Great Inventors of New York's Capital District

Overview

For more than a century, New York?s Capital District was one of the most industrialized regions in America. Adding to the growth and fame of Capital District engineering were hundreds of gifted inventors, without whom some industries would never have been established. Based on the strength of milestone inventions, Troy became known as the Collar City, Cohoes as the Spindle City and Schenectady as the City that Lights the World. Other inventors established businesses to manufacture valves, fire engines, billiard ...
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Overview

For more than a century, New York’s Capital District was one of the most industrialized regions in America. Adding to the growth and fame of Capital District engineering were hundreds of gifted inventors, without whom some industries would never have been established. Based on the strength of milestone inventions, Troy became known as the Collar City, Cohoes as the Spindle City and Schenectady as the City that Lights the World. Other inventors established businesses to manufacture valves, fire engines, billiard balls, horseshoes and farming equipment, to name just a few. Great Inventors of New York’s Capital District describes the lives and accomplishments of dozens of inventors. Some of their stories are well known; others, which are being published here for the first time, were groundbreaking and no less important to the evolution of technology in America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596291713
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 953,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Starr was born in Danbury, Connecticut, and moved with his family to Hebron, New York, in 1977. During his senior year in high school, he wrote his first book, a novel called The Meatloaf Incident and Other Adventures that is based on his experiences growing up in a rural community. He received a bachelor of science degree in accounting and a bachelor of arts degree in history from Castleton State College. He also received a master’s degree in business administration from Chadwick University. Soon after graduating college, he moved to the historic county of Saratoga. After noticing many ruins around the town of Milton, he began researching its history, particularly during the mid- to late 1800s. After stumbling upon the old trolley railroad bed behind his house, he was motivated to write a book about it, called The Ballston Terminal Railroad and Its Successors. That project naturally led to another one that detailed the industries served by the railroad, called Lost Industries of the Kaydeross Valley. When he discovered that several important inventions were developed to support these industries, yet another project unfolded that resulted in a Ballston Spa book of inventions and a Saratoga County book of inventions. His two biographies cover the lives of local industrialists George West and Isaiah Blood. He is a featured writer in Ann Hauprich’s book Legacies Unlimited in a chapter titled “Timothy Starr: He (Literally) Wrote the Book on Village Inventors.” In 2009, he contributed an essay about Saratoga County inventors for the Brookside Museum’s book In Our Own Words: The Story of Saratoga County. He has also been published in Saratoga Living, Our Towne Ballston Spa, Spotlight Milton, the Saratogian, Schenectady Gazette and the Ballston Journal and is a frequent contributor to the Ballston Spa Life History Lesson series. He is currently the treasurer of the Saratoga County Historical Society (Brookside) Board of Trustees, and he lives in Rock City Falls with his wife, Alison, and daughter, Morgan.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

Working the Land 15

Perpetual Hay Press Peter Dederick 16

Bolt Harness Snap James Covert 18

Potato Planters and Diggers Lewis Aspinwall 20

Wire Straightener John Griswold 22

Agricultural Machines George Westinghouse Sr. 24

Farm Machinery and Perforated Paper Seth Wheeler 26

Hauling the World 29

Horse-Powered Ferry Barnabas Langdon 31

Locomotive Superheater Francis Cole 33

Compound Engine Albert Pitkin 35

Car Heating Systems James McElroy 38

Railroad Air Brake George Westinghouse Jr. 40

Heating the World 45

Anthracite Coal Stove Eliphalet Nott 46

The Rathbone Family Acorn Stove 49

Morning Glory and West Shore Range Stoves Dennis Littlefield 51

The Stewart Stove Philo Stewart 54

Lighting the World 58

Electromagnet Joseph Henry 60

Alternating Current Charles Steinmetz 63

High-Frequency Alternator Ernst Alexanderson 66

Ductile Tungsten William Coolidge 69

Electric Turbines for Warships William Emmet 73

Incandescent Light Bulbs Irving Langmuir 75

Fire and Water 78

Hand and Steam Fire Engines Lysander Button 79

Mohawk Hydrant and Eddy Valve George Eddy 82

Straight-Way Slide-Stop Valve Henry Ludlow 84

The Knibbs Run Around James Knibbs 87

Men of Steel 90

Iron and Steel Manufacture Horatio Spafford 92

Horseshoe Machine Henry Burden 95

Armor Plating John Winslow 99

Steam Trap James Blessing 104

The Collar City 107

Preshrinking Cotton Fabrics Sanford Cluett 108

Shirts and Collars Howard Kennedy 112

Collar and Cuff Machines James Pine 113

Ironing Machines Thomas Wiles 117

The Spindle City 120

Power Knitting Loom Timothy Bailey 121

Winding Bobbin Machine George Campbell 125

Knitting Burr Luke Kavanaugh 127

Upright Rotary Knitting Machine Clark Tompkins 129

Arts and Entertainment 132

Celluloid for Billiard Balls John Hyatt 134

Piano Attachment James Gray 139

Sound Machines Henry Miller 141

The Meneely Family: Bells and Bell Fixtures 144

The Schenectady Putter Arthur Knight 147

Appendix Contents by Town 151

Bibliography 155

About the Author 159

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