eluded him. In the meantime 1 find myself on the verge of ruin.. docks. . thousand of these caloric engines were sold in two years. and Mr. The practical application alone has presented difficulties.

the engine builder. Ericsson was indebted to Cornelius H. Delamater was a clerk in the Phcenix Foundry when the engines for the Princeton were under construction in 1842. after Ericsson's death. Mapes. from heat engines form much the largest item of loss. and yet." or a theorem in Newton's " Principia. It is so sweet in . still offers a promising field to ingenuity. and for many years owner of the Phcenix Foundry in New York. Delamater. In his big and busy brain the great Swedish engineer had many compartments. Often at the fireside of his friend Mapes. To be sure. His biographer. Another intimate friend of Ericsson's was Professor James J. especially to heighten the efficiency of engines themselves. Mr. and for secur- ing a wide and growing market. after every storm. an engineer holding high rank as an expert in patent cases. the sunshine of his good will emerged all the warmer for a ray of repentance. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS This feed-water heater. soon reaching the horizons where inference leaps into conjecture. their utilization. He had the utmost confidence in Ericsson's talents and integrity.242 boiler. my " girl ? ". For the careful execution of his designs. for and playfulness had wholly won their hearts." to recalling a Swedish ballad of his youth. found among his dusty diagrams and calculations a list of songs which inhis kindness at their door. Ericsson's temper was at times most provoking. After a romp with the youngsters the inventor would discuss with the professor deep questions in physics and chemistry. is always The exhausts part of a steam engine of the best class. he would glide from a page of Laplace's " Mechanism of the Heavens. the cluded " Who are you. in modern forms. and their contents were highly contrasted. Whenever Ericsson's ring was heard Mapes children sprang to greet him. With him the inventor maintained the longest and most intimate of his friendships.

liable to err. being. Captain Erics1 ' ' son/ " " ' Is it not on the drawing. sir ? Getting the length of the piston-rod. Robert. and he required adherence to every detail in his drawOne his assistants were filled with glee: they ings. I do not want you to " bring sticks when the drawing gives the size. He roared out What Works ' : are you doing there." and " 243 This Oh. and to suffer lapses of memory. at one time draftsman in the Novelty in this city. designed by Captain Ericsson. Mars tried to get it into its place for a long time. sir. although at extremely long intervals. but failed. used to tell a similar story of Ericsson's accuracy. and one of the details was a small connection as crooked as a dog's hind leg. would stand on his head for the amusement of the Mapes children. John Mars was putting in the engines of the Quinnebaug.' ' sir ? ' Yes. His own expertness made him an exacting master. sir ? Go and get the length from the drawing. sir. . At the drafting-table no man excelled him in celerity and Yet. was a dreaded and gusty autocrat in foundries and engine sheds. when more than sixty years of age. John Ericsson was. appears " In his life by Colonel Church this characteristic story: Charles Nelson." man.' Charles Bernard. ' Then why do you come here with sticks. an old New York engineer. so that there would be no mistake in cutting the key-way on the Nelson was down in the Columbia's cylinder piston-rod. therefore. day " " found that had omitted a vent-hole in a the old man in execution a rigid drawing otherwise complete. who. and when the engines were finished it was customary in those days to get the length of the piston-rod from the engine itself. with a baton about fourteen feet long. and. cruel is our parting.JOHN ERICSSON Spring. had charge of the engines of the Columbia. after all. a human accuracy. when Ericsson came on board and stood right over him.

Erics- son was fifty-eight years of age. as the frigate was now named. to be clad with iron armor and work ruin to Union warships. and the events which quickly followed.244 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS finally in. and went to Ericsson : and told him the rod could not be got Ericsson said it " Is it right by the drawing?" " Yes. Navy Ericsson was invited to lay these plans before the Department. 1861. W. a Representative from Florida. Mallory. the Tredegar Foundry at Richmond. Stoughton. Mr. and had become thoroughly aware of his extraordinary powers. were the only breaks in his toil. yet enjoying all the vigor usual at forty. had been a champion of his claims as designer of the Princeton. Twelve to fourteen hours a day. Stephen R.for machinery and engines. work was slow on the Her progress Virginia. the division of camps had converted a at friend into a foe. occasional visit to a foundry or a machine shop." said Ericsson again it did go in. in April. sir. toward completion was. Mallory was now the virtual head of the Confederate Navy: at his instance the frigate Merrimac. offering plans of the Monitor. the Hon. was lifted and repaired. at rare intervals a call upon Professor Mapes or Mr. . Accordingly he reported himself in . stirred him profoundly: as in many another case. E. plans so simple that they could be executed within ten weeks from the day they were taken in hand. and when Mars tried At the outbreak of the Civil War. he wrote to President Lincoln. On August 29. and this impelled Ericsson to action. standing An at his table." said Mars. In former days Washington. " Then it will go in. from day to day. telegraphed to the New York press. 1861. he drew plans . The attack on Fort Sumter. With but one establishment in the South capable of furnishing armor. which had been burned and sunk in Norfolk Harbor.

. first : ' : ' . and in a very cordial manner asked me to report my explanation about the stabilI complied. and before the contract was completed the keel-plate of the intended vessel had already passed ." through the rollers of the mill.JOHN ERICSSON Washington on September rated his reception: 14. of Buffalo. ". Indignant. in a letter to Captain E. On my appearance I was asked to step into Secretary Welles's room. On entering the room occupied by the Board over which Commodore Smith presided. at the end of which the frank and generous sailor said " Sir. My blood being well up. he nar1861. I have learned more about the stability of a vessel from what you have said than I ever knew before/ " Commodore Smith then desired me to call again later in the day. I returned at once. Paulding invited me into his room. I finished my demonstration by thus addressing the Board " Gentlemen. drawn a diagram presenting the question in a very simple form. P. my resolve was to withdraw. Dorr. and learned to my surprise that the Board had actually rejected my Monitor plan. and that. Commodore Smith at once made an explanation that the vessel lacked stability. her designer narrates " Contributions to the Centennial Exhibition : at The Navy Department Washington having. but a second thought prompted me to ask why the plan was rejected. (afterward his partner in her construction). accordingly. having in the meantime ity of the vessel. I deem it your duty to the country before I leave the room to give me an order to build the vessel. I was very coldly received. requested me an appropriate .' " Commodore I was asked to call again at one o'clock. who briefly told me that the commodores had reported favorably. he would have the contract drawn up and sent after me to New York. Bushnell . My explanation lasted about twenty minutes. . after what I have said. shortly to suggest before the launch. desiring me in the meantime to proceed with the work. 245 Sixteen years afterward. in his Why "the " Monitor was so named. presented by Mr.

I addressed a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. in favor of the Southern States. Her design was the slowly thick. Unquestionably the advent of the Monitor materially counteracted the pressure which the French Emperor brought to bear on the British Ministry at the time. Downing Street will hardly view with indifference this last Yankee notion. rich in bold and original thought." apiece. On name the new > October 25.' " It will be recollected that this letter was regarded in England as possessing political significance.246 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS for the impregnable tttrreted steam-battery. 1861. her breadth 41^ feet. Her turret was 9 feet in diameter and 8 inches thick. Her two prowere each 9 feet in diameter. her side armor was 5 inches deck plating was one inch thick. she On was launched January she drew 10^2 feet of water. Ericsson knew every line of the working plans carried out on the Gota Canal he . The impregnable and aggressive character of this saying structure will admonish the leaders of the Southern Rebellion that the batteries on the banks of their rivers will no longer present barriers to the entrance of the Union forces. and practically comHer extreme length was 172 feet. . pleted by February 15. The iron-clad intruder will thus prove a severe monitor to those leaders. She was a vessel of 776 tons. with 11^2 feet as her depth of hold. her ripened fruit of a lifetime varied in engineering experience. To the Lords of the Admiralty the new craft will be a monitor. with a stroke of 26 inches. 1862. this monitor. the keel of the Monitor was laid. her steam cylinder pellers was 36 inches in diameter. suggesting doubts as to the propriety of completing those four steel ships at three and a half millions these and many similar grounds I propose to battery Monitor. 30. several members of Parliament having called for its reading in the House of Commons when the news of the result of the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac appeared in the Times. But there are other leaders who will also be startled and admonished by the booming of the ' : name guns from the impregnable iron turret.

debtedness to his observation of rafted timber on Swedish lakes.JOHN ERICSSON had studied artillery 247 and its allied problems in the camps of Jemtland. for commerce and for war. In a storm he had seen the raftsman in his elevated little cabin subjected to but motion. he had designed ship after ship from keel to masthead. For the daring plan of the Monitor he declared his in- Side Elevation Deck Plan Transverse Section of Hull and Turret THE "MONITOR" Designed by John Ericsson. 1861. Built at New York. while waves were freely .

000 for engineering services.60. with guns of the largest caliber then produced.35. the Monitor was ready for duty.142. demanding a sunken hull from the impossibility of carrying the weight required to protect a high-sided vessel. Southern States. $19. and accompanied by two steamers. Fox dissented from Ericsson's plans. share was one-fourth. Mr.40.964. Happily for Ericsson and for the Union. made feasible an all-around rets. plus $1. who had served fourteen years in the Navy when appointed Assistant to Secretary Welles. Ericsson was a man to whom the rules of past practice were servants and not masters. it was intended to despatch her to join Farragut's expedition against New Or-leans. her draught was but eleven feet. fire while the vessel remained stationary. The Monitor cost her builder $195. he soon became their stanch supporter. In the Monitor he gave war a wholly new and terrible weapon. the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. in tow of a tug. News of the approaching completion of the Virginia at When program the Monitor was ordered Roads on the earliest date possible. She was an impregnable floating battery. appear in every modern man-of-war. revolving on a vertical axis. For twenty-four hours in a smooth Norfolk changed this : to proceed to .857. was a man of ability and courage. who used At first his technical knowledge with daily advantage. Hampton She left New York on the afternoon of March 6. 1862.248 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS breaking over the logs around and beneath him. Gustavus Vasa Fox. with a hull shotproof from stem to stern. the Currituck and the Sachem. He was convinced that all engineering feats thus far ac- complished were trifles as compared with victories near at hand. Above and beyond all other qualifications. Tur- modified from Ericsson's design. Of this Ericsson's yielding a net profit of $79. and with her rudder and screws protected from an enemy's fire by an overhang of In order to navigate the shallow waters of the 13 feet. Her cylindrical turret.

From her cabin he wrote Ericsson on March 9. . the maiden voyage of the Monimight have ended in disaster. Stimers. and to lack of experience in handling so novel a craft. we fought the Merrimac for more than three hours this forenoon. easily This was Chief Engineer Alban C. turret nine times. There was only one man on board who thoroughly understood the build of the Monitor. " You were correct in your estimate of the effect of shot upon the man inside of the turret when it struck near him. Ironclad against ironclad. the Monitor moved evenly and comfortably. we manoeuvered about the bay here. but did not injure us in the least. Years before. deck three times. our deck. and went at each other with mutual fairness. of whom I was one. sides eight times. is almost broken in two. But for his skill tor to and presence of mind. with a rising wind. the sea swept her deck. Three men were knocked down. entered through These mishaps. though I cannot tell you how they would stand the shot. were in part due to errors in conremedied. One of your great logs. but she got the worst of it. nine by twelve inches thick. I consider that both ships were well We were struck twenty-two times. She gave us a tremendous thump. the naval in- spector of ironclads. The other two had to be carried below. and others struction less serious. twice. The Merrimac tried to run us down and sink us as she did the Cumberland yesHer horn passed over terday. and our sharp upper-edged rail cut through the She light iron shoe upon her stem and well into her oak. but I was not disabled . we were just able to find the point of contact. Then. pilot house fought. as they were not hit. and choked her draft. and sent her back to Norfolk in a sinking condition. he had been chief engineer of the Merrimac. will not try that again. who was a passenger. but the pendulums are fine things. the hawsepipes. finest seaboat I " The only vulnerable point was the pilot-house (perched above the turret). The turret is a splendid structure I don't think much of the shield.JOHN ERICSSON 249 sea. 1862 : After a stormy passage which proved us to be the was ever in.

21. Catesby Jones. with our most powerful vessel. " ing it all her own way outside. she would have been pierced as if paper. and with a vessel whose " All the men. " were nearly exwrote her chief engineer. Greene fired the guns. Stimers met Mr. whole crews cheer you every man feels that you have saved this place to the nation by furnishing us with the means to whip an ironclad frigate that was. his vessel in fifteen minutes. Captain Ericsson.250 at all. Isaac Newton. and I can be no harm in saying to you that. thousands here this day bless you. and was relieved by Greene. entirely in our power when she hauled but orders were imperative to act on the defensive. under singularly trying conditions. who. ix. . I." the Merrimac. I congratulate you upon your great I have heard success. after a fatiguing voyage. from a He declares that had the safe position. Mr. if you had vol.* Monitor concentrated her fire upon the water-line of the Merrimac. when I managed the turret myself. stationed himself at the pilot-house. until our arrival. hausted. and I turned the turret until the Captain was disabled. in 1872. saw the fight. Master Stoddard having been one of the two Captain Worden stunned men. was sick on my back. hav. of being up in a week. In justice to her officers it should be remembered that they were forced to fight immediately upon arriving in Hampton Roads. for one." This narrative from inside recital may from by a Confederate be supplemented by a soldier. ^Southern Historical Society Papers. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and the others recovered before the battle was over. Jones. testified before a naval court that the Monitor ought to have sunk Alban C. Jones The war has been over a good while now." idiosyncrasies they had no time to learn. but a short time before the action. with little hope The Merrimac was off. At a later day it was proved that the guns of the Monitor could safely bear charges of powder much heavier than those fired during her famous battle. on the last of " The commander of remarked : think there many occasions.

" you While the contest in Hampton Roads pointed to the necessity of redesigning the naval armaments of the world. the engineer appointed to accompany and President Linreport upon her. it was beyond his control. which arrested the destruction . her chief engineer. He had created an impregnable floating battery. A like fate befell the Monitor. it failed to show all that a monitor might do. coln. and upon Stimers. The wave of rejoicing which overswept the North was due less to the achievement of the Monitor. When Ericsson's vessel left his hands. and without firing another shot. On March 28. carrying guns powerful enough to destroy any of the enemy's ships: he could do no more. upon Ericsson. Following the success of the Monitor. from public meetings convened for the purpose. Worden. 251 more as well as you did the last two shots you would have sunk us. from Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade.JOHN ERICSSON hit us twice fired. and what was to prevent the rapid building of a fleet modeled on the Monitor? Happily the Merrimac was fated to give the North no further trouble. Greene. had fought as she was. energy. and foresight of Captain John Ericsson. Congress passed a joint resolution acknowledging the enterprise. displayed in his construction of the Monitor. there flowed upon her designer a great tide of congratulation and applause. From State Legislatures. ladies. on December 31. many officers of the army and navy. her executive officer. who worked her turret. members of his Cabinet. too. 1862. A few weeks after her most famous battle. Newton. skill. she sank in Chesapeake Bay. and of the diplomatic corps. than to confidence that the Government at least one vessel that could not be sunk by the Merri- mac. her commander. crowded to see the in new ship of war. thanks and laudations were poured upon the Monitor. and to view its scene of conflict Hampton Roads. her creator. which foundered in a gale near Cape Hatteras. 1862.

" was one of the boldest and best conducted operations of him thanks Had Commander Rodgers been supported by a few brigades.252 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS then proceeding by the enemy's ironclad steamers. Referring to that contest. that in 1875 he wrote to an inquirer In reply to kind letter for of a asking copy your acknowledgments received complimentary to what you are pleased to call great work/ I beg to state that nothing could induce ' my me to lay before the world the approving opinions of the monitor system without also presenting the adverse criticism of my work of which learned as well as skilful. by the way. disasters to which warships of * "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. according for his great services to the nation." men Critics of the monitors pointed to disasters which had overtaken several of them. . After disabling the Merrimac. This. Richmond would have been evacuated. Erics- Admiral Farragut now admits that a single monitor can sink a whole fleet of wooden vessels. crew alone barred the way to Richmond otherwise the obstructions would not have prevented his steaming up to the city. the Monitor joined the ironclad Galena and several wooden vessels in a demonstra" tion against Richmond. 761. ." * Admiral Farragut. seemingly irresistible by any other means at command." Yet so fair-minded was Ericsson. landed at City Point or above on the south The Virginia's side." says Professor Soley. which would have been as much at his mercy as was the war. was Ericsson's great " invention. He was convinced after seeing his own gun-deck fire covered with blood and mangled bodies by the the turret-vessels not so from the ram. New Orleans before the fleet of Farragut. practical have written in great numbers. opposed to After the battle of Mobile at first Bay he changed son said : his mind. so compelling his sense " : of right." p. while on board much blood was shed as a mosquito would draw.

or through impregnable air-trunks on deck. The projecting side armor also assists powerfully in preventing rolling. It must be so. provided there is water under their bottoms and their deck openings are properly closed. on " November 3. The turret. In comment. Ericsson wrote to his friend John Bourne. 1863 : The monitors have not only proved sea boats. rises to a greater altitude than on the opposite side. his heart was cheered by news . " Ordinary vessels roll because the wave on the weather side." In the course of the year 1863. The pitching. the sea washing out the rest and producing a leak of some fifty feet in extent. admitting more water than the pumps could take away. impeded by the hull. but they are lifeboats on a large scale. As to ventilation. and by force of gravity bears down the hull and checks the tendency to roll. old sailors who have been in these vessels night and day for two years have assured me that no other vessels of war can compare with them. and then putting oakum under its base. since the air before entering the boiler-room sweeps through the To assume that the means of ventilation fail is quarters. which cannot perish in any hurricane or raging sea. But the vessel did not go down in an instant. have positive evidence that both the seams and rivets of that vessel remained sound. is less in monitors than in other vessels. after which it mounts the deck. The monitor Weehawken went down at anchor in Charleston harbor during a gale.JOHN ERICSSON 253 ordinary models would not be exposed. there being no sails and no air for the boiler furnaces except what is drawn in by centrifugal blowers through the turret. as reported. In the case of the Monitor the wave We can only rise sixteen inches. The sinking of the original Monitor was caused by an inexperienced commander raising her turret before going to sea. the eminent English engineer. while the sea made a clean breach over the vessel. on being let down. rested on a few thick lumps. for it took full four hours before the stream of water under the turret overpowered the pumps. to assert that the vessels have ceased to move. the forward deck-hatch having been left open and remaining so for fifteen minutes. from the same cause. which saw Ericsson thus defending his monitors.

pointing out that revolving structures for the discharge of projectiles were two thousand years old. having several floors. Senator Orville H." which The ret. in which a revolving turret was introduced. a ship to be presently described. In its original plan this structure was intended to revolve continuously. completed in 1880. embodied an Ericsson turret. England was followed by Italy. Reed. carrying guns fixed on radial slides. This borrowing Ericsson denied with indignation. Timby exhibited his model at home and plagiarism. Sir Edward J. each Theodore R. He claimed that a ship of war provided with a turret capable of turning toward any point of the compass was original with himself. nor did he patent at least two score devices which he originated in her equipment. once presented by me as my con- tribution to the glorious Union cause. the chief constructor of the British Navy. had designed an ironclad. apart abroad. But there was Timby's . suggested by Ericsson's Dictator. Timby. me the to accept Nothing could induce any remuneration from the United States for replied : He " Monitor invention. To this vessel succeeded the Thunderer and the Inflexible. cardinal feature in the Monitor was its revolving tur- Ericsson's claim as its originator was disputed by in 1842.254 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS from England. patented a cylindrical iron citadel for harbor defense. In 1882. Platt. From her Ericsson's only profit was as one of her builders. He did not patent the Monitor as an invention. the triumph of freed four million bondmen. with armor thicker and tougher than it had been possible to bestow upon the Monitor. whose citadelship Duillio. who. of Connecticut. the Bellerophon. proposed that Congress should accord Ericsson some material recognition of his services. whether its guns were fired or not. and he accused Ericsson of deliberate from unessential improvements of detail. and affirming that he could not remember the time when he did not know of their existence.

It was designed to be firmly anchored. case common enough in the history of invenwhere an idea occurs independently to more seekers than one. in the Transactions of the Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts in the State of New York. and this is the only particular in which it essentially differed from the Monitor. would give them control of a harbor defense which they expected the Government to adopt on a comprehensive scale. In Timby's design the pilothouse was in the upper part of the turret. they believed. As long ago as 1807 there appeared in Albany. an illustrated description of a floating battery invented by Abraham Bloodgood. Its cylindrical turret for guns. 1807 on a tions. offer new advantages in attack : was held to (i) Its rotary motion would bring all its cannon to bear . 255 patent for a structure of features unmistakably similar this patent. but without his consent. was bought by the partners of Ericsson. The controversy with Timby provoked Ericsson greatly: it plainly turned UP- FLOATING BATTERY INVENTED BY ABRAHAM BLOODGOOD. an arrangement which Timby criticised in vain. strongly armored. Their purchase. as reissued with broadened claims.JOHN ERICSSON . Ericsson put his pilot-house at some distance from his turret.

that he did not find it necessary to examine any work after execution. another to that ficulty. each fitted the others as a voussoir joins in a well-planned arch. method was to begin with the drawing which demanded most shopwork. They flew so hands that his most rapid assistant was soon left far behind and so complete was every detail. (7) The battery might be made so strong as to be impenetrable to cannon shot. Within a week from the encounter at Hampton Roads. Ericsson was requested to construct six monitors. as they would not require any lateral movement. Ericsson told his partners that he had agreed . His from his . Nantucket. Weehawken. the others following in their order of difOne sheet went to this foundry. it would lie on the water more certain than that of a ship. to glance.256 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS on objects in successively. machine shop. and so on. When the several parts were assembled. and Comanche. any direction. would render boarding almost impossible. strike (2) Its circular form would cause every shot that might it. as fast as they could be loaded. (5) The guns would be more easily worked than is common. the national demand for armorclads of her type became imperative. as well as its want of parts on which grapplings might be fastened. as soon as the work was verbally agreed fast upon he began his drawings. the Nahant. the stocks. With his usual energy. (3) Its motion. so thorough the coordination of part with part. With the triumph of the Monitor. the Passaic and her sister vessels. (6) The men would be completely sheltered from the fire (4) The steadiness with which its fire would render of the elevated parts of an enemy's ship. Ericsson its mates While the Passaic and five similar monitors were still on was requested to furnish plans for four more monitors. not near the center.

Rivalry led to an active To this sentiment his partners yielded. with an inside diameter of 24 inches thick. distinct Ericsson's matured plans. the Puritan was unfinished. Her success was . when it was decided that the Puritan should have but one turret. had him as a builder. to his chagrin. each weighing 48 The Dictator tons. vessels were afterward named the Dictator and the Puritan. made castings from cated his wrought-iron work. but.000 pounds. sailed from York on December 15. 1862. unfinished she remained. had armor 15 were each 21^2 feet in diameter: her displacement was 4. with solid spherical shot of 1. and dupliadvantage over On June 18. sorely had to bow to official behests.JOHN ERICSSON 257 to furnish duplicate plans to the contractors for these vessels. New arriving at Fort Monroe two days afterward. with two 2O-inch guns. but the result they feared was suffered. the other with two turrets. one of them with a These single revolving turret. When peace was declared. and. his partners said that this would simply invite competition with firms who secured for nothing what had cost the inventor and his associates that he felt in extent of his much money. Two years later he had his way.971 tons. there being no immediate demand for her services. the Secretary of the Navy requested Ericsson to build two large ironclads. 1864. never tested under War vessels much less massive than the Dictator or the Puritan were suggested by the Monitor. labor and material. with 20 feet draught. Ericsson opposed the demand for two propellers as here introduced. The Civil was fast approaching its close. The Dictator was 312 feet in length. Her turret. Her two propellers feet. He replied bound aid the to Government to the full duty power in meeting the emergencies of war. demand for The firms who worked from his patterns. 21 2-3 feet in depth of hold. 50 feet in breadth. and the Dictator was War fire. he and he objected to two turrets for the Puritan.

specifications for shallow boats of this feet of water. as they left his hands. and in poverty. Their dimensions were to be 221 by 41 feet. and 32 feet aft. could have been carried out with success as radically changed by . with her . his altered designs. when launched. From time to time. and who had rendered vital services in her fight with the Merrimac. yet she had no son on her soil more devoted to her. at a cost of those of the Passaic. could ply in many enough for the Monitor. as work progressed on Stimers. without charge. . An opportunity to swarm up the shallow waters of the South was therefore missed. He was convinced that Sweden.000. died soon afterward. of his had no space for rancor. and in He was enraged and disgusted but that large heart vain. he bore no hostility to the man. Though forced to condemn Stimers Stimers' work. Turrets and pilot-houses were to copy These designs were handed for execuwho had been associated with Ericsson in the construction of the Monitor. and carry 3-inch armor. and extending 20 feet beyond the hull for- ward. but eleven feet. Ericsson's plans. the boats. Gunboats on the same general plan. with flat-bottomed hulls. and an immense outlay was wholly wasted. and joined in a plea that Congress should pension Stimers' family. designed to draw but six a Southern stream not deep In response to a request from Assistant Secretary Fox. Ericsson sent the Navy Department. type. Ericsson loudly remonstrated.000. tion to Chief Engineer Stimers.258 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS in part due to her lightness of draught. Ericsson educated his daughter. $14. 168 by 31 feet. incased in solid timber. a great man. all but refused to float. to behold Ericsson was a great engineer because he was first of all This came out in his passionate love of his He had left her shores at twenty-three never them again. which enabled her to manoeuver in shallow waters. native land. Each was to have two propellers. with easy lines. Under his direction twenty boats were built.

planfor the coasts of Sweden. Afterward Ericsson advised Sweden to adopt for her defense. of that day he regarded withmaintained that their removal. The first vessel he presented as a gift. He proof vessels. a large sum as compared with his modest fortune. of ordnance Throughout the summer of 1867 piece as a gift. Spain followed Sweden on Ericsson's drawing-table. so as to offer the narrowest possible target to an enemy. each of but 140 tons. found repression to be a perplexing and perilous task. Queen Isabella II. 1 5-inch Rodman gun. exceeded $23. The Provincial Government. a he remained in ning means of defense posed a fight fleet York. he at once suggested a scheme for . who immediately consulted their friend Ericsson. busy at his drawing-board. The torpedoes He His plans and counsels were accompanied by material aid. As he had just solved questions for Sweden such as those now presented by Cuba. gunboats as preferable to monitors. involved no special difficulty or risk. and Spain entered upon a long period of civil strife. 1868. 1867. to secure sorely needed called ships of war. could only defend herself against Russia Germany by mechanical means. and meantime machinery for the could deliver a deadly fire. early in 1869. their turrets stationary and oval in section. representing the Spanish Monarchy. was driven from her throne. then the most effective afloat. even in considerable numbers. these boats could not be run down. out fear. Creeping along the coast from inlet to inlet. The pilot-houses were put aft. They upon Delamater & Company. out of the line of fire. In September. This prompted the enemies of Spain in Cuba to attempt delivering the Island from Spanish authority. In their extremity they despatched to New York.JOHN ERICSSON or 259 small population. designed to New bows on. two naval officers of high rank.000. He sent to Stockholm. always in shallow water. His gifts to the Swedish navy up to September.

500. have achieved independence for Cuba had Ericsson not thus strengthened the hands of Spain. . three months and sixteen days more had elapsed. two propellers. the wear and tear they cause. thus strengthened. 1870. were heightened in effect. The first was $42. or no The moderate size. so that their use became powders These advances at once more difficult and more alluring. returning exhaust steam as fresh water to the boilers. and then jectiles. with 6 feet depth of hold. His warning was effective. pointing out that in view of the chain of war vessels on their coasts. It is highly probable that the insurgents would. and a loo-pound gun were to complete each Surface-condensers were to perform double equipment. when he had bound her cracked gun with hoops of wrought-iron. CaptainGeneral De Rodas issued a proclamation to the insurgent Cubans on March 24. in 1869. passed through a sandbank behind it eight feet in thickness. to be 107 feet was duty. thirty-four working days after laying her keel. It penetrated four and a half inches of iron. the thirand last vessel was launched. so that the whole more than a single cruiser of boat was launched on June 23. left unaffected the value of his reinforcement. the effects of explosions.26o LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Cuban seaboard. and fifteen of the fleet had taken their boilers and engines on board. did its duty faithfully. and supporting the engines so as to dispense with special framework. Ericsson devoted much thought to improving their heavy guns. price for each vessel fleet cost $1. That gun. When 1869. originated on the Princeton in 1842. as we have already observed. Each ves- thirty gunboats to encircle the sel by 22^/2. This led him to a prolonged study of the strength of metals and alloys as used for guns. and the laws governing the paths of pro- Year by year.275. tieth In planning his vessels of war.000. they could not expect aid from abroad. as his investigations proceeded.

and that new knowledge must undergo many . as many another reformer has found. With reinforcement at command. This invention substantiated his claim to be the pioneer of modern ordnance. and at the trying elevation of 45 degrees. fectiveness with those of old days. after all. he had recourse to hoops. one of them was tested with loo pounds of powder. He found. He returned aware of the injury it might receive in large masses under a mammoth forging hammer. with which Ericsson clasped gun were. much increased with perfect Experiment proved him right. Ericsson. five times as much as the 1 5-inch gun. Naval commanders. that old habits are inflexible. It was easy to use rings so might safely be this filled wide that the encircled gun with powder from end to end. a return to the first The earliest makers of heavy guns artillery ever built. a to the use of wrought-iron. were rendering satisfactory service to foreign navies. which dispensed with breeching.JOHN ERICSSON 261 This gun had an auxiliary in Ericsson's wrought-iron carriage for the Princeton. identical in form and ef- In each hoop. devised in 1843. was constantly provoked to anger by having his guns undercharged with powder. during the Civil War. were blind to the fact that his guns were vastly stronger than the guns built in their early days of service. with the limits of past practice in their minds. or huge washers. These rude weapons were for a time superseded by guns of castiron. No 1 5-inch guns during the Civil War. well metal which Ericsson always distrusted. and surrounded them with hoops of the same material. and. yet showed no distress. was at its strongest. The the core of a hoops. the iron-fiber. or ring. arranged in a circle longitudinal bars of wrought-iron. guns weighing came to grief in tons. Ericsson designed a gun of 15-inch caliber. and he insisted that in all reinforced guns charges of powder might be safety. In 1890. neither bruised nor jarred.

I have exhibited it to other chiefs of Bureaus. could be fired in any direction from an ordinary smooth-bore gun. heavy guns. His wrought-iron gun-carriage. bea acquires right of way. From guns Ericsson now passed to torpedoes. designed to carry dynamite or other high explosive. it a wearisome fore and survive many a baseless doubt. reported that a model torpedo which he had re" ceived from Ericsson worked regularly without the slightest trouble..262 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS test. The plan .. He held that when stationary they had little or no value. N. his ex- periments led directed him to expect much from torpedoes properly and propelled. Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance. he devised a torpedo driven and steered by compressed air carried through a flexible tube. . Commodore W. checked the recoil of a 12-inch gun with a 3<>pound charge in a distance of 16 inches. enabling a gunner Here he repeated in aim at effect the any point of the mechanism of his revolving turret. In 1870. mounted on a Navy Yard scow. With this gun tests were conducted at Sandy Hook. In the spring of 1875. with its sweep through a full circle. proving that an elongated 1 5-inch shell forming a torpedo projectile 10 feet in length. he provided a rotary gun-carriage and transit platform for to compass. At intervals for five years Ericsson continued his experiments. signer once more came to the rescue. paid out from a reel either on board the weapon or on shore. Yet more: on the Spanish gunboat Tornado. who were free in their expressions of wonder and satisfaction at the successful manner in which it operated." Commodore Jeffers 1 now placed at the disposal of Erics- 5-inch gun with its carriage. and to other naval officers. Jeffers. One objection to Ericsson's heavy guns was the alleged Their deimpossibility of handling them aboard ship. with its friction gear. using a son a smooth-bore small charge of powder as the impelling agent.

were deeply submerged. swift. however. 1880.JOHN ERICSSON the gun. : The torpedo was not fully loaded. went yesterday 275 feet in a direct course under water. hence did not go as far as it might. . and then done. Conant Church. and it was in- LONGITUDINAL SECTION OF "DESTROYER" SHOWING GUN AND PROJECTILE [From "Life of John Ericsson" by W. the experiments were discontinued. to show that we can sink an enemy withfloated to the surface. which embodied his matured ideas of torpedo warfare. 263 embraced a revolving turret for projecting and directing This turret Ericsson regarded as indispensable. i8gi. Our torpedo. Ericsson. Ericsson submitted his plans to the Navy Department. armor- clad vessel.] tended that her pace should equal or excel that of the craft she sought to destroy. with a submarine All her vital parts gun to project torpedoes. who " built the Destroyer Ironsides are doomed. now proceeded to plan his famous Destroyer. and nothing was He decided to look elsewhere than to Washington. His experiments were so gratifying that on August 7. he announced to his friends. with the propelling piston bolted to its aft end. New York. and when Commodore Jeffers wished it to be omitted. Copyright. the Delamater Company. on his own initiative. The Destroyer was a comparatively small. Enough was accomplished. three years passed. by Charles Scribner's Sons.

who sought from Congress an appropriation for the to a naval board. C. In vain Ericsson pleaded that these terms would subject him.264 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS All out ram. Delamater. further it was required that her guns employ high explosives. and at sea. ignoring the fact that the range Commander 1881. to the for sea service. steam-launch or spar-torpedo of our navy. or. these devices are gone to the dogs. They reported favorably. favor. One-half the cost of the Destroyer had been advanced by Mr. at least. and received the concurrence of Admiral Porter. in case of accident. insisting on conditions to which Ericsson would not agree. H. with quadruple expansion engines to assure a speed of thirty miles an hour. and he grew weary of the long deHis interest in Ericslays in canvassing for its adoption. To this proposal the new chief of the Ordnance Bureau demurred. The plans Admiral Selfridge as its chairman. of a missile fired in so dense a limited. urging Ericsson to keep her construction a secret from foreigners. These conditions included a thorough test of the Destroyer at its inventor's cost." Jeffers was relieved from his office on July successor did not regard the Destroyer with His i. a longer range would demand demanding a charge so heavy as to this. son prompted him to protest against his devoting to a thanjc- . shatter a projectile of the necessary lightness. with were now submitted purchase of the Destroyer. He held that the projectile of the submarine gun should have more range. medium as water is very Aside from a greater velocity. : penalties of manslaughter. Admiral Porter in on Ericsson's formal terms recommended that twenty steel vessels be built plans. to heavy damages. although the vessel was not built And. He justly said that it was unfair to ask him to sand dollars to the hundred thousand he add twenty thouhad already ex- pended in solving a problem of national defense. the head of the Navy. as his ship did not hold a Government commission.

relieving the Department of all responsibility." its turret and For this sum a fleet of thirty Destroyers could be built. Ericsson wrote to the Secretary of the Navy. H. His offers were declined. he wrote to the " Hon. by the employment of the simple and cheap submarine artil- lery system. and one-half of the three hundred and fifty men forming the crew of the Inflexible could man them all. the Hon. William C. having the huge bulk of the armorclad as a target for its 500 pounds of high explosive. or. which looks forward to an expenditure of one hundred millions Then we are opposed by the ironwithin a few years.250. to distribute the risks of war among thirty vessels than to center them in a single huge craft? And could there be any doubt that the advantage would rest with the navy which chose the superior weight of metal. Ericsson argued. 1887. In 1886. each The cost of the British Inflexible. Whitney. To the four heavy guns of the larger vessel they would oppose thirty submarine cannon. submarine-boat projectors. and dynamite gun manufacturers. was $3. all against us. stating that he . in this case. with a guarantee of success. Was it not better. with armament. tion torpedo-boat builders. clad shipbuilding and armorplate combinations not to men. in his eighty. of explosive? On April 27. as their plans will be worthless if foreign ironclads can be shattered and our harbors defended without guns and fortifications. any more of the life was warmly concerned in the Destroyer. though he had little hope of aid from a nation which in forty years had not found time to pay him for his work on the Princeton. Twice he offered to build for the To the end of his days Ericsson Navy Department an improved Destroyer. A.fourth year.JOHN ERICSSON less public service 265 of arf octogenarian. Cragin: The success of the Destroyer would destroy the prospects of the powerful fortification and gun interest.000.

The breast armor for protection against heavy guns in fighting. This armor. and carried a projecting belt of steel armor 3 inches thick and 30 inches deep. backed by oak planking. 13 feet deep. was of inclined compound steel plates 30 inches thick. Navy adapted to screw propulsion. as accepted. The portion of the cabin. as the price of this vessel. was sufficient protection against the fire of machine guns.500 horsefor the Dictator in 1882. from those built for the little tug Stockton. in 1839. as a prime-mover. His steam engines. bow on. which. when trimmed for conflict. all had one feature in com- power mon. forming two short cylinders. backed by 6 feet of oak timber. to those of 4. plied Ericsson introduced this design in the Princeton. original with him.000 His offer to build it was not In 1876. extending around to her outer hull. would be nearly submerged. engineering. by making a piston vibrate within a semi-cylinder. mechanical motors. projecting 3^2 feet above the main deck. and the vessel. He divided a cylinder midway by a steam-tight partition. the United States sought an engine specially Ericsson responded with a semi-cylinder of qualified type.266 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS : had just completed the plan of a vessel for harbor defense she was of the Destroyer type. each with a piston: the two pistons moved in opposite directions. In another invention he gave effect to a suggestion of James Watt. 3^ inches thick. Ericsson justly described himself to an intimate " the man who has done more to promote marine friend. he vainly endeavored to supersede. 24 feet beam. They brought the power of two engines to bear at right angles upon one crank-pin. and were attached to the same crank on the pro- . Ericsson asked $275. In 1859. and implements of naval warfare than any other ten persons together during the last Let us review his improvements in the thirty years." steam engine. and apit with modification in the Edith and the Massachusetts. was similarly protected.

upon good practice he carried it a step further. inch ing. His invitation. Ericsson de" scribed and pictured in his Contributions to the Centennial Exhibition. and 8 feet square at the base. were He grasped them gifts proffered engine with boldness and success. he employed steam at 225 pounds per square when 100 pounds were deemed the limit of safe work- With metals and alloys of new strength. and connecting rods. in 1876." gift. an industrial exhibition was held in Stockholm. 18 feet high. advance he contributed the surface-condenser. In 1866. In addition to these a feed-water heater.JOHN ERICSSON 267 peller-shaft by levers. the ef- of this Toward steam engines was increased about tenfold. wherever he came original devices. he saw that new to builders. than From Swede. the Once. that my ashes reposed under a heap of cinders there. score of pressing engagements from which he could not free The next year his old neighbors of Filipstad paid him a compliment which touched him to the heart. high pressures. tools of heightened power and Ericsson. Ericsson declined on the himself. These. and. afterward King Oscar II. pyramidal in form. let us turn to Ericsson. : : under the stateliest monument in America." published in Philadelphia. he was made a Knight of the Order of Vasa. inscribed: September 3d they unveiled . During ficiency his sixty years of professional activity. well aware of the great economy of artificial draft. On at Langbanshyttan. and a superheater. the engineer. and other inventions of a high order. a superb shaft of granite. He adopted and improved the expansion of steam in two cylinders instead of one. to in the And Sweden which the great inventor was invited most cordial terms by the Crown Prince. requited his fealty with every honor in her In 1852. rockshafts. with equal cordiality. with machine- precision. in writing to the Royal Librarian at Stock" said I know but one fatherland I would rather he holm.

and would you please for that sum buy a gold watch and have engraved on the To Jonas Olsson from his playmate. ' In 1867. for the purchase of grain best adapted to rapher. tells ' how his voice choked. John Ericsinside. 1803. monument at Langbarishyttan. letter of ac- friend. son. Church " : Says his biog- A Swedish traveler. who visited filled him at this time. news from Sweden to Ericsson chiefly through her letters. Will you excuse me troubling you again ? I inclose a check for five hundred crowns ($140). . and tears he spoke of the distress in his native land. Ericsson sent $5. Bags of meal will be more welcome than good advice as to gathering unfortunates the among " coral-moss for winter food. in 1853. Aldersparre: ". When his . Mr. He loved all mother with tempt him from nothing else could he would turn aside drawing-board to word from to a her. There was a characteristic word in the knowledgment which he sent through his mander A. now foreman at the iron foundry. He said Let us not be content with assurances that life can be sustained on herbs not intended by Nature for the food his eyes as : beings. I would be pleased. To included remittances sponses usually his heart.600 to Norrland. Could this be done through my friend Gustaf Ekman and with a little ceremony. his native land.268 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS JOHN ERICSSON was born here on the 3ist of July. at the dedica- tion of the fellow. was This honorable man must have a souvenir from me. Com- It is with great pleasure I find that. my former playJonas Olsson.' and then have it delivered to the honest workman.' of human came his Until his mother's death. and his rerespond long enough for her comfort." present. when a terrible famine prevailed in large areas of its soil. .

and where sunshine is seldom obscured by clouds. and generate by steam one horse-power. extended a hearty invitation to Ericsson. and the proceeds of his Swedish patent for the caloric engine. Ericsson gave a commodious house. during nine hours a day. Ericsson gave largely and constantly to impoverished relations and friends. " The news had been presents laid in itself her grave. in a letter to his nephew. but he honored the occasion by sending a His paper thesis on solar heat as a source of motive-power. the. 1870. As registered the amount of steam generated. and to public objects. incidentally friction was minimized to the utmost in its design. Ericsson believed that motors on this model would have great value in regions where solar heat is intense. The thought and is of their sufferings in the highest de- constantly to me. received only a fortnight before information that my sister said : . in celebrating its second He centenary.JOHN ERICSSON his sister in 269 Sweden. He constructed his first solar motor in 1870. placed lengthwise above a reflector shaped like a trough. gave him a degree as Doctor of Philosophy. In 1868. The sun's rays were focused upon a cylindrical heater. He said: " Experiments show that my mechanism all abstracts on an average. were bestowed with sound judgment. he that I no longer have a brother was. On October 25." tinence : and his gifts he carefully considered the justice of each claim. blow it pained me all the more as I had a severe indeed. Odner. for latitudes between . John. yielding a considerable yearly income. Mrs. so as to evaporate 69 cubic inches of water in an hour. and intended it to be a gift to the it Academy of Sciences in France. Yet his bestowals did not denote mere pecuniary incon- gree painful. could not attend. University of Lund. The University. recounted experiments in which solar rays falling upon a surface ten feet square had been concentrated by reflectors. in ac- knowledgment.

so that. 1872. A unit of heat equals 772 foot-pounds. OPERATED BY THE INTERVENTION OF ATMOSPHERIC AIR Designed by John Ericsson. energy of 2. SOLAR ENGINE. theoretically. But engineers are well aware that the whole dynamic energy of .2 horse-power. or 8. fully 3.702 foot-pounds is transmitted by the radiant heat per minute for each square foot. Built at New York.5 units of heat per minute for each square foot presented perpendicularly to the sun's rays. or 270.200 foot-pounds for ten feet square.270 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS the equator and 45 degrees.

that all Works to be closed on the day of the who wished might respect. Hence I assume that but one horse-power will be developed by the solar heat falling upon an area ten feet square within the latitudes mentioned. peat. motor. the whom he liked. Bernard A Sweeney. fell ill and died. Ericsson never patented this engine. Raynal was superintendent of the Delamater Works. and under a grim ex-> he had a heart of gold.JOHN ERICSSON 271 heat cannot be utilized in any engine whatever. he found that he had to employ a reservoir of undue bulk." more than a thousand dollars as the wages involved in this tribute of attend. Heat engines of modern types not only show a high economy. Ericsson ordered funeral." From time to time during the remainder of his life he busied himself with this motor and with the storage of its motive-power. But Ericsson's la- improved his solar engine. It brought him to principles of construction which. Alfred W. He cheerfully paid And now it is fitting. He had terior genius of the first order. In its " The chief characteristic of Ericsson was nobility of soul. For sixteen years Mr. adapted to bor. where he had . while their exhausts are now much more widely utilized for heating and manufacturing than ever before. as he conferred a new effectiveness upon that improved design it was built by thousands by the Delamaters for a profitable sale. as this sketch draws to a close. he removed from the Astor House. workman. But before the sun in its direct beams replaces fuels in which its rays are indirectly stored. In 1843. was not barren. his most lucrative invention. coal. but that economy is steadily rising. He has said: his hot-air engine. When he compressed air for this purpose. It may be that the electrical storage battery will prove to be the desideratum here. Strange to say. that a word be said about the homes of Ericsson in New York. and wood will have to be much dearer than they are to-day.

with its heavy and noisy traffic. Ericsson joined in transthe Park to the Hudson River Railroad Company: ferring he sent the cash consideration paid him to Sweden. To oblige a friend. tomed to his secretary's clear handwriting that when. in his hostility to innovation in personal matters. he read it Taylor's pen. At the time of his purchase it was the southern boundary of St. of course. went no further than to For more than fessional and personal in memoranda in his check- years he kept diaries. a few blocks below Canal Street. and made it his home until his death. His private secretary for twenty-five years was Mr. He would have only manuscript copies of his letters. pion of mechanical progress. V. But there he remained. Indeed. Ericsson was assisted in his engineering work by Mr.000. took the place of the grass and quiet of the Park. this rule In account-keeping he created much unnecessary labor. a native of Denmark. F. lived for about Here he when he bought a house at 36 Beach remained Street for $20. Ericsson's front windows at first enjoyed a full view of beautiful trees and until 1864. and. never silenced. pro- their entries. this cham- be built in water-tight compartments. he received a typewritten letter. whose compliance with his idiosynEricsson grew so accuscrasies made him indispensable. when an ugly Ericsson. Lassoe. in his later years. through an unconquer: final able dread of removal. in Ericsson's mind. Samuel W. Beach Street runs toward the Hudson River. Objections urged against the copying-press on its original introduction were. illustrated anew that a strong brain may only when copied by Mr. His neighborhood soon lost character freight-house. to 95 Franklin Street. scribble fifty books. All this was uncomfortable and disagreeable to a man so sensitive as of famine there. Taylor. During the years of his life.272 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS two years. in relief flowers. These he destroyed . John's Park. an inclosure much resembling Gramercy Park to-day.

of necessity. was only by sheer disregard of precedent and example that ness. had gone before. After his fiftieth year His usual beverage was water. approaching unconsciousThen. It was long before he believed : in the telephone. with his head resting against the wall. And yet the habit of solitary toil thus acquired became at last too strong. with all his high virtues. and sink he could free his mind from restraint. in summer cooled with ice to a temperature about twenty degrees below that of the air. . a puzzling combination in his He felt that it solar engine was worked out in a dream. his best thoughts came to him. too. When he had a difficult problem to solve he would lean back in his chair.JOHN ERICSSON on the appearance of Froude's " 273 Life of Carlyle. He never saw CenPark." Joined to traits simple and sensible. and fulfil his destiny as an original worker. a streak of downright perversity. His sleeping-room had its windows slightly open the year round. Once. He was fond of strong tea: he never used tobacco in any form. He never took a trip on the elevated railroad of New York. with no record of the gropings and fumblings which. into a quiescent state. When mechanical and engineering practice was forging ahead with quickened pace. he ignored its new horizons. It must be plainly said that there was in him. and would have never seen Brooklyn Bridge. he was accustomed to say. had not his secretary once driven upon its roadway when they tral were out together. fully such as these. that he wished to be judged by his mature work. were rules of regimen His plain food and drink were care- chosen and exactly measured. and thus missed what he might otherwise have accomplished." A con- tributing reason probably was. as his secretary listened to a voice " which he recognized. indeed. and. Ericsson exclaimed You are deceived. For two hours had learned he the calisthenics he every morning practised he drank no alcohol. without saying where they were going.

a stanch Freeby word thinker. Sweden. his final task. heart throbbed as warmly as of old. at twenty-three. there was no bathroom in his house. As plumbing was one of his aversions. his When. set up an altar in With advancing years he became a recluse. his powers In Decemof mind and body plainly fell into declension." This was a somewhat rosy statement. he sailed from left his heart. For many years sidy. My reward is unbroken food now as well as I did at thirty. This. On his last birthday the Swedish societies of New York honored him with a serenade. show disrespect to her faith or her devotions. . digest my tough and elastic than at that age. there he Ericsson entered his eighty-sixth year. she desire to be undisturbed. have important work before me. She knew just how long to keep loaves on the dining-room mantel until they became stale enough for the Captain's palate. this wrote like " : I a man I health. 1888. In his eighty-third year he as a youth. ber of that year. could always gain access to him but he allowed no visits of mere Beneath his indifference to social usages. Those who had business with him. guard over A her quarters on the third floor.274 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS was followed by a sponge-bath and a vigorous rubbing. and understood his ways. As he heard the melodies of his native land. She faithfully stood his privacy. but in the main it is Nor my muscle less was true. a tidy little his cook and housekeeper was Ann CasIrishwoman. Yet more: she pretermitted the her of broom and duster in strict deference to his wieldings devout Roman Catholic. Never or sign did Captain Ericsson. and hence live training for a fight. his curiosity. ceived this engine from a workshop. he drew the plans for a small solar On the ist of the following February he reengine. eyes filled with tears. When . She knew in what order to dispose the two hundred and forty pins which kept smooth the sheet upon his mattress.

JOHN ERICSSON 275 completed the cycle which began with the flame engine he had built in Jemtland. was accordingly commissioned to transport the remains to Stockholm. in Second Street. a cruiser commanded by the late Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. James G. then Captain. Depression of mind now aggravated feebleness of body. until they read the long and weighty record of his achievements. With honor and reverence the funeral was greeted all the way from Stockholm to Filipstad. in response to a desire expressed by the Swedish nation. His heart action was now so irregular that he consented. Soley. . His superb physique battled with disease until early in the morning of March 8. submit to medical treatment. Cornelius H. On February 7th he was profoundly distressed by the death of his beloved friend. On February 23d the iron courage to of Ericsson gave way. the ashes of her famous son be sent to his native land. where the burial service was read. James R. the the Secretary of Hon. seventy years before. the Baltimore dropped anchor in the train Swedish capital. on September 14. al- though with reluctance. The Baltimore. and so far outlived the eras of the Princeton and the Monitor. Thence a funeral cortege proceeded to Trinity Church. who passed away at the comparatively early age of sixty-seven. August 26. On March nth. with representatives of Swedish and other leagues. that few were aware how great an engineer had for fifty years lived in New York. Nineteen days thereafter. assembled at his house in Beach Street. 1889. and the acting Secretary of the Navy. He had lived so long in solitude. where the interment took place in the cemetery of the Lutheran Church. it was arranged that. Delamater. The remains were then borne to a receiving vault in the Marble Cemetery. 1889. his personal friends. when he breathed his last. the Hon. Through the sympathetic offices of State. sailing from New York. Elaine.

before ~~~ the Indians ceded that territory to the Penns. landed in America in 1735. And yet. unjustly heavy. and withal a man forceful enough to create a market among folk dis- any contrivance more complicated than a fanningThis man duly appeared in the person of Cyrus Hall McCormick. trustful of mill or a grindstone. In Virginia.CYRUS A H. Elizabeth Carruth. who. with his wife. followed them to Ulster. burdens. and took up a farm near Har276 . who is commonly supposed to have invented the reaper. might further be ex- pected that a practical reaper would be built by a man as dexterous before an anvil as behind a plow. closely following New York and Pennsylvania. then. and other seaports. ^its Cyrus Hall McCormick came of the hardy stock which. after all subtraction of undue credit. he stands head and shoulders above everybody else concerned in bidding engines and machines take drudgery from the nerves and muscles of farmers the world over. who were earning more as farmers It filling than farmers ever earned before. Let it prove itself to be worth while. in the reign of James L. Many of the hardier spirits passed from Philadelphia. but in the regions west of Virginia. TaxaTo escape tion. fast with newcomers. left Scotland for Ireland. to frontier settlements west of the Susquehanna River. That supposition is wrong. immigrants was Thomas McCormick. the Among these great-grand- father of our hero. and it would find acceptance not only at home. McCORMICK in population CENTURY ago Virginia and wealth stood third in the sisterhood of States. they came to America. So rich was her soil that her yield of wheat led the Union. one might reasonably expect a reaping-machine to appear.

] . McCormick. F. Smillie. C. by G.[Engraved from a photograph and finished under the personal criticisms of Mrs.


1809. married Mary Anna Hall. His skill with cogwheels and ratchets. the daughter of Patrick Hall. Robert. and a self-sharpening plow which he patented in 1831. in 1779 emigrated to Rockbridge County.CYRUS H. : . and was wounded in the battle of Guilford Court House. Cyrus Hall. He fought bravely in the revolu- tionary war. Seven brothers and sisters followed him. district. In 1780 a son was born to him. 1808. at their homestead near the village of Midvale. with clear promise of his heart upon. She thought his opinion on every subject was just right. McCORMICK 277 Seven years later he received from risburg. like many of his neighHe was a bors. he took up land-surveying. But his horizon stretched itself far beyond his father's lands. who This second Robert McCormick. Like many another Virginian lad from George Wash- ington down. the Penns a large tract in Paxtang Township. " Many years afterward. and patiently wrought his plans into wood and iron with such tools as he could command. and removed thither. he was much the most sturdy and energetic. in the same State. wide though they were. A quadrant whicrT> he fashioned for this task was accurate and neatly finished. Virginia. lighten his toil he built a cradle. Robert. of the eight children. weaver as well as a farmer. his sister Caroline said Cyrus was a smart boy and always very much indulged by my mother. the youngest of his five sons. spurred and fed the ingenuity of a man who sorely needed new machinery. joined a handicraft to his tillage of land. so that he readily kept pace with his sinewy companions of full age. no less than with hoes and harrows. Their first child. He afterward built a hillside plow. winning any prize he set He To attended the common schools of the and at fifteen swung a scythe in line with his father's reapers. a farmer of Scottish-Irish blood. Robert McCormick on February n. baptized as became the father of Cyrus Hall McCormick. Cumberland County. Pennsylvania. was born on February 15.

I remember when I was about twelve rich. . the year of Cyrus' machine left his hands in 1831 its cutters were rotary saws eight to ten inches in diameter.278 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS if and until she differed from him on any point he never rested he had convinced her that he was right. This taught him a lesson he never forgot. then he went to mother. a reaper at $110. H." An amusing of testimony as to the standing of Cyrus in the family in a letter from Isaac Irvine Kite. and through her. his saying that he life had a great desire to bit be not liking the. a considerable estate. McCormick and Father. A good deal of hemp was then planted in the South. where more hemp was grown than in Virginia. That and Father " is significant of much Robert McCormick added farm to farm until at suffix ! " last he ^edajSoo^cres. revolving like shears past the edge of a stationary knife. But he found no customers. If Cyrus ever in failed getting his way with father. a neighbor. to wit. so that he had plenty of water-power for his saw and grist mills. and delivered the cut grain on a rear his design birth. even in Virginia a hundred years ago. for which went back as far as 1809. and quite another and more difficult feat to sell that machine. he was generally successful. Long before he began to devise his hemp-brake Robert McCormick had busied himself modeling a reaper. who " In 1842 my father by my request purchased for me says: of C. of a farmer. Vertical reels pressed the grain against the cutters. A river with a goodly fall swept through his land. They were driven by bands revolving around a cylinder turned by the main wheel of the reaper. For its treatment when harvested Robert McCormick invented a brake and a horse-power for its actuation." comes out . enterprises which still further drew out his talents as a maker and mender of machines. As this . Cyrus never liked to work on the farm. . Cyrus offered this brake for sale in Kentucky. that it is one thing to invent and build a machine.

Thereupon my attention was directed to the subject. No machines were sold until 1840. my " These improvements consist in reversing the angle of the sickle teeth alternately the improved form of the . I found in practice innumerable difficulties. United States. I found had been used before. and a reel to gather the grain. and the same harvest I invented and put in operation in cutting late oats on the. 1834. He made an experiment State of Virginia. where an endless apron carried it across the platform and delivered it beside the machine. which satisfied my father to abandon it. " During this interval I was often advised by my father and family likely to " to abandon it. by a number of cylinders standing perpendicularly. work of This crude machine became the starting-point for the lifehis son Cyrus. he having given me a farm. being limited also to a few weeks each year. those parts of my present reaper called the platform for receiving the grain. 1851 " father was a farmer in the county of Rockbridge. and I may say they were not of much practical value until the improvements of second patent in 1845. There has been a bitter controversy as to the parts played by the father and son respectively in devising the McCormick reaper. In a later design he employed stationary curved sickles as cutters. and pursue my regular business. supported by stationary fingers over the edge. upon which the grain was forced by vertical reels having pins on their rims. as be more profitable. for experimenting. in cutting grain in the year 1816. a leading member of Parliament. McCORMICK 279 platform. who was a judge at the Great Exhibition in : London. adjoining my father's. farm of John Steele. This is what Cyrus McCormick wrote to Philip Pusey. so that my first patent for the reaper was granted in June. a straight blade taking effect on the grain. " Although these parts constituted the foundation of the present machine. during the harvest. though not in the same combination. Another experiment of the same kind was made by my father in the harvest of 1831. however.CYRUS H. My which last.

so that quick reaping machines would save many a thousand bushels of grain otherwise ruined by rain and wind." McCormick. and transmit their strong points to modern apparatus. only to be cast aside as utter failures. Then. her had protected her from the strife and pillage suffered by Germany. too. neither on this occasion nor on any other. and railways. her spinning. Italy. The sale now steadily increased. inventors stay indoors. and France. tions her soil silver seas Following the triumph of Watt in devising his steam engine. and a better mode of separating the grain to be cut. always higher in Great Britain than in conThus it came about that mechanical reap- were again and again attempted a hundred years ago in England and Scotland. Let us trace that indebtedness in a brief outline : the beginning of the nineteenth century Great Britain in mechanical invention led the world. save wages. For many genera- At had never been trodden by an invader. Why should British why not invade farms and fields with machines to replace sickles and scythes? At harvest tide the weather was often wet. Most of them never went beyond the stage of models for experiment. the sickles from clogging. Up to this period nothing but loss of time and money resulted from my efforts. Her mines were rich in iron for the building of engines.jennies had ousted her spinning-wheels . Two or three types had merit enough to stay hard at work for years. A few were built in ers working dimensions. and is now more than a thousand yearly. etc. machines. First Let us take up the chief elements in reapers as : they were successively brought out and united came the reel. somewhat like the frame on which .280 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS an iron case to preserve fingers to hold up the grain. such machines would tinental Europe. and equally rich in coal for their motive-power. acknowledged how much he owed to preceding inventors. steam-looms in Lancashire and Yorkshire had sent handlooms by the thousand to the dust-bin.

the . in 1808. and laid upon the ground. teeth collected the grain and held it to be cut. Joseph Boyce. who used a circular saw instead. duly bettered. in 1822. Thomas J. with strong wooden teeth notched below it all around. a device much more difficult to produce. as were the headers of ancient Gaul. mere Originally these were on a spindle. McCORMICK 281 This presses the grain against " in the machine invented rippling cylinder in 1786. maker in London. 1786 burn. It was Robert Salmon. or a horse. The reel an improved form was introduced by Henry Ogle and independently by Patrick Bell in 1826. cut. This cut grain fast enough. as a much more convenimode of propulsion. cut. in ent 1808 invented the side-draught. a millwright of Castle Douglas. abandoned saws and is hit upon the the core of every harmechanism which. of Woreel presses grain A upon cutters. was a of William Pendeford. England. but it acted merely as a mower. What was wanted was a reaper. by It took off the heads of grain and reel of a crude kind. H. succeeded in was by an implement and-ready appliance 1799. Plucknett. its A " delivered in them in a box behind the strippers. who a patented this roughthrough crop. Pitt. fishermen dry their nets. Gladstone included in his machine a small wheel covered with emery. mounted PITT'S RIPPLING CYLINDER. fro across finger-like blades which firmly held the grain to be All these machines at first were shoved in front of an ox. Kirkcudbrightshire. who. or sweeper. and whirled radically scythes. Glad- stone. He bade a long sharp knife glide to and vester to-day.CYRUS cutters. fixed the above cutter These and immediately parallel with it. His reaper had a circular table. After being grain was received upon the table and taken away by a rake.

or guards. shorter. But farmers hesitated at the expense. Brown then advertised. being on very friendly terms with Thomas Brown. ried off the grain in swaths. but not Alnwick.282 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS applied to the cutter. I pre- sented it to them." * we come the most original. and behind it. the farmers did not think that I lessened the expense much. a founder. and added the part for collecting the grain into a sheaf (G. . so as to keep it always sharp. near by. . to American Agricultural Implements. in a field of wheat. Brown if he persevered any further. and some working-people at last threatened to kill Mr. says Robert L. Chicago. and it has never been tried more. took the important step of gathering the grain when duly cut. Ardrey. It had a projecting bar with guard teeth. he continues " They then made the teeth. which were unsatisfactory. but still not laying the grain into sheaves. that they would furnish machines complete for sheaving grain. aided Thomas and 1822. England. and his son Joseph. He invented rakes which re- volved on a vertical axis whose teeth. of Raby. in 1820. in schoolmaster Henry Ogle. by the author. that of a in Rennington. Messrs. tion. and a grain platform attached * Published to the bar 1894. G." at the the cutting it did it was estimated to have an average capacity of fourteen acres per day. the cleanest. The illustration shows that this machine had the elements of the modern From hand-raking reaper and dropper." Reciting their : first efforts. by Joseph Brown. simplest. which it cut down into it sheaves remarkably well. Brown took it home again. the platform). and had an ordinary reel. It was drawn from the front side it was supported on two driving-wheels. carAnd now. and greatest in " single invention ever made in harvesting machinery. six inches long. Mr. beginning of 1823. Joseph Mann. Ogle says a workman and being myself. founders at " : I made a model. when he tried it once more in a field of barley. and tried It then cut to greater perfecagain.

OGLE. E. center on which Y turns. B. wheels. knife. A.J822. G. McCORMICK P1XHI. lever. [From the Mechanics' Magazine^ London. Y. H. 1826. axle. F. H.CYRUS A. reel. G. B. giving motion to all parts of reaper. frame of knife. G. C. D. B. frame ot machine. F. 1822 A. C. H. platform.D.] 1 . F. M. 283 3 D OGLE'S REAPER. D. F. E. rod connecting wheels with knife. G.

better when the grain was put off by a man with a fork toward the horse. As the grain was put off by a From man and a horse. B. who appointed a committee to ex- amine the machine at work. Bell gave the British Association at Aberdeen an account of his invention. Patrick Bell. Many years afterward. Their report was favorable. invented a reaper with a row of clipping shears as cutters. and publicly used. it had a grain-wheel. a model being placed in the Society's museum." not raked. H. however. the forker probably stood on the machine. Mr. a divider and inside gatherer. on quite independent lines. H. as these had been previously invented. the grain was put frame or platform. in the 10. afterward a Presbyterian minister at Carmylie in Argyllshire. Mr. It doubtless had other parts described. closing his description. in for make to it fully practical. G. He brought it before the Highland and Agricultural Society. so the Society awarded Mr. It upon. G. rigid. as Ogle says most mechanics have their own way of fixing the main : principle. is collected as will be a sheaf. Its ." the position of the lever it is certain that a seat was " provided for the operator. as it is easier bound and leaves the stubble clear for the horse to go off. the Rev. or shoe. over a fulcrum upon the frame. is lifted till as much grain hinged. B. Ogle. Another source of information and help to all concerned In 1826. on July The 1907: . and let fall by a lever. Bell fifty pounds as a premium for his invention. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS it was used one off in gavels to as a dropper " side." arose in Scotland. unquestionably as the machine was made for use in the field.284 Hinged. " I have given only a part of the framing. when the grain slides when " was found. North principal part of his paper appeared British Agriculturist. of Edinburgh." said Mr. in 1867.

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and had I been so taunted I believe that even then I could have demonstrated that the multiplication and employment of machinery in agricultural work immediately promotes the increase of the people's bread. McCORMICK I 285 From my earliest days had a the study and practice of mechanics. and many hours were spent in my workshop and. but an alumnus of one of our national Universities the University of St. farmer's son. and abandoned them all as worthless. I seized them by the handles. I duly weighed the possibilities of their application to the object in view. . . I was not a Presbyterian minister during the time in which I invented the reaping machine. . and always by the very awkward position in which they were obliged to stoop when engaged in their work. and does not ultimately tend to diminish the means of the peoFor years I had thought of the ple to obtain that bread. although an academic. and had diligently searched for some principle. which protruded. contemplating the shears attentively. At a very early period of my life I was most painfully struck with the very severe nature of the toil to which the harvest workers were subjected a toil made doubly oppressive sometimes by the heat of the weather. but it is nevertheless true. It may sound as an empty sentimentalism. farmer. and was liable. would not have been allowed to study undisturbed in his sanctum. supplemented by the bones and sinews of the horse. I insensibly said to myself. taking one after another. and was accustomed from my ness all the operations of the farm performed. and is there any reason why it should not be applied to the and turn for the son of a early youth to witliking I am A My . H. " One evening after tea. and I proceeded to snap at the twigs of the thorns. Here is a principle. Andrews. that a desire to mitigate such excessive toil led me to inquire whether there might not be a possibility of transferring part of it at least to beams of wood and bars of iron.CYRUS ". especially in the harvest season. to be summoned to wield the fork or some other implement of toil. as is currently stated. my eyes caught a pair of gardener's shears sticking in the hedge. Sure I am that I had no intention of taking the people's bread from them. and in most of them I engaged with my own hands. and. mind was full of mechanics at the time. matter. while walking in my father's garden. in my days at least.

to a field of young oats adjoining. I finished them with the file. I determined to have a machine constructed upon the large scale. and secured each to its proper place. The next step was to construct a model. This took place in the summer of 1827. those shears were upperin my thoughts. and it was merely because it was more conveniently situated in the model. I joined a quantity of rough sticks together. For this purpose I had to pass out of my character of inventor into that of engineer and workman. and it was during the process of making the little wooden frame and my puny cutters that the idea of a sloping canpaper. and to ascertain how thoughts would look when transferred to steel and iron. and eventually I fixed upon the plan. My first idea was to place the canvas level with the ground. months.. as I required them. Then I made cutters of wood of every part that required to be made of iron and steel. piece by piece. I making my . I believe that much more important improvements in mechanical science would be found to have a similar origin. etc. Plan after plan presented itself to me. else the rumor might have been readily circulated that the poor student had gone crazed. For weeks. that the angular position was adopted. The plan I took was this. with the hand. no neighboring gossip saw me at the unwonted employment. by night and by day. and pleased the eye better. and the likelihood of its sucwere carefully scrutinized and pondered. I sent these. and I searched anxiously and indefatigably for the mode in which they should be employed. After calculations as to size. This was done.286 cutting LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS down of grain? Not I altogether satisfied with performance on the hedge. with the instructions to make a thing of iron as like the wooden ones sent as possible. and It was well that cutting them right and left. so that in reality the position and the angle of the canvas were more matters of accident than the result of consideration. and was put upon vas for conveying the cut grain to the side occurred to me. Were the truth always known. now successfully in operation. and for my commenced most The merits of each. and called them a frame. cess. When I got a few of the pieces from the smith. to the blacksmith. Having finished my model and speculated as accurately and deeply as I was able upon the possibilities and probabilities of the actual results. shears in my brushed through it.

I found that it had been all very well cut. rather long and narrow. and that was the first great point I then aimed at. and made My . I I proceeded to compress the loose mold with my feet. but rather encouraged by this first experiment. By dint of patient application I got the whole into a sufficiently perfect state. and. As soon as I recovered my breath. I pushed it forward with all my might through my planted oats.CYRUS remember the ation. For my subsequent operations I chose a quiet day. my machine was complete. I was not discouraged. Upon the whole. I anxiously examined how the work had been done. having in one end a wright's bench. and yet it was a reaping machine I had set my heart upon constructing. I shut and barred the door. next went to an old stack that happened to be in the barnyard. that is. perhaps. for trial. an embryo reaping machine. into the "Although by this experiment I had proved my new in- vention to be a cutting machine. it certainly little deserved to be dignified with the name of reaping machine. workshop was again speedily cleared of earth and loam. McCORMICK 287 cutters gave me a world of trouble and vexthey came into my hands they were in a very rude state. as I thought. if I give you some account of the first field I cut. When the place between the bench and the rude but ambitious candidate for the honors of the harvest field was covered to the depth of some six inches. I planted it stalk by stalk at about the same thickness I knew it would have grown in the field. and required much filing. On that day an eavesdropper might have seen me busily but stealthily engaged in conveying earth in a common wheelbarrow When workshop. and carrying it to the workshop. The cutting was perfect. and in the other a rudelooking piece of mechanism. That you may understand this. I would have saved myself a host of trouble. grinding. and fitting. H. and what to me at the time was no small expenditure of money. " It may amuse you. and then. Had I at this stage been content to summon a man with a rake to do the work of wheels and pinions. going behind the machine. a day when there were few people about the place. drawing a sheaf of oats out of it. however. imagine an empty outhouse. in such a mess as would have utterly disgraced me in the harvest field. This done. but was lying 'higgledy-piggledy. and had I been contented with a combination.

for. as I had confidently expected. I sent the same as a pattern to the blacksmith. Having received the chains. with an order to make for me so many feet of chain like the model sent. plucking up courage. but I did not find it so. I found that it twisted. I conceived in my simplicity that the work was done. For a time I was nonplused and dispirited. from inequality in the grooves. but were lying almost unanimously by the side of the machine in one even continuous row. expecting that the ropes and canvas would move together in uniformity. One might naturally suppose that this would be an easy matter. The door was again shut. I thought of the pitched chains. The result was otherwise. and the process of dibbling another sheaf gone through. and another visit made to the old stack in the barnyard. one at the top and the other at the bottom of the rollers. and the canvas stretched and fixed upon the rollers the proper tightness. and the canvas became twisted as before. in which I placed a small rope.288 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS ready for the jack-plane and piles. Having made some six inches of such a chain out of a piece of old iron hoop. I proceeded forthwith to put the canvas in order. To these ropes. and my object secured. with anxious and provident . The wheelbarrow was again in requisition. I sewed the canvas. I was a second time disappointed. the wheels for driving them adjusted. and would have been torn in pieces if it had proceeded many yards forward. but. I proceeded now to make grooves at the end of the rollers. All this took place in 1828. You may smile. moved irregularly. and ruminating over mechanical appliances. The ropes. the canvas was speedily attached. and I waited patiently for the ripening of the grain. but. I pushed the machine forward. but I complimented myself sensibly. Until the crops were ripe nothing more could be done. on pushing the machine forward only the length of the house. After the rollers were put in position. and that my object would thus be obtained. I think. and. being convinced that I had converted the implement from a cutting to a reaping machine. on my success. palpitating with To my unexpectation. and put them in their place. I was in high excitement and hope. and the machine was prepared to meet the third trial of its construction which had now been made. speakable satisfaction the oats were not only nicely cut. In the meantime I revolved in my mind. upon trial.

was well enough cut. everything that was likely to happen when the actual the open field should come to be made. in a dark autumn evening. about eleven o'clock at night. nevertheless some seeds straggled away capriciously in different and adverse And yet I could not forget that in the workdirections. and damage the success of the operation. and that I had the elements greatly under my own control. woman. Upon examining The wheat the work we found it far from satisfactory. and child were in their beds. and laid it past. and on the implement went. but it had not proceeded above five or six yards when I called upon my brother to stop. my brother and I the meanwhile speaking to one another in reached our destination. shop all was calm. but that in the open field the blowing wind might multiply the capricious stragglers and fan the flame of disunion.CYRUS trial in H. Having plenty of time before harvest. a young brother of mine and I resolved to have a quiet and unobserved start by ourselves. Before the corn was perfectly ripe (I had not patience to wait for that). " We My . I was fearful that there should happen to me what I knew had happened to many an experimenter before who performs his experience to a wish in the laboratory or workshop. I constructed this part of the implement. but who utterly fails when he actually adjourns to the actual domain of nature or art. but it was lying in a bundle before the require. was put in position right in the end of a ridge. and. the machine was quietly taken from its quarters. and were regularly removed to its side. It was an anticipation of this kind that induced me to think of the reel or collector. and we trio wended our way through a field of lea to one of standing wheat beyond it. and my brother's to guide the horse. and the good horse Jock was yoked to it. I had observed in my experiment upon the pigmy and artificial field in the workshop that while the oats upon the whole came to the canvas. I gave the word of command to go on. That could not be got while the sun was in the heavens. That night I will never forget. and the machine whispers. to be used or not as the emergencies of the field might The period now approached that was to decide the merits of the machine. accordingly. duty was to look ahead. nor for a considerable time after he was set. whenevery man. McCORMICK 289 hope.

and everything connected with it. the Bell machine underwent its original test. issued respectively two and three years When Slight ciety. and we were soon ready for a second start." ders. and said so. the patents to Cyrus Hall McCormick and to Obed Hussey. Taking our positions respectively as before. at first did little else than copy British designs. the machine moved forward. and looms. to William Manning. of Plainfield. but not with the less was depicted and described Similar machines were also prefulness. turning out models incomparably better. were later. foundries. America in her forges. we As 1831. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS . sented. The wheat was lying by the side of the machine as prettily as any that has been ever cut by it since. he said: " This reaper soon worked its way to a considerable success in Forfarshire. New Jersey. his chief rival. I had yet great hope. In Loudon's " Cyclopedia of Agriculture. upon my shouland adjusted it as well as the darkness of the night would permit. and now all was right. because of same much Britain far surpassed promise. shall see. the whole of the machine not being used. James was curator of the Highland and Agricultural Sounder whose auspices the test took place. we. In its "Transactions. as well as the builders of steam engines. with which being well pleased." published in London in 1831. after some pardonable congratulations.290 machine. The earliest American patent for a reaper having a vibrating cutter was granted on May 3. locomotives. moved the machine back to its old quarters as quickly and quietly as possible. In the harvest of 1834 I saw several . and machine shops. After this we merely took it back again to the end of the ridge. For a moment we were both downcast but. I ran across the field and brought the reel. recollecting myself. and made a cut with the open edge to ascertain how the swathes would lie upon the stubble. Hence it was that in At that time Great America the builders of reapers. the Bell reaper with the utmost clearness." published in 1852 in Edinburgh. the reel or collector having been left behind.

McCORMICK 291 sifei ! 1 81 < CQ .CYRUS H.

By these simple precautions Mr. Four of them went it to the United States of America. six reapers ing to be an original invention. that in Hussey's reaper. but the original Bell type is evident throughout. more or less. in these pages of 1852. and thence found their way throughout the country. all giving satisfaction. in 1851. the models This renders from which the many highly probable that they became so-called inventions of the American reaper have in since sprung. as might naturally be expected. a brother of the inventor. Bell has a strong natural bias toward mechanics. Bell has been enabled in the most satisfactory manner to reap on an average four-fifths of all his grain crops every year. "the Bell reaper has been kept in operation up to the present time. according to the season. too. each claimYet in all of them the prin- cipal feature. There are slight variations. bears the strongest evi- dence of having been copied from Bell's machine. One of the most interesting of these cases is that of George Bell. which appears HUSSEY'S HARVESTER. They were manufactured in Dundee. " . and during fourteen years in which he has regularly worked his reaper he has taken particular pleasure in seeing it put in proper working order at the commencement of the harvest so prepared. there is the closest possible resemblance to the Bell reaper. . it is then managed with perfect success by any plowman of ordinary intelligence. being too much laid for the machine.FINGER to have been brought out first in the Union. the cutting apparatus. of Inch-Michael in the Carse of Cowrie." In a few cases. At the Exhibition held New York. is remarkable." says Mr. has been reaped by the The expense of machine-reaping has in this case scythe.292 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS of them at work. the remaining fifth. were shown. Slight. Mr. in the It cutters.

. the surface of the land was ill suited for such operaHence serious obtions as those of a reaping machine. . By these means the machine is made more effective. and operates with the assistance of but one man upon the machine besides the driver. which on its first appearance in England had its cutters nearly identical with those of Bell. McCormick's machine. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century. the indebtedness of Slight thus discussed McCormick to the Rev. leveling high ridges. before the soil on which they were to act had been prepared for their reception.CYRUS H. Mr. McCormick has also gone a step beyond his neighbor. Hussey. will traverse 12 imperial acres per day. eight women are required to collect the cut grain into sheaves and make bands for them. though. has latterly been fitted with one long straight-edged and character to finely serrated cutter. Mr. ." Nearly twenty years after Mr. Patrick Bell. and filling up the old intervening furrows. as these are fast being removed. giving. it is no more than engrafting " a new idea upon the original Bell machine. there is a prospect of a more successful application of machinery of all kinds being brought to bear upon the the operations of the farm. stacles presented themselves. Under these favorable views of the efficiency and economy of Bell's reaper. apparently. ance. furrow draining. What has been the cause of such a machine falling so much into disuse? One obvious reason is that all the best reaping machines herein referred to may very approprithat is to ately be said to have appeared before their time say. Bell's practice is to employ one man to drive and conduct the machine. were only beginning to assume their due prominence in the practice of agriculSo long as these improvements remained in abeyture. besides the driver. four men to close and bind the sheaves. a new the machine. and two men to set them up in stocks in all fourteen pairs of hands. McCORMICK 293 been found not to exceed 3 shillings and 6 pence (85 cents) per imperial acre. by taking from our original also the revolving vanes to the [reel] in front for collecting and holding the grain cutter. a question naturally arises. . in fact. Mr. " In the process of working this machine.

would give no opinion upon the matter. to hear what he would say about it. declared he was no mechanic. This was the first encouragement to prosecute my idea that I had received. I went. When I got home a large machine was immediately set about being constructed it was finished before harvest. to Sir John's house. even to Sir John. and he recommended me to get a machine constructed upon a large scale after the pattern of my model. which looked like anything rather than a design for cutting grain. accordmodel to him. consequently. to do him honor. Sir John Graham Dalyell. the inventor said: My feelings are very different this day from what they were forty years ago when I left my father's house on a cold winter morning. the Highland tardily. and Agricultural Society in Edinburgh presented the Rev. . In acknowledgment. On that occasion I was full of fears and trembling. Mr. afraid that my invention would turn out a mere chimera. and I was obliged to Sir John for the efficient . and it worked very well. the model looked like a thing that would do so.294 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS the friends of that inventor bestirred themselves. though In January. arid trembling when I thought of coming before learned and scientific men. and I was able to speak. and. and said it was a very difficult thing " my to give a decided opinion upon the model of any contrivance that would be able to cut a standing crop of grain in an manner. Sir Charles Gordon. and took my seat upon the top of the Edinburgh coach. The horizon of my imaginings grew brighter. so far as he was able to judge. Sir Charles examined my model attentively. he would be glad to introduce me to a celebrated mechanic who lived in the town. But. I waited upon the Secretary of the Society. for the purpose of making my first bow to this honorable Society. Sir John looked at it. Bell with one thousand pounds sterling subscribed by his friends and admirers throughout the United Kingdom. ingly. in more confident terms. I had a small wooden model of the machine under my arm. As my friends advised me before I started. and explained it looked more like a rat-trap than anything else I know of. but added. and try it next harvest. started amongst the standing grain before it was ripe. 1868.

Swift. including a vibrating cutter. 1831. plainly of British origin. obtain a patent. but granted all patents applied for. A cutter. the Patent Office the points of originality made no examination upon and priority of invention. 1834. was patented by Obed 31. McCormick 1897." said Ed" Commissioner in 1852. 1834. Whatever they were. he tells us. in 1831.CYRUS ciple of H. New Jersey. McCor- mick's first patent was issued. . McCORMICK 295 Had he condemned the prinfriendly advice he gave me. Almost incredibly loose was the management ades of the nineteenth century. of Plainfield. did he in a long series covering his [From "Who McCoRMiCK REAPER. careful experiment. on May 3. it might never have gone a step further. the first demanded. of the Patent Office in the early dec" At that time. my reaper. Hus- sey on December 1833. On June 21. Chicago. as a matter of course. he gave them diligent study." McCormick always kept his lips firmly closed as to the sources of his successive models. 1834 Invented the Reaper?" by R. and such changes in detail as work in the field his first machine.] Harvesting Machine Co.. much the same. B. reaper in its later developments. a reaper with a vibrating cutter. was patented by William Manning. He built and improving on Only June 21. mund Burke. testing it for nearly three years." As already stated.

000 in all. about two miles from their homestead. than that it should ever be said that " had been a dishonest man Eventually. His lawyer sugthreatened which himself of his farms. Hussey's is given. 1834.: p. father and son. of Lexington. XIV. he paid off every ! dollar of his debts. His improvements survive to this day. the attention of the McCormicks.: P. Black withdrew from the bank all the cash there deposited. 44. Virginia. nership with John Black. 1834. remained in the field. . was withdrawn from In partreapers and riveted upon a smelting enterprise. and for many years stoutly opposed McCormick. 37.: p. Vol.296 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS That Manning's claim was prior to that of Hussey. opening an account for the firm with a leading bank in Richmond. dropped out of the running and was heard from no more. I would rather die and leave my Robert McCormick their father children without a cent. and put his property beyond the grasp of his creditors. about $12. him with bankruptcy. they bought the Cotopaxi Fur- nace on the South River. The business proved a failure. and the panic of 1837 dealt it a mortal blow. Vol. for some unrecorded reason. No. to evade pressing that he divest gested " " claims. Philadelphia. who had used Next year. lost about $18. Vol. by dint of hard work and close economy. VIII.000 in this venture. 1831. Thus early did he show his ability as an advertiser: his offer was supplemented by four testimonials from neighboring farmers the machine with success. empty and cold. became a man of scrupulous honor." said he. A few months before the issue of his patent. Robert McCormick supplied nearly all the capital invested. McCormick offered reapers at thirty dollars each in the columns of the Union. and McCormick's. had become * Manning's patent is briefly described in \ht Journal of the Frank' lin Institute. 1835. and of McCormick. who proved to be an inventor of mark. as When the Cotopaxi Furnace. was promptly pointed out in the Journal of the Franklin Institute. 195. Hussey. XV.* Manning.

the next year.CYRUS H. By dint of a persistence that never took no for an answer. running McCormick had to wait until 1840 for his first circuses. He was now convinced that he had a machine which deserved a market. sure enough. " It Onlookers said with united breath levers. he was to take a hand in reaping a million farms the world over. the work of ten men. he decided on $100 as his price. and fifty in 1844. He highly resolved to part with thirty dollars and take home a machine. McCormick did not effect a single sale. for It was now time to relinquish good and all. Virginia. on the farm of Joshua Smith. Virginia. but its intricate mechanism was guided by a dexterous man. Why ? day were few and simple. in Rockingham County. accordingly. he must bring the machine before the public. McCORMICK 297 dusty with neglect. With two men and a team of horses he cut wheat at the rate of two acres an hour. Thus. In 1841. near Staunton. he gave the first of many thousand public exhibitions." derful ! Farm tools in that : customer. But soon from the West came messages of cheer. not farms and but we are is a marvel. familiar for months with its cogs. and that fied market he was determined to create there and then. twenty-nine in 1843. His beginnings were slow. so he took occasion to improve the build of his reaper. Fortiwith an indorsement from Abraham Smith. Instead of tilling farming manufacturing and one farm. orders in quick succession for . and became a salesman at that figure. Won- There was loud applause and no buying. and restrict himself to selling his reaper. he came to victory. and blades. he sold seven reapers in 1842. of Egypt. after thirteen years of struggle and defeat. Abraham Smith. First of all. so that they could be easily made by a country blacksmith and kept in It was plain that McCormick's reaper did repair at home. Cyrus McCormick reverted to his reaper. which he felt might lift him out of his financial slough. who had seen the reaper at work near Staunton. In the fall of 1839.

. where it was most needed. Through delays in transit four of the seven ordered reapers arrived too late for that season's harvest. Michigan. State with State. chines. Illi- Wisconsin. Next he proceeded through Ohio. simply must have the reaper at As McCormick drove through Illinois he saw hogs and stoneless. Iowa. wanted ma- McCormick now clearly saw that his farmstead was not the place for a reaper factory. smooth. but four to ten days. One morning. He would forthwith patent his reaper in . one each in WisIllinois. he put three hundred dollars into his belt and set out on a jaunt of three thousand miles. for one reason. once.298 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Two farmers in Tennessee. the West. why don't you go West with A : and labor scarce ? " His mind was ripe for that golden hint. The shortness of time for cattle feeding laborers harvesting. Iowa. His reaper should henceforth be built and sold in the West. offered McCormick his supreme opportunity. It was too far East. and Missouri. consin. irregular land. might possibly be persuaded to use the reaper treeless. " friend said to him Cyrus. and on broad stretches of ripe grain. Missouri. where land is level Ontario. and Ohio. so flat and fertile that they seemed to have been specially created to give play to his The fields visibly beckoned for machinery faster reaper. would save millions of bushels which otherwise would rot on the ground. vastly more than her farmhands could cut. He now saw prairies for the first time. soon afterward. Illinois that year grew five million bushels of wheat. Virginia. port with port. His rapid machine. than the scythes and sickles imported from Eastern hills and dales. forestalling bad weather. thence to the leading ports of Lake your reaper. with her rolling. because were lacking for scythes and cradles. nois. McCormick returned home with broadened views and quickened pulse. shrewdly comparing town with town. seven reapers. He went by stage through Pennsylvania to Lake Erie.

wise as to let straw freely escape. New York. McCORMICK its 299 an improved design. were spear-shaped. it Yet. Says Robert L. The fingers. bent in such sale far . straight strip of steel. as now improved. patent Washington. he took a long stride toward success as a manufacturer. Trials suggested improvements. to hold the grain while being cut. who told him that Seymour & Morgan had just established in Brockport a factory of farm implements. where reapers of good quality could be produced at low distinct cost. McCormick. in pointed out that Brockport the Eastern " He Implements ' : The machine McCormick brought with him was very There was no driver's seat. and press and wide. and the man who raked off walked alongside the platform. It was cut down a little here. while was halfway betwixt and Western markets. . of BrocEport. on the front edge serrated reversely every four or five inches of its length. Ardrey. though so coarse. which McCormick was about to invade. had its blade serrated like a sickle. B. in was placed behind the blade. His drawings and specifications were soon in his satchel. The lower end of his reel post its curved forward at for top.CYRUS cially in H. Holmes. and the next week found him in Washington. and where it was securely braced. McCormick's reaper. not only obtained a and important improvements on his reaper. crude. espethe prairie country he had just explored. and imperfect. was a machine with which it was possible to cut grain when all the conditions were favorable. McCormick at once proceeded to Brock" American Agricultural port. 1845. and liable to be clogged at the slightest provocation. or guards. with the angle reversed at each alternate tooth the blade had its supporters screwed on the front of the platform. Among the public men whom he met at the capital was the Honorable E. immature. The gearing was imperfect. and the sickle was but a thin. where his second patent was granted on January 31. for he was always the soul of despatch.


and his keen gaze saw . cut in proper lengths. Ogle's reaper of 1822. and the manufacture of McCormick reapers ceased at the Brockport factory. Next year. In 1848. little later they were made of cast-iron.CYRUS H. the original McCormick patent expired. piece the iron. one hundred of these machines were made and sold. The raker sat astride a saddle provided for him in the rear of the gearing. the first large quantity of reapers ever manufactured. or walked. by using swages. It was arranged that Seymour & Morgan build a quantity of McCormick reapers. the Western of States. as well as the machine bolts at 4^ cents. cupant. and generally brought into better form. rearranging the gearing that new compactness. for the following season's harvest. a portion of the spear-shaped guard-fingers of these machines were let out to country blacksmiths. Accordingly. As an example of the primitive methods then usual. 1847. But where? Its site should be at the center of these rich prairies. and ended by placing his foremap . and in all likelihood it appeared in raker . the guard-fingers were made at their shops for less than half the price paid to blacksmiths. preferably at a port on fast stretching With painstaking diligence he studied a a great lake. McCORMICK 301 strengthened a little there. shortly before he ceased to have produced in Brockport. as improved. in a factory of his own. McCormick obtained a It third patent. was furnished by Seymour & Morgan. for still there was no seat. McCormick sagaciously noted the railroads were westward. To balance this seat and its oc- McCormick now placed in his his driving-wheel further back than with a former machines. included for the first time a seat for the such a seat had been provided by Hussey on his machine as far back as 1833. for the harvest of 1846. and used an ordinary hand-rake.the broad zones of arable land thus brought within the swing of his He felt that the time had come to build machines reaper. to be forged at 24 cents For each each." A On his reapers October 23. but the driver rode a horse.

Here he could best assemble steel and iron from Scotland and Pennsylvania.302 finger tion. you $25. stood at the very focus of Western trade. He found him in William B. *who had been the first mayor of the city. soon to rear its premises on the site where. he did so with empty hands. Said he to the Virginian will give " : You are the man we want." Thereupon the firm of McCormick.000 populaThis choice was one of the master strokes of his At that time Milwaukee. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS on Chicago. whom he . Ogden & Company was born.000 for profits and Neither McCormick nor Ogden interest. but to this discerning judge they were cities of less promise. one must ride be- could long occupy a back seat. for both men by temper and habit were imIn 1849 their partnership came perious and unyielding. to an end. McCormick paying Ogden $25. He sketching the broad outlines that his business was to take forbid his handling anything thereafter confined himself to of his campaigns. But if two men ride a horse. hind. McCormick soon realized on dimensions which would more than the rudder. I ness.000 for a half-interest in this reaper busiLet us build the factory at once. and hence he could ship his bulky machines. then a raw town of about 10. Cleveland. Here five hundred reapers were manufactured for the harvest of 1848. It behooved him to cast about for a backer who would advance capital for the execution of his projects. in 1804. He saw that Chicago. and St. eastward or westward. Leander and William. and lumber from the forests of Michigan. and the business fast prophesied the stupendous expansions since recorded. committing the details to his brothers. When McCormick voted for Chicago. and was still its civic leader and arbiter. for all its mud and shabbiness. Ogden. Louis career. were more thriving than Chicago. at minimum charges for freight. J onn Kinzie had built the first house in Chicago.

through an of army contests of tactful and tireless agents. liberal to prodigality. embodying year He gave his reapers the widest possible publicity.] made them his friends. Why not add For this a markets in Europe to markets door opened with the inaugural of World's Fairs by the Great Exhibition held in London in Thither McCormick sent an array of reapers. while he sold and fitted repair This energy. Before long he laid down rules of from which he never swerved. "He sold at invariable guarantee with each machine." London. as his great executive ability to his success. from year to every improvement worthy of inclusion. McCORMICK 303 admitted to partnership. and which contributed as much all. First he produced a machine of high merit. responsible agent in every town worth while gave instrucprices. ments were His customers once at- MCCORMICK REAPER SHOWN AT THE GREAT EXHIBITION. giving a written A tion to inexperienced buyers. and inwere rewarded. he 1851 Illustrated Exhibitor. A dissatisfied buyer had his" cash returned without parley. sagacity. 1851. America? . and by means of field His newspaper advertisesustained for years. [From "The tracted.CYRUS action H. in parts on moderate terms. as did 1851. LONDON. Soon McCormick's busitegrity amply ness had become so prosperous that he cast wistful glances across the sea.

in which the palm went to Hussey. and. These tests. whose retaining fee was $1. and approved itself in years of constant use. were greatly heartened by the onslaughts of his foreign critics. of Philadelphia. At Ormesby. following. near Middles- borough-on-Tees. Emerson fringement of patents. Mr. as they did. his exhibits parallel. his chief McCormick machine in charge of a raw recruit. When he sought renewals of these patents. in the main. always numerous and troublesome. Edwin M. His patents were attacked in court and out of court. a competition witnessed sands of farmers and farmhands. a second contest took place. the eminent patent lawyer. Stanton. the daily inspection of the American reapers by thousands of visitors to the The local Crystal Palace. Lincoln did not argue the case. He received an adin London had two permanent results. but from profits as a manufacturer. assuring the success of the branches he established throughout Europe. whom he afterward chose proceedings. but he closely followed of the its acumen of Stanton. The second item appeared on the opposite side of his ledger. deeply stirred the British public. of feature these machines press declared that every essential had long been devised in England and Scotland.304 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS rival at Obed Hussey. his basic claims were decided to be unfounded. and Abraham Lincoln. One of his suits has a place in history. It was the vast breadths of level land in America that had given the reaper an opportunity for which British farms could offer no So far as McCormick was concerned. with success. His opponents at home. home. In 1856 McCormick sued Talcott. vertisement of immense value. He was wont to aver that his income had been derived not from royalties as an inventor. who mismanaged so that the medal went to McCormick. Hussey faced the by thouHussey 's reaper was in it. & Company in for in- The counsel defense were George Harding. forming a high opinion as his .000.

a later and better device was invented by John F. This came first from chief requirement was a knotter. has been developed in America. That was afterward. Appleby. .. of better? In 1858. Illinois. he worked twice as fast as before.CYRUS Secretary of War. he went into the near home to bind grain. and William W. Withington. As a youth. J. course. step it by step. that climax of mechanical ingenuity. and H. and with comWhile the Marsh harvester in itself scored a parative ease. Marsh. with a moving platform. McCORMICK 305 To Stanton went the decision against McCormick. Chicago. Marsh's "Recollections 1837 1910. a ? machine held the dismiss the field for ten years or more. to earn a fields little pocket money. In of each successive stride of this evolution McCormick was. In 1849 a McCormick reaper had been fur- nished by J. but. undoubtedly creation. Charles W. were using a Mann machine. which carried the cut grain to a wagon alongThis was good. a few weeks carried up ? it tested in the first Marsh harvester. Wisconsin. but why should good stand in the side. It did not stand up straight. decided advance. He was in 1910. Mann. like Ottmar Mergenthaler. vitally interested as the leading manufacturer in the world. H. residing in De Kalb." by the Farm Implement News Co. of Indiana. until has become the self-binding harvester. Withington.* Charles B. at Janesville. F. as he could now For this the binder. entered the arena of invention through a watchmaker's shop. it put inventors on the track of the self- human binder. two brothers of Canadian nativity. And now British in let its us return to the reaper which. where two men can stand while they bind the grain as fast as it is " This idea proved sound when. Charles B. when Charles " asked William Why should this grain be carried up to way : wagon Why not put a footboard on this machine. so slight in build that the toil was unendurably were published * Charles W.

In its form this machine afforded means of shifting the latest binder to accommodate various lengths of grain. and John H. Twine- binders gave a strong impulse to every harvester factory in . and railroad Deering. Harvesting had at last dismissed all hands but a driver for the Sicklers and cradlers. came into the market with a binder which used twine instead of wire. whirled a wire to the ground. devised a self-binder manufactured by D. Os- & Company. It cut and bound fifty acres of wheat without a slip. Wood. Its design was highly ingenious. But the Withington and Gordon binders. were at horses. fastened the ends of that it wire with a twist. harbored a fatal defect in their use of wire. The brothers James F. borne : It lacerated the fingers of grain handlers at docks. a formidable rival to Mc- Cormick. stations. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS fell the This impelled him to devise a machine to abolish drudgery of binding by hand. a stroke paid off. eleyators. A Withington was not the only inventor in his field. around it. This competition had to be met. Two years later the inventor struck a bargain with McCormick. Gordon. who thereafter produced the machine. to be at was put together Walter A. This was duly accomplished. M. Gorham to devise a binder of distinct pattern which should use twine. This feature survives in all modern machines. rakers and binders. with all other machines of the same class. and the Gorham machine was at once placed on sale by the vast round of McCormick agencies.306 severe. of Auburn. New York. then cut the bundle loose and cast Withington machine was tested for McCormick on the Sherwood Farm. near Elgin. in the same State. This wire fell into straw and killed cattle it became mixed with wheat to strike fire in flour mills and burn them down. of Rochester. Illinois. New York. Two steel arms caught each bundle of grain. His first self-binder in 1872. manufactured and sold by Hoosick Falls. so McCormick engaged Marquis L.

on the prodigious turnover of McCormick. the contrast between the first reaper that McCormick made and now manufacturing. with equal step went a remarkable change in the manufacturing world. at the low price then current. directing the best efforts of many vices of his predecessors into one channel. running in the same direction. thus opening the way for the flood that followed. more than four times as many. Ardrey is worth repeating " Appleby's success was not due to the newness of the devices he applied. carried it on a canvas . or to the surpassing character of Appleby's genius." While twine-binders were fast broadening the tilled areas of the West and the Northwest. Year by year." with its nation-wide grasp. of standard quality. would seem that the ingenuity of a number of inventors. and by adding deown to remove the obstructions. the Harvester trust. McCORMICK 307 America. It cut its grain.CYRUS H. the self-binding harvester he was In its elaborate mechanism its in- ventors had repeated their own nerves and muscles. the one link which had been lacking in a machine otherwise perfect. although he has been a persistent and clearheaded inventor . built upon the Marsh harvester. had become massed but it or dammed before certain common obstructions. beyond which they could not flow. In 1860 about 60. with comparatively simple outfits. as they did." Just here a : Most word of comment by Robert L.000. became fewer and fewer: the era " of big production had dawned. It was reserved for him to combine in his binder. netted him a huge Striking is fortune. the most practical of these principles. while the sale of self-binders swept steadily the number of producers upward. by 1885 tne figure had reached 250. Many firms were squeezed out of business through lack of capital. was not far away. Small shops. Yet that price.000 reapers were sold in America. supplying. could not furnish an intricate machine. " of these machines were the Appleby. and even their brains.

" in the series of the American Economic Association. Mr. and sacked. This bound sheaf was then pushed into a basket and held until five sheaves were collected. W. with a . mounting hilly and rough ground as easily as it traverses a dead level. Quaintance published The Influence of Farm Machinery on Production and Labor. and planting at once. plows and scythes. and then cut the cord. pulled across the fields. Then. by the same means. ican farms. the wheat. fifty horse-power Each one drags sixteen tentraction engines are at work. there has been no essential change in the self-binder. One machine plants with wheat fifty to seventy-five acres in a day. much more " harvesting machinery had played the chief part. are twenty to twenty-six feet wide. leaving behind the huge machine a trail of sacked wheat ready for the market. neatly tied a cord around each bundle. and a press-drill for planting seed-wheat. cleaned. four six-feet harrows. where they are at once headed. when they were dropped to Since 1884. Within his span of seventy-five years he saw the reaper born and gradually flower into this wonderful self-acting machine. he found that the cost of producing wheat had in In this result sixty years fallen as much as 72 per cent. Figures striking are recorded in the Far West. In 1904. automatic rakers gather the grain stalks and carry them to rows of knives. Another traction engine. where headers are employed to gather the crops : On California and Oregon farms. When they have finished their task. in the same operation. One engine thus performs the triple labor of plowing. " 1830. In contrasting 1896 with H.308 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS elevator to steel bands which shaped it into bundles. harrowing. When the grain is ripe. is threshed out. in that climate. a harvester Its cutters is. as they have taken the place of tools on Amerwrought an advance comparable with that ushered in when tillers of the soil first equipped themselves with picks and spades. hard and dry. have Machines. the year of McCormick's death. inch plows. the ground.

may be regarded as a target. Quaintance. Hascall. a movement which has given rise to so much comment. of Kalamazoo. and bagging grain at once! The marvelous economy of modern farming machinery explains the drift of rural populations to cities. All the work on a farm of a thousand acres may be thus accomplished by six men in much less time than by sixty men on a farm of half the area without these modern machines. cleaning. He must follow his work. As long ago as June 28. betrays a fear that the advent of vigorous blood may diminish the profit which . and will go on until division of labor and labor-saving devices shall have served their purpose. Michigan. Its bull's-eye is reached. tience to practise all the way from circumference Over and over again inventors strove to design self-raking devices before a practical cutter was born. gathering up the sacks and taking them to the granary. there were half a dozen attempts to build automatic binders. Moore and J. patented a machine for harvesting. 1836. since thus work can be done most economically and it is equally in the nature of things that people should compete for the better conditions thus offered. It is in vain to try to keep the boy upon the farm where the work is slipping from his grasp. zone by zone. such as the header of the Far West. Seventy or more acres of wheat are thus harvested in one day. says: The transfer of occupations from the country to the town is still going on.CYRUS H. " . or the self-binding harvester of the Mississippi Valley. H. McCORMICK 309 train of a dozen cars. threshing. The zeal which some townspeople manifest in their efforts to persuade the farmers' boys to remain upon the farm." great invention. wise and unwise. And long before a successful reaper had taken its path through a field of wheat. only by those A marksmen who have the skill and pato center. follows along. Mr. It is in the nature of things that this should be so. in the monograph already cited.

in the the K. During the great fire in Chicago in 1871. he was in that city. which had been building ten thousand harvesters a year." At once son in mind. He he could lay his hands on. His factory. One have might morning. " If had control of said to chieftain I the department." replied McCormick. with her be- came energy incarnate. the end of a twelvemonth he doubled the production of machines without hiring a single ad" ditional hand. Butler. at head Edward of the sales seventies. to Chicago as his home. his wife came to him two days afterward. When. So much for " scientific management long before Taylor. Cormick led the way he came loyally to her rescue.fold: she in her distress And he decided to return He had seen her census multihis had earned for him the bulk of fortune : example was catching. or retire from business ? " Rebuild. to shores of Lake Michigan. transacting business of importance." Go made good. he met her wearing a hat and waistcoat half burned. eight years afterward. plied thirty. where he resided at 40 Fifth Avenue. McCormick's vast it scale of production economical as : this factory I could double " its output with but little ex- tra expense. near Tenth Street. His Many a neighbor took heart as Mcrefound a new metropolis on the In 1879. lay in ashes." was not always as been. He asked his wife: " Shall I rebuild. in response to a despatch. By Butler ahead.3io LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS arises now by reason of the somewhat restricted number of competitors. bought every He bade all stick of timber his out-of-town Before the agents remit him every dollar in their tills. . said : " McCormick She. cinders in his cellar were cool. he planned bigger and better premises than those destroyed. its rules were codified by Frederick Winslow McCormick late in the sixties removed his home to New York.

and at the same time keeps the up supply of bread for the nation and its armies. in April. peace. McCormick strove with all his might for compromise and To that end he wrote editorials. he never won an election. who all business. he clearly saw both sides of a quarrel which threatened the nation's life. it releases them to do Union at the front. delivered speeches. During the war he poured into the Democratic press a large part of his income from the reaper. McCORMICK 3" pany. or an explosive of doubled penetration. guiding great deal more than a strong and of he was a good citizen. as a supporter of Stephen A. who had lived in the North since early manhood. These con- culminated in 1877 by his seeking admission to the National Senate. that's over. As a Southerner born and bred. Said Edwin M. while several times McCormick was a man nominated for tests office. equally in vain. He bought the Chicago Times to explain to his fellow-citizens the circumstances and arguments of the South. He attended the Democratic Convention of 1860. 1861.CYRUS his firm H. When news of his defeat came to him. He was a Democrat of the school of Jefferson. Stanton. Douglas for the Presidency. he was deeply moved. he did not waste a said moment in complaint or regret. That machine was every whit as effective in the Union cause as if McCormick had bestowed upon its army a rifle of lengthened range. What's next? In the months of turmoil and anxiety which preceded the " : storming of Fort Sumter. and interviewed the leaders in all camps. he simply " Well. in the . in Baltimore. with Cyrus Hall became the McCormick Harvesting Machine ComMcCormick as its president and spirit. the Secre" of War The tary reaper is to the North what slavery is to the South. When he returned home he continued his labors. thriving his life long took a keen interest in politics. By taking the place of regiments of young : men battle for the Western harvest fields.

Casson. tells us : . its resources.312 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Without McCormick's invention I fear the North could not win.000. That is in the same State as the McCormick homestead. he gave $20. After his death his heirs established its McCormick professorship of natural philosophy by an additional gift of $20. which replaced a decaying college in New Albany. His last public speech. religion and patriotism alike require the exercise of forbearance all round. near $30. On behalf of church unity he said " : Now that the great conflict is past and its issues settled. and was ever one of school. deeming himself of its old After his first visit to New York. was on the occasion of adding a building to this Seminary. Indiana. In 1834. gave To the Washington and Lee University of Lexington." In 1859 with regular ne gave $100. and good Presbyterian preaching." its stanch supporters. when twenty-five years before years of age. McCormick was a At the close of the Civil in War her institutions of learning were sorely need of help. and the pursuit of those things which tend to His interest in church affairs had begun many peace. and his widow and children added more than a million dollars to faithful son of Virginia. surrender at once kindled in McCormick's heart an earnest desire for amity and good will between the reunited halves of the nation. he summed up " : " his impressions thus It is a desirable place.000 in his first home. he joined the Presbyterian Church." that morning. He 1866 to her Union Theological Seminary. Of this University he was a trustee during the last fifteen years of his life.000. What of Cyrus Hall McCormick as a man? His biographer.000. After his death it received his name. the scene of the surrender of Lee to Grant.000 to found the Northwestern Theological Seminary of Chicago. of nearly gifts read for him by his son Cyrus because of his own serious illness. and the Union would be dismembered. He afterward added $400. Herbert N." Appomattox.

definite conWhat he knew. he knew. Cyrus W. Peter Cooper. He was often as rude as Carlyle to those at retail. and his general appearance that of a man built on large lines and for large affairs. or His long years of pioneering had made him a selfman. small criticisms. was very dark and waving.' He was so strong. and small hands feet. Junius Morgan. and had His body was well the massive shoulders of a wrestler. not for any definite In him that has reason. There were no hazy imaginings in his brain. But usually stand/ to and will be he affair/ wrote. as Seneca has said power. Abram S. but what he may do. and small objections. so dominating. likely he paid little attention to the world-dramas that were being secret of his ability lay in his ' ' . Seward. he had nothing to say. Men He was of lesser caliber regarded him with fear. and a man who lived from within. the highest degree of social pleasure was the entertaining. that ' : men could never quite subdue a feeling of alarm while they were in his presence. His mind was not open to any chance idea. If a . Hewitt. William H. gave him. logical and consistent. McCORMICK 313 Cyrus Hall McCormick was a great commercial Thor. and he had no patience to listen to their chattering. at his house. At fashionable gatherings he would now and then be seen a dignified figure but his mind was almost too ponderous an engine to do good service in a light conversation. His bearing was erect. perhaps. so ready to crush through obstacles by sheer bulk of will power. he mentioned the a few Once. his manner often imperious. but because. subjects. His hair. he had been plagued and obstructed by the Lilliputians of the world.CYRUS " H. Field. victions. weighed two hundred pounds. upon It is a mighty French Revolution in one of his letters. of such men as Horace Greeley. smaller and he saw no differences in little-minded people. All his life who tied their little threads of pessimism across his path. old age. He did not pick up his opinions on the streets. What subject did not interest him. He had certain clear. He was impatient of small He had no tact talk. even in with proportioned. power to focus all his energies in 1848. all men consider not what he has done. six feet tall. The main sufficient " some old friend from Virginia. George Peabody.

11 of May. At such times his memory would return to his earliest years. he said " : I love the in my mother's garden. 1909. To their union four sons is and Cyrus. how I wish I could get on a horse and ride through those mountains once " As the end approached. at the mature age of forty-nine. the eldest. so that for weeks together he was unable to cross his threshold. One morning. Providence Church in Rockbridge County. two daughters were born. he did not attend to them. Chicago." old-fashioned pinks they used to grow Often the tears rose to his eyes : when he saw mountains " like those of his native Virginia. copyright by A." * In 1858. as he was wont to remark. As he grew older he leaned on her president of the International Harvesting Company. C." he said one day to his valet. McCormick married Miss Nettie Fowler. looking at a bunch of beautiful flowers. On the 131. She was a wife worthy of him. Oh.3H LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS He was too busy too devoted to affairs which. Casson. he died at his home in Rush Street. his health became impaired. judgment more and more. As the hand of time was placed on the stalwart shoulders of Cyrus Hall McCormick. McClurg & Co. if enacted. .. The winter of 1883-1884 brought his strength to a low ebb. Scandinavians both. work *" " ! Cyrus Hall McCormick: his life and work. lineally descended from his grandfather's little foundry business in Virginia. 1884. would not be attended to at all. His parting words were: ! " " Work. Charlie. Chicago. He was wont to recall with enthusiasm the performances of Jenny Lind and Ole Bull." by Herbert N. The warmth of spring brought him no restoration. he found more and more again As a youth he had sung in the New solace in music. of New York. and ever since he had never failed to hear the best musicians of his day.



were bidden to impress their contours upon clay. they imprinted When of nuts and leaves. a deed of sale. circles than Jessie could draw with either her pencil or pen. an acorn cup on a bit of paper. wholly tion. picked up. a mortgage. an hour ago. we may be sure that swords and knives. These gradually became larger and more intricate. Without knowing it. her forbears long ago came to this art of printing themselves to be human in skill and faculty. wax. in all likelihood. and other yielding surfaces. At first. so as to set forth a tribal record. proved they and gave token of an immeasurable advance beyond their lowly kindred of the forest and the glade. skill. More im- was the carving of seals. a of these few acorns under an oak of October. more in simple sport When the arts of making weapons and tools arose. with slight exertion. By and by stamps and brands for cattle and horses were produced. can reproduce his out- lines rapidly and easily. From one This cup. seven years of age. a copier. can impress a complicated outline from a or a metal plate every whit as well as its carver or crystal In the labor of depiction it is this artist who engraver. upon mud and clay the outlines shells. nuts she has pulled the cup. arrow-heads and hammers. or a military proclamaThe point to be remarked is that a printer. dipped in away makes a dozen much better water and pressed upon paper. devoid of mere does the chief part of the work. to leave an impression. portant still a new step in the art of printing. And why? ject Because now she has simply to press one obon another.CHRISTOPHER LATHAM SHOLES MY niece. . Such 315 is the marvel of printing. when he has finished. feathers and than from any other impulse. she is a Printer.

3i6 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Second only to articulate speech is the art of writing. was printed from stamps. It is SN. They may have lacked skill enough to execute these letters with pens. its laboriousness. It is so called because letters are turned upside down. in silver . Beyond this making of name-plates. the most famous the Silvered Book of Upsala. and this effective plan they applied to the production of books and manuscripts. its frequent illegibility. or as an engraving from which to print with ink. rubber. is Of books its printed with hand stamps. and the slowness of writing. near to modes of printing instead of writing. They engraved elaborate initials upon metal and stamps. the lineage of like stamps. to-day cast and sold for a few cents each throughout America. about two inches long and nearly an inch wide. have for centuries prompted men of ingenuity Years ago. keep clean its user's fingers. to be sure. in Sweden. its This plate could be used either as a seal to save his owner writing To in name. impressed these upon their pages. a noteworthy step was taken by Italian copyists as long ago as the twelfth century. Long before their time. or they may have simply wished to save time as they copied a Bible or a Psalter. bearing plate : CIACAECILI HERMIAE. . so that whole books were produced from just such simple tools as bookbinders use to impress titles on their volumes. is Ancient. So gainful was this ingenuity that soon not only initials. the a found name brass was Rome. but every other character on a page. linen and silk had been printed with intricate patterns from en- graved blocks. it had a convenient handle. occasionally these letters are found an error possible to a hand printer.

blows replace the delineations of the pen. and is deemed a relic of the Gothic Bible of about A. successful in this modest venture. The blood of John Alden ran in his . remained use numerals bearing for numbering tickets. But. Christopher Latham Sholes. new editions appeared in which movable types were. They were rudely cut or cast. on February 14. was born in Mooresburg. in service. wrote And now for boys a Latin turies after his Grammar which death it bore his name. as recently as 1866. In Holland.C. when their slowness of pace suggested the invention of a machine to do their work better and cheaper. 1819. memorable for all time. an eminent teacher who flourished about 350. Donatus. a leap was taken. were faulty both in shape and size. hand stamps were ousted from all but In America hand stamps a mere corner of their field. so that they stood together somewhat unevenly. L. Its designer. in for paging account books. for first time. was thus led to devising In this achievement he bade slight the modern typewriter. they built the bridge which led from ancient the copying to modern printing. during the fifteenth century. poor as they were. 360. Pennsylvania. in their original manufacture by his predecessors. SHOLES 317 but not a penman. For cenwas reprinted from engraved wooden blocks. slow and faulty at best. carefully cut. and quite without forecast as to the wings it would bestow upon human faculty. in which a lettered key- the initial feature. And from still. where they shrank into nothing less than the first movable types. This work contains the four gospels in the Mceso-Gothic language. D. were taken to the Netherlands. Hand stamps. When movable types were cast in uniform molds. which. such as were employed in Italy for centuries. more ingenious board is the typewriter has sprung a machine the linotype. the inventor in question. It would seem that Guten- berg only perfected a casting of types. Montour County. and the like.

character.3i8 veins. at DanAt eighteen he was a ville. Charles. at a later day. with a mastery of his trade much feasible in a city more thorough than would have been printing office. a less onerous task in 1839 than now. was indispensable to him. a journal which maintains its Sholes. then a formidable journey. He punctually were home the executed in a style volumes. as an inventor. its staff. At fourteen he was apprenticed to the art and craft of printing in the office of the Intelligencer. at Madison. He was given charge of the Inquirer. with the mechanism of presses. with the details of printing. transparent honesty. six miles from his birthplace. at Southport. proficient compositor. in Green its with Bay. he supervised the public printing. Then and always he was a man of clear convictions which he honored by use. there to have printed in book form mon the Journal of the Wisconsin Legislature. Both by nature and nurture he was a man of brains. a printer like himself. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS and so did that of New England soldiers who had borne a brave part in the revolutionary war. While he held its rudder. and a trustiness more uncomstill. Within a year he was sent to Philadelphia. . a newspaper owned by his brother. His elder brother. they brought and with a correctness which at once gave him promotion. he established the Telegraph. This was recognized by his being appointed postmaster in 1843. manifold though they were. through his public spirit and prosperity to this day. by President Polk. In his new field he displayed unusual ability. In partnership with a friend. soon became a trusted leader in his new home. departments narrowly subdivided. Christopher promptly accepted his offer of a post on and went West for good and all. where he was thriving as the owner and editor of the Democrat. left him wishing to be still more busy. But his activities. now Kenosha. some years before this had gone to Wisconsin. His familiarity with types. Michael Frank. and courage.

clash between the State and Federal Courts as to how far a State could protect its citizens at the on the question from arrest and imprisonment hands of national authority.752. He joined the Barnburners' wing of the Democratic party. were invited to take part in hereafter. never again to unite. and it fell in national in fought hard against the growth of slave-holding influences lawmaking. and her death list in the field was no less than 10. with the outspoken approval of its people. As a member of the State Senate. with pure democracy as its corner-stone. Sholes was equally the servant of ideas. year after year.C. the State openly laws of Federal enactment. 1853. Wisconsin Assembly for Kenosha County. When the inevitable conflict between Slavery and Freedom burst into flame. in all that went to bestow victory upon the soldiers of the North. SHOLES 319 He saw lettered . On nullified pro-slavery the strength of this decision. enabling him to escape to Canada. and disbelief. Mean- while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared the Fugitive Slave Law to be unconstitutional and void. an exclusiveness in the churches. L. than did Wisconsin. Men and women of all shades of belief. Every fifth male in her population became a soldier. making a deep mark on the community then . Sholes took an unwavering part. Milwaukee rescued from jail Joseph Glover. a drifting of the few from the unlettered plain people. apart like a sand heap. In politics. he witnessed a . exerting an While a member of the influence as wide as the State. he introduced a fugitive slaves the right bill to allow negroes claimed as of habeas corpus and trial by Next year a mob in jury. This measure was defeated. plored Excelsior Church. a runaway Then came a slave. no State of the Union sent braver troops to the front. which he deby way of remedy he took a hand in founding the its free discussions of life here and For two years this little band of come-outers held together. In all that preceded an appeal to arms.

tickets. he maintained. On. and so on. manufactured a good many blankbooks. city was leav- ing behind every other in Wisconsin. but this ridges that spelt utter failure. One day it oc- . his ability as a legislator. who transcribed " American Notes. Vineyard. His fame was destined to take its rise from had acquired as a lad. to become editor of the Sentinel. to the brutalizing inlished a recital of this where it fluences of slavery. coupons. such as those wielded by Italian copyists centuries before. that of printing. to conduct a department of job printing. as a rule at constrike by Sholes' compositors so angered siderable profit. the Representative of Brown County. Arndt. an editor. the trade he A him that he seriously took up the notion of typesetting by machinery. with its compara- and straightforwardness of friends than ever. In those days it was usual for newspapers. In token of him a wider group gave of Public was he chosen Commissioner popular regard Yet it is not Customs. by James H. he removed. D. even in cities.320 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS tragedy which moved him profoundly. caught the eye of Charles Dickens. To Milwaukee. all numbered by metal stamps of the old-fashioned kind. Their quarrel had turned on a nomination for a post as sheriff. In Milwaukee. Works. which types impressed bulged in provoking so he cast his models aside in wax and made peace with his staff. or a public official. of Grant County. Errands of business often took Sholes where he saw with what rapid strides that to Milwaukee. Sholes. Vineyard advocating his brother for the place. at this time. and afterward Collector of tively large population. Sholes pub- murder in the Southport Telegraph. all due. This was the shooting of Charles C. He built models themselves on wax. quite another path of printing he was to win a great triumph." with an array of other acts of it in his violence. accordingly. and later of the News. that he is remembered. beginning with hand stamps.

Alabama. too. of Centre. Glidden was an mill inventor. Carlos Glidden. shall find. an old friend. and kept him on the lookout for any information that would serve his turn. in the Scientific American. L. Naturally. 1866. It had been exhibited in London now it by its inventor. SHOLES 321 curred to him that he could devise a machine to perform this work much more neatly and quickly. of a writing machine for which a great deal was claimed.C. building. He who seeks. In July. Samuel W. turned out capital work at a pace far manual labor at its best. Its de- . and here their model gradually took form. stood on a Here. once in a small room on an upper floor of a mill owned This two-and-a-half story narrow strip of land between the Milwaukee River and the Rock River Canal. proving to be a thorough success in a final test. at by Henry Smith. like himself a and a man of decided ingenuity. But not at once. 1867. Sholes came upon a description. there arose many a colloquy betwixt the three inventors regarding their plans. Shortly afterward they showed it to Glidden. but put query as these figures off was asked of the man who was to give it a triumphant response. He discussed this project with a friend. in simple ashlar. although the idea took firm root in Sholes' mind. with much debate of the weak points disclosed as their experiments followed one another. and with in- Glidden are exclaimed struck " : Sholes. They began work printer. day by day. the well-to-do son of a retired ironmonger. Sholes and Soule duly patented their numbering machine on November 13. John Pratt. why cannot you build a machine to print perfectly letters and words as here " ? This had doubtless often been to other inventors. as it outstripping that of fallible correctness. and he believed was developing a spader which he would outdo the work of any plow on the market. Sholes drew his plans with Soule's aid. Soule. On the same floor of the was the workshop of another tenant.

or borrowed. and playing on the or. ting Its manifest feasibility and advantage indicate that the laborious and unsatisfactory performance of the pen must. on its improved successors. has lately been exhibited before the London Society of Arts. not to speak of letters and editorials. and the writing and delivering of sermons and lectures. and neatness of print. Glidden.322 scription LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS was accompanied by an editorial prophecy since " but its closing words A machine by which assumed that a man may print his thoughts twice as as he can write them. ing machine of Xavier Progin. but how was its project? paper to be imprinted Soule suggested the scheme. is Mr. it presented itself . and with the advantage of the : fulfilled in all it is fast legibility. of placing convergent typebars on the rim of a Whether this circle. so that each might strike the center. would Soule embark with him in this second Pratt's Yes. above described. and the weary process of learning pen- manship in schools will be the art of writing one's literary piano own reduced to the acquirement of signature. was received as a third partner: he push was to contribute the necessary funds. in 1833. is not to be ? It first appeared in the writascertained at this distant day." to get out of order. become obsolete for general purposes. which were sketched in a preliminary way. design was original with him. and at least as efficient. The subject of typewrit- one of the interesting aspects of the near future. Legal copying. First of all a writing machine must write. by the inventor. never excelled. rather. sooner or later. machine struck Sholes as complicated and liable He believed that he could devise mechanism more simple. Soule had been a helpful partner in the numbering machine. A conference was held as to plans. will undergo a revolution as remarkable as that effected in books by the invention of printing. Pratt. of Alabama. a success from the start. compactness. who had given Sholes his first from the shore.

displayed a feature of cardinal value. had introduced keys of the peg form now universal. in sliding their typebars on a vertical axis. He soon changed this for the present order of disposal which. in 1856.ABCDEFGHIJKLM did not He in his know that Dr. Matthias keyboard Schwalbach. all capitals. Sholes devised the letters. on old contrivances that worked Sholes built a model keyboard resembling that of a piano. William Francis. and arranged them in four rows so as greatly to shorten the journeys taken by an Sholes at length abandoned his piano operator's fingers. remarkable machine of 1857. and this It remains to this Sholes adopted in his second model. SHOLES 323 again in the embossing machine of Alfred E. Beach. a builder of tower-clocks in Milwaukee. survives for business. When an operator wished " " " " stood over the he turned the ring until to print Other inventors had gone astray A typerod so as printing point. so they troubled themselves to devise novelties which worked badly. L. . of New York. on leave to paper printed in machines. in 1845. faulty in the disposal of its He then depressed the " A A" A typerods. with two well. As we have just seen. Sholes in his first keyboard gave his characters a strictly alphabetical and numerical order. In their first rows of keys : 2 4 3579NOPQRSTUVWXYZ 68. when they might have laid hands details equally important. a spacer. " " This mechanthe beneath. ism. much too slow toy And yet the Thurber design.C. through Charles Thurber did. its paper was borne on a cylindrical carriage. and other But no one of the three partners undertook any systematic inquiry as to what their predecessors had done. as rotated horizontal a circle. the at instance of his model-maker. hour an indispensable part of every standard machine. or platen.

rough. messenger by Mr." says Mr. (4) by A A hinged clamp to hold the paper firmly on its carriage. for the paving of certain streets. Mr. His original idea. a third row. on behalf of the the contract city. with the is in the form of pegs. " was to have his keyboard fashioned after that of a piano. He had . and the basket form of typebars above leverage below. The first row is of ivory. and July 14. " closely resembles those of some machines in use to-day. Heath. The writing was completed. and there you have it. duly lettered. as a lad was employed writer. (2) Radial typebars to correspond with this disc. Heath's office he has framed a first machine invented by Mr.324 like the LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS compartments of a printer's case. fell " to his lot to enter into a contract. uncouth model of the Sholes. with radial grooves and slots to receive and guide the typebars so that acters oftenest used nearest to the they struck the center. original writing was on a tape of tissue paper. the second row is of ebony. places the char- working center. As on the claims of patented Sholes. 1868. The framework is of wood. Frederick Heath. and when the document was once removed from the machine there was no way could not be seen till it by which that it the lines could be replaced with any degree of certainty would correspond with those previously written. to move the paper-carriage ratchet (3) the breadth a tooth of when a key was struck. Sholes as he began to devise his typeOn the wall of Mr. Soule were: (i) A circular annular disc. as a. and later he was Comptroller of the While acting in this latter capacity. of Milwaukee. and then. Sholes was collector of customs of the port of Milwaukee during most of the time that he was engaged in devising his typewriter. Glidden. was model The very clumsy and weighty. it city of Milwaukee. and the platen was The fastened to the body of the boxlike affair. made up of letters and characters that are little used. as you see.

v. connected with the bar. combined with the gudgeon. SHOLES. The spring-clasps. i/'. vibrating on the fulcrum. feed a fresh part of inking ribbon to each type suc- . and the bar. L. M. L. The pins. u. attached to the bar. b. reaching Key-levers. 1868 fingers. /. so that striking the key-faces will work the teeth of lever-forks up and down and into the notches of the spaces. T. I. V. the band. H. to give the paper-carriage a certain and regular cross-line movement at a right angle to the space movement from line to line. GLIDDEN. pivoted to the back of spools. cessively. with the inner under the typebars. JUNE 23. and the spring. s'. the cord. G. so that the keys act directly on the types.FIRST PATENT. a. m. combined with the bifurcated lever. /'. the shaft. combined with the pawl. W. C and C'. the weight. AND SOULE. P. on a line through the middle of the platen. pulleys. attached to the bars. The spacer or ratchet. h. so as duly to move the paper-carriage. hold the paper on its carriage smoothly and tightly. e. combined with the springs. the ratchet-wheel. the pawl. /. A 2 . the k and R. E. fastened to the table A'. pivoted at s and resting across the arms of the keys. The the case.

table Mr. Such a ribbon is virtually dry under a light touch. and find them satisfactory. limit their ma- chines to stricted to the blind? to mere embossing. two popular typewriters use inkpads. . to be carried another stage toward completion." York. ribbons are the chief source of ink." It For his first model which he found in a as Foucault in has often been asked. case letters * came later as an addition. In that grimy old mill on the Rock River Canal there were interludes to lighten and brighten the toil of experiment.326 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS been the written on one of his machines. under the sharp stroke of a typebar Sholes employed this ribbon it readily parts with its color. and the talk would drift from writing by machinery to Reconstruction in South Carolina. To-day carbon paper is employed solely for One or duplication. This was con- tributed by Dr. or to the quiet absorption by farms and mills of the brigades mus- tered out after Appomattox. as he produced the inked now in general use. Sholes used an old kitchen garret. in his first machine. 1909. with zest renewed. and they often turned from ratchets and pinions to moves with knights and pawns. so they wrote *" New Typewriter Topics. Soule. They determined to let their friends see at once what they had achieved. lowerwriter. and this is claimed to have first official document ever produced on a typeIn that machine. only capitals appeared. the model was taken up once more. April. why did inventors so ingenious 1849. Then. so that their services were reSimply because they were unable contrive a simple and trustworthy inker. One morning it printed in capitals line after line both legibly and rapidly. and Glidden were frankly delighted. All three partners were chess players of more than common skill. Sholes. Ever and anon a friend would drop in. an d Beach in 1856. Francis in 1857. and was ready to use carbon paper as ribbon an alternative.

L. When a letter is embossed.C. who hundreds of and near. Pennsylvania. each rod showing its letter both at the upper and lower ends. the paper moves sidewise by the breadth of a letter. made to slide longitudinally in a channel of its own. SHOLES 327 letters on their typewriter to correspondents far It Just one of these letters hit the bull's eye. BY WHICH THE BLIND MAY WRITE at the Great Exhibition. went to James Densmore. London. 1851. the paper moves perpendicularly by the breadth of a line. All the letters of the alphabet. All the letters converge to a center. FOUCAULT'S PRINTING KEY FRAME. of Meadville. At the end of a line. in high relief. Shown took fire at this demonstration that a writing machine was about to supplant the pen. foresee a He was sagacious enough to wide and profitable acceptance for the type- . They are disposed like the ribs of a fan. are fixed on the upper end of a metallic rod.

so they sent experimental machines to a leading reporter in James Ogilvie Clephane. and he examined it with no indulgent eye. Both Sholes and Densmore expected that stenographers would be among the first and best buyers. and manfully They other built models. each with patiently some change." on his paying all expenses to date. were so caustic that Sholes. inventor of the linoClephane was so unsparing in his tests that not seltype. so he asked the price of a share in patent. and promptly. dom he reduced a machine to ruin. It was the following March when he first saw the machine. Its creators had meanwhile embodied vital improvements on their original design. and they were rather proud of the machine as it stood. lost " I am through Said he to Densmore his temper at last. Washington. forbearing though he was. a weak phane points Where a spacer or an inker works stiffly. The partners were greatly cheered by this proof that their invention already had a cash value. ference. We we is what just fault-finding : ! : it we begin manufacturing. from the scene. usually intended to reduce friction and heighten speed. and this before he knew what the expenses were. Where Cleout lever or rod let us make it strong. patent without a day's delay. about thirty in all. attacked the defects of their model. leaving Sholes and and whatever might yield in time coming. At this stage of affairs. for which he would advance all needed funds. Soule for nothing except to show that its were sound. who afterward greatly helped Ottmar Mergenthaler. His judgments. Densmore bluntly declared that it was good principles underlying proceed with further improvements. " " This candid Densmore's comment was with Clephane better have had need. He urged the trio to and Glidden retired Densmore harvest it in sole possession of the patent.328 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS its writer. They held a hurried con- and agreed to offer Densmore one-fourth of their He said " Yes. let us make it now than after . too.

SHOLES TYPEWRITER. Buffalo Historical Society.] . 1873 [Museum.


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New York. while ren- and farm or dering it More important than easy to renew parts broken.they had learned from Clephane as much as teach he could them. The Remingtons were then manufacturing firearms. for the present at least." This counsel was heeded. paper. its manufacture for the markets of fell Their choice upon George W. and advise them as to the world. N. whom they at once invited to Milwaukee. and sugar manu- . produced at an average cost of $250. or worn out of true. drop forges. steel. and he declared that what the machine required was precision in manufacture. applied to typewriters. at the headquarters of oil. and other machinery of the latest and best patterns. He recomto take their typewriter to mended Sholes and Densmore Eliphalet Remington & Sons. would minimize friction to the utmost. They were convinced that the time had come when their typewriter When concluded first could challenge examination by an expert mechanic of the rank. all of the highest merit. praise his the we deserve. its admirable plant was the staff in charge of its experimental work. and Sholes further improved models in the light of objections from Washington. He suggested several changes in now matters of detail. at Ilion. Yost. Every part of each of their pistols rifles was accurately copied from a model to the onethousandth part of an inch. This system.330 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Then. Sholes and Densmore that. the total output of machines had risen to fifty or so. where it could be produced and constantly improved. sewing machines. who would look at their machine with a fresh eye. At such electrical centers as Schenectady and Niagara Falls. depend upon Clephane for all work smoothly. Their plant intools. He subjected their latest model to a thorough inspection and to repeated tests. This staff was the prototype of many such staffs now busy throughout America. cluded lathes.

at last. tested. Its typebars are each in a single un jointed piece. The latest and best of these machines. manufactured on a large scale for home and foreign markets. Thus. early in 1873. and took its place as a practical and vendible article. in all likelihood.000. In fewness of parts.00. L-shaped. developing a team-play which earns golden rewards." Sholes for his interest accepted a lump sum. constantly simplified in design and lightened in " touch. " Densmore wisely preferred a Sholes royalty. with the assistance of his sons. it had been examined and amended by a distinguished inventor. SHOLES 331 facture. and brought these into actualities. continued to reside in Milwaukee. which tradition places at $12. he built new models of typewriters. which yielded him a million and a half. the typewriter ceased to be a mere experimental model among other such models.C. like a sewing machine or a harvester. and durability. Louis and Zalmon. consenting that the machine be called the Remington. perfection of alignment. where. to be produced with the utmost strength of material. The Remingtons took hold of the typewriter with both They saw its possibilities. and. highest feasible speed. step by step." displays not only the line being written. L. They felt sure that the patent was well worth buying. To such a group of organized constructors Sholes and Densmore displayed their typewriter. but all is written. and the . The Sholes that Visible. and operate in a guide from the instant of pressing a key until its type impresses the paper. and difficult groups of experts to-day cooperate in attacking new problems. Sholes and Densmore hands. It was agreed that the machine should remain at Ilion to be improved. the least possible liability to derangement. it had It had been put together by amateur mechanics an been developed under the fire of unrelenting critic. this . it was now to undergo standardization in a great modern factory. so they bought it.

we have seen. to ladies who write their own letters. with a model of his typewriter. The same good reasons brought James H. chiefly through the perfection of its alignment. he succumbed. the market. convergent typea typewheel. Each of these surply ninety-nine per : vivors Most is suitable for some particular field of work. Good more to reasons.332 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS is machine distinctly superior to any predecessor from its inventor's hands. Then. that employ only a segment of a cylinder. against which his paper was rapped to be printed. the Hammond typewriter has found favor to that firm with a large public. embodying not typebars. Hammond. bills. He fought this fell disease most bravely for nine years. and are to teachers. signers of such machines work within limitations. are the only successful devised. or reports must be despatched every day. . execute the precise and neat work which Other machines commends itself and editors. on February 19. hundreds of different typewriters have been invented most of them now Less than twenty machines supobsolete and forgotten. asking only a fair quality of output. unaffected by the But the dejars and hazards of journeys by land and sea. 1890. and These three plans. scholars. Never stalwart in frame. but a typewheel. and type on the segment of a wheel enough. of them are adapted to ordinary duty in offices. Sholes had hardly passed his prime when his weak lungs became infected by tuberculosis. of cent. attracted Sholes and Densthe Remingtons. Its types are arranged on a rotating cylinder. Sister machines find bars. One or two machines appeal to travelers who insist upon a light and simple mechanism. modes of construction thus far Upon these three well seasoned plans. where hundreds of letters. leaving six sons and four daughters to mourn him. While the Sholes and Densmore machine was preferred by the Ilion manufacturers.

a direction opposite to that of ordinary script. We admirable in accuracy and beauty of characters. let us say. and no more. can match the legibility and compactness of a typewriter. It writes in every language of the world. continued hour after hour. typewriter with a brass platen affords as many as sixty copies from carbon A paper. electricity has been invoked to lessen the toil of manipulation which. he can take a single copy. (4) strikthese facilities have line in correct- means of retracing a ing an error. (3) at the line. simply provided . which proceeds from right to left. Typewriters have been adapted to producing musical scores. a position that a block attached struck " to the b " will print. In machines whose product is to be read by blind folk. penman. on a wet sheet of tissue paper in a letter press. No becomes fatiguing. end of a ing a bell near the end of a To line. as "b" " B" To know machine its the typewriter at its best we must will find use a standard it built for office work. including the Jewish. as it left Sholes' hands. stenographer is provided with shorthand symbols instead of ordinary letters. With similar carbon sheets a bookkeeper can at . Last of all. however skilful. engraved on When that key is key. An upper case " B " and a lower case " b " are. (7) using a shift-key so that at will one of two characters may be written by each key. is too far off to impress itself. its range and speed. Braille and other codes In an ingenious machine a replace the usual characters. means for (2) moving moving the paper lengthwise since been added: (5) hitting the paper with types at due intervals the paper a suitable space after a stroke. (6) varying the distances apart at which lines may be written. Lowering the shift-key moves the carriage into such " B " imprints itself when the key is struck. The 1 I ) typewriter.C. When he writes a letter with a pen. L. SHOLES 333 thoroughly aware that their models cannot be placed in the front rank.

so that. Operators usually demand speed. Nobody can tell from a glance at a page at what pace it was typewritten but a glance at once deWhen a machine is solidly tects any irregularity of line. certain principles of design are indispensable for Let a few of these principles be reviewed success. circular. built. These features insure good alignment. and the typebars should have a leverage as simple and rigid as possible. To-day a better method yields as many as two thousand copies. In all machines. which feat. led him Long ago typewriters entered into rivalry with printers as well as with penmen. always in evidence. ever rapid an escapement may be. cessors in one instrument unite computation with writing. and speed requires a rapid escapement. on a small rotary press. we have seen. Yet more an attachment. These and many another golden harvest are to-day reaped from machines derived from Sholes' great invention. one operation write an entry its lines for a bill. good alignment is difficult. and with more despatch: the types of the writing machine are used to cut a stencil in a film of stiff wax from which. so that they may : be printed as totals or remainders.334 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS in a sales-book. was A transferred from a typewritten sheet to a gelatine mold from which forty to fifty copies could be neatly struck off. with a swift pace. both quick operation and heavy manifolding are borne for years with little wear and tear. or a program. copies are rapidly printed in ink. This shows how two wants may oppose each other. A tabulator. elegant or solid. adds and subtracts these figures with precision. heavy or light. This recalls that Sholes first of all invented a numbering machine. keeps all the figures of an account in their proper columns. so that no machine whatever can satisfy in the highest degree every . How. it is never instantaneous. as His sucto devising his typewriter. smaller than a lady's watch. simple or intricate. controlled and duplicate by a touch. : The carriage must be strong and move firmly in its slide.

case of force of habit comes to view. dip Next to speed. and an increase in errors. and with adbeginners adopt majority note an error. except at odd But to-day the at their keys. and refer too often to their notes. no other cause. sets in early in the day. These ity to operators. and many typists became so accustomed to them that they cling to them still. machines they keep their eyes on these notes. when they work a visible machine. in all gaining ground. an operator desires ease of working. and corto thus enabled are vantage. Visible machines are steadily years. hold the field. there is at times a liabil- uneven wear. He does not always get it. causing sluggish movement of a carnage. are apt to lose somewhat of their self- With blind confidence. A But in a return to the old machine. Shift-key machines ask shorter trips from an operator's Here another fingers than machines without a shift-key. with its Yost. Most machines of the best grade are now fitted with roller-bearings. They moments when they glance rect it. Some machines are more than twice In stiff machines. and will in a few probability. Ball-bearing about introduced were 1896. typist brought up " " " Smith-Premier on a machine. Where these bearings are placed in V-shaped runways. At very quick paces there is an unavoidwant. SHOLES 335 Perfect alignment must be paid for in a slight reduction of speed. with a long play or as resistant as others. few weeks or months the operator is apt to Yet these instances grow fewer . able loss of neatness.C. to be the of fatigue keys. Blind machines came first. visible of machines. through sheer force of habit. may be induced to adopt a shift-key machine. easing the labor of carriages registered in lapses due to operation in a remarkable degree. L. which wear uniformly and give no trouble. with the minimum of trouble and delay. Operators like a quick and easy machine: their next preference is for a machine with its writing in plain sight." or a double keyboard.

all the fingers of both hands. To-day. but so of easier touch. expert operator of the " first rank keeps his eyes fixed on his copy. Practice soon heightened their speed. as the conqueror. pact. a pace may rise to 200 words a minute. the pace of working has gradually increased. so as to advertise the " Speedwell. or creates. discovers. when masAn tered. cataloguing driving their competitors from the market. and so on." never glancIn acat his ing keys. Thirty years ago beginners seldom used more than one or two fingers of the right hand. At exhibitions. When the places of these characters have become familiar. an old-fashioned machine may turn out more work in an hour than any other. two or three more characters are hidden from view. A machine as radically novel as the typewriter." let us say. may be blank. and vice versa. also. where there are frequent changes from small letters to capitals. of keyboards not only more comarranged that an operator's fingers take the hand are brought ness. so that the learner must feel for them. employing the left hand To-day touch-systems teach the use of scarcely at all. to better machines. quiring this remarkable facility the first step is to cover two or three characters with paper. in part. instructing the thumbs to move the space-bars and shift-keys. indeed. These systems. as you please. was impossible simply dropped out of the running. until the whole keyboard is blank. for example. more fingers of each into play. When the Sholes machines first appeared their operators were perforce clumsy and slow. than shortest paths possible. This is due. For most purposes shift-key machines economize time and energy. greatly promote speed. . and operators to whom speed tasks.336 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS year by year. and are better taught their busi- when typing was a novelty. which. From that time to the present hour. a round of aptitudes unimagined before its advent. and with this advantage they are In some minor and directory work.

A typist of this class may strike the keys with but one or two fingers. of New York." . day by day. from the start. or the best form to give a sentence. L. " for every beginner to learn under a competent teacher.C. but who lacks training and the literary sense. and understand. A light. or may be so familiar as to be written with much greater ease than the words of an ordinary dictation or copy. who are doubt about spelling or syntax. What means most to an employer. A lightning pace is bought too dear at the cost of many errors. so as to form only good habits. Seal. best are men and women never in Employers agree that the typists who serve of education and culture. just as in telegraphy. and yet leave far behind an operator who is master of the touch system. " It is well. SHOLES 337 But words thus shot on paper may have been committed memory. firm touch is best Opera- tors who keep time with their keys find their toil distinctly lightened." says Arthur G. all that may be done with a machine. Pupils at first are apt to strike keys too hard. is the net amount of really good work that a typist turns to out.

ELIAS DR. thousands of years before. and a horito-day. In 1790. but a Of this great invention. we have a striking example in the mechanism for stitching. With the insight of machine sewing he created features which appear in good machines genius an overhanging arm of goodly girth. day To-day we are surrounded and served by uncounted contrivances. astonished him less than the Forgetting of America. so neglect ? ingenious and Simply because efficient. zontal cloth-plate. its allowed to fall into this inventor offered people a good thing before they were ready for it. been parallel cases where not a great discovery. One inventor after another followed Saint in planning sewing machines. in 1492. Thomas of tools. Columbus arose ages after the day when explorers from Asia were America century by century their and nerve as navigators. able to find their descendants fell way away to . and pressed upon public acceptance by systems of advertisement and 338 can- . all invented within the past century or so. They lived in in what was still the while we live the era of machines. only to miss points of excellence which Saint had included in his model. And yet this had tighteners above and below its machine was virtually forgotten for sixty years. his continuous thread needle. in skill Thomas Saint patented in England a chain-stitch of capital design. until America faded out from the legends of every other conAlmost within our own time there have tinent of the seas. His intermittent feed was effective. has had its birth and a forgetting. Let us be just to the British folk of the time of Saint. OLIVER HOWE used to say that the Dis- WENDELL HOLMES covery of America. Why was this stitcher.

daughter of Klias Howe. . Cald.by Joseph Eliot.] Jane R. New York. well. owned by the late Mrs.[From the painting.


w. guides m. on the end of which was (3) a vertically reciprocating straight needle. with a post. into which a needle. /. sliding between turned by a toothed wheel. 1790 possessed (i) a horizontal cloth-plate. A looper was operated by the bent point of the spindle. on the guide-plate. o. Boston. The work was supported on a box. the same overhanging arm carried a spindle. (2) an overhanging arm. Houghton. /. [From Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary. and provision was made for varying stitches for different kinds of work. g. r. k. were secured by set-screws. c. which was engaged by a projection from an arm depending from the shaft. at each revolution of the latter. 1876. giving out its thread continuously. d. and thus form a loop. a shaft. and a needle and awl-carrier. The screw. and awl. h /. in a manner still employed in some of the chain-stitch machines. on the shaft. and moved by cams.] . served to adjust the box. and on the top of which was (4) a thread spool. e./. Copyright by Hurd & t . The machine consisted of a bed-plate. rotated by a hand-crank and carrying cams by which all the motions of the machine were obtained.and advanced by a screw. a. The needle was notched at its lower end to push the thread through the hole made by the awl. made the chain-stitch. k.ELIAS HOWE 339 SAINT'S It SEWING MACHINE. b. and had thread tighteners above and below. (5) an intermittent automatic feed between stitches. d for tightening the stitch. having a projecting arm on which was the thread spool.

patented his sewing machine in France. Four generations ago there were probably fewer than a thousand power-looms in all England. Next in rank to Thomas Saint in time and in talents is Barthelemi Thimonnier. Saint's drawing. trolleys. who. and chisels. are com- mon in households. As in the city. reinvented long afterward. mowers. in 1830. fans and vacuum sweepers. country we constantly employ and so that. gimlets. He used a crochet needle. Little marvel that Saint's stitcher was looked at askance in a world that felt no need of it. from dawn to telephones. so The at quick machine idleness. gathered dust in the British Patent Office for two generations. we neighbors of are as familiar with elaborate machinery as the Thomas Saint were with pins and needles. with multiplied seeders and cultivators. in many cases impelled by the electricity aglow in millions of our lamps. but without financial success: he died in 1857. But these designers neglected the rule which bids an inventor begin his work by a thorough survey of what other inventors have already done. Electric motors and heaters. harvesters. shellers. tailors and seamstresses who saw this work were afraid it would throw them into they mobbed Thimonnier's workroom. . evidently taken from a model. his feed included a presser-foot. during which it might have rendered inestimable service to designers. offices. whose peace and quiet it threatened to disturb. elevators bedtime. To-day every American family above the line of dire poverty has machines for sewing and washing. so in the country. and corn Both in town and and motor-cars. Seven years afterward he resumed their manufacture.340 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS vassing which have become arts taught in colleges. whose barbed point formed two hundred chain-stitches a minute. hammers. Eleven years later he had eighty of them at work on army uniforms. its and factories. and smashed his machines in pieces. telegraph.

its next descent. The chain-stitch machines of Saint.ELIAS HOWE 341 To-day a toy which executes chain-stitches like those of Thimonnier may be bought for a dollar. Its mechanism. It was only the ornamental effect that Fisher and his . involves much the same principles as sister machines more elaborate and Its one thread is carried in an eye-pointed needle costly. 1844. He patented it on December 7. First. are the essentials of a sewing mechanism. chain-stitch has two drawbacks: in the thread is followed is it unravels . reduced to utmost simplicity. As this needle rises it throws out a loop of thread. are employed to ornament dresses. of Thimonnier. Gloves. England. Chain-stitches. which descends below the cloth. Next. a chain-stitch machine is often preferred. gloves. Particularly pretty are the double chain-stitches formed by the Grover and Baker machine. The first machine of this kind was invented by John Fisher. as in sewing garments which are to be taken apart after a season's wear. which uses two threads. and then move it for- ward by a A stitch-length. importance. cushions. were stitched by this machine. of Nottingham. stitch after stitch Through this loop the needle passes in when the operation is repeated until forms a neat chain. For some purposes. which may be understood at a glance. a spring to keep the thread proper tension with a holding surface to keep the cloth motionless at the moment of stitching. and their and much an item of successors. and stitches so on. with linings. a needle to take a thread through cloth. with their a hook to form a stitch. when a break by a slight pull more thread required than in lock-stitching. have been far outdone by the lock-stitch machines of a later day. Here. so as to form a neat line of on each side. especially when the thread is costly silk. Their two threads interlace in the middle of the sewn fabric. when he was only nineteen years of age. which is seized and opened by a rotary hook. at . too.

It does not seem to have satisfied its inventor. ity. and then which would have brought him versatilless to the winning post. between 1832 and 1834.342 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS at. and bridges which enjoys vogue to this day. They missed the vastly more immachine had sewn together the leather of a glove and its lining. Whether this machine worked well or ill is not recorded. and their truss for roofs . Massachusetts. was an inventor on a less ambitious plane: he designed a spring bed and other simple aids to household comfort. and to the question. such as were deportant fact that the customers looked signed by many other ingenious men both in America and England. bearing stitches in a capital imitation. These two worthies. One would suppose that an inventor of Fisher's talent could easily have devised and added suitable feed and tension mechanisms. in a family of sturdy New Eng- land stock. He took many steps omitted the one final step toward his goal. about twenty miles from Worcester. Hunt was a man of restless and soon busied himself with inventions vastly im- portant than the sewing machine. The first lock-stitch machine was devised and built by Walter Hunt in New York. William Howe. on July 9. It was refused on the score of abandonment twenty years before. Hunt sought After the amazing victory of the Howe maa patent. 1819. Another uncle. chine. and by what steps did he arrive at his great triumph? Elias Howe was born in Spencer. through which passed the upper thread. Why did he succeed where others failed. Tyler Howe. one of these was a mill which turned out paper collars. Its lower thread was borne in a shuttle thrown within a loop formed by the needle and beneath it. Now we come to Elias Howe. endowed with an extra share of Yankee ingenuAn uncle. as he did not apply for a patent. devised a ity and gumption. At the end of a vibrating arm it held a curved needle with an eye at its point.

. who his son the same name as his senior. glazed a window. in his darkest days. a capital preparation for his One day he trued a grindstone. but. with all his hard work. native . besides this. of good sense and resourcefulness. too. he received the sterling discipline of sticking to a task. He had other traits which smoothed his finished. And. by splitting shingles. next morning he nailed shingles on a leaky roof the week afterward saw him building a corn crib. had eight children so. of all a farmer. with chums a-plenty. his harvests were scant. he received a cultivation of hand and eye. From boyhood. gave own. and he eked out a livelihood by grinding meal for his neighbors. line. whether he liked it or not. winter. unsystematic though labors it as an inventor. rearing a well sweep. Elias Howe. until that task was as long as he lived. Elias worked with and in sisters at stitching wire teeth into cards for cotton mills. As a man he was kind and sociable. and Later on he attended the village school in summer took a hand in farm work and his father's mills.him aid and comfort. which made his training. his brothers At six years of age. Early in the last century such a family as the Howes carried on some simple handicraft. lively path for purposes firmly maintained. are commemorated in their Elias Howe. .ELIAS HOWE 343 famous nephew. in which their children could take part. Day by day this observing boy saw what machinery did to lighten toil and multiply its fruit. more than mere handiness. by first He was sawing and planing lumber. with the reluctant soil of Worcester County. was. village by a handsome monument. he was deaf to dissuasion and proof against discouragement. As a boy he was and play-loving. And meantime he was acquiring. so that. and bringing from the wood lot a new prop for his mother's clothes. Elias Howe of had the unrelaxing grip a bulldog when once his mind was made up. he remained poor. and soldered a tea-kettle. he never lacked a friend to proffer .

intending to remain with him until he had thoroughly mastered the routine of planting. But young Howe suffered from a lameness which. learner's where Elias could earn much more than at Spencer. and reaping. of Harvard College. two years. so that. a manufacturer and repairer of chronometers. Howe heard of Thither he pro- ceeded. within a year. engaging himself to Ari Davis. from which he expected profits much larger. a friend told him how bright and busy a place Lowell was. with new ambition astir. have a much better time. tak- Here he remained ing charge of a hemp-carder invented by Professor TreadAs a shopmate and roommate. taking a place in a large for factory of cotton machinery. and his head was brimful of plans for other machines. At that critical age. on Cornhill. models. a task not to his mind. and So to Lowell he went. and peculiar in dress. when the panic of 1837 closed every mill in town and sent him adrift. was sixteen. He was eccentric in manner. and there found work in a machine shop. and the like. tilling. He went to Cambridge. or who brought him their experiwho wished his opinion on their place beneath the sky could have been better for our young mechanic from Spencer than this shop of What Ari Davis? . Banks. though was disabling. work in Boston at better wages. Howe had his cousin. who became a Major-General of the United States Army.344 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In his twelfth year he went to live with a farmer in the neighborhood. This continued till he slight. and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Nathaniel P. so that he did not seem to be as shrewd as he request really was. this made farm drudgery a to distress him. After a few months of pleasant hemp-carding. Often his judgment was in by inventors mental schemes. Davis had invented a dovetailing machine which had brought him some profit. surveying instru- ments. he returned home to resume work in his father's mills. well.

springs and weights. " " I can make a sewing said Davis it can. at work every day. From the time he had played as a boy in his father's mills he had observed the uses of pawls and ratchets. and binnacles." Well. on time-pieces. And these elements he must . levers and cams. When but it can't be done. and you will have an independent fortune. you do it. spinningframes. and ment over the current of his life was changed. ground as he thus quietly resolved He had shown ingenuity in adapting From Davis himself. and improving instruments for Davis's customers. and power-looms at work and under repair. he had practice at his fingers' ends. " " machine myself." He built solid upon his great task." responded his caller. " a sewing machine ? make don't machine you why ting . In skill and quickness Howe was surpassed by more than one of his shopmates. sanguine as to the future." replied his visitor. and should be improved or supplanted. so that his memory was a storehouse from which to draw the ele- ments of a sewing machine. : HOWE who was his 345 trying to in- a caller model had been duly " do said Davis Why you bother with a knitinspected. yes.ELIAS One morning Davis had vent a knitting machine. he had caught the conviction that most tools and machines are faulty and slow. as he was. disrespectful as to the past. mechanical was ignorant of mechanical philosophy. said. and he always said that he never studied the abstract prinBut if he ciples which underlie mechanical construction." Oh. as they actuated clockwork and other simple machinery." could. In the workshops of Lowell and Cam- bridge he had for years together seen lathes." Howe I " wish " I . the sooner the better. from that moAs he brooded he " what Davis had be the carelessly thought : I may man upon to invent that sewing machine and win a fortune. overheard this as he sat nearby. theodolites.

be true. in his attempt was an utter failure. indeed. Heiltions. Jerdan once saw a tailor-bird watch a garment-sewer until for a moment he rose from his bench. At once it seized a few bits of cotton thread from the floor. and a placid Quakerly face. says James Parton. one after another. in the middle of a needle. his wife. in 1829. or. Shreds of wool or silk. and flew off with them in triumph. and this It had to support himself. duly threaded. the fact was toil all to say that he disliked unneces- of any kind. he passed by pincers through two thicknesses of it cloth. machine.346 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS carefully choose. and three children. as he watched his wife plying her needle on a seam. that time. that pressed him to turn to all His labor at possible account such ingenuity as in him lay. At first could be worked to and fro without reversal. vegetable fibers or even the spinnings of spiders serve as thread. Dr. and skilfully combine as a compact effective unit. Supposing this to in his favor.* : now and In physique Howe was not robust his strength was of the brain rather than of the body. The : stitches were so irregular that day. After brooding four years on the talk he had overheard in 1843. in his embroidering machine. he imitated her moLong before this. the question flashed " Is it necessary that a machine should sew with upon him *The tailor-bird of India uses its bill in sewing leaf to leaf for a nest. was so tiring that when he was uncushioned poverty reached home he was sometimes too exhausted to eat. Yet this man with a soft eye. Layard describes a nest sewn from a dozen oleander leaves with cocoa-nut fiber. Howe made such a needle which. began to build his sewing he took a wrong track. so that an mann had pierced eye at Davis's shop. for what is Invention but the wise abridging or abolishing of toil ? And we must remember that Davis paid him only nine dollars a week. One 1844. . His comrades were wont sary toil. Mr. had a sagacity that served him much better than mere shrewdness would have done. and went to bed longing to stay there for ever and ever. Howe.

for their chain-stitch machine. devices he had to invent were chiefly a shuttle duly laden with a lower thread. but he wished something better. for they were not uncommon. He was wise in thus choosing a loom-stitch where one thread interweaves itself firmly with another and yet. fixed in a which it never leaves. lessons. in Howe adopted this and united with it a shuttle such as had clacked around him in looms all his life. Howe at this time at was no longer his in the employ of Davis it : he was could work on and own account. On imagined a lock-stitch machine. with promise of in plan and workman- . and embarked on the labor of giving it form and substance. First." failure stitch from This thought was the turning-point which divided success. giving every moment he spare to his model. that a thread how a needle. may vibrate at a pace duly Second. . it He completed toward the close of sewed a better fairly sewing ship. when below its cloth. and the means to throw this shuttle at proper intervals through loops of an upper thread. when he turned his back on chain-stitch machines it was only after they had taught 1841. Howe Long Such needles had been adopted by Walter Hunt in 1840. and save thread from undue friction. before he was born. how a simple mechanism may be timed so needle. wholly original.ELIAS the HOWE No . him two golden holder varied. 1844. expands one loop of The new for the admission of a second such loop. and had been patented in England by Newton and Archbold. though sewn by sinews of brass and steel. 347 there same motions as a human hand ? may be an- other kind of stitch than that wrought by a seamstress. so as to shorten their paths. quite as serviceable. It is likely that he had seen chain- to build machines. thatchers and lacemakers had pierced their needles with eyes near their points. eye-pointed needle. There is no reason to believe that Hunt's contrivances ever lines came under his notice. still when improved good seam.

but could do nothing. this windfall was still warm in his pocket. and now Fisher was prevailed upon to become a the means for bread partner with Howe in his great project of a sewing machine. a half share therein to be Fisher's property. as a fire had destroyed the palm-leaf machine and swept away all his earnings. went to live at his father's house. dollar in his pocket. Many a time had he heard Howe's confident hopes of triumph and fortune. Fisher tools. installing his lathe in a attic. And where were for such an outlay to come from. Howe took up low-studded his quarters with Fisher. For a long time nobody but Fisher shared Howe's " I was hopes of victory. a He had recently come into a legacy. and while Howe was perfecting his model. Elias. with a view to economy. As Elias Howe from day to day proceeded with his model.348 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Howe's father at this time was living in Cambridge. Fisher once testified in court the only one of his neighbors and friends who had any : confidence in the success of his invention. During the next few months he worked at little else than his to sewing machine. Early in 1844. Howe was gen- . where he was cutting palm leaves into strips for hats on a machine invented by his brother William. George Fisher. Fisher was to receive the Howe family into his house as guests . he was in the humor to take up any promising speculation. he clearly saw that his design would miss a fair test if his model were not built with the same precision as a clock. setting up a lathe so as to execute any odd jobs that might be offered him. junior. was was to adv*ance $500 toward buying materials and If the machine proved worthy of a patent. and as fuel dealer. exciting his neighbors remark that he was simply wasting his time. when money was frequently lacking? Just then a friend came to his rescue. His odd jobs were so few that often the inventor was without a His father was anxious to help him.

D. clothes for Fisher. L. and another suit for himself. Let plies us look at its construction : an overhanging arm. for what is one inventor as compared with all other inventors? And many new devices which never entered the head of Elias Howe have been added to his model during the past But at this hour no successful sewing machine sixty years. B.ELIAS erally HOWE 349 the kind. Through the side and extremity of this arm works a shaft. Howe labored steadily at his machine. mechanism was to the point where it advanced forming sewed with evenness and smoothness. yet garments cloth. actuates the lever. A firm base. Q. in every In July it sewed a suit of essential feature. The needle arm. b. . G. in freedom from debt to Howe's design of 1845. instead of giving form to conceptions which were as yet conceptions only. This picturing faculty had the happy effect that Howe was not delayed by a single misfit as part By April. Within less than a month Howe finished his model. C. and the baster or feed-plate. carries spool. driven by hand at E. These were of their outstitches strong material. The thread for the top stitch is taken continuously from the A. So clear and vivid was his imagination that he seemed to be copying a model as it stood before him. through a spring. J. 1845. The needle works through the cloth at c. work so that the plate moves the cloth forward one stage at the completion of every stitch. d. was complete. H. screwed upon the sleeve. a. which is caused to vibrate backwards and forwards by means of the cam. The cam I. in lasted the Howe's original Every contrivance model has since his day been bettered or transmuted. the stitchjoined part week after week. and his invention. to which is attached the fly-wheel. and regarded as visionary in undertaking anything of I was thought foolish to assist him. The shuttle is driven by a rod." During the winter of 1844-45. and fed to the curved needle. F. The cloth is carried upon pins. P.

THE FIRST HOWE SEWING MACHINE tion of the hand-wheel. vibrates. vertically carrying the needle into and out of the cloth at each revoluThe cloth to be sewn is suspended by pins on the edge of its baster plate. on being connected with this.350 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS which action gives a rocking motion to the short shaft. O. H. and the needle arm. which .

least happy element in Howe's machine. This limitation was soon overcome by the inventors who took up Howe's machine where he left it. steel all this repeated triumph of brass and over fingers of flesh and blood. Greenough in 1842. There was a vein of sport in him. and responded to queries with his May morning smile. To Howe let us return. Visitors were astonished to watch him sew 250 perfect stitches in a minute. said with united breath. and improved it This feed was the A superior feed.ELIAS HOWE 351 has holes engaging with the teeth of a small pinion which moves intermittently. and pass upon its merits and faults. in every feature. For two weeks Howe sewed for all comers. nobody took any real Yet for . chosen for their speed. he invited a tailor from Boston to Cambridge to use the machine. enough pace only his seam to be the best of competitors they acknowledged . the tailoring brotherhood would soon be reduced to beggary. Bringing his machine to the Quincy Hall Clothing Factory. When he had improved his de- vices for tension. the six. tailors. were certain that no machine work could be so strong they " and even as hand stitching. and was included in his through-andthrough sewing machine patented in that year. To the proof. No." quoth Howe. a pace at least sevenfold that of handwork. he sat in front of it and sewed seams in any garment handed to him. in wheel form. to did he surpass his and not in win. was invented by John J. Howe's feed was restricted to a straight line. The tailor declined his invitation: he believed that if Howe's expectations were fulfilled. Howe then canvassed other whom he besought to test his invention. Their objections were manifold. and it came out as he pitted his stitcher against a united band of five young He was ungallant seamstresses. so as to stitch with neatness and uni- formity. they. Greenough's wheel-feed allowed cloth to be sewn in any direction whatever.

faster. Howe heard a great many its Ah's and Oh's as he shot his needle cloth. as the law then required. entailing an out- lay of $9. so that only part of a coat or waistcoat could be stitched. Your objector said and quilts. having straight sewing. pointed to shirt manufacturer on a large Howe's chief obstacle. 1846.000. At the outset of his experiments. $300. in alluding to the high cost of the machine.000 to $12. One candid " We are doing well enough as we are. By the model was his of new that finished. most sheets labor. it. . interest in To borrow a phrase from the economists. Howe was not disheartened by the cool reception accorded He saw what its economy meant. its price has steadily fallen. fact of dispensing with : machine is costly to buy and to keep in order. following spring. while the sewing machine has been immensely improved. Since then. no effective demand was in evidence. second model. in manufacturing Howe's machine saved shirts and skirts. its baster to straight lines. if nobody his machine. a good deal of money in those days. Howe rejoiced when he could sew 250 To-day the pace may be fourteen times and the one check on still higher speed is the undue heating of needles. stitches a minute. putting aside all other tasks. and he was unshaken in his faith that it would yet him fame and fortune. A scale might need thirty to forty machines. Then this very much labor was turned against Howe by employers. they never gave could see. Its his machine another thought.352 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Howe's invention. so far as he fault plate limited most serious seams was often pointed out. toiled at this machine. to be lodged in the Patent Office at WashFor three months he ington. He forthwith began to build a bring else did." There is no good reason why we should bother with This man. therefore. but swiftly through when his visitors departed. who feared trouble with their work people if they adopted his sewing machine.

beyond vocal Howe claims were to provoke. As Amasa clicked out his seams Thomas candidly expressed his admiration. Fisher agreed to pay all expenses of securing a patent. eliciting the its encouragement. who embarked for London in tories than October. In Fisher's despair Howe refused to join. or to pay the fees at the Patent Office. where. he found in Cheapside the shop of corsets. . To earn a little money. wares for the most part stitched in straight lines. or even hire a machine. 1846. For the time being he again took shelter under the roof of his good old father. and umbrellas.000. including the cost of a visit to Washhis Without a day's delay. Soon after his arrival. But something must be done. A few weeks of this drudgery and exposure prostrated him. a patent for the sewing machine was duly sealed. on a large scale. Not the remotest possibility did he see of being repaid advances which to him were large. At home once more in Cambridge. He bade good-by to the footboard. he ran a locomotive on the Boston and Albany Railroad. Howe went empty away. including peras he pleased. England had larger facAmerica : why not offer the machine in England? Howe decided to send a machine to London. In the following August. Howe and Fisher went to ington. At Washdisplayed his stitcher at a fair. Amasa. on September icth. at a swift pace. William Thomas. with no augury of the pro- longed legal battles ington. Its issue was a piece of quiet and unmarked routine. in charge of his brother. usual expressions of wonder. shoes. He bought the machine for mission to use as many more machines 250 ($1. so that. retaining to the end of days a lively recollection of its exhausting demands. as a steerage passenger in a sailing packet.ELIAS HOWE 353 but he had no cash for a journey to Washington. who manufactured. the national capital. But nobody wanted to buy the machine.217). Fisher's disappointment was outspoken. amounting to $2.

354 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS at liberty to patent the invention Thomas. The main branch of Thomas's business was corset-making. a sum which soon vanished in the payment of debts long standAs America still had its back turned to his invention. setting up in their quarters a small cookstove. which he never fulthe inventor three pounds ($14. where they arrived ten weeks afterward. to ten he desired that Elias chine. Amasa posted to Cambridge with this offer. was in England. furthermore. Charles Inglis. Inglis was a coachmaker. But now. He did When more: he advanced Howe enough cash to bring his wife and children to England. who had become acquainted with strange city: his wife . taking Elias his 250. it was certain here to win its buyer a hand" " some fortune. Howe handed Thomas a machine perfectly adapted to corset-making. and for this work England. ing. What next ? Thomas " replied : You are to execute miscellaneous re- His tone was so haughty that the sensitive Yankee pairs.60) for every in He For years Thomas received on the machines he sold: on pounds royalties up a these he never paid Howe penny. he had a friend to help him. they reached London. If the sewing machine entered no other field than this. fully equipped with materials and tools. to pay machine sold gave a verbal promise. only to be dismissed on the spot. Thomas installed them in a workshop. so as to leave their few dollars unbroached. filled. the brothers embarked for London. At the end of eight months' diligent labor." resented it. while three children needed her constant care. Howe accepted Thomas's proposal. 1847. as in every other dark hour of his life. although this man. Howe was in a distressing plight he was penniless in a : was out of health. was almost as poor as himself. offering a would come Howe should specially adapt a masalary of three pounds a week if he to London for the purpose. When Howe asked Thomas. In February.

Charles Inglis. so that Howe found his task prolonged far beyond the term he had at first assigned it. he received little more than fifty shilHis only customer was a poor workman who lings for it. he drew his baggage on a hand cart to the ship. began to build his fourth machine. but what of that? On his homeward voyage he had heard that work was a-plenty in New York and so it proved. For his own fare across the Atlantic. Again he descended to the steerage. his From room expenses to the lowest notch or abanhis little flat of three rooms he in the removed to one Even in this saving did not suffice. where. For two years past she had suffered from consumption. This wretched proffer Howe was obliged to accept. and was now : . He found employment at once in a machine shop and at good wages. where they could live at less cost than London. This machine. at the end of four months' labor. now fast approaching completion. with a few borrowed he tools. offered him five pounds in the form of a promissory note. in the It next bunk. To pay his debts. Although Howe priced it at fifty pounds ($243). He had only sixty cents in his pocket. selling the note for four pounds. As the task went forward day by day. improvements suggested themselves. Howe looked to the sale of his machine. cheapest district of Surrey. so he managed to send his family to America. and his fare to New precious York. and had taken a to him. with his partner in distress.ELIAS HOWE warm 355 liking Howe small at Thomas's factory. He enabled the unfortunate inventor to hire a room as a workshop. he had to pawn his letters patent and his first machine. was a sunshiny morning in early April when Elias Howe landed in New York and walked up Broadway from the Battery. stood finished at last. He had barely settled down at his bench when he received sad news from his wife. To save sixpence. He had to choose between bringing doning his work.

LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Howe received ten dollars from him to reach his wife's bedside in time to say farewell. they took charge of his motherless children and bade him be of good cheer. Although he had then hardly a dollar of his own. with a face as wrinkled and haggard as if ten years had passed few days later A his father.000 miles away. they highly esteemed He was soon at work again as a his skill as a mechanic. on a reef of Cape Cod. Howe's utter misery moved his old friends to compassion. but not under his name. Howe's natural cheeriness was now quenched. At her funeral the stricken husband appeared in decent garments of black which he had borrowed from his brother-in-law: his own wardrobe held nothing beyond a frayed working-suit. to their cost. these thieves drop their plunder. that his sewing machine had become famous. resolved He taught them. he was able to command the dollars of a friend who At the outset of his believed in him and in his machine. When his battles were at an end. bench one day he learned. While his neighbors poohpoohed his inventiveness. to hide their theft. to Howe. legal battles. pirates had stolen his his At invention. to his astonishment. this enabled since his return to America. The ship bearing his household furniture was wrecked. he make was one of the most formidable suitors who ever entered a courtroom. To his great affliction a minor misfortune added itself. During his absence in London. masking its essential features so as. Howe was a journeyman. if possible. journeyman machinist. poor though he was. with no immediate prospects of ever being anything else. with his original model and his patent pledged for debt 3. on its way from England. that for all his mild and easy-going ways. and a great national industry was paying him a fortune every year as royalty. He was heartbroken. his patent was acknowledged as basic.356 dying. But in the meantime he underwent a struggle that all but .

after the manner of suits then and now. Massachusetts. sewed gaiters. This was Isaac Morton Singer. in the closing months of 1850. and came gallantly to his rescue again and again. a severe test of their strength and was shown at the Castle Garden Fair: it precision. he felt sure. senior. they pantaloons. Bliss. offered him the best base for his operations. much the it ^ ablest and most formidable was a man who began his career as an actor and theatrical manager. improvements on Howe's original model. where they sewed bootlegs. Of Howe's opponents in and out of court. Thus Howe was not only the inventor of the modern sewing machine.ELIAS HOWE 357 overwhelmed him. and to promote its sale where he could. to be secured by a mortgage on the farm of Howe. with all his faith and entertack upon them. Other machines went to Worcester. if the sewing machine proved a success. He required his loan a man was prise. and break ground for the legion of demonstrators and canvassers who soon entered the field. to open a small shop in Gold Street. This was granted. so thither he removed. Two machines at a Broadway clothier's gave equal satisfaction. he was the first to introduce to manufacturers. were as fast as waistcoats and proffered. who patented. It was because Howe's father had unfaltering confidence in his son. In the following autumn one of them . that Elias Howe came to victory His suits went forward slowly from stage to stage. and advised the best line of atBut Bliss. so that the inventor had abundant leisure to exhibit his machine when he pleased. and sold his half interest in the sewing machine to George W. at last. There. he built fourteen machines. in 1851. of extreme caution. As a promising speculation he advanced the cash necessary to pursue the infringers of Howe's patent. New York. it would yield a vast income to its owner. Singer's needle moved vertically . First came the pang when his friend Fisher bade him good-by. This new partner felt certain that.

Each factory makes what it can make to advantage. he canvassed and exhibited.358 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS he replaced a hand-wheel by a he adopted Greenough's roughened wheel-feed. He was a man cordially hated by his rivals. Scotland. and the next year upon lining men and women. where repairs could be promptly executed at small expense. On lines many years ago projected by Singer. ex- instead of horizontally: treadle : ter tended through a slot of his table. limelights. legal. exchanging part of its output with sister concerns. and printer's ink. He advertised and placarded. : where buyers were instructed. He was wise in choosing associates. But it was neither as an inventor nor a borrower of inventions that Singer shone it was as a business To him incomparably more than to anybody organizer. a device distinctly betthan Howe's baster-plate. One year. In the factory at Bridgeport. the principal sewing machine factories of the globe are to-day united at one center in New York. corps of Clydebank. he established agencies under central control. . A inventors are kept busy the year round in adapting machines to new duties. located at Singer. special attention may be bethe hats of stowed upon embroidering.000 hands. He thus abolished the cost and risk of selling to merchants on credit. employs 12. he made it feasible to present the whole world at a stroke with a new type of machine. His experience on the stage and in the box office had taught him how to use He knew how brass bands. The largest of these factories. with any new accessory of real merit. lessons the and of cirmanagement transportation many cuses could teach the chieftains of war and industry. else is due the awakening of the civilized world to the immense value of sewing machines. he : And more arranged exciting contests widely reported in the press. mechanical. presser-foot ing spring. He revived Thimonnier's hold to to down which he added a yieldcloth. commercial. but in their hearts they had to respect him.

that in 1834 Walter Hunt." But where was CHAIN-STITCH LOCK-STITCH court? Street Hunt's machine to be found. the in existence. what we already know. of New York. He heard. original mainspring of vast system. applied for a patent on his sewing machine. and his want of a little courage and persistence had lost him one of In 1854. evening. Hunt the great prizes of the nineteenth century. it was refused . one came. had invented a machine which produced a lock-stitch by means of an eye-pointed needle and a recipro" " Howe was second Then. and why he had never While its applied for a patent on this machine was plain. in the field. Its unfortunate creator was a Mr.ELIAS Connecticut. but neither its inventor nor any one else could sew a stitch with it. Hunt's machine was carefully cleaned and repaired. cating shuttle. upon news that cheered him greatly. had taken out scores of patents. mechanism came near to efficiency." said Singer. and his patent is worthless. from his first sight of a Howe machine was convinced of In seeking to invade Howe's patent he its immense value. Hunt. so as to be producible in It lay as rubbish in a workshop in that very Gold where stood Howe's premises. in his time. it just missed efficiency. is HOWE is 359 the a museum of sewing machines which this most complete Singer. Ready-to-halt.

This purchase was effected just as public indifference was thawing. . and when eight years of his patent had expired. Bliss. decided that is the and defendant's machine is valid. (Howe's) patent an infringement. Judge The plaintiff's Sprague. Mr. for the time beFortune now ing. conferred on the public by the invention of the sewing machine. But the peace then ruling the sewing machine industry could not last long in the presence of so broad a stream of gold pouring into Howe's coffers. To the man who took the trouble to bring his invention to a practical success. Both Hunt and Howe were familiar with eye-pointed needles. Each inventor joined these cardinal elements in a machine which. become sole owner of his patent.360 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS Court after court listened on the ground of abandonment. This cloud had a the inventor's royalties were small. Howe. always deciding in favor of Howe. for all the benefit ." This judgment was rendered nine years after Howe's machine was built. Leading manufacturers first . arose in a floodtide which soon swept Howe safely out of the shoals and shallows.000. and when. and with shuttles which interwove one thread with another. who owned half the patent. In 1854. with him. was original. impartially to his plea. that leaves the " There is no evidence in the case shadow of a doubt that. and Howe was able to buy his share at a low figure. in which all the adducible evidence was presented. and thus. where he had been buffeted so His income mounted by leaps and bounds from a long. hundreds few a year to more than $200. of Massachusetts. about this time passed away. as much as a million would be to-day. Theirs was a remarkable case of the same invention occurring independently to more than one mind. Howe's rivals had dropped their arms. was awarded the palm. for the first time. the public is indebted to Mr. golden lining. after a long trial against an infringer. . Even with all judicial decisions in his favor.

every exported machine. and loud were the threats In hotelof disaster hurled by each camp in succession. was one dollar. who have remodeled American in" In Albany to-day are assembled the men Said he dustry. . wherever sold. who kept his head cool and his His professional experience had taught him clear. felt him- The peacemaker was blessed self to be wholly blameless. and imprecations issued from unguarded One party to the fray was an eminent lawyer of New lips. with success. that the demands of clients are not always free from humWithout knowing it. Every machine sold in America was to pay Howe $5. $i. lobbies." vivor of that conference remembers one cause which contributed to the success of this sagacious plea.ELIAS HOWE " 361 rebelled against paying him further tribute. who control the sewing machine manufacture of the globe. George Gifford. he was a forerunner of the modern trust magnates. These " " " extorand combination gentry raised an outcry about unand its hollow of soon but tion. Howe's patent being recognized as fundamental by the twenty-four assembled licensees." grew weary they echoed sound. licensees Howe's patent was renewed thenceforward machines.The threatened battle never came off. mind bug. Howe was now a rich man at last. Many a new patent bore an unmistakable filial resemblance to an old patent still in force. however vehement. York. Even the most just man of them all did not wish his record unveiled and attacked in open court. and he frankly en- . : In 1861. faces were flushed with anger. the suits of these complainants were New York. ante-chambers of justice itself. No accuser of others. his royalty for All taxed themselves heavily to prosecute infringers. to be tried at Albany. in the Early in 1856." and among themselves they had endless quarrels as to alleged infringe- ments. and they A surwill find vastly more profit in peace than in war. : Let them join hands instead of shutting their fists.

which. who was born in Willet. that he conceived the idea of a sewing machine.362 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS His generous soul was rejoiced bestowing goodly gifts upon his kindred and friends. It was in 1847. With many a his credit. He was elected Colonel. or who loved his country with anything less than his whole heart. he declined the honor. baled. by other inventors. he was regimental postmaster. in battle could not possibly have been sewn by hand. 1824. More than aught else his heart was gladdened by an opporHe had seen. serving faithfully until his health gave way. New York. He had never seen such a thing. Wilson. on a Howe machine. in camp near Baltimore. requiring 50. cartridge-boxes and shoes. where he was a journeyman cabinetmaker. Cortlandt County. during a brief stay at Adrian. and presented each officer with a horse. and. Elias Howe might well have excused himself ness. That machine was destined soon to be radically improved. One afternoon. Massachusetts. Within twenty-three hours the bags were cut from train their cloth. For some weeks. riding to and from the city every day with mail bags sewn. with tunity to render a service to the nation. and shipped on an express service like this to southward bound. sensible man that he was. sewn. A few months later he removed to Pittsfield. on October 18. quickened pulse. within the time-limits of joyed his good fortune. and in some features wholly supplanted. we may be sure.000 sandbags for field defenses. Michigan. He organized the Seventeenth Regiment of Connecticut. especially in view of his lameBut he was not a man who dealt in excuses. Of these men the most remarkable was Allen B. from enlisting as a soldier. at three a telegram reached New York from the War Dethis despatch be cited: partment at Washington. even in a picture or a diagram. his machine provide Union troops with millions of uniforms and haversacks. . taking a place in the ranks as a private. Let an example of o'clock. tents and sails.

Adams.ELIAS HOWE 363 where. he resolved to replace it. the same general plan tion. He found a friend in his employer. Wilson was an acute critic of his own contrivances. feed had the great merit of permitting a seam to take any line whatever. and he had none of a machinist's But by the end of the following March he had built tools. so that his model might be built when the day's work was over. iron. at an operator's This was effected by a toothed bar moved to pleasure. toward the close of 1848. which it moved onward at proper intervals by the forward tion inclination of its teeth. that of 1849. and. The following May. he completed his drawings. to the delight of their owners and all Pittsfield. curved. straight. 1850. the day on which Isaac M. where he built a second machine on as the first. or crooked. during the brief time before the needle was withdrawn. thus improved. He included a two-motion feed. It was. Next. with a rotating hook suggested in chain-stitch machines. and with better construc- This served as his model in obtaining a patent on November 12. an invention of prime importance. he replaced his two-motion feed with a segmental screw device. which led him to devise afterward his four-motion Wilson's original feed. if possible. His new machine. who allowed him the free run of his shop at night. as his shuttle gave him much trouble. and fro horizontally in constant contact with the cloth. rough in its workmanship. and a two-pointed shuttle which made a stitch at every moforward and backward. Singer received a patent for his first sewing machine. It receded while its cloth was held in position by the needle. Wilson was not a machinist. Wilson's design included an eye-pointed needle. but it neatly stitched several dress waists. and brass. every part of his model with his own hands. found Wilson at North Massachusetts. of course. 1851. Next came the task of carrying out his plans in wood. Wilson experimented constantly . was patented on August 12.

and earned fortunes for its inventor and his assigns. This machine displayed a device which became quite as famous as the rotary hook. which he patented on June 15. The feeding-bar first rose so as to bring its roughened surface in contact with the underside of the cloth it then moved horizontally forward . he did not patent it until December 19. a stitch-length. Above the cloth moved a yielding presser-plate. In its latest WILSON'S ROTARY HOOK IN FOUR PHASES OF FORMING A STITCH model it consisted of a serrated bar which.364 THE WORLD'S LEADING INVENTORS with a new stitch-forming mechanism. although Wilson described it promptly enough. The serrated upper surface original of this bar worked through an opening in the table upon which was laid the cloth to be sewn. then it . which for many years had all but universal vogue. strange to say. yet. and at last perfected a rotary hook. This was his four-motion feed. and carried the cloth along. by means of cams. and a vertical up-and-down motion. 1854. 1852. had a horizontal to-and-fro movement.

so as to leave the Finally. but of factories and central power stations. milling cutter with its wonderful the Blanchard lathe. It is the rotary hook which to-day makes feasible a speed of roller. we may imagine. the steadiest of steam motors. so that the only limit to further celerity is the heat created by friction on needles as smooth as glass. At first.500 stitches in a minute. And the engine which actuates a huge propeller is more and more frequently a steam turbine. soon rotary designs took the field. Wilson formed a partnership with Nathaniel Wheeler. while it everywhere yields smooth running instead of a wasteful and damaging vibration. in favor of rotary screws and revolving paddle-wheels. Wilson brought stitching machines from first. were the first crude imitations of the galley-slave they have disappeared even from museums. which lightens the floors not only of steamships.ELIAS descended below the cloth free HOWE 365 level of the table. completing its cycle. assuring its acceptance for households throughout the civilized world. Of kin to that early and almost as useful. the second rank to the doubtless began with the very dawn of human ingenuity. taking the step which divides continuous motion from motion interrupted and reversed. the triumph. plied the keystone for the arch of sewing mechanism. Oars dipped into water. it returned to its original This four-motion feed supposition. in and promise of a wheel. It was an inestimable saving of toil when a round log. the and rotary planer. are the circular saw. burdens too heavy for human shoulders were dragged on the ground. In devising a rotary hook to take the place of a shuttle driven to and fro. from contact. offspring. clear prophecy . by way of a was placed between the burden and the earth. to hold it forever. Early dynamos and motors were reciprocating. a . throb after throb. 3. The advances in which his revolving hook marked a stride.

This was in 1855. Connecticut. . embroider. on April 29. He kept asking himself tures its " : What takes place after the needle puncthis question cloth " ? For months glimmered down. Flying the temptation. first. Gibbs. at first. Only once has a sewing machine been born in America outside the New England States. when James A.3 66 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS man of ability and integrity. Connecticut. weighed him and he thought out the revolving hook which enchains the stitches in a Wilcox & Gibbs machine. but hem and gather. all executed as speedily as plain sewing. 1888. He re. and Gibbs puzzled his brains to imagine the unpictured devices which formed the stitch. Virginia. Soon a Howe machine could not only stitch. he was gratified by seeing his machine adapted to many diverse tasks. He died in Woodmont. so that Gibbs had. Shortly afterward they State. To-day the successors led the procession. fold and braid. with a goodly income as the reward of his unique devices. and make buttonholes. Wilson's talents lay solely in the field of invention business had little attraction for him. a farmer of Millpoint.500 hands as Factory Number Ten of the Singer circuit. There. who manufactured hardware at Watertown. have been repeatedly enlarged. But this hook had to be part- nered with Howe's eye-pointed needle. let us return to the man who While he still enjoyed a fair measure of health and activity. and with Wilson's four-motion feed. They now accommodate 1. It would take a very big book to recite the achievements of other inventors in this broad and fruitful field of sewing devices. All that the illustration showed was the upper mechanism. in the same Their premises. E. one evening noticed in the Scientific American a picture of a sewing machine. At last light in his brain. Elias Howe. Mr. tired from the firm of Wheeler & Wilson in 1853. removed small at to Bridgeport. Wheeler & Wilson first produced their sewing machines. to pay seven dollars in tribute as he equipped each of his machines.

it this was fatiguing. cents each. little else than a recreation. Many labor-savers have of late years found their way into American homes. drapery for windows and the motion was imparted by treadles. else. A To-day. gave rise to serious maladies. treadles were was found that. Clothing for women cheap to shirts. women. in its quick output men. the plain sewing of a family becomes. with an electric month. which now offers as carefully patterned finished raiment as made-to-order clothes were. this machine despatches their seams in onetenth the time required of old. In those sensible households where clothing and like.ELIAS of his machines darn and and. a generation since. A seldom of the plainness of these century ago it may have required a month is sew a lady's outfit for a year's wear. in the HOWE 367 astonishing neatness. has created and of garments for the ready-made clothing business. from which the best paper was manufactured. with dependence on steam-power. table continue plain and simple. as one elaborate motor. yet that machine remains the most important of them all. an operator could turn out one-fourth more work. and children. were mainly derived from his cuttings. The sewing machine. to take places beside the sewing machine. and abolished as soon as In factories. In some towns and . cost but very weaver. thanks to Howe. a manufacturer in New Englittle land sold vast quantities of unlaundered shirts at fifty His profits. a knife mend with manufacture of shoes and much is trims as its away seam the superfluous edge of leather or lining as fast sewn. Where wiser counsels prevail. For a good many years its linen. estimated at forty dollars a day. undergarments more than their cloth as delivered by the few years ago. To-day that lady's great-granddaughter may want a seamstress at a swift ma- chine to keep busy for that same garment is added to another.

In 1859 her father had his portrait painted by Joseph Eliot. died in New York in Her mother. by that operation was difficult to master. to enjoy its rewards only a few years. Caldwell remembered how her father was wont to go about his house all day with a shuttle in his hand. . died when August. Caldwell. Mrs. and the other half in factories. Caldwell's home in the Borough of the Bronx. he and nobody else would have created for his machine many an improvement now bearing the names of men whom he instructed and inspired. he passed away on October This 3d. Mrs. at the early age of forty-eight years. electricity costs only cities of the one-quarter of a cent for a horse-power running one hour. It was usually imagined. its adoption by families. even in his youth. and the price good 1867. ten miles from the City Hall of New By her courtesy this portrait has been reproduced for these pages. machine had fallen of a to $55. To-day one-half the sewing machines are busy in households. daughter. York. Suppose that the current to drive a machine is one-eighth of a horse-power: at that price a sewing machine may be impelled thirty-two hours for a single cent. after a short illness. days. gift upon The hardships of his protracted struggle undermined a conIt was the stitution never robust. of Albany: it had the place of honor in Mrs.368 THE WORLD'S LEADING INVENTORS United States and Canada. In the summer of 1867 he developed Bright's disease at his daughter's house in Brooklyn. and there. Elizabeth Ames. It is certain that. Jane R. the cost of a machine was so high that In his early Howe hardly expected too. one hour an intelligent in woman could learn to work it rapidly. who bestowed so great a the world. Caldwell was but seven years of age. fate of Elias Howe. had he lived to the allotted span of human life. thinking about new tension devices and the like. 1912. Mrs. And yet.


Philadelphia.[From Photograph by F. Gutekunst.] .

TILGHMAN SMALL group of educated men who have its inventors. competency of fortune inin- enabled him to develop these ideas with unflagging ardor throughout a long terest in his life. the toil of research and construction is a joy to him. a surgeon. Hobby riding by ordinary lives. rather with gain as this type than as a matter of professional quest goal. but as his career. From the mo" " ment when this justice led Charles I. This Tilghman signed the famous petition asking that justice be done to one Charles Stuart. an ardent follower of Cromwell. The of centuries.BENJAMIN A an C. to become. of PhilaHis independence and vigor of mind brought and his him to ideas wholly original. thoroughly equipped amateur of A delphia. General Tilghman was a reserved and quiet gentleman of the old school. Holloway Court. and a joy which is heightened as his work confers boons and benefits upon his fellow men. who died in 1463 on his EngSixth from lish estate. him in the direct line was another Richard Tilghman. like his commander. who entered the British Navy under Admiral Blake. so averse from publicity that his achievements have never attracted the attention they richly merit. a man of Danish blood. to the scaffold. the grasp of Cromwell upon England became insecure. was General Benjamin Chew Tilghman. have been pioneered new paths in response to instinct. high in rank. no little cheer and refreshment to their men adds When a man of General Tilghman's ability chooses invention not as a hobby. He had the prime impulse an intense dispensable to any great success whatever work. His high breeding and personal dignity were the heritage He traced his descent from Richard Tilghman. 369 . near Rochester.

he was summoned from his seat in Congress to preside at the State Convention in Annapolis. 1776. Matthew. the last survivor of the men who signed the great document. was born their third child. an eminent lawyer of Philadelphia. Carroll signed the died in 1832. was Benjamin Tilghman. in his ninety-sixth year. or maiming at the When . and where he built the Hermitage as his manor-house. and just II. One of them. who. and Tilghman and were openly flouted as regicides. William becoming Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. lost him in a thoroughfare nearby. where he acquired lands on Charles River in is now Queen Anne County. in vain. On October 26. came within an ace of signing the He was a delegate from When Maryland when Independence was under consideration. before his son Charles came man and what his family emigrated to to the throne. His descendants usually chose the bar as their profession. of Carrollton. was three years old his family lived in Walnut posite Independence Hall. while out shopping. worthy of the galEleven years after the beheading of the king. When he Street. 1821. espoused Anna Maria McMurtrie. Charles He James. alternate. and William Tilghman were jurists of the foremost mark. Fifth in line from Richard Tilghman.370 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS grew steadily. Matthew Tilghman. fearing his least. She became death from a at last she frantic as she sought him passing cart. Richard TilghLord Baltimore's colony of Maryland. strength of the Royalists his party lows. who was to win fame as an inventor and discoverer. In his absence his Declaration. in 1815. Even as a toddler he was remarkable. Edward. and went into effect on August 14. all was settled. and holding for many years the presidency of the American Philosophical Society. the sturdy immigrant. There the Constitution for Maryland was formulated. rising to its highest rank. a great-granduncle of General Declaration of Independence. op- One day his mother. Tilghman. Benjamin Chew Tilghman.

Nothing in all this seemed to him out of the way. gave the shopman his father's name. and she frowned upon youths In other respects. he was assured. he studied law were at and was admitted to the bar. Richard Albert Tilghman. he proceeded to Bristol College in his native State. law and truth were one. of tender years who read novels. From youth he was more at home in a workshop than in a courtroom or a law library. His brother Dick gave warning if Mother approached. When Benjamin's school days an end. in his delirium he sang his school ditties and repeated his school When Anon he imagined himverses without dropping a word. Indeed. As a boy he loved fiction and. he entered a druggist's at the corner. Her traditions were Presbyterian. TILGHMAN 371 came home. In the vast. there was abundant scope for the keenest analysis. with unconscious prophecy of the orders he was to give thirty years later on the field of war. As soon utterly perplexed at her as he had missed his mother. he always regarded law with disrelish. and to sustain the legal traditions of his family. self in command of soldiers to whom he gave orders in imperative tones. Here. sons were never perHer little austere. In every research he toiled hand in hand with his brother. nine years old he took typhoid fever. her responses were not subject to reversal. and thence to the University of Pennsylvania.BENJAMIN agitation and tears. he would read the Waverley romances with delight. and never looked askance at each other. To please his father. to whom he . her views were mitted to wear overcoats. too. of physics and chemistry fields unexplored which stretched themselves before his imagination. but he never practised law. two years his junior. told where he lived. the most astute cross-examination. where he was duly graduated. seated at an entry window upstairs. C. and asked to be taken home. When at his furnace or still he put a ques- tion to nature. there stood her boy. the utmost sifting of evidence.

and no more. and as the point of contact is very small. with the best European practice in both manufacture and investigation. as young men. visiting a succession of chemical works and physical laboratories. placed beneath a saw blade. chilled to surpassing hardness. a goodly sum. gradually perfected the produc- tion of steel shot. because so tough as to resist a wear would rapidly crush sand. Together. while the wear on his that blade was reduced to one-fourth its percentage with sand. as few Americans then were. Richard took up mills. On their return home. they journeyed throughout Europe. This tooth removes from the stone below it one grain at a time. This shot. and grinding stone. He then experimented with steam at high it temperatures. these are divided with as the As important A precision. factories and they became familiar. Contrast this with the action of shot they roll over and over between the : blade and the stone. and even emery. accuracy piece of marble or granite may have veins of unusual hardness. economy of this shot is the of its cuts. polishing. Gen" Tilghman said particle of sand is effective in sawing only when it embeds itself in a blade. for his part. so that the study of chrome ores these he treated by new methods. cuts granite twice as effectively as sand. to stand there as : At A a small sharp tooth.372 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS was devotedly attached. Benjamin. In one experiment General Tilghman found his metallic granules tenfold as efficient as sand. discovering that parted fats into fatty acids and glycerine. and ex- tensively used for sawing. The best sizes of shot run from i-ioo to 1-20 of an inch in diameter. to powder. eral the end of an exhaustive round of experiments. as if the stone were of uniform resistance throughout. the pressure there concentrated crushes the hardest stone to splinters of appreciable size so that the pulveriza- . disposing of his patents to a leading firm in Baltimore for .

The use of shot demands no machinery whatever. which proceeds twice to thrice as fast as emery. TILGHMAN 373 imposed upon sand. Almost incredible is the durability of shot. used shot of one At size. much by any other method. quarries. A gang of five to seven blades on Connecticut brown stone will consume but 200 pounds in a month. for all the severity of its exposure. more economically than was feasible Not only in cutting stone. strange to say. As a rule. and so on to the end of the cut. is avoided. under a ring drill. cores six to eight inches in diameter were taken out of solid rock. A rip-saw. first. on the same stone. for all the cheapness of cand. to cut a given stone the inventor He soon found it employ In the course of a single sweep of the blade the largest shot tend to escape under the blade first. A gang on marble uses up about 30 pounds per blade per month. 12 to 14 inches long. It is not so fast as a diamond drill. but in giving field. In sawing a square foot of Quincy granite only two pounds are consumed. is used for driving wells. in prospecting for mines. With V no other appliance an ordinary workman has cut a groove ." Shot. but in many cases it is equally satisfactory.BENJAMIN tion. while much cheaper. C. but 60 pounds per month. even if but a strip of sheet iron 1-16 " " notches of an inch thick. it is dearer than shot. so that. New York. shot of different sizes. task for task. Shot cannot be bruised or crushed by the heaviest pressure. is so that the blade always has shot under it while the stone being divided. about two inches apart. The simplest and cheapest hand-saw may be used. and veins of oil. then the next in size. work is trebled in pace by the better to adoption of shot. it a surface. At least nine-tenths of this work may be committed to chilled iron shot. with half an inch broad and deep. In sinking foundations for the Terminal Building. Church and Cortlandt Streets. this chilled iron shot opens a profitable Granite and other hard stones were formerly rubbed smooth by sand or emery.

and when Fort Sumter was bombarded. and Captain Tilghman deemed himself fortunate to escape with his life. the Twenty-sixth. where he received a severe wound in a thigh. and iron may In pure water. and was soon advanced to a lieutenant-colonelcy. as soon as he was able to hobble about on crutches. and then to a colonelcy. In the field he speedily earned distinction. where. 'was cut to pieces not long after his reenlistment. and death. His interest in military art and science . he survived the war in vig- fected water. and about J4 in stone his output was prominutes soft in twenty granite this When more. the threat of Civil War was unmistakable. he at once enlisted as Captain of the Twenty-sixth Regiment of United States Volunteers. Their fears were groundless. quick-lime added to the water greedily absorbs this A dioxide. He went home to Philadelphia. This he promptly accepted. portionately This rust is due to the rust was a constant annoyance. . in 1860. His passionate love of the Union was aroused. he was offered the command of a colored regiment. The close of the war found him a general by brevet. This regiment. be immersed for weeks and never show the slight- est trace of rust. in common with other Union troops. at once rusting is impossible. trifle little of carbon dioxide which water usually contains. from drinking in- for weeks he hovered 'twixt life and But he recovered in time to bear a doughty part in the battle of Chancellorsville. in command of a brigade in Florida. His family believed that his death knell rang out as the train bore him southward once again. was mobbed in passing through Baltimore. orous health. on its way to the front.374 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS f an mcn deep m Quincy 30 inches long. while his original regiment. A slight deflection of the bullet would have laid him in his grave. Early in 1863 he was stricken with Chickamauga fever. process was first adopted. Benjamin Tilghman had been quietly conducting his factory for some years when.

for substances was an earnest quest. and proved it to What gave particular point to his quest was the common paper for printers' use had then risen to twenty-eight cents in currency per pound. sulphurous acid dissolved in bruised a burnt match stick he enough. linen. Straw had been employed as an admixture for the coarsest brands. curtains are grave-clothes. TILGHMAN 375 remained keen as long as he lived. and their rags. His experience in the field confirmed for life his love of fresh air. their preparation by alkalis had taught the manufacturers how to attack a vastly better material wood fiber. so once he asked for paper? : Can this solution At as to look like paper pulp. General Tilghman came to a turning-point in his career." One morning. used as a substitute. and no veteran of the war. a price almost It was then usual for grocers and butchers prohibitory. in from which paper might be produced. ever appealed to him in vain for friendly aid. whether white or black. and though their sheets were yellow and brittle. when General Tilghman began following up match stick. there many fields. He had : seen desperately wounded. he did not upon vacant territory.BENJAMIN C. was almost as dear. Among the compounds with which he had been little experimenting was a water. So he was wont to say carpets are shrouds. many a soldier. and strength in a " Houses are tombs. had been the main sources of paper stock. the fate of his burnt enter with his brother's aid. convert wood into material be sound. Therefore. not long after peace had followed war. . and next day noticed that the wood had become mucilaginous. recover health breezy tent. and use them for wrapping their parcels. Aimlessly into this liquid. fact that He put his surmise to a test. to buy old newspapers at half price. During the Civil War cotton at one time reached $1. and simply by keeping his eyes open and thinking about what he observed.98 per pound. As these.

in 1866. tub which had just been emptied of lye. Pennsylvania. near Philadelphia. Heat was apa steam In plied by jacket. it was so vital its lack caused a long delay in the financial success of the Tilghman mill at . 1855. so as to keep its contents from matting together. Hugh Burgess. but profitable when manufactured by Ford. Mellier patented in France a method of deriving paper pulp from poplar wood by boiling the fibers in caustic soda. As usual . of Meadville. of fairly good paper. patented a similar process. of Roger's ping. the Tilghmans had many forerunners at home and abroad. seemed just such a strong fiber as might produce paper. except in one particular. He took some of this fiber and a little clean straw to a paper-maker. the sheet was strawand so brittle that it was suitable only for wrap- the ton it met a wide and demand. under pressure. In 1854. As early as 1821 paper was made from straw by Judge Henry PettiOne day he observed a bone. who soon turned out from the straw a sheet colored. Pennsylvania. He was followed by other inventors until. man lining this For the first digesters. exhausted the field. and then treating the product with a solution of chloride of lime. Of course. lead was the was so rapidly corroded by its acid contents that loss to the patentees of repairs and renewals entailed a net about $40. that digesters were built of concrete so as to resist corrosion as lead cannot.000. chemically. at 310 Fahrenheit. it liquid. and left little or nothing to be discovered by their successors. On the ground lay a handful of straw which had served as a strainer for the The Judge examined a pinch of it in his hand. His boiler was rotary. It was only in 1883.376 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS In their chemical production of paper. the Tilghmans carried through a round of experiments which. As this that affected the material chosen for digesters. Manayunk. in the Tilghprocess. seventeen years after General Tilgh- man was granted his patent. leading them to abandon their enterprise. Alfred C.

Then the vessel is tightly closed. and the acid solution escapes from below into a lead-lined tub. fresh water is forced into the top of the vessel. A strong vessel. is to be filled about twothirds with water. usually deposited in the heated also be used over and over again.BENJAMIN C.08 or so. then introduced until the wood is completely covered and is the vessel nearly full. The woody it thoroughly washed and drained. No better evidence can be adduced as to General Tilghman's thorough mastery of the principles involved in bringing forests under tribute to the printing press. This gas. But their every de- however slight. of any convenient size and shape. by to means of a steam 260 jacket. to be there maintained for six to eight hours. utes. its temperature is brought Fahrenheit. the inventor ascertained just At first the wood was loosened separated into threads finer and finer." of his product every twenty minhow the process went By removing samples on from stage to into stage. fiber is may lime sulphite. when into paper is fit to be worked by suitable machinery. grain into slices one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch in length. the Tilghman method excited the cupidity of infringers. until perfect pulp appeared. All the fibers: coarse these slowly became . The steam is then shut off. lined with lead. piped to a condenser. duly furnished with pipes and other accessories. TILGHMAN 377 with a patent of promise. A solution of sulphurous acid and lime It is lined : is sulphite in water. opened the door to utter failure. who would fain hide their theft by mutilating the property stolen. no matter what substance was molded into digesters. absorbed by cold water for repeated use in future operations. parture. from the Tilghman rules of proce- dure. and. having a specific gravity of 1. The vessel. where it is boiled until the is sulphurous acid is expelled. worth while to recall his method as originally out" Let the whitest parts of wood be by his own hand the and cut across chosen.

litharge. and mats. paper may be of any hue whatever. and glycerine. and for speedily absorbing the resulting sulphurous acid gas. reeds. Here no lime sulphite need enter the boiling liquor. osiers eral When Tilghman early came to the discovery that good results are attained at 210 Fahrenheit. is built of vitrified. Since General Tilghman's time. The lack of this one link in the Tilghman chain held back for years a process which now yields in the United States more than a million tons of paper pulp every year. was dissolved bamboo. spruces. are constructed with a double course of masonry laid in cement mortar upon an iron shell. baskets. sand. and palmetto required longer cooking than flax.378 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS fibers cement which had bound together the into the boiling liquid. and the process may be much abridged. two degrees or so . and 60 feet high. and tively weak structure. as when employed for wrapping or box-making. Much. therefore in time of boiling. and balsams which are to-day the staple of the pulp industry. striking improvements have been effected in apparatus for burning sulphur. below the ordinary boiling-point cf water and. Of course. The course next to the shell is composed of very hard porous bricks laid in mortar of equal parts of sand and Portland cement the next. To-day digesters which may be 17 feet wide. and other annual plants of comparaIntermediate in toughness. a modified treatment grass. Portland cement. esparto. that digestion requires no artificial pressure. hoops. too. used for hats. has been accomplished in utilizing by-products . they soon acquired a pliability which facilitated and improved their manufacture. cane. non-porous bricks laid in mortar compounded of . came the poplars. or inside course. and similar grasses. was bestowed upon straw and and saplings. although pressure greatly hastens the process. espeGencially in washing and cleansing the produced fiber. further. For a round of uses steadily growing wider.

directed by the United States The chemical engineer in culture. to strike a target much more important than at first attracted his eye. P. ending in the sand blast.BENJAMIN C. Blake. is becoming scarce. and appearance of standard news paper. but. he few underived inventions of title. But most noteworthy of all are advances in the mechanism which builds all kinds of paper from pulp. the chief material for pulp. with swiftness and economy. His experiments. but paper has been made from them on commercial machines. and under all other conditions of actual commercial practice. California. Professor W. J. Wausau. And disputes his yet. Mr. operating at high speed. brought him to one of the his digesters." General Tilghman gave his sulphite process a thorough and costly test. balked as he was by the corrosion of abandoned a manufacture from which he had expected great things. H. TILGHMAN 379 formerly thrown away. for ages Nature has been giving Art broad hints in this very field. 1911: "Not only have very promising sheets of pulp been obtained from both the hemlock and jack pine. so that experiments with other and cheaper woods have been conducted at the Forest Products Laboratory. Thickens. to cite one record among many. noticed granite deeply " Even quartz was channeled by sweeping sand. all time. grinder. the horse-power conand the yield per cord approximate the averages which obtain in the grinding of spruce. Without repining or hesitation he turned from chemistry to mechanics. which has the strength. As long ago as 1838. The production per sumption per ton. finish. Spruce. and which to-day far exceeds his most sanguine hopes. traveling through the Pass of San Bernardino. and of uniformly sound quality. Wisconsin. Said he cut away and polished. Where a garnet or a . of Yale College. Nobody or claims a share in his victory. Department of Agricharge. garnets and tourmalines were also : cut and left with polished surfaces. reported in December.

so as to Where the depressions were act like the chisels of a lathe. and wherever tation else rocks of storms of sand. as ily cut away. the rock strata were soft and yielding. remarking a deep groove . gested itself to in the making. another many inquirer has found. this has suggested imi- by art. as seem to be. that Nature often holds in her hands prizes easier to pluck than they first to the find. and for the action of the sand. varying resistance are assaulted by Often. him has unearthed nothing less than a myth customary visit to the Sphinx. doubtless. he traveled to Egypt." All this is repeated in Wellington Bay. and readWhere the opposing surface was hard. Colorado. anced upon deepest. whirling about in eddies of air and water. a narrow valley where rounded columns ten to forty feet high stand here and there: in many cases they are surmounted with grotesque cap-like coverings balin relief above the general surface. Centuries have been required to do the work described by Professor Blake and his fellow explorers. General Tilghman was a gentleman of unusual reserve and reticence: and a quest as to how the sand blast sugSurviving friends of his are wont to say late in the sixties. the action was less rapid. General Tilgh- man was and follow up suggestion by actual trial. the feldspar favorably presented was cut away around the hard mineral. In most cases it is likely that the impulse to experiment has been checked by the fear that an artificial sand storm would be too slow to have commercial value. in the case of the cap-pieces. Glancing off from these. New Zealand.38o LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS in compact feldspar. and paid a that. until there was hardly enough stem to sustain the weight above. They were carved out by the sand. which was thus left lump of quartz was embedded In Monument Park. is frail pinnacles. reducing them in size. the whole force of the sand was directed against the strata below.

effect of the same kind. in the Journal of the Institute for 1871. tale? Egyptian Simply enough. an eminent Mr. Yet another Tilghman refrom muskets The present writer. There and then. Another and more probable story is that. How. the land of the Pharaohs. while a soldier in the Southern States. it occurred to him that an artificial gale. at Nausett. fable. which he referred to the sand which had. in striving to hunt first down how General Tilghman was blast. There. all along the Atlantic Coast.BENJAMIN across the back of C. is that General marked the cutting action of solids ejected and cannon as part of their explosives. Indeed. TILGHMAN 381 its neck. would exert a cutting at a pace which only experiment To experiment accordingly he appealed. laden with sharp sand. Sellers engineer. and compared its work with that of the sand which had slowly carved the Sphinx of the desert. because widely published. lacking evidence. Massachusetts. then. arose this Here lay the sole foundation for a stubborn. he observed rocks whose softer layers had been deeply eroded by wind-blown sand. assailed the prone figure. This General Tilghman was never in plausible story is untrue. in Seventh Street. say the mythmakers. In 1873 Professor John Tyndall was shown the sand blast in Boston. Coleman Sellers. and many another lighthouse. one may see the panes of lower windows dulled to opacity by a bombardment of sand. supposition. with the result that he gave the world his sand blast. for centuries. Another tradition is that General Tilghman observed how the masonry of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London had its corners rounded by exposure to blasts laden with dust and dirt. and its remarkable effect . came at impelled to experiment with his sand last to the Franklin Institute. Philadelphia. could ascertain. that most venerable storehouse of science in America. that saw sand a of General impelled by Tilghman jet says steam escaping at high pressure. of an early exhibit of the sand blast. was a record by Mr.

Cone. 25.382 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS TILGHMAN SAND BLAST frame. Sand pipe. Main frame. 20. . Chilled tube. Blast Sand-feed hopper. i. Round rubber ring. Blast of upright machine: 19. 24. Round rubber ring. Sand jet. Working parts u. 26. 4. jet. in which sand and steam mix. 23. 22.

Appliances of this simple kind were used to inscribe no fewer than 274. small annular jet of steam into a wide tube. The cost. which became thoroughly mixed with the steam jet. This air carried sand as it fell from a hopper. THE TILGHMAN SAND-BLAST MACHINE 20 pounds to be enough. In economy his first apparatus has never been surpassed. Virginia.000 tombstones of soldiers in the national cemeteries at Arlington. and elsewhere. escaped inducing a current of air through A a narrow central tube. TILGHMAN 383 induced him to repeat as an experiment what he first beheld He soon discovered that a blast of sharp as an accident.35 each. was much less than would have . In an early test he cut a hole one and one-half inches wide in a slab of corundum one and oneHis steam was at a half inches thick. in 25 minutes. pressure of 300 pounds to the square inch. which he soon remarked to be excessive in ordinary practice he found 10 to . sand wrought as deep an incision in one minute as windblown sand in a year. but $3.BENJAMIN C.

which condenses and sweeps aside the steam. been paid for chiseled it This apparatus. through which the sand falls upon panes of glass or other objects to be treated. while avoiding its drawbacks. From the hopper to within two inches of the table runs a vertical pipe. In 1884 Jeremiah E. . they meet a counterblast of cool air. before the jet. *A drive water into a boiler. Beneath the table a second hopper receives the sand after its work is done as soon as the first hopper is empty. retaining the advantage of steam imIn the machine pulsion. an an elaborate pump. many amateurs have executed capital work with an inexpensive sand stream. To avoid these troubles there was recourse to compressed air. This Mathewson apparatus.384 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS lettering. faultless in its work. As a rule a blast is delivered from a . employs a steam jet to As the steam condenses. while it allows the sand to proceed unchecked to do its work in a dry and cool condition. sand and steam their hit mingled target. so that it clogged its feed pipes unless it was carefully dried before use. had faults so serious that it was soon discarded. has no moving parts whatever. with equal simplicity. entirely self-contained. iron and steel were rusted. so that with mentum injector does all the work of no moving part whatever. They have filled a hopper with sharp. sand receives momentum from a steam But now. dispensing with a blast altogether. Giffard injector. as in the first Tilghman design. and placed it about ten feet above a table. and providing an exhaust flue for the spent steam. this second hopper takes its place. but much more costly than a direct steam blast. The sand became damp from admixture with the steam. dry sand. It is started by simply attaching a steam pipe.* Thanks to General Tilghman. which he devised. effective as was. it imparts its moto the feed water. Mathewson perfected what General Tilghman had begun. Glass was apt to be cracked by the heat of the sand.

we must choose sharp. and stands alone. How Sand of this sort. grain of sand has angles. such as abounds in long stretches of the Atlantic seashore. abrades the surface To compare small things with large. each shot striking independently of every other. the grains act much as artillery projectiles smash a wall of masonry. unworn sand. A . C. takes the coarsest grains to be had. is sifted into sizes each suited decorator of tumblers selects the to a specific task. sand it in a blast neither cuts. A ETCHING WITH SAND FROM A HOPPER finest grains he can get.BENJAMIN simple tube in some cases with a long. and the sharpest of these comes to the front. in well-planned manufacture. exert so rapid an effect? First of all. who wishes to nor scour stove-castings. it is TILGHMAN 385 preferable to employ a tube does sand. In this action the sand blast differs from all many other processes. . whether falling by gravity or impelled by a steam jet. A foundryman. strikes. grinds. narrow orifice. Whatever its size.

indeed. or a from cleans a forging scale and dirt. strikes from a mere point. and other elastic materials repel the sand so that its blows are almost without This opens the door to a simple means of decoraeffect. and emerges bright and unworn. This. Of course. there is attack not only in front. with an arabesque or a floral design. so that in a moment they look as if they had been neatly ground by an emery-wheel paper. being repeatedly A powerful blast soon bent. These are depolished in a twinkling. and this is often harmful. the parts covered by the design are unaffected. excepting only the momentum diamond. by a which the hand can bear without injury or even discomfort. leather. When iron is pickled in an* acid solution as a means of cleansing. so that. when the paper is washed off. is laid upon the glass. executed in blast the shade is quickly All the uncovered parts of the glass are fast depolished. and. paper. and. Quite different is the effect of this blast upon wrought all iron at first its surface is merely indented after a few minutes the uppermost particles of iron. china. At first an observer is astonished as he sees less corundum swiftly perforated by sand grains much hard and tough. but from the sides. . as the through the air. let us suppose. or glass in like manner is corroded to take a pattern. its Here the sand blast has a notable advantage^ because blows are delivered directly . . the metal beneath resists the gale. The of the particle. clear glass is uncovered. when moved in front of the sand blast. so that even granite gives way before it. while casting . small as it is. break down and crumble. unless the bombardment is prolonged of set purpose. everything else. or other brittle substances. A lamp shade. strange to say. the sand blast works fastest when directed upon glass. porcelain.386 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS particle flies arrow fashion. is to be ornamented tion. however hard. Rubber.

in like manner. layers of It fects may then swiftly turn out labels great beauty. the sand blast has imIt takes off every particle of scale before value. reservoirs. and then mildly granulates the celDelivered upon wood. It from buildings of brick removes rust and scale from tubes. so that upon extreme pressures. In ordinary and dirt practice rust may separate these surfaces. it brings grain with a relief and beauty denied to any other method. itself. TILGHMAN 387 and nowhere else. But it is in foundries that a leaks follow excessive . tanks. and ists then smooths the armor plates of warships. The same simple agent refaces wheels of emery and corundum. for the large glass bottles used by chemfor measures. to be cured only by and harmful calking. and and even corundum and druggists. riveting begins. takes a firmer grasp of paint when subjected for a moment to a sand stream. although. Not only iron. cleanses the exteriors of boats and ships so as to quicken and and stone. When glass is manufactured in sand blast produces cameo efthe of different hues. so as greatly to promote their efficiency. It removes a scale from forgings and castings as a preparation for gilding and enameling. or granite with letters and ornaments. when continued long enough. A sand blast. Yet these blows are never so rude as to break the most delicate ware. It may yet replace chisels as wielded in stoneluloid films for cameras. and boilers to be used under high pressures. takes off dirt and discolorations It boilers. so as to insure perfect union. limestone. out its carving and sculpture. their pace through water. but glass.BENJAMIN in the face C. It incises marIt ble. It scours the outside of a bank-safe. In manufacturing tanks. only perfect joints are permissible. so that two applied surfaces of iron or steel may be in the closest possible contact. they pierce the toughest granites. prepares steel rails and girders for welding. mense In the production of such joints. tinning or nickeling.

hammers. after a hand dressing. At it Sheffield. a further saving ensues from the absence of When and was directed upon armor all resisting scale rust. As to this iron sand a word may be said. This waste is When is cut with a chisel and mallet. and brushes. The redhot globules then fall into the water. the and loss are wholly avoided by using a sand blast. other machine tool. Below an atmosphere deprived of oxygen. When cool. and remove as many cores. 120 cubic feet of air. a casting thus treated must be laid aside to dry for a day or two besand blast does not impair the fore it can be used. stone they are sifted into sizes in diameter.3 88 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS its sand blast finds widest utility. chilled iron. there may be onesixth to one-fourth of an inch to grind away. or approach. compressed to 60 pounds per square inch. every minute. its chilled iron sand being flung at 20 pounds pressure per square inch. proceeded at one square foot per minute. as six men with chisels. common sand or granite apt to be bruised or fractured beyond the line of cutting.000 to 1-16 of an inch This iron sand cuts stone better than does emery. where a blast plate. It is derived from just such shot as General Tilghman manufactured at It is made up of minute spheroidal the outset of his career. Furthermore. the are atomized drops by jets of superheated steam. . which chills them into this colander. which vary from 1-40. produced by letting molten metal fall through in fine holes in a plate of fire clay. intense hardness. will clean as many castings. so that. much as seven per cent. A time-honored method of producing a clean surface on an iron or steel casting This may weaken the is by immersion in an acid bath. metal as A strength of a casting one whit. and leaves it not only clean. An operator wielding a sand blast consuming. but dry. so that it may be used immediately. And the blast will leave a finish on its work that manual labor cannot such a casting goes to a milling cutter. pellets of hard.

may have been exemplified by many a housewife as she cleansed her kitchen ware with sand from a neighboring beach. for example. and cast as a quick glass. globes and shades for lamps are to be treated. a 14-inch rough file. at the factory of Miles Greenwood. and thence into molten metal For some unknown reason this for their final surfacing. duly mixed. yield effects much more delicate than are otherwise feasible. while reducing the thickness of every blank. In 1871. amazing to pick up an old . This excellent plan globe was anticipated as far back as 1846 by George Escol Sellers. in Cincinnati. For this work the best sand is that which has been used to grind Two or three minutes' exposure will resharpen plate glass. where he and kettles with sand and water. it is an excellent aid and rasps as first manufactured. recut and reharden their points. TILGHMAN 389 water does work which dry sand cannot do. entailing a good deal of cost and in finishing files Whether a sand trouble. A worn-down file is quickly resharpened when slowly drawn several times from tang to point between two convergent streams of fine sand. After the surfaces were thus scoured they passed into a zinc chloride solution. newal was to grind out the remains of the teeth. which. Second-cut or smooth It is files are treated file. or in reThe old method of restoring their points after wear. ingenious plan was discontinued without having been built a machine to scour pots way made public.BENJAMIN Sand in C. sand and water. Usually the sand is mingled with three times its weight of water. the mixture being thoroughly stirred. When. even more rapidly. twenty-five years later. Coleman Sellers. or in any and discarded mixture of sand and water. of Philadelphia. drew attention to his brother's old patented. jet against the which is is rotated in a suitable holder. striking the metal at 90 degrees. A seven-inch well ground in thirty seconds. indeed. in commenting upon the sand blast. blast be wet or dry.

J. To blast. Through As its perforated sides the abraded powders slowly drop. clean castings is one of the principal uses of the sand Here a capital aid was devised by Mr. though not enough to do apparent harm. If there has been any overheating in the furnace. son. method of production they are hardened and tempered in the usual manner. J. decks. with apertures through each axis for a sand blast. and finally sandblasted. In an approved are the cutters of milling machines. are frequently so small that they cannot be detected by ordinary means. until it It was restood not less than one-eighth of an inch thick. V.390 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS so dull as to be almost worthless. of the Allan Line. 'tween had. These cracks. and find that a sand blast restores its keenness in a few seconds. to Tools of great importance. at the rate of 12 square . says Mr. The steamship Austrian. sand moved down to the bright metal. and on gun metal almost double. Yet even these disappear under a prolonged attack from a heavy blast. And a new file is improved when held under a sand blast. Mathew- a tumbling barrel in which the castings are placed. which are best seen immediately after sandblasting. Woodworth. no harm befalls its Much more stubborn than rust or scale on a casting are the layers of paint successively laid upon a ship. Repeated tests have proved that files thus treated have been increased in their cutting quality as much as one-eighth on both steel and cast iron. coat upon coat of sea paint. files Many manufacturers subject all their sand blasts at frequent intervals. by preventing their teeth from flattening down. especially if its teeth curl over slightly. E. and exposed to severe strains. then dipped in oil. so as to keep them to the up highest notch of efficiency. contents. cracks will appear on the surfaces of the teeth. the barrel turns but thrice in a minute.

II. acknowledged all. In angles and around bolts the removal of paint was absolute. so that he displayed much agility as he dodged the flying missiles. If paint an far air blast carrying sand. chisels. were abandoned for good and Thus closed the active work of General Tilghman. and scrapers. 1901. in 1893. While always exploring new territory for the sand blast. min C. It covered 300 square feet per hoijr. an air blast laden can be detached by with paint outspeeds brush work. bore these explo- sions with equanimity. TILGHMAN 391 air by applying 60 cubic feet of sand-laden per minute. been to shot and shell in actual General Tilghman. Tilghman. It was a good while before he came to his at first uncle's indifference to unlooked for bombardments.. he was stricken . His nephew and assistant. As he approached his eightieth year his step became halting and his pulse feeble. compressed to 50 pounds per square inch. They found it impossible to avoid premature explosions of the powder. to be a failure. by a slow-burning powder. especially in the torpedoes constantly being designed and tested. a feat impossible to ham- mers. A simple Redman spraying machine was thus employed to paint the buildings of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago. which they filled with water. and drove its pigment deeply into the walls and ceilings. In association with his brother. A reservoir holding 15 cubic feet supplied a nozzle 7-16 of an inch in diameter. inured as he had warfare. In February. Benjahad never been a soldier. he planned a torpedo to be propelled rocket fashion. so that repeatedly their models were suddenly burst into splinters. He was heartily glad when these experiments. For its excursions they sank on their grounds a trough 80 feet long. C.BENJAMIN feet per hour. General Tilghman felt a keen interest in the new weapons of war. which crashed into the surrounding walls and rafters.

flourishes. and where his scifive entific library is at preserved. He was unmarried. Philadelphia.392 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS . as during his lifetime. . 1126 South Eleventh Street. on July 3d. by paralysis at his residence. months later. he passed away 1114 Girard Street. The establishment which he founded.



watchmaking that assures Ottmar Mergenmachine to supplant the To-day in America four out of five automatic typesetters are linotypes created by this who thus stands beside his compatriot. varying in size. 393 To let . devised types to be moved by hand. stock of clothes for the approaching winter. with here and there an artisan who hoped to earn from his landing-place. John Gutenberg. good wages without going far Among these was a lithe and feet seven in comely young fellow of eighteen. so that ship's is now movement daily as accurate as the own chronometer. the steamer Berlin from Bremen reached its dock at Locust Point. us watch an old-time compositor at his wooden case. He has adjusted it its during the voyage. his large. German immigrant. well-shaped head firmly shoulders. a watch if he liked. More important still is the silver watch As he strides in his vest pocket. in One of these great inventors transfiguring the printer's art.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER ON the morning of October 26. in Baltimore. at a pinch. for it is as a It watchmaker is that he registered himself on the Berlin. make such Indeed. set on broad up-town he turns his calm blue eyes with wonder on the traffic that impedes him at every In a round-topped wooden trunk he brings a good step. the second superseded these types by matrices moved by a keyboard fourfold as rapidly. this skill in thaler that he will devise the best compositor. about five height. 1872. realize the vast stride due to Ottmar Mergenthaler. Before him are 150 compartments or so. and thirty dollars in cash. Its five hundred steerage passengers were mainly immigrants bound for the West. our young German could.

" In his left hand is a stick. and so m and that strength is the next word he has to set. they occupy: is is "a" a word." a flat metal receiver for his Its by a screw. so as to be squeezed together at the end of a line.do ? He must space out his words with " quads " until his line is full. What is he to . They adopted wedges. while it separates words from one another. only to find it cause insufferable annoyance. regulated by a central slide fastened " America. As our compositor comes near the end of his line. and Again again did inventors try in vain to means. eye And what was a typesetter's pace when quick both " " and touch? He could set in an hour 1. he takes account of a fact on which turned the chief obstacle to setting type by machinery. it receives no ink in the printingpress. it types with corrugations." " More than this. of metal. he picks up the letters. line of type "strength. numeral. shall How justification was at last accomplished we duly see. a numeral. Next to this " " this is a thin piece word he places a printer's space type." let us say. a punctuation mark. They employed rubber.394 each LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS filled with a particular letter of the alphabet. each consumes quite one-sixth of a typesetter's day. large or a small. or a punctuation mark. A-m-e-r-i-c-a. leaving " " " " strength for his next line. Words vary much more than letters in the spaces i. Suppose that a compositor " " has room for only two letters at the end of a line. in breadth : vary is much twice m w" as wide as must Every end with a word." with eight letters in its one syllable. His types " " " " " is twice as wide as n . that feat it was which loosened the grasp that typesetters had for four centuries maintained on their art. one after another. or other character. or with hollow spaces. They devised mechanical perform justification by judgment and skill. or justifying. length is As he sets . line requires This task of completing. only to create bulges which refused to subside. a syllable.000 ems of or . not so high as type. so that.

At enough for a line. the operator touches a a spaceband. To distribute types demanded about one-fourth as much time as to compose. ninety characters. of course. glides to an assembling space which supplants the oldfashioned stick. " " so that in a moment America is composed. he had to return each type to its proper compartment in his wooden case.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER breadths of the letter unit: this " 395 m." From this setter of type." in full view. the proper point he decides that he has matrices and that instant he moves a lever which effects justification." which serves as the compositor's was equal to about 350 words. obliged to stand all day at his case. this device serves judgment. it is is proceed." for " " example. " To " . But an old-time compositor did more than merely compose. much . that is. a typewriter. set it " America " he lightly presses the key " A sets free a matrix A" from " its box in a large magazine of similar matrices. when only two em spaces remain vacant before him. there to await the next task of composition. Before him is spread a keyboard of much easier to his touch than those of a Each key controls the descent of a matrix. automatically carried to a we When the line of type justi- forced against the mold where liquid typematrices and spacebands. he had to distribute his types. At the end of that word and of every much How key which inserts better than a space we shall presently understand. An error here. led to an error in composition. how this marvel is wrought will beis come metal clear as fied. When his columns or pages had been duly printed from in a press. As ur operator approaches the end of a line he must exercise other. we pass to an operator comfortably seated at a Mergenthaler linotype. slender bar of metal in which is sunk a character to serve marked as a mold. " It will not do for him to begin to compose strength. much as if he were setting type with his fingers. as when " u " appeared instead of " n. This A. Next the keys for m-e-r-i-c-a are lowered.

in a moment is hard and cool enough to pass to a tray. we have here a line MATRIX of words ready to be printed. WITH JUSTIFIERS BETWEEN THE WORDS where other slugs are swiftly added. " LINE OF MATRICES. and may be left standing .396 as LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS when types are cast at a foundry. These slugs present fresh faces to the printed paper. This slug. so as to form a page or a column for the printing press. But instead of a single " " " " a or o character as being cast." as it is called.

and unerringly. A LINE o' TYPE (SLUG. a task which seems uncommon accuracy of touch and vision. to ask for What about distribution.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER at but 397 nominal cost for interest. A set of matrices often replaces a font of type weighing two hundred times as much. with a faultless DISTRIBUTOR BAR AND MATRICES memory? This difficult feat is intrusted to a section of the machine which returns matrices to their boxes as quickly as 270 per minute. unless a matrix is bent .

requires of an operator nothing beyond the touching DIAGRAM OF THE MACHINE of keys through which he produces a page or a column in new type. Can Initiative go further than this? Are not inventors right when they beautiful hold that every task of the human hand. with perfect justification. however delicate . or becomes injured by prolonged use or undue exposure to molten metal. and with all the drudgery of distribution at an end.398 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS by accident. This wonderful linotype. therefore.

who was to recreate Pistot) MOLD WHEEL AND MELTING POT the art of Gutenberg.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER and difficult. or in the of an As a lad he was blending ingredients alloy. Mergenthaler. considered as a whole. It was as a watchmaker that he came to precision in meas- urement. to drill jewels with a steady and even pressure. trained to cut teeth and pinions with unfailing accuracy. mechanism must be Every new addition must harits . never learned the compositor's trade. 399 may be committed to quicker and stronger of steel and brass? fingers John Gutenberg. the art of typography. to the utmost nicety in tempering a spring. before he invented movable types. In these handicrafts he came to a daintiness of touch and an exactness of eye which prepared him to cut type-molds with strict Upon that uniformity turned his revolution of uniformity. was a cutter of gems and a framer of mirrors. He saw that if a watch is to be accurate.

Under the first gallery. manhood. A globe displays the courses of the stars. youth. too. Surrounding figures strike the other quarters. that tower-clocks of rare ingenuity. bowing apostles in homage which ing as they pass. Vaucanson. on the release of a detent. who concon- structed automata of ingenuity quite as marvelous. and crows. higher up. Some of them. awakenits stretches flaps wings. or every successive constellation of the northern heavens throughout a twelvemonth. Let us remember. tributed not a little to the advancement of invention. showing the progress of a man through boyhood. They . an angel strikes ttye quarters on a bell in his hand. representing Time. Others exhibited the phases of the moon. its neck. and above this appears the path of the moon. the symbolic Apollo on Sunday. a skeleton. who built this clock. In those days of hand-made watches there was an instructive diversity in their escapement and fusees. rang out the hours and the minutes. Often the chronometers which came into his hands were highly complex in their design. And a watchmaker thrives only as he skilfully serves these unrelenting critics. strikes twelve. On a pinnacle is perched a cock. As noon ap- proaches. the so uppermost niche the twelve Monday. but they can always tell whether their time-pieces are right or wrong. Often they chime elaborate tunes as the hours succeed each other. their devices for neutralizing the effects of varying temperatures.400 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS monize with all the other parts to form a unit which is at once refined and intricate. Diana on deity of the day steps forth. In and on. all with golden hints for the fertile brain of young Mergenthaler. At Strasburg the great clock of the cathedral in its Germany is dotted with elaborate mechanism surpasses every other time-piece in Europe. and old age. Wearers of watches may wholly lack dexterity or mechanical knowledge. a move around figure of the Redeemer. Schwilgue. echoes from the remotest arches of the cathedral.

Ottmar. which contributed to the family larder. in his mind that he did not want to be a teacher. John George Mergenthaler. happily. build fires in winter. 401 endowed cams with new forms adapted to wholly new They took. He helped to cook meals. At home he did not eat the bread of idleness. his lessons included music. art of timing.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER tasks. Germany. of necessity. his mother. in Bietigheim. the fatherland of John Gutenberg. when he was to leave school to receive his training as a As the time drew near he gave much thought to teacher. where. In his himself." wrote the inventor many years afterward. Rosina Ackerman. was instructed at his father's school. but what His father diligently inquired calling should he choose? as to the chances of success offered by the various higher ' ' ' " ' ' . yet the boy submitted willingly to almost any imposition. . him cheer and wash dishes.' was his answer why should I ? father's case he had seen nothing but a very small salary with no prospect whatever of further advancement. He had seen his father subjected to many vexations on the part The boy became clear of the State Inspectors of schools. . looms. the subject of his future and the profession his parents had Would I like to be a teacher ? he asked chosen for him. He was born on May 10. His father. about twenty miles north of Stuttgart. gave Ottmar Mergenthaler to the world. and notably engines. was a teacher. for he had been accustomed to it from childhood and knew no better." He continues : " In this way time elapsed until he arrived at fourteen. the third of their five children. came of a family which for generations had been of the teaching guild. a quaint and picturesque town of four thousand inhabitants. " It was all work and no play. No. 1854. noteworthy strides in the which to-day plays a leading part and much other machinery. and till the garden in the summer one of his tasks the year round was to feed the pigs and cattle. to give solace as long as he lived. an art in in the linotype.

besides. with energy and enthusiasm. But the responses were not encouraging. and receive board and lodging from this uncle. 1868. he began work. and with a minimum of opportunity for So well did he succeed practice. and so throughout the circle. of his trade.402 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS trades. who took a warm interest in what he considered a very promising boy. spirit pervaded the home of the Hahls. until the boy and his friends concluded that they must choose among evils. he had cut many models of animals out of wood with his penknife. pay a small premium. and a general handiness with tools gave him an idea that machinery was what attracted him most. his education was deficient. but said that the carpenter still made a fair The carpenter. he had kept several other clocks in repair. that his uncle felt constrained to . a maker of watches and clocks in Bietigheim. but the cost of an apprenticeship to that trade was beyond his father's purse. or eight young men. and four years passed swiftly and gainfully. some as apprentices. He was to serve four years without wages. In their cheery company work was a pleasure. His special desire was to become a maker of mathematical instruments. and that the path to be taken was . and thought that the locksmith and gunsmith had the best outlook these. Hahl. which brought him to proficiency in every branch of the business almost without instruction. and soon found himself A pleasant and kindly at home in his new surroundings. ical talent he combined skill. in his turn. believed the machinist to be the man of the future. He had for rather rebellious village clock. thaler applied himself to mastering the intricacies of his With a rare mechantrade. he was told. maker thought that for which the lad had the best handled the talent. years successfully A college course. Mr. The cabinethis business ruined by the competition of the big factories. took a gloomy view living. furnish all his own tools. Young Mergenget. they gave opportunity for advancement Hahl usually employed six in learning and for recreation. others as journeymen. " In May. was needed by anybody who aspired to be more than a mere workman. At last the boy compromised between what he wanted and what he could by becoming an apprentice to the brother of his stepmother. as also did the parson of the village. and while the hours of labor were long. when questioned. and.

The Franco-German war had closed shortly before this period. and decreased opportunities for wage-earners. they displaced men who had not gone to the front To make matters worse. 1872. and young Mergenthaler. and heightened taxes. when he landed in Baltimore in October. Electrical in- . an advantage over many other inventors which can hardly be overrated. which later on assisted him so Meanwhile the young man much. and the vast army of Germany had returned home and been disbanded. In this dilemma he applied for aid to August Hahl. there were no longer any large army contracts to maintain the activity of nearly every field of manufacture. created widespread dissatisfaction. as a mark of sympathy and as a just reward. and concluded to emigrate. especially in Southern Germany. men left their homes to avoid military service. where the people seriously objected Thousands of young to the yoke of Prussian militarism. a son of his uncle and employer. if possible. and young Mergenthaler was caught in the general discontent. at once proceeded to the Hahl shop in ington. The cash was promptly forwarded. this " 403 pay him his wages for a year before his> apprenticeship exFor this liberality Hahl had never had occasion but once in a business career of more than thirty years. Already his two elder brothers had been drafted into the army. increased military duties. " Wash- He began work forthwith at fair wages. In the summer of 1872. his apprenticeship having expired. the young man commenced to look around for an opportunity to turn his acquirements to better account than was possible in the small town where he had learned his trade. asking for the loan of passage money. Everything industrial was being readjusted. and it was high time for him to act if he was to get away at all. and in most cases. particularly in the drafting of his inventions and designs. conducted for the special benefit of young men Here he received his first learning a trade or business.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER pired. start in mechanical drawing. The workmen thus set free poured into every avenue of business. to be worked out when he reached the factory. tried to advance himself by taking advantage of the neighboring night-schools and Sunday-schools. in the service of the Fatherland. who was established as a maker of electrical instruments in the city of Washington.

to Baltimore the Hahl shop was removed. there was almost . but throughout the world. Its involving the Hahl shop with every other in the city. in Philadelphia. his tasks were chiefly in executing instruments for the United States Signal Service. deeming that Baltimore would afford him a much larger circle of customers.404 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS struments were new to him. acting as foreman. Besides any of the manufacture of electrical clocks and bells. and whenever Mr. Nearly all experimental work. genuity " In the autumn of 1873 occurred the memorable financial panic ushered in by the bankruptcy of Jay Cooke & ComBusiness in Washington fell into utter stagnation. pany. as a rule. For a little while the shop was busy in providing signal instruments. This Service had been but recently established. included Mergenthaler. and as finally adopted. Hahl attributed the shrinkage of his business solely to Washington as a place. usually by Mergenthaler. both in skill and ease of execution. and for which he developed a particular aptitude. and within two years he took the leading place in the shop. and as these models were. Washington was at that time the focus for important inventions. It was work that he liked. and the like. many carried out at the Hahl shop. were of the standard instruments. man When these were finished. but soon he was as efficient as his fellow-workmen. but the expected improvement in business failed to appear. The law then required that a model should accompany every application for a patent. He readily grasped an inventor's ideas. as business manager. originated not only in the United States. and several of its officers were then devising its heliographs. and inventions furnished the staple of his thought and conversation. Mergenthaler thus came into daily contact with inventors from far and near. Against Mergenthaler's advice. and improved upon them where he perceived that improvement was possible. In such surroundings the young could hardly fail to unfold his own inventive talent. gages for rain and snow. registers for wind velocities. and long before he was of age he left the impress of his inon many a machine and instrument. Hahl was absent. many modelmakers in that city were kept busy the year round. fortunately. which. built in Washington. to be used at the Centennial Exhibition. employees shrank in number until a mere remnant remained.

Moore. in debt as he in was to his hands for hundreds of dollars wages. Louis Clephane. but he brought it farther than any one of us all. and found that. was often heard in a repertory of German songs and ballads. Moore was the inventor of what he called a writing machine/ Its failure he attributed to defective workmanAs his financial sponsors he named James O. Maurice Pechin. 405 Hahl was in a sorry plight. At board we refreshed ourselves with clabber." At this point of depression in the fortunes of let young Mer- interrupt his story as we listen to a warm personal friend of his. sang on Sundays we were wont to stroll to Great Falls or Chain was one of a his hospitable Bridge. and beer in moderation. Mergenthaler in the meantime had thoroughly examined the machine. all of Washington. of White Sulphur Springs. we find Hahl at his ofMercer Street. Mergenthaler was wont to regard as the happiest of his life. in conversation with Mr. money. black bread. the task of reconstructing this machine. now of Balti" more Those formative years in Washington. potatoes in uniform. ' satisfactory . a fine rade. Baltimore. He found the backers of Mr. early in August. fourscore. no result was guaranteed. phane. and J. reserved and almost silent with strangers. Hahl the next day went to Wash' " One day ington to secure. Henry Thomas. Early together. Mr. He genthaler us : coterie of young Germans who lived together. 13 Charles T. halting at the farmhouse of a German friend. We were all ambitious. Ottmar. Virginia.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER nothing to do. In those days his health was vigorous and his He gave promise of being hale and hearty at step elastic. Crossman. : fice. 1876. and often took long walks together. Cleship.' was their verdict. Moore discouraged and unwilling to advance any more cash unless a No result. barytone. complying and kind. spoil-sport. always He was a generous comno His voice." To resume Mergenthaler's own story let himself go in our company. H. if possible.

each letter duly spaced. so as to produce In case of sucthe effect of printing from regular type.* into lengths of a line each. print clear and sharp on a page. and." On these terms the machine was taken in hand. saw his way clear to remodeling the machine so as to overcome some of its defects and at the same time simplify it greatly. he would have easily won success. in Washington. was beyond doubt. enables an operator to print with ink 2. Chicago. . readily cut in wax on a standard typewriter. he was to be paid nothing. in that simple act he gave the inventor his first impulse toward supplanting the ancient art of typesetting. This suggestion went into effect. and then transferred to a lithographic stone for printing. always barring the task of justification. court testimony. in the event of failure.600 was to be received by Hahl. yet this was less a of failure than errors of design. after a few days. He gave the project serious thought. and other documents. by the due separation of words and syllables. as in all the typewriters of to-day. and ushered in the dawn of a new and *Had Moore used lithographic ink directly on a typewriter.000 or more impressions from an ordinary typewritten sheet. with which indeed he might have dispensed. cess.406 while cause LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS its workmanship was faulty. In its original form it bore upon the successive circles of a cylinder the characters to be printed. justified Crude though this machine was. At present a stencil plate. its characters were printed in This strip was then cut lithographic ink on a paper strip. in his opinion. Hahl guaranteeing that a reconstructed machine should make its letters. and that the compensation should be just. $1. as the result. and advised him to undertake the reconstruction at his own risk. He so informed Hahl. and New York it had printed copies of legislative proceedings. including the widest and narrowest. When Hahl handed this apparatus to Mergenthaler to be overhauled and improved. By manipulating keys while this cylinder revolved. provided that he should be free to make such changes as he pleased.

then commissioned to build a machine of finished during the full size. Mergenthalers He was A TRANSFER SHEET Patented March 19. all incorporating that improvements. 407 A model. Charles T. An ordinary stock . this he summer of 1877. 1878.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER memorable era. Moore. performed was desired.

as a matrix. This metal penetrated . had recently demonstrated its success. James O. He proposed that stereotypy be resorted to instead. ink might be delivered from the printing-press. like that of From both wheels appear. the type imprinted itself sharply but this. and knew nothing of its manufacture.408 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS wheel for letters. Not seldom the paper became or too little Too much ran past the printing cylinder. from which. In truth. however resourceful. Mergenthaler up to this time had never seen a stereotype." By : : the end of 1878 Mergenthaler built for Clephane a machine which clearly impressed on papier mache letters and words duly spaced. a stereotype should be produced. forty lines in length. was covered with molten type metal. was only a threshold achievement. Mergenthaler paralleled descent struck this feature his keys in their usual Roman characters. caused italics to : tempted. : ticker of to-day has one another for figures. so that blotches presented themselves alongside spaces utterly bare. When reproduction was ata typewriter. after all. and no inventor. A sur- vey of the process in a printing office nearby made him " Don't hold me skeptical as to Clephane's plan. could make anything stained with all: oil as it of the inevitable of it. the scheme was puerile." for responsible Clephane responded an impression machine and I will attend to the rest. saw at last that the difficulties of lithography were insurmountable. Clephane. so he said " Give me results. The stone here and there refused to absorb the finer lines of the imposed script. But joy at the neatness of this work gave place to dejection when this matrix. a shift-key. there was disappointment. who had originally suggested this machine to Moore. The typewriter.. he proposed that a typewriter should impress its characters on a strip of papier mache. Worst slowness of lithographic printing wholly forbade success. in which he felt a keen interest both as an inventor and a promoter.

OTTMAR MERGENTHALER every joint. their aim was well worthy of renewed pursuit. And who was felt that. And there was usually a provoking displacement of material to their surfaces toward the right side of each character. a fit of rage he had torn his sketch into ribbons. by seemed near. its LINE BY LINE. were unquenchable. and acids. and in 1879. For five years thereafter they kept on stereotyping in a shop of their own in Washington. There . he was certain that he must exclude the annoyances of the papier mache method as at first adopted. As Clephane and more competent machinist? for that pursuit than the in young Baltimore Accordingly January. 409 oughly that to separate and pore of the papier mache so thormold and metal was hardly feasible. they his friends discussed their experiments. To avoid the bulges which arose as one letter after another was him to take impressed upon surface. He finally became convinced that this phase of stereotypy was impracticable. The paper clinging was removed by pens. Many inventors have essayed this task of designan impression machine. and brought the process to a point where success one. Another besetment arose from having to keep the paper wet during printMergenthaler patiently overcame these obstacles one ing. crack. the subject. good castings occasionally appeared. But success was never close enough to be grasped. they engaged up as a whole the problem of devising a machine As Mergenthaler reconsidered to supersede typesetting. nevertheless. only to waste their time as ing Mergenthaler did. Their hopes. he planned to imprint a matrix each line being justified as a unit. diligently cleared of burrs. 1883. Hours might be spent in making presentable a single page. while they had followed a wrong track. This project he had outlined in a drawing toward the close of Just then his treasury was absolutely empty. brushes. Amid many These were failures. only to reach at last the conclusion that their endeavor was wholly futile. and told his employers so.

and yet the only issue was failure. a man of ability and character. He now plainly . Hine. and began business There he immediately took in for himself in Bank Lane. he dissolved a partnership with Hahl which had existed for two years. and dry it afterward. one of the commissioners who ruled the city. In sistent difficulty lay in the task of drying the -matrix.410 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS was now the prospect of funds adequate to the experiments proposed. a leading lawyer of Washington. New paging and other auxiliaries were installed. On New Year's Day. who assumed all outlays. because production was too rapid to allow a matrix to remain long enough on the type to have A ordinary stereotypy the matrix its moisture driven off by heat. where soon they had seven rotary machines at work. Clephane had at this time interested in his plans Lemon G. had strip Mergenthaler type. He brought not only capital to the enterprise. Hine. to which union four sons and a daughter were born. Everything possible to insure success seemed to be present. This new deit expanded to a working scale. but energy and dash. requested Mergenthaler to proceed at once with his improved design: he began forthwith to construct an experimental model which should print twelve letters at a time. was tested in the fall of per1883. It was built in a hurry and creaked demonstrated a principle distinctly superior to that of the preceding machine. with defects. This impediment brought our inventor to a decisive turning-point. In 1881 he married Emma Lachen- mayer. is dried while still on the to off his matrix while wet. For a moment let us return to the personal annals of Mergenthaler in Baltimore. 1883. hand the revised plans of his friends in Washington. and withal a born diplomatist. The associates now opened a printing office in commodious quarters at Seventh Street and Louisiana Avenue. and the staff of operators was considerably augmented. with an encouraging measure of success. yet sign.

the inventor's path was still thorny. he required as an outfit no fewer than 4. the bars being provided with springs for justification. As his plans first crystallized in his mind. While regarding this difficulty from every point of view. and must be discarded. These bar-indenting machines carried a series of metal bars. an idea which glowed more and more brightly with promise as he dwelt upon it. He took a leaf out of the practice of typefounders. and bade At last they yielded to him embody his novel design in two machines. from a mixture of water and pulp. On persuade his friends to adopt his reaching Washington. and proceeded to cast from his matrices in fluid type metal. springs. In this returning step he dismissed for good and all the trouble with protruding papier mache. He was certain that good and cheap matrices could be punched into type metal. But even with his new resource of casting from metal. On board the train there flashed across his mind: Why have separate matrices at all why not stamp matrices into typebars and cast metal Here was his first into them in one and the same machine ? unification of composing and casting. The experience of four centuries had shown that molten type metal thus cast solidifies almost inwithout adhering to its mold. bearing upon their edges printing characters in relief. such as then cost two dollars each. He felt sure that type metal would solidify fast enough to permit a quick working of the mechanism he now imagined.000 for their purchase ? For weeks this perplexed his brain. and each line readily justified by . Mergenthaler sought to new and audacious plan. and the necessity for driving off moisture stantly. They were at first reluctant. And where was he to find $9.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER 411 saw that papier mache was unsuitable for his work.500 matrices. he was called to Washington to consult Clephane and Hine. Why had an idea so obvious not been carried out long before? the inventor's arguments. The .

over which was laid a gridiron frame containing a series of slots.412 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS papier mache matrix lines resulting from pressure against the characters were secured upon a backing sheet. forming a slug with a perfect printing surface. posed a line on the keys. These machines were promptly succeeded by a machine which cast its slugs automatically from the matrix sheets. was ready to be tested early in January. and Otttheir finishing touches. and a day was appointed when a few friends might behold the linotype at work. each band containing a full alphabet. desired point. 1884. their of skill and outlook. into which type metal was poured by hand to form slugs bearing the characters from which to print. Each band tapered in thickness from top to bottom. one line at a time. The first of these machines. side by side with other bands in the machine. bringing the characters required into line at a casting mechanism was then brought A into contact with this line of characters. By touching a keyboard the bands dropped sucits predecessors. As these machines creator rose to new followed one another. He was heights soon designing a band machine which distinctly surpassed In this model the characters required for were indented in the edges of a series of narrow printing brass bands. whose creation opened a new chapter in the mechanism of typography. deftly gave his cams and molds At last all was completed. so that the in their inventor. then turned the driving pulley by hand. presence. and hanging with its spacers. . mar Mergenthaler stood before his keyboard as calm and He comcollected as at any time for eight years past. cessively. A dozen numerous enough to fill the little shop in They came half an hour too soon. The inventor now asked that easily and with precision. observing closely every pulse of the mechanism until All moved it had finished a cycle and come to a full stop. spectators were Bank Lane. and molten metal was forced through a mold of proper dimensions.



To-day her who work at the keyboard of the linotype was as convincing as that of the inventor himself. its duty performed. could see the length of his line as it grew before him." They established a shop at 201 Camden Street. the while that each matrix. A finished LINOTYPE. but their high cost had warned him In those days of small things. dropped from the machine. to take his place at the keys. scene as worthy of monumental commemoration as the first pulling of a A proof from movable types by John Gutenberg. were clamped and aligned. off. removed the stopper from the metal pump. At tional this financially period in the history of linotypy. A few additional lines followed at the swift touch of Mergenthaler. He composed a second line. and the pump discharged its fused metal. he duly enlarged the spaces betwixt words by striking a space-key until his pointer showed the line to be quite full. of which Mergenthaler was given charge. How did the justification? mechanism execute the difficult task of The operator. This was done. Smoothly and silently the matrices slid into their places. with the aid of a scale and pointer. $400 was as much as he dared expect a printer to pay for a composing machine. for years produced better results than any other operator with the lithographic and indenting machines. and a price so low excluded automatic justification. At the proper moment near the end of a line.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER 413 steam power be connected. From Bank Lane . its own receptacle. the parties " interested organized themselves as The Na- Typographic Company of West Virginia. and touched the line key. Baltimore. an expert and rapid Miss Camp had typewriter. These wedges Mergenthaler had borne in view for his first band machine of 1883. It was soon decided to substitute graduated wedges for this plan. now took its way through the distributing mechanism to All was accomplished in fifteen seconds. then invited Miss Julia Camp. shining like silver.

Mergenthaler agreeing that all his inventions. Mergenthaler had the personality which makes an employer beloved by his hands. His men were proud and fond of him. A Company. during which. the inventor improved and simplified his linotype. On his producing a practical machine he was to receive as royalty ten per cent. and a thousand shares of the Company's stock. 1896. day by day. always MERGENTHALER'S GRADUATED -WEDGE JUSTIFIER Patented August u. will did much to cushion the jolts of experimental work with its inevitable hitches. should become the property of the Company. One of his staff at .LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS he brought his tools and machinery. finding his directors patient and cordial in their support as he abandoned good designs for better. on the cost of all machines manufactured. Besides his amazing faculty as an inventor. past and future. Now followed two years. to which the Company contract was now signed by the added with liberality. its constant balking of the best laid plans. They rendered him ungrudging service their good .



that time


was William R. Brack, now of New York, who " Ottmar Mergenthaler was the whitest man declares one could work for. He was good to his employees, and no matter how humble their station, he had always a kind word for them, and a friendly word to say of them. His

goodness of heart. included dumb animals, horses especially, and he would not permit them to be ill-treated. One evening I was returning home from the linotype factory, and I rode in the horsecar with him. At an unpaved crossing the
driver lost his temper and began to


his horses un-

Mergenthaler sprang to their rescue, and gave mercifully. the driver such a reprimand as he never heard before. It

had the desired



That man never abused


horses again." Says Charles R. Wagner, of New York, another machin" There never ist, who helped to build the first linotypes

was an employer

better liked than Mergenthaler. rush orders obliged all hands to work overtime, he


walk through the shop and ask us if we had dined. If we answered no, he would order dinner from a neighboring restaurant to be brought in at once. When Mr. Hine resigned as president of the Company, Mergenthaler gave all hands a capital supper at the shop. That night he made a When he parted from the Linotype Comtelling speech. pany, he bought the old Walker Horseshoe Works at Locust Point, Baltimore, where he intended to form a community of his work people. At this factory he built 300 linotypes under contract with the Linotype Company. After

these machines were finished, he confined his work, so far as

were concerned, simply to repairs. But he was an inventor through and through, so he had to devise a threshing machine, and improve a basket-making machine, and contrive much else equally ingenious and original. The

For years he was recreation he enjoyed most was singing. an active member of the Liederkranz of Baltimore, and be-




its president. Apart from music, he was a man to When he traveled in America or Europe, he stay at home.

took his family with him.

At home or abroad,
to the capacity

his friends

were friends for life." Thanks, in no small degree,
of his

and good


in the

Mergenthaler, in February, 1885, completed a improved linotype, with an automatic justifier. This,

same month, he exhibited at the Chamberlain Hotel Washington, attracting the attention of printers from all parts of the world, as well as of President Arthur and other national leaders. A banquet was given in honor of the inin

ventor to



great achievement.


delivered a

capital speech, in

which he reviewed the principal steps of invention, with a forecast of its coming success, since
linotype -was

more than fulfilled. While this latest

much more



working than

immediate forerunners,

ventor soon divined

how he




His matrix bands were not precise in their dimenand if an operator fell into a single error, all that preceded that error 'on a line had to be thrown away. Another fault was more serious: as the movements of the machine were hidden, the operator could not see what he was doing. Mergenthaler felt that he must redesign his machine throughout, so as to confer visibility on its mointended, also, that his lines of type should afford an opportunity to correct an error as work proceeded, just


as in




this critical stage of his progress

our inventor seems

to have taken a glance at what other inventors were doing, One of as they sought to supplant manual composition.


their several boxes

noteworthy attempts was to release individual types by a keyboard, these types sliding


together to form a long line, duly divided into short lines second operator. This may have justified by a

prompted the next idea which arose


Mergenthalers mind,

the adoption of single matrices, instead of bands, each impressed with all the characters of a font. This new

project he sketched in a few masterly strokes, and showed to Clephane, Hine, and his other financial backers. It was a

recurrent shock to these
Better, only to



Good was


have Better make way for Better ousted by Still, with Best ever below the horizon.


if machinery were invented For only this to be amended."

to crest,

Mergenthaler's present design was wholly new from base and new machines had become odious to the men

who had

pay for them.


were experiments

to end,

so that dividends might begin? Hine, the faithful friend " of Mergenthaler, said Not many stockholders can stand

being told that they have the best machine in the world, but that they should make another still better." These men

were not conducting a bureau of mechanical research, but a machine shop meant to earn and pay a profit as soon as possible.

In truth, Mergenthaler, in the successive phases of

advances which usually require successive generations of inventors, or a cohort of designers banded for attack by a powerful syndicate or trust. On
his linotype, realized

Mergenthaler's fellow share-holders were paonce again, acknowledging that if his latest model were practicable, it would be well worth its cost in dollars
this occasion


and delay.
Mergenthaler, thus indorsed,

now devoted

his days


nights to developing his single-matrix machine.

Its details

were immeasurably more troublesome than those of any earlier linotype, rising, as they did, to a new and higher
plane of invention.


cathedral clock,

such as that


have noticed


Strasburg, has thousands of parts which



present a simple drama as its hours are ticked off, demanding in its constructor rare ingenuity. But, after all, its labyrinth of wheels and pinions, levers and cams, are bound
together rigidly, and must move onward with inevitable precision when once the weights are wound up, and every working surface is clean and bright. But Mergenthaler

had for the essential parts of his linotype a procession of matrices at times rigidly held in their mechanism, at other times wholly free as they moved from their magazines, and were freely restored to those magazines for their next excursion. There must be no sticking at any point, from undue friction or other cause. More than a score of movements must follow each other with swiftness and precision,

temperatures, too, varying as


as 480



Indeed, the linotype is supreme among the modern machines which integrate a comprehensive round of operations and turn out a complete article. Typesetting, typefound-

and stereotyping had been executed by hand, and, in part, by machinery, before Mergenthaler began to build his He united all three processes in one machine, so linotype. that an operator, with little more labor than in working a


now produced
in his

lines of type



ready for printing. machine dealt with types, these

small and


pieces of metal

would have been

liable to

passing through an matrices could easily be made
and, because




stronger than types, larger, they easily received the numer-


ous slots and nicks required for distribution. There was genius, too, in choosing a line instead of a type as his
unit, greatly reducing the cost and labor of handling composed matter, while lessening the hazard of pi-ing, so much dreaded by printers. These are the points of excellence

which keep the creation of Mergenthaler far
its rivals.


advance of

this period the success of the linotype


was assured, so draw around it a circle of leading newspaper publishers. Foremost of these came Stilson Hutchins, proprietor of the Washington Post, who one day brought with him his friend Whitelaw Reid, of the New York Tribune, an
as to

introduction big with fate for the linotype, as we shall duly Another member of the group was Melville E. Stone, of the Chicago New's, who was chosen president of the

Mr. Hine, who resigned. Mr. Stone wished the factory to be removed to Chicago, that it might receive his personal supervision. Mergenthaler declined to leave Baltimore, so in Baltimore the factory re-


in the place of


There work proceeded with energy never for a

relaxed, Mergenthaler engaging Sumter Black, a as his assistant. In the summer of 1885 draftsman, capital the independent matrix machine was brought to a trium-



In every particular it displayed an advance on previous designs. The matrices were stored in vertical copper tubes, each matrix descending at the touch of a

by its ears as it dropped on a tiny railroad. Thence it was blown by an air blast to the assembling-point. As each matrix was in full view during its
finger key, to be caught

journey, an operator could correct errors in a moment. He could as easily insert italics or other unusual characters.





between words

to justify each line,

and then the line of matrices was borne to the front of a mold where casting was effected. Hard work, long protracted, had been needed to score A task every whit as hard this great mechanical triumph.


to induce printers to

employ the linotype so



factory, well to watch a model machine as

Manual composition was to them quite satisfor it yielded them a fair profit. It was all very

responded to the touch



inventor, or one of his trained assistants, but
befall its intricate levers


what and cams under the fingers



of an everyday operator

Then came the query " How do we know that Mergenthaler has come to the end of his improvements? Where will we be if next year he supersedes his costly machine of to-day?" Listening to these objections, and to the answers which they elicited, a syndicate of newspaper publishers resolved to give the lino-

type a fair



their offices.

mention: Whitelaw Reid, of the


These leaders deserve York Tribune; Mel-

E. Stone, of the Chicago Neivs, to whom succeeded Victor E. Lawson; Henry Smith, of the Chicago Inter-

Ocean, and Walter N. Haldeman, of the Louisville CourierJournal.

composing rooms the linotype went forthwith. the linotype its name, was the first to Mr. Reid, in In July, 1886, it began work its mechanism motion. set " on the daily edition of the Tribune, and also composed The Tribune Book of Open Air Sports," issued that year as a premium. Other machines followed in quick succession, until, at the close of 1886, a dozen of them were busy in the


who gave

Tribune office. They gave fair satisfaction, but they disclosed weaknesses and defects under the severe strain of

newspaper production. Trouble, too, arose from the employment of operators wholly unused to machinery. In the meantime, despite Mergenthaler's protest, he was ordered He plainly saw to build one hundred additional machines. how he could banish difficulties which stood in the way of But his board of directors easy and accurate working.
decided that the Tribune model was good enough, and en-

him from modifying its design, for the present at least. Indeed, the Board went the length of ordering him to manufacture a second lot of one hundred machines, making a total of two hundred, although the inventor propheTo Mergensied danger and loss from this precipitancy. thaler each of his successive models was but a milestone to be passed in an onward march. To the Linotype Company





Tribune machine marked a winning-post, which


idle to overpass.

With undisguised reluctance Mergenthaler proceeded to execute the behest of his directors. The plant in Camden

was enlarged, and

its staff

was increased from


one hundred and

In Preston Street a building was

hired where one hundred hands were kept busy producing matrices and assembling linotypes. Contracts were let for the framework of the machines, and for some of their larger
parts, so as to confine the Company's own manufacture to matrices, to the more delicate mechanism, and to assembling.

Mergenthaler had now to cover a vast and diversified field. First of all, he had to design many special tools: he had
to educate


recruits into proficiency:



the while

he was under constant pressure from his stockholders for
quick and ample dividends. prime need was to produce matrices at low cost. An attempt to have them furnished by contractors ended in





demanded no fewer than

supply an adequate plant for matrices thirty special machines, all to be

provided with skilled attendants. With these at command, Mergenthaler was able to turn out matrices at a cost within

His initial task was to prethe estimates of his principals. indented these matrices. maintain the which and stamps pare

The Benton & Waldo engraving machine, when it appeared, was just what he needed, but it came so late that it found
Mergenthaler far advanced in devising a similar machine. In the meantime vexations sprang up on every side. Contractors were tardy with deliveries and their supplies were often of inferior quality. From the Tribune office were re;

turned faulty matrices which

testified to careless


Mergenthaler did all that mortal could in training his He printed instructions in detail, such as are issued staff. " He remained with his men efficiency experts." to-day by from dawn to dusk and later. When he saw a mistake,



he corrected

with his

own hands


but, nevertheless,


proceeded with provoking slowness, especially in the assembling-room. Thus always must a pioneer suffer from
the absence of formed habits and aptitudes in his working force, from their utter lack of the inherited and contagious

which abounds


every long established trade and





from two trusty


Mergenthaler received golden Ferdinand J. Wich and

At first the cams whicn ejected the slugs were of cast iron, so as to wear rapid)/. They suggested hardened steel instead. Cams which bore grooves were liable to choking by splashes of molten metal. These grooves
Ernest Girod.
should be omitted in future designs. The ejector lever was feebly bolted to its frame, so that it soon worked loose. Strength here was called for. Minor improvements in the
lifting and distributing mechanism were also proposed by these faithful allies of the inventor. His new machines al-

ways embodied the improvements thus suggested to him. It was the task of assembling his machines that most exasperated the forbearing spirit of Mergenthaler. As a spur he offered a bonus of ten dollars for every machine assembled within a reasonable, appointed cost. One of his

men was soon assembling two machines
twenty dollars to his wages

a week, adding every Saturday night. Includ-

ing his handsome bonus, this dexterous worker's machines cost less to assemble than any others produced in the shop,
repeating the familiar experience that the highest priced labor is cheapest in the end, because the most efficient.

Mergenthaler now extended his bonuses from the assembling-room to the manufacturing department, where
they stimulated output in the like cheering fashion. By February, 1888, fifty machines had been delivered to newswithin the subscribing circle. During this of hard work, largely experimental, Mergenthaler period






The Company now reits factory from Baltimore to Brooklyn. Mergenthaler was a sensitive man. in 'a mood of just anger. but fell by gravity to the assembling-space from magazines diagonally placed. In that twelvemonth the New York Tribune saved $80. a talented draftsman. Matrices were no longer borne by an air blast. the inventor resigned from the Company's service. culminated on March 15. he continued to add to the value of their property by further improvement of his designs. 1888. the next year. to which figure. and. immense profits began to be reaped from linotypes. he had been induced to lower his compensation. Mergenthaler's pride and passion was the machine which he had created. where its vast structure on Ryerson Street forms one of the land- moved marks of Greater New York. he attacked the keyboard touch. : other parts were not easy of access to a repairer. when. The distributing elevator was replaced by the familiar arm which. Surveying the results of actual work for months together. First of all. which gave him $120. where they automatically . in a moment of weakIn ness. Mergenthaler proceeded to dismiss one difficulty and defect after another. Other offices netted a proportionate And yet the inventor's royalty was now only fifty gain. As his assistant he engaged Alfred Peterson. dollars per machine. and unrelenting criticism from a standpoint purely financial chafed him beyond endurance. notwithstanding his rupture with the Linotype Company. Mergenthaler committed what he regarded as the chief mistake of his life. of highly strung nerves. In 1889. now lifted the lines of matrices to the top of the machine. which was hard and variable. thus modifying his original agreement.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER and 423 Their quarrel his directors gradually drifted apart.000 by the use of its machines. after the casting process. so that only a deft 'operator could keep the matrices from occasionally flying out of their The distributor lacked strength this part and channels.

he was attacked by pleurisy. the friends tried . Again James Ogilvie Clethe breach he collected ten checks. 1888. whose frames were apt to be unduly massive. It was not only swifter than structure it its forerunners. and for weeks his life trembled in the balance. His designs. enabled . double channels were furnished for letter " e " and " n. In September. facturing. marks the milestone between linotypes ancient and modern. He recovered. by James Clephane and Abner Greenleaf. dropped into The column base was in- troduced. In the course of 1889 this model was brought to a test which stamped it as an unqualified success. the channel plate was provided with hinged ends. Severe toil and unending anxiety told at last on the rugged frame of Mergenthaler. with the information that the inventor had not the effect.424 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS their individual boxes." the two-line was devised so as greatly to facilitate the composition Frederick of advertisements in newspapers. means to give them him to build what proved to be his last and best machine.000 to Mergenthaler. each phane stepped into for $200. but with health so impaired that he afterward As he regained strength he fell a victim to consumption. and remitting the $2. It was determined to lighten the patterns judiciously. and by the close of 1888 he its brought mechanism to the form which it substantially re- tained until his death. but it did better work. eleven years later. a fault chargeable to its draftsman. and then build a second machine to serve as a model in manuThis machine was finished in February. and forthwith exhibited in the Judge Building. resumed work on his linotype. sketched with his wonted clearness. But its weight was still excessive. were laid before his friends. Warburton. This machine. 1890. the justifying and locking devices were improved. treasurer of the Mergenthaler J. says Mr. As a had gained both strength and steadiness. thanks to the nursing of his devoted wife. New York. Linotype Company.

had rendered inestimable services to the working printers. or who wished received. there was tragedy not far away. Firms of limited capital. This exhibition had a telling re- within a few months several hundred orders were All doubt and hesitation on the part of printers an end. the while that prime was thrown out of work. and candor. Hine. a few blocks away. who. Philip T. This large office was under the jurisdiction of Typographical Union No. This acceptance of the linotype by organized labor came about mainly through the diplomacy of Mr. Dodge. the largest and most powerful in Ame-rica. who soon outpaced hand typesetters four to five times. Hine tact. While the linotype had been quietly passing from practicability to excellence. many a compositor past his Operators at the new key- board were for the most part dexterous young fellows. a man of In December. a good deal of work had to be done at . and much less liable to get out of order. it had won over the publishers at But what of the first by scores. 1891. resigned from the presidency of the Company. While financiers were at last reaping golden harvests from the linotype. especially those It graphical Unions ? concern. Then. enlisted in the Typowas a memorable day for the manufacturing company when its machines were adopted by the Standard-Union office in Brooklyn. Mergenthaler's invention came to its victory at a time of profound depression in business. 6. The Company established a school for linotypers. Its successor of 1890 was quicker. easier to handle. Mr. in which expertness rapidly passed from seniors to juniors.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER and true of sult: its 425 inventor. could lease machines instead of buying them. as patent attorney and legal adviser. This. on one hand. more than now. was now at to avoid risks of supersedure. and was succeeded by Mr. sympathy. The machine of 1888 was an acknowledged money-maker. stimulated sales of the machine. and then by hundreds.

and the like. where a baby had two hours before been born. This kept a few veterans on payrolls but at first hundreds. Over and over again appeared characteristic aid from within the ranks of printers themselves. and women. whom he recited this visit asked him why he it ' did not describe lief in his next tale ? Said he : "I would " ! as make ' copy other out of my mother's deathbed When woe. so that they might be employed in sevens instead of fives.000 machines. In foreign lands the production to the same 'date was about 10. ever before. In one large New York the office operators for years worked but five days in the week. may bestow a part of revolutionary inventions threaten similar not Property be just and merciful enough to from little whom that enormous gains on the men. This expansion. books more numerous. Every stick of furniture but a bed and a chair had been sold for bread or burned for fuel. cheap composition. During that time of bitter stress many a poor old printer.000. new machinery would tear the they have? During 1910 the Mergenthaler its otherwise the Linotype Company earned $2. While shadows closed around many an old-time compositor. A friend to This almoner was a story-writer for weekly journals. the innocent cause of pain and loss as well as the creator of vast new wealth through his marvelous mechanism. having built to the close of that year in America no fewer than 16. they fell also upon Mergenthaler. and then thousands. Toward the end of . in setting books. took printer's his life. unfit to face the new rivalry of keys and cams.000 machines. To-day there are more compositors proportionately than Newspapers are leafier. in composing display advertisements. One morning a Union almoner entered a wretched quarters near Brooklyn Bridge. to be credited as much to cheap paper as to . were cut adrift. .426 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS cases.733. came only in the course of years and in the meantime there was acute and widespread suffering.

1898. he concluded to take up his abode in Arizona. and afterward took up his residence at Saranac Lake. Let us return to 1899. at his failed.500 ventor matrices. Three days later his burial took place in Loudon Park Cemetery. 1899. the John Scott medal by the City of Philadelphia. occupied seven years prior by Robert Louis Stevenson. that we may have a just impression of his extraordinary gifts as an inventor. containing about 1. he returned from Deming to Baltimore. October 28. his house. where. Long before cheered heart was the closing scene his by recognition of medal a his great talents: he was awarded by Cooper Institute. Philadelphia. house. with contents. Thence he sought a more favorable climate in its had begun moved to the Blue November of the next was destroyed by fire. New York. these days became fewer and fewer. based upon many records. He had occupied himself for months in writing his autobiography. which respond to an operator's touch on a key- . Although he sometimes enjoyed days which promised a restoration of strength. 1896.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER the worse. Near Prescott he built a pavilion where he lived for six months with a guide as his companion. In April. Thither he went from Baltimore in June. legal and personal. Mergenthaler at once reMountains of Maryland. its New in year. Mexico. All went up in flame. and the Elliott Cresson gold medal by the Franklin Institute. In Baltimore his strength steadily and he expired on Saturday. culosis 427 1894 the inventor's health underwent a marked change for He was informed by his physician that tuber- ravages. 159 West Lanvale Street. in the Baker cottage. divided into 90 parts. burned in New Mexico. New York. and hundreds of letters. At the top of the machine is a magazine. where he wrote an autobiography much briefer in compass than the volume Deming. and watch a linotype as its inleft it. Dreading the rigors of the North.

While the matrix line is in position. ready for printing. this pump metal into the mold. His mechanism was much improved by Soreson and other ingenious mechanics. This task continues until the assembler contains characters enough for one line of print. acters of the matrices. There are several matrices " " for each character. the wedge-shaped spacers being left behind and taken to their own receptacle. heated by gas. This pot has a mouthpiece artaining to close the rear of the mold. so as to fill the incised charThe type metal solidifies instantly. perfected serves a moment's pause. knives act The line of matrices upon them during their travel to the galley. which carries them into the assembler. The assembled matrix line now closes the front of this mold. dea French inventor. inserted between words. LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS is Each matrix one edge an incised a small. in 1840. forces its The mold wheel then makes the mold in front of part of a revolution. and is provided with ranged a pump. is then lifted from the mold to the dis- tributor bar at the top of the machine.428 board. and in the upper end a series of teeth for distributing purposes. It then moves to a mold extended through the mold wheel. bringing an ejector blade. having on letter. It in this machine. . As the keyboard is manipulated. At this point the wedge-shaped spacers are pushed through the line. and for spaces and of definite quads thicknesses. Used in connection with these matrices are spacers shaped as double-wedges. effecting Behind the mold is a pot. Automatic distribution. How do the " a's " find their way the effect is puzzling. molten type metal. and the faces of the matrices are brought into line with it. To insure absolute accuracy in the thickness and height of slugs. with began Robert Etienne Gaubert. the mold being of the size required for a slug. which pushes the slug out of the mold into a receiving galley. To an observer unfamiliar with contrivances of this kind. the matrices descend to an inclined traveling belt. conjustification. flat plate of brass.



In its the sharp edge of one wedge being laid against the thick . pairs of wedges are driven justification is into a line as far as they will original form. and at " " " at a place that point they will find the b " box. a wedge has had boundaries inclined to each other. " " " u end just above the a box. perfect the result. array of 90 is thus provided with ears peculiar to Two WEDGES and with a box IN CONTACT. was accomplished by Mergenthaler in his step-by-step wedges. and suppose that the " " have an ear at each upper end. pairs The b's will fall only of rails come to an end. The spacers patented by William Schuckers. Justification. drop into that box. for b's Suppose you give the one pair above the other. But in a linotype there are 90 charand it is impossible to give each a pair of rails to What then pairs of ears. are a preferable because Jacob a continuous device. with four ? " " two rails them to where both ride upon. There was long ago a heightening of the value of wedges by using them in pairs. THEIR OUTER SIDES PARALLEL into which it drops when those ears find their rails interrupted. When such effectually tightened." the " b's " into box " b. go." and so on? us take the simplest case possible. dating from the dawn of human wit. in 1885. by which they ride a's on a will rail Let that rail along which they are impelled by a rapid screw. Each matrix in the whole itself. every whit as difficult as distribution. itself. He placed two long thin wedges together so that their boundaries were parallel. and all the a's acters. was cast. These were forced between each pair of words until a line.OTTMAR MERGENTHALER into 429 Let box " a.

when he went to Cleveland. Salmon P. W. and slidden upon one another. Here. between these cast wedges and the type wooden wedges.* Jacob William Schuckers was born in Philadelphia on March 18. Next year. taper-parallels and In small sizes they are the of machinists. or quoins. In taper-wedges a few small printing offices there still linger wedges in pairs used to secure type in its iron frame. Schuckers before been applied. Ohio. are driven by a shooting stick and a mallet. always regarding him with im- .430 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS back of another. German father and a Irish mother. Chase. was appointed Secretary of the Treasury. During the summer of 1860 he became a clerk in the United States Treas1831. serve to lift great weights. when the Hon. he engaged Schuckers as his private secretary. In 1832 his parents removed to Wooster. Jacob attended public schools until 1846. Wedges thus united. when he entered the composing room of the Wooster Republican. so that their outer boundaries were parallel. and learned the printer's He remained there until 1859. SCHUCKERS' DOUBLE-WEDGE JUSTIFIER series of wedges is cast on the inner side of this chase. called a chase. and worked as a printer on the Leader of that city. may have received a suggestion for so refined as to conquer a field incomparably double-wedges more important than any other to which wedges had ever indeed. which became their permanent home. of a * of Ohio. ury at Washington. One Surfaces A art Bare \ other) liflU J. trade. Ohio.

justified. Chase became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. casting a second. . correcis cast. He now wrote a for years contributed to the Sun and other In that New York city papers. three. and each have two. or four magazines. composing one line. producing a succession of ingenious designs. When Mr. and Life of Mr. where he studied law. easily and machine produces any face. and introduced his double-wedge spacer. Each magazine contains channels these font of matrices: machine may A machine requires about one-third of a horse-power plicit may be of any face desired. and distributing a third. sible. a to small pica. In October he was taken seriously ill. Schuckers proceeded to Albany. In his latest model he used a typewriter keyboard. Washington. and never completed his studies. but the panic of 1873 swept away his little fortune. On November 19 he died: four days afterward his re- mains were laid at rest in Rock Creek Cemetery. as well as to the press of Philadelphia. During the closing years of his life he resided in Newark. A lino- type usually turns out 5. but he developed a dislike of law. confidence and high esteem. so that the machine has a pace exceeding that at which an expert operator can finger his keys. from agate and any length of line not exceeding five for a inches. tions may be effected before a line as easily as in typesetting by hand. change of matrices and molds. sary to sort. machine proofs As errors in distribution are imposare much less faulty than matter set by hand. This high speed of circulation renders have more than a few matrices of any it unneces- uncommon such as accented or mathematical characters. In 1901 he was secretary for the New Jersey Commission at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo. he speculated in real estate with profit.000 fectly spaced ems of solid. matter per hour. Chase. in the hands of a single this is four to five times faster than manual com- As each line is composed in plain sight. By a quickly effected. and per- operator position. He then began to devise a typesetting machine. New York. .OTTMAR MERGENTHALER We 431 note that in a linotype three distinct operations go 'forward together.

therefore.000 impressions before showing perceptible wear. and maintained in excellence. . the linotype offered but one font for a single task. with prospect no distant day. The book in the reader's hands was composed on a Number One model.432 LEADING AMERICAN INVENTORS motor. mathematical and the like. To-day a matrix bearing a single letter costs but three cents. line. Metal for slugs may now of eight or more diverse be hard enough to print 100. 9 machine in word permits the union. boards of trade. is heated by electricity. In its earlier models. into which brass rules may be readily inserted for tabular work such as reports of banks. in one alphabets. model four magazines of matrices are at an As each of these magazines gives him of two letters for every one of his 90 a choice of either keys. To-day letters are cast in many languages. estimated their cost at two dollars each. he has no fewer than 720 different characters at his Mr. in and offices has. Rogers has devised a simple mode of ringers' ends. Rogers. It may be recalled that Mergenthaler. A casts letters twice as long as ordinary type device equally ingenious these serve to : an advertising or other announcement. It is electric can be most satisfactorily supplied by an important that the metal for the meltof be good quality. a narposition newspaper job of total supersedure at a rower field than ever. in the latest machines. Both for the composition of books and newspapers new facilities are constantly treatises being created whose staff of inventors is directed In the latest operator's by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. by Mr. ing pot Its temperature should not exceed 550 Fahrenheit. and in Manual comsizes large enough for newspaper headings. To-day a No. command. casting slugs with deep recesses. This metal. to drive it. this to Since Mergenthaler's day his linotype has been adapted composing books of the most exacting kind. and the print an initial like. John R. at the outset of his project for single matrices.



. letter Blanchard. McCormick reaper. Colonel S. 136. 150. 115. its uses and modifications. Joel. 117. Nathaniel cousin and shopmate of Elias Howe. their shortcomings. builds a forge. revolving turret. 346 Blakey. 58 Boyce. 149 100 Boiler. on Ottmar Mergenthaler. 12 Air engines. writing machine. copied busts on lathe in National Capitol. 243 435 Bushnell. dot-and-dash. 155. portrait and Jeremiah presented by Morse to Thomas. 255 Blower. 149. their duel. 192 boiler. Banks. 1 1 6. Washington. advantages. . letter from Fulton to. . host of Robert Fulton. details of design. 152 305 Appleby. becomes an expert in patent cases. Robert L. 109 its . teacher of B. designs a lathe guided by a cam. 293 er. used by Fulton. Vermont. S. Ogle reaper. testipicture of reaper. 64 Beach. rifle Springfield Armory com- pared with Whitney musket. tailor. on Morse's theory of colors. Joseph. 118 Bloodgood. 307 Armor and guns. 221 Blunt. "Torpedo War. devises tubular Accidental discoveries. John F. its universal applicability. 173 Alphabet. 282 son as draftsman. on Appleby self-binder. torpedoes. 221 Bramah. 299.. Morse. Charles. B Bacon. on John Erics- Thomas and Joseph. 108. 123." 53 Artists in their imagination akin to inventors. Yale. centrifugal. 47 . Morse. revolving cutters. makes tacks and a tack machine. knotter. build Bernard. 227 Allston. Brown. 107. 291 monial to Bell. a forecast in Fulton's no. birth and early life. 113. 323.. death. 281 Brack. Patrick. 112. 47. 282. 13. David. details.INDEX Bird. 344 Barlow. William R. and other steamers. F. " on Agricultural Implements on early Ogle reaper. Joseph. telegraphic code. 31. 104. 107 makes an apple-parer. advocates a railroad for Masbuilds the 115. of India. 47. William. 106 British inventors beginning I9th century. John. E. 1 16 designs a machine for bending timber. 290 .. sachusetts. describes his reap- Slight's account. Abraham. modern . Alfred E. " American Ardrey. in. Stevens. Ericsson. from Morse on photography. 415 Braithwaite.. water-tube. Massachusetts. 326 P. 280 Bell. Francis. 128 invents copying lathe.. partner of John Ericsson. its precursors. cutters for reapers. 284 . 106. 53.

Herbert N. 395. Forest. 159. pneumatic tire. Jane R. A. B. of matrices in linotype. Cornelius H. buys part Sholes' patent. Morse. Life of John Ericsson. for reapers. 25. Ezra. B.. A. F. befriends Charles Goodyear... Mergenthaler Linotype Co. teacher of S. 264 Densmore. Mrs. 329 Dickens. en- Mergenthaler. Rufus. befriends Charles Goodyear. S. 104 Caldwell. James. 320 Digesters for wood pulp. President Timothy. 95 Ericsson. 424 Clocks with automata. on Blanchard and his lathe.436 INDEX Day.. 400 Cobb. Pitt's. John Boyd. 220 Clay. 185 Calhoun.. criticises typewriter. Ericsson. hood. its offends John Quincy Adams. Henry. 220. by resides in employed Elias Havre. education. 106. 405. William. its value to the South during recent imCivil War. 150. C. surface. daughter of Elias Howe. 22 Electrical engineering indebted to telegraph. 317 Dot-and-dash alphabet. 226. 376 Distribution of type. 94. advances half cost Destroyer. Jeremiah. friend of S. Latin Grammar. devised by R. 95 Cutters. Nathan A. builds first telegraph line. 122 De Forest. Ingersoll. 94. Stevens. William Conant. takes command of 600 troops. Whitney. and E. 24 Casson. friendship with B. F. Ericsson. friendship with S. 152 Draft. 135 Choate. Ari. Condenser. 344 England. 222 Cooper. B. B. Sholes' James Ottmar O. 328. Cobb. its forerunners. W. 95 Cotton gin. joins Rifle Corps. Morse. . D. development. president Philip Dodge. 428 T. Life personality at twenty-one. John C. 119 boybirth. 227 Camden & Amboy Railroad. Dwight. its universal applicability. forced. Morse's theory of colors. 136 Dunlop. 26 Dunlap. 312 Chain-stitch. 141 Cornell. L. Morse. 328. Morse. biographer of Cyrus H. revolving. facsimile of letter to E. 397.. 242.. 121 Cylinder. 154 Davis. early forms. cotton classi- gages fication. his studied artillery. F. attains captaincy. James. F. portraits and busts. 206 Cotton crop. 162 general development and advantages. 218. F. friendship with John Ericsson. James Fenimore. flame-engine. Charles. copies Sholes' recital of murder. 105 Church. 359 Chappe telegraph. John. faulty and improved. extends aid. 137 . tests goes to Howe. 225. William. 425 Donatus. 196 Delamater. 149. rippling. Church. portraits and busts. 368 Caloric engine. 408. subscribes for New York line. classification. 327. 219. on S. Daguerre. 80. William 281 Edge-rail. 104 De Clephane. McCormick. N. Morse. provements.

practises painting. Sargent. gift to starving Swedes.INDEX partner of John Braithwaite. Admiral D. . . early life. 55 Forest Products Laboratory. 263 vessel for coast plans defense. . 83 Foucault. 43. 268. Nov- elty" locomotive. his steamboat . tests it with success. its subsequent wrecked. 249 congratulawrites 251 tions. John. S. 381 Fulton. steamjet motor. vises centrifugal blower. 258. Gustavus Vasa. 232 . 7. sailed . 237. a playmate. . George. thought and work. . . admires . 222 . 229. pyrometer. 232. marriage. 41 . 272. 221 surface . 379 Fort. monument in birthplace. assistant secretary U. 253 plans six monitors for U. 259 rotary New York. advances capital to Elias Howe. 266. designs gunboats for Cuba. . 323 inked ribbon. 273 . West's pictures. 240 principle with confidence. 270. 41 . love of honors from country. serenaded eties. builds large caloric engines. typewriter. generosity to kindred and friends. 256 designs the 'Dictator and the Puritan. an accomplished draftsman. 42 builds a boat driven by paddle-wheels. 269. supports John Ericsson. wins prize for fire engine. Robert. 348 Fitch. 223. designs and builds the Ericsson caloric ship. fatality on the Princeton.. 247. 262 the plans Destroyer. 252 Fisher. death. 17. monopoly abolished. a degree from of solar University Lund. 437 employs transmit compressed air to demotive-power. 239 reviews caloric career. 271 personal methods of traits. . homes in New York. devis'es torpedo. 224. with submarine gun. designs steam frigate Princeton. over-estimates value in energy of fuel. birth. on monitors. many small caloric engines used with Swedish songs. 238. motor. profit. gives Sweden a Rodman gun and plans vessels for her defense. remains borne to Sweden for interment. 235 writes in distress to John D.condenser. Navy. Farragut. . 265. names. 327 Fox. below steam Victory invents " gun-carriage. alliance with Robert F. . propellers widely adopted. 267. death of mother. designs a direct-acting engine for propulsion. 248 Francis. on Tilghman sand blast. Navy. Government refuses payment for designing Princeton. Sweden. 241 242. fire engine. . G. and builds the Monitor. 233 reinforces guns with hoops. invents caloric en228. Stockton. John Bourne defending Monitor design. 230 goes to . devises a 236. 257. S. by Swedish soci- 274. . steamboat. William. aloofness and its penalty. . Arthur. experiments with woods for paper pulp. designs screw propeller. . regenerator. sued by Miller & Whitney. 234. simple regimen and housekeeping. 44. naturalized in 1848. improvements of steam engine reviewed. 42 learns gunsmithing. plans series shallow gunboats. 244 details. 296. gift to Jonas Olsson. typewriter. 267. invents places machinery of water-line. her fight with the Merrimac. 275 . 225. . last illness. . 326 Franklin Institute Journal on reaper patents. 243 designs. gine.

68. 51. 180." 71 Fulton the First. 184. 45 . bankruptcy. So. Hayward's patent for treatment 186. 200. Ernest. signs keen interest in safety at sea. 187. invented iron aqueduct. 51 England suppress his torpedoes. 177. . . vulcanization not an accidental discovery. 47. for buys extreme poverty. . 208. the first steam warship. forms partnership with William Ballard. 72 personality. aids Ottmar Mergenthaler. partner C. 70. her first trip. . sewing machine contest. peacemaker in advocated canals. patents in England . lifeboat. wife as helper. first observation of gum elastic. goes to jail for debt. Gifford. " Tora forecast in his 67 pedo War. 178. illustrates his Columbiad. 321 Goodyear. York." 67 criticism by Commodore Rodgers. exposes a "perdesigns petual motion. 48. 46. 62. 179. . Charles. 204. 281 Glidden. his Raritan and Car of Neptune. launches it with disaster. E. injector. 93 . begins business in Philadelphia. disclaimed special talent as mechanic. drawings horseman. derived from fish a hint for submersible craft." 47. 66. sulphur elastic. mixes cotton fiber with rubber for cloth. 198 produces hard rubber. builds the Nautilus. . builds the Clermont. a diving boat. 71 death and burial. discovvulcanization. 69. 422 Gladstone invented side-draught for reaper. directs torpedo boat deagainst British fleet. 176. 52. 189. 192. 151 Gibbs. 182 acid banishes stickiness. 62. INDEX Giffard. roller. . sewing machine. a second experiment succeeds. 49 stroys by torpedoes a brig in refuses to let England. precision of his methods. 82 Girod. 47 paints a pan" orama. de205 life-preservers.. The Burning of Moscow. invents tube for life-preserver. Carlos. designed power-shovel. portrait by Healy painted on hard rubber. 209. 361 Gin. early life. . 200. L. . reviews importance of vulcanized rubber. 59. tests torpedoes. Gauss and Weber. Whitney. 57. of gum makes mail bags which decompose. plans steamboat. career note from Eli reviewed. 46. lishes first steam ferry rules in New . 63 passengers Hudson steamboats. 71. first experiments at home. vulcanized rubber compared with its parent gum. entertained by Joel Barlow. recites early experiments. 73 Whitney. . . . for England. 202. 45. 190. 201 modern manufacture. criticised Des Blancs as 70 vague. 366 inventor from bankrupt court. 44 devised inclined for planes carrying 384 George. James A. estabships." 47. shoes which melt. tanning or curing gum 181 makes rubber elastic. . 61 plan of the Clermont. 182 lime has nitric preserving value. informs Thomas Jefferson regarding submarine gunnery. 54. 79. rivalry of Macinrelief 197 . Sholes. 185. his note-book. final projects. on hardships of inventors. published "Canal Navigation.438 . tosh. . 65 destroys a brig by torpedoes in New York harbor. 21 1 . 194. . 57. . birth. marriage. telegraphic code. accepts ers . 183. finds celerity of production imperative. daughter's account.

354. Day. 307 Hayward. G. self-binder. 213. on typewriter.. monuin ment. 145 congratulates him.. Prof. cotton gin. .. harmony with trades-unions.. promoter of linotype. 54 Hewitt. cuts type-molds. William. 352. 35 Memorial Cooper Union. New York. eye in middle. Mrs. James F. Debtor's Prison. details. at work in New York. 84 Holmes. Karl. serious illness. 355 death of wife. 179 Gunpowder in peace and war. Jordan. . John. goes to Europe. 417. telegraphic experiments. death of wife. Nelson. 419. suit . resigns as president. leaves Thomas's employ. 261 Gutenberg. . befriended by Charles Inglis. 169 . 39 hine. 424 Gum 97 first elastic. Guns. 425 Hofmann. works in machine-shop. 234. 410 remonstrance. reinforced with hoops by Ericsson. 347. demonstrasecond tion. serves in the ranks. 89 Howe. writer. G. 214. 343 farmer as youth. 165 advocates extension of Morse's patent. casts type. Boston. goes to England. on the Forgetting of America. 34/1 resolves to invent sewing machine. . triumph at last. 349. locomotive runobtains sends ner. 342 . 342. organizes a regiment. H Hammond. Henry. . 346 Hemlock for paper pulp. reminiscences of Stevens family. no buyer.. Goodyear buys his patent. 401 . jack-of-all-trades boyhood. Tyler. 338 House of Governors suggested by W. 203 Harvester. answers Morse's questions. Marquis L. self-binding. 357. Dr. Jordan. Frederick. H. 81 Greenleaf. imprisoned at Clichy.. 332 James H. self- binder. development.INDEX and France. Dr. 368 Howe. prosecutes pirates. W.. Prof. 324 Heilmann needle. 178 els. 178 Goodyear. 362. New York. . 360. type- Hancock. Nathaniel. 345. importation. 216. . Thomas. 211 Harries. adapts machine to corset-making. patent. to-day his mechanism survives. exhibits linotype. 308 Sholes Heath. Lemon G. N. properties and uses. W. uncle of Elias Howe. son of Charles Goodyear. Abner. O. 138. experiments in vulcanization. 356. combined sulphur with gum. Hodgen. death. 186 Headers in Far West. 379 adopted by William Thomas. 306 Gorham. 351 model. last mod- Henry. Elias. and John H. last illness and death. birth. W. second marriage. returns to America. grandson of Charles Goodyear. brother Amasa to London with which is machine. House of. Joseph. returns to America. 203 Holmes. 215. Gordon. 439 London Ex- against Horace H. Abram S. 353. brush to cotton gin. 213 hibition. 146. Fritz. produces artificial rubber. 217 Goodyear. 89 contributes Greene.. produces artificial rubber. steamboat. wins in court. 317. arguments of Daniel from letter Webster. first model. 306 Governors. 350. opens shop in Gold Street. 83 sued by Miller & Whitney.

. harvester-finger. devises tumbling barrel. decides against Fulton. Stephen R. 342. with William W. reaper. 379 Jackson. R. 304 Linotype. 359 Hussey. 127 Leudersdorff. 202 . diagram of machine. Ingersoll. Robert R. Edwin D. 56 Lock-stitch. 384. 426. Chief Justice. 413. Joseph. 376 . E. 272 Lathe. discovers that Leslie.." 305 vester. operation. improved sounding gage. William.. 89 Justification in typesetting.. 186 counsel Lincoln. 96 Mapes. invented revolving rakes. produces artificial rubber. teaches at West Point. John. assistant to John Ericsson.440 INDEX gum elastic Howe. removed to 414 factory Brooklyn. his career. machine of to-day. Marshall. directs Confederate Navy. facsimile typewriter. 348 loses viscosity in sulphur solution. 113 friendship with S. James J. B. 398 mold wheel and melting pot. double wedges. leaves. first public test. 17 Matrix of linotype. 395. 290. obtains monopoly of steam navigation. K Kelvin/ Lord.. Dr. linotypy. William George.. 396 Matthews. 291 . 399.. V. telegraphy Mallory. 244 Morse. and H. 304 I graduated wedge justified. 137 Jackson. begun by General Gribeauval. with S. Mathewson. improved 295. at Springfield Recollections. rivalry in London with McCormick. 281 Mann. against Cyrus H. F. 396 line of matrices with justifiers. 431 Livingston. B. Alfred C. writings. suggests House of Governors. hardships due . 85 Jordan. Walter. Charles W. 305 Manning.. of letter from James DensSholes of are more T on 329 Inventors akin to imagination 128 artists. 242 Marsh. opposes Eli Whitney.. developed by Eli Whitney. Morse. description of 1899 machine. in first linotype. 412. L. 342. machine for cutting palm Humboldt. reaper. F.. 290 to M Jack pine for paper pulp. 397. uncle of Elias Howe. E. J. reaper. 423. J. Obed. Abraham. a slug. Charles T. 228 296 Manufactures. made paper from poplar. F. 428. F. F. Marsh invents har" Lassoe. friendship with John Ericsson.. 359 " London's of Agri" Cyclopedia culture illustrates Bell's reaper. friendship Morse. J. Armory. 137 Hunt. Alexander Von.. 390 Mellier. in perSchuckers' fected machine. McCormick. discusses F. B. with S. William.. 429 Mann. Blanchard. 394. sewing machine. Standardization. improves Charles sandblast. Governor James.

Allston. gifts to Seminaries and University. opens a studio in Boston. reaper 307 adopts scientific management. Leander and William. paints Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. effects improvements. 1851. 249. . Rev. adopts selfcontrast between binder. rebuilds factory. 253 her turret revolving adopted throughout the world. 133 Morse. Morse. 300.. 412 royalty . 302. 303. marriage. interest in church affairs. 423 develops tuberculosis. 199 McCormick. 417. 427 Merrimac. . 276. 125 parentage. 405 improves it. 254. on early models. 277. 124. Ottmar. studies . brothers and partners of Cyrus H. 421 final improvements. . exhibits in London. his personality. 410. B. predecessors. friendship with learns much R. describes pictures of father. McCormick. arranged. letter to Philip Pusey. enters child. 411. 92 . last days. . resumes work on reaper. Timby. Samuel F. . writing-ma. Robert. early begins work in Washington. a watchmaker. 403 removes to takes Baltimore.. birth. an itinerant portrait painter. death.INDEX John. Casson. 415 banquet in Washington. becomes partner of Eli Whitney. from comes . . Jedidiah. forefathers. sues Talcott. 401 . Morse. 311. 404 up Moore writing-machine. models The Dying Hercules. . 297 goes secWest prospecting. 122 begins portraiture. 1834. political activity. invents hemplarge estate. father of Cyrus Hall McCormick. produces cheap matrices. . fellowstudents. death. the fight. 248. begins work on reaper. becomes president company. . planned by John Ericsoffered to Governson. . prepared to fight. ness to B. picture of reaper. whose counsel included Abraham Lincoln. 251 fended by Ericsson. gives demonstrasales slow. its precursors invented by Theodore R. . adopts single matrices. 279 first patent. 407. Phineas. B. 418. birth. Emerson & Co. 393 birth. 313. 141 Morse. paints many portraits in Charleston. . 249. early life. 416. 255. successful public test. 295 first 441 Mercer. 301 cago. 411. 304. attacked by pleurisy. 296 Mergenthaler. Leslie. 244 ment.. adopts type-metal instead of papier-mache. bar-indenting machine. . 414. brake. advertisement. the Merrimac. Edward Lind. 296. death. 298 ond patent. 314 personality McCormick. business methods. 244. marriage. beC. 299. removes to New York. 306 first and harvester. 405. chine. Monitor. arrival in Baltimore. 277. and Abraham Bloodgood. . father of S. studies art with Washington criticism from 123 Benjamin West. 81 death. 127. 246. fights her design desinks. 256 Moore. 123 . 120. . built. buys Cotopaxi Furnace. . 245 why so named. 302 McCormick. . 310. tion. . honors. love of music. Samuel F. F. invents reaper. 312. 407 Morse. 278 buys Cotopaxi Furnace. third removes to Chipatent. a transfer sheet. . 129. discovers mercerization of textiles. sinks. sketched by Herbert N. electricity. 251 Miller. draws caricature as a Yale College. days. . marriage. Cyrus Hall. Charles T. when Chicago burns he re- turns thither. first voyage. invents a pump. indebted- 120.

154. from Czar. exhibits telegraph in Vienna and Paris. person- death of father. Henry. his Biography of Whitney. 154. Judge Henry.. process. 96 Pettibone.. Charles. C. Dana. 184 Parrott. New York. 91 " Novelty.. becomes president American Academy of Arts. Charles G. son. and death. 228 . message. vulcanization . Central Park. on John Ericsson as draftsman. 169. 158. 164. removes to New York. impressed by clutch of electro-magnet. annuls purchase. 135. 166. Co. INDEX paints Representatives. manufacture Gordon self-binder. reinforced guns. photographic art. 243 North Carolina buys patent rights from Eli Whitney. 375 straw as ingredient. 130. experiments with cables. 161 . dynamo.. William B. 168. C. 138. dearness during Civil War prompts quest for cheap sources. Prime. business small. 157. 90. 306 from Washington 158. 136. Smith as partner. professor. 134. 283. Congressional disappointment. extreme poverty. takes F. 155. New York to paint. friendship takes with Daguerre. unFranklin statue. McCormick. Washington. drawing by Morse of his alphabet. 316 Needle. statue erected in veils death of wife." locomotive. 137. 143. disappointment in Washington. its tariff. 282.442 S. 132. discusses 155. reaper. 284 " Olmsted. Ericsson. J. attends lectures of Professor J. em- on the discusses telegraphy T. 139. buy patents. 347 Nelson. first name to steamer. 174. Denison. thatching." quoted. recording instrument. Alexander. 119 Painting by air-blast. 162. determines longitude of Baltimore. with eye near point. 141 . Government refuses to Page. 163 . draws plans for a telegraph. 376 . 230 Ogden. 376 Parkes. second marriage. Life by I. 153. duly adopted. Lind as first outlines O Ogden. suggests sounding gage to John Ericswho gives Ogden's son. Roman. 295 Peace. questions Joseph Henry. refused an English patent. 85 Osborne. 391 Paper. telegraphic model and experi- model illustrated ments. Edward appointed . Poughkeepsie home. photographs.. 234 Patent Office. revisits 174 N Name-plate. 172. gifts from war. notices straw available for paper. F. Francis B. partner of C. M.. invents relay. 150. 141 . . 141 and explained. 159. R. gift from nations of Europe. loose meth- ods. telegraphic speeds. banquet at Delmonico's. colors. U. 170. 160. D. opposes reading by ear. 223 Europe theory of barks for Sully. obtains French opposition patent.. H.. 302 Ogle. S. disapproves printing telegraph. line built to Balti- more. final illness ality. Charles Jackson. S. legal contests. 131 paints Lafayette's portrait. victory at last. 145. code of abbreviations. his pictures described with by his Morse. O.

American. John.. 388: sand and water. 280 Ogle's. 282 Bell's. 241 Reid. William 281 Pitt's. first suggestion. 281 Plow. on drift to cities pounding. Wilhelm. 202. removes paint. 430 Schwalbach. 419. 25 Plucknett. describes Scientific Pratt writing machine. Jacob W. first Saint. 389. 33 Raynal. England and Scotland. Rotary hook. 68 Rodman. Stirling. Philip. begin in England. Pope. electric telegraph. Tilghman. 339 sewing machine. 203. prediction fulfilled.. letter from C. J. substitutes. John O. circular saw in reaper. William and Emory. president Linotype Co. 308. 236 Schilling. inventions. H. rasps. 83 Pratt. for paper pulp. 281 Sand blast. career. improved by John to Ericsson. .. 383 etching with sand from hopper. 196 Remington. 321 Printing. R. befriend Charles Goodyear. 284. adulterations. manufacture Sholes typewriter. Alfred W. 323 American. developments. 24 Rakes. and milling cutters. . Whitelaw. Stevens. Sholes." 71 Reel of reaper. Xavier. jack. Marsh's. 385. invented by Joseph Mann. com- Q Quaintance. John. revolving. 281 in 443 New York Tribune office. ornaments glass. 429. reinforced guns. invented by E. Thomas. 309 R Railroads.. 24. . of Commodore. Matthias. early models. propelled by water-jet. 55 from country. Thomas J. writing machine. Abraham. Manning's. 152 Powell. treats files. 420 & Sons. H. A.. writing chine. James. 432 John R. rippling cylinder.. 387 iron sand used. 33i Rider. 364 Rubber. McCormick on reapers. 204 Rumsey. telegraphic code. doublewedges for justification. William. steamboat. 150 Regenerator. Salmon. adapted steam engine. 281 Rees.. artificial. L. Franklin L. 281 Ramming effect of wooden steamer on dock. 12. on Alfred Vail. reciprocating knife for reaper. erosion by. 150 Schuckers. on John Ericsson. Wilson. perpetual motion. aids C. 382. on farm machinery. letter from John Ericsson. 322 . 322 Pusey. its significance. 379 Pitt. 279 Rodgers. adopts linotype Robert. E. invented by Rev. 330. W. . diagram. . 338. 290 Mann's. origin. improves tubular boiler. 381. 315 maProgin. 379 Sargent.. cleans castings and masonry. criticism Fulton's submarine warfare. 321 . 390 Sand. T. Hussey's.. 271 Reapers. Rippling cylinder.INDEX Pine. sued by Miller & Whitney. 234 Rogers. 305 " Redheffer. cast-iron. 225.

F. B. Spruce as source of paper pulp replaced by hemlock and jack pine. 359. . 358 Slight. Thimonnier's. 15. legal conJ. typewriter. 82. system built on his foundations. . on screw its . inventor and business organizer. . 366 3ii Stebbins. 322 keyboard. latest ket. his attempts . reminiscences of Hon. 123 Stevens Institute founded by E. 15 S. 14. Zalmon. 35 stokes Great Eastern. 12.. 151 writes to Morse regarding claim on America. Steinheil. 1 1 Philadelphia. printing. letter from Morse. 230 Seal. Silvered Book. Stevens.. armor. President A. devises numbering machine. Josiah. 10. sees his own Fitch's steamboat. 8. 6. Francis B. 89. railroad manager. B. 340. A. Francis O. scoured with sand and water. L. Whitney. 328 manufacture by Remingtons. 379 Standardization in manufacture. slavery. construction. becomes editor Milwaukee Sentinel. teacher of 321 . A. 338. describes Bell's reaper. McCormick. 389 Sewing machine. 331 Silliman. Sellers. 357. 341 342. riage. Cyrus H. 299 Shift-key in typewriter. John. 290 Smith. birth. . its early inventors. recommends to in an S. death. 157 Soule. . rifle annuls purchase. Edwin A. 171 Stevens. rubber fabrics. E. u. on value of reaper to the North. the taken by sea to Phoenix. 332 Sholes. 317. and New suggests it for a park. B. 337 Sellers. test at Albany ends 361 . 153. 33 Humphreys on. 304. C. Arthur G. Samuel W. 323. . 34 Stevens. Gibbs'. 91 Springfield Armory. 100 38i George Escol. 366 John . 13. 31 delays U. buys Hoboken estate. on typewriting.. Sholes. 330.tests. Baker's. Morse. designs typewriter. Upsala. 7. 197 Sholes. 31 founds Stevens Institute. 341 Walter Hunt's. Grover & Fisher's. developed by Eli Whitney. 318. opposes 319. Isaac M. Benjamin. 6. . 84 . birth. ii ran on the Connecticut River. 326 im324. J. Ericsson's. opposes Stanton. removes to Wisconbecomes postmaster. 5 military . partner C. 31 . S. in comdevel- promise. Hewitt. 25 experiments with shot against iron . modern opment.. 6. never finished. James. F. marYork residence.. propeller. . .. Thomas Saint's. 335 Shirring. Carolina from Eli buys patent Whitney. 24. . its distinctive features. 321 political services. 96 Edwin M. invents cast-iron plow. . L. partner of S. Morse. designs fire-room and forced draft. mortal illness. early . Elias Howe's. 325 provements. 25. 320. founds Excelsior Church. and News. notes from Eli Seymour & Morgan. 7 steamboat described. the Juliana.444 Screw INDEX South rights propeller. manufacture McCormick reapers. Louis. 33. 39 Stevens. John Stevens. 6. telegraphic code.. improves watertube boiler. first patent. on sand blast. 331 Sholes. armored warship Navy. begun by General Gribeauval. 349. compared with Whitney musColeman. learns sin. a Democrat.. or puckering. 316 Singer. typewriter. .

steamboat Charlotte Dundas. 30 Robert L. delphia. James. blast. 27. Taylor. . Benjamin Chew. designs a for the New Philaa establishes 16. 370. 400 Straw in paper. invented regenerator. 30. 20. friendship with S. William. describes fight with Merrimac. 16. 27. inventor pneumatic tire. ments with screw propellers. 379. devises sand its development. quarrel with Ericsson. 378. 375 process detailed by himself. Ericsson educated Stimers' daughter. on yellow fever. designs ter 17. suspends tax. advocates railroads. Morse. 26. 19. 136 Thurber. writing machine. student of S. 225 Stitches. a supply. returns home. alumnus of Stevens Institute. 21 " " locoand 22 John Bull motive. Robert F. foundations cut by Tilghman shot. . Monitor on first voyage. to locomotive. with against . 15. 346 Frederick Winslow. yachtsman. Stimers. imports T-rail. 323 Tilden. false America. Samuel W. on Ottmar Mergenthaler. orders two steamboats with Ericsson machinery. telegraphic code. a founder N. F. New York. unintentionally produces paper pulp from wood. 92 Terminal Building. philosophical writings. I5i proposes elevated railroad. gives eight 28. Yacht Club. education. . sewing machine. builds first American locomo- Strother. Morse. owns yacht Stevens. 374. birth. 29. Robert William. 231. 202 Tilghman. lock.INDEX to 445 improve steam navigation. 272 Telegraphy foreran electrical enadrecent 119. 20. protive. sloop Maria. death. devises elongated improves steamboats shell. 340 Thomas. steam ferry. 34. . 139 Swaim. Rev. 90. 172 Tennessee buys patent rights from Eli Whitney. 26. Barthelemi.. B. death. re-enlists. 18. instructs Fulton. . 29 experiments shot armor. 23. 258 Stirling. genealogy. Tailor bird of India. directs Alban C. chain. 58 jected circular iron fort.. Professor William. 369. 205 Thorwaldsen. his books on scientific management. the steam frigate Princeton built through his Thimonnier. 373 an build to contracts armored warship.. 233. New York. wheels the builds 28. plans a shelfor pilot. earns distinction. Robert. vances reported by Western Union Co. Y. steamboat bearing his name. 376 for treating stone. reminiscences of A. secretary to John Ericsson. 377. 359 Stockton. 31 experi31 . bow . Hewitt. General. 35 Stevens. gineering. quadrupled output metalcutting machines. 235 Strasburg clock.. process as since modified. . John Cox. 249 gives faulty execution to plans of shallow gunboats. Symington. 372 enlists Union Army. 27 throughout. Charles. 405 Thomson. F. S. projects a line to join New York and Philadelphia. B. in . Henry. wounded. 57. 97 Taylor. produces hard steel shot recommendation. produces artificial rubber.

207 Tombstones inscribed by sand blast. memorial tablet. Morse instruments. marriage. 126 Western Union Telegraph recent advances. Benjamin. 92 note to Fulton. 90. studYale. instruction by ground suspends Morse. Eli. gifts to peace. befirst comes of assistant superintendent line. . revolving turret. cle 151 . 17. 213 Wedge. manufacture. death. 393 Typewriter. justifier. birth. procures an extension of Thomas Blanchard's patent. repairs ap- U Upsala. citations from Tompkins. " his Cotton. 75 ies at skill in boyteaches school. pneumatic. 254 Tire. 276 165 . saws omitted in Whitney's patent. touch-systems. manual . Watson. Wheel. . Sholes'. Thomson. rivalry with of conprinting. tabulator. 164. 334 manipulation. 96 Jessie. Webster. 315 circles T-rail. 148. argues on behalf Charles Goodyear. invented by R. . W Wagner. why he . 332. . Silvered Book. . methof ods 99. contracts to supply 10. 21 Typesetting. . 159. goes to Savannah." 83. Schuckers'. 83 spurious copy of patent. takes Phineas Miller as partner. 205 forms. 333. improves . 86. Tilghman.000 stands of arms. portraits busts. prints with acorn cup. 81 gin patented. . 336 suggests Tredgold. sees Morse's first becomes partner model. 77. 158 Vapor cure for rubber. Richard A. 335.. 371 Timby. Nathaniel. paratus. Charles R. 76. three plans only. 89 Touch systems in typewriting. gin toll excessive. . 325. 104. 172 Co. torpedo experiments. 98 factory near New Haven. 89. of Nathanael guest Greene. INDEX . Mrs. adopted at Government Armories.. 124.. A. 383 D. Thomas. portrait. Theodore R. 105 Wheeler. Daniel. 336 . brother and associate of Benjamin C. 184 Virginia wheat crop. 365 Whitney. Wilson. 429. friendship of King George Third. beginnings of. 332. partner of Allen B. lays under- conduits which fail. principles struction. arti- by F. argues against and Fulton. and by foreign nations. to North Carolina. on Ottmar Mergenthaler. remonstrance against and dishonesty in brutality South Carolina. . its details. 391 392 Tilghman. recent models. 86 sells patent rights to South Carolina. hood. 105. 96. Morse's pictures. 163 improves relay and finger-key.. Alfred. L. 152. . 82. Pope. wires in air with success. 147 with Morse. double.. 91 claim as inventor upheld after investigation. consequent trouble. 159. mortal illness. begins model of cotton gin. 100. kept in the background. its elements. 323. 93 begins manufacture of firearms. 316 Vail. 78. 84 replies to Governor Jackson.446 384 . recent W. final illness. 415 War. 430 criticises West.

422 Willis. Harry. 364 Wisconsin's services in civil war. 362. Charles 35 Ottmar Wolcott. personality. his aid. inventor sewing machine. 99 Goodyear. 363. Eli Mergenthaler. George examines recommends manufacture by KernN. 319 Y Yost.. W. Shol s typewriter. 98. aids death.INDEX 101. 185 Wilson. befriends Charles Oliver.. 102 Wich. rotary hook. knotter.. Withington. four-motion feed. note from Whitney. surgical devices. two-motion feed. contract with Whitney. 447 B. <f ingtons.. Allen B. Ferdinand J. 330 .





>?u DEC 13 1975 6 1 - V 1 6 'R 22 1983 | LD2lA-60m-3. NO.'70 (N5382slO)476-A-32 1 General Library University of California Berkeley /40(6936s) ~(G4~4~27slO)476B Berkeley .14 DAY USE RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED LOAN DEPT. 642-3405 This book is due on the last date stamped below. Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. or on the date to which renewed. c 2 TO ID JuiU. RENEWALS ONLY TEL.


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