|Charles Goodyear||Discoverer of vulcanization of rubber|
|Samuel Finley Breeze Morse||Inventor of the telegraph|
|Eli Whitney||Inventor of the Cotton Gin, progenitor of the Industrial Revolution with inter-changeable parts|
She was educated at Abbot academy, Andover, Mass., and resided in the southwest after 1882. She acquired a reputation as a writer of short stories, in which she depicted western characters. She wrote under the pen name Octave Thanet and her published works include: Knitters in the Sun (1881); Otto the Knight (1883); Expiation (1886); We All (1888); Stories of a Western Town (1891); An Adventure in Photography (1892); Missionary Sheriff (1895); A Book of True Lovers (1897); The Heart of Toil (1898); A Slave to Duty and Other Women (1898); and contributions to the leading magazines in the United States.
The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IV
"GOODYEAR, Charles, inventor, was born in New Haven, Conn., Dec. 29, 1800; son of Amasa and Cynthia (Bateman) Goodyear. His father was the inventor of the steel-pronged hay-fork, a manufacturer of pearl and metal buttons and a hardware dealer.
The son was educated at the public schools of New Haven and entered the Philadelphia house of Rogers Brothers to learn the hardware business. In 1821 he became a partner with his father at Naugatuck, Conn., and removed to Philadelphia in 1826 to open a store in that city. The firm failed in 1830. In 1834 he began his experiments to harden India-rubber so as to render it available in making shoes and for other purposes. He first tried boiling the gum with magnesia in quick-lime and water and patented the process in 1835, and in 1836 discovered the nitric acid curing process, and this enabled him to induce capital to invest in the manufacture. The panic of 1837 swept away his partner's fortune and the inventor was again penniless and was repeatedly imprisoned for debt. His constant and restless efforts to find capital gained for him ridicule and he became known as the "India-rubber maniac." Finding no encouragement in New York he removed to Rexbury, Mass., where he was furnished by E. M. Chaffee with facilities for manufacturing. His process worked satisfactorily on thin goods, but was useless where the gum was spread liberally on the cloth. This discovery brought him again into bankruptcy and his friends urged him to give up the struggle, but he would not.
In 1839 he found that by using super-heated sulphur instead of nitric acid he hardened the entire substance and still preserved its pliancy. Aided by his brother-in-law, William De Forrest, after experiments that covered five years and exhausted the resources of his entire family, he patented vulcanized rubber in 1844 in America, but lost his patents for France and England. He renewed his American patents in 1858, but was refused a further extension in 1867. The great council medal of the World's Fair, London, 1851, was conferred on him, as was the grand medal of the Paris exposition, 1855, and the cross of the Legion of Honor was presented by Napoleon III. He was in debt at the time of his death. See Trials of an Inventor by Bradford K. Peirce (1866), and Parton's Famous Americans of Recent Times (1867).
He died in New York city, July 1, 1860."
The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable
Americans: Volume IV, page 336
Charles Goodyear lineage from immigrant William French
of Billerica is:
"MORSE, Samuel Finley Breeze, inventor, was born in Charlestown, Mass., April 27, 1791; son of the Rev. Jedediah and Elizabeth Ann (Breese) Morse; grandson of Dea. Jedediah and Sarah (Child) Morse of Woodstock, Conn., and of Samuel and Rebecca (Finley) Breese; great-grandson of John and Sarah Morse, of Benjamin and Patience (Thayer) Child, and of the Rev. Samuel and Sarah (Hill) Finley; great2grandson of Benjamin and Grace (Morris) Child, and a descendant of John Morse, who came from Marlborough, England, in 1635, and, settled in Newbury, Mass.
He attended the public schools of Charlestown and was graduated from Yale, A.B., 1810, A.M., 1816. While in college he attended Professor Silliman's lectures on electricity and became especially interested in natural philosophy, chemistry and galvanism. He decided to become an artist, and in 1811 accompanied Washington Allston to London, where he studied painting under Allston, West and Copley. He engaged in portrait painting in Boston, Mass., and in Charleston, S.C.
He was married, Oct. 6, 1818, to Lucretia, daughter of Charles Walker of Concord, N.H., by whom he had children, Charles Walker, Susan and James Edward Finley.
In 1819 he painted a portrait of James Monroe at Washington, D.C., which was placed in the City Hall at Charleston. He removed to New York city and established a studio on Broadway, opposite Trinity church, where he painted portraits of Chancellor Kent, Fitz Greene Halleck and a full length portrait of General Lafayette for the city of New York.
He returned to the United States in 1832, on the packet-ship Sully, and on the voyage the subject of electromagnetism and the affinity of magnetism to electricity became a frequent topic of discussion, several of the passengers being well versed in science. Mr. Morse became impressed with the idea that signs, representing figures and letters, might he transmitted to any distance by means of an electric spark over an insulated wire, and on his arrival in New York city, making use of the electromagnet invented by Prof. Joseph Henry of Princeton, N.J., he began to develop the use of his proposed alphabet. He devised a system of dots and spaces to represent letters and words, to he interpreted by a telegraphic dictionary.
He was professor of the literature of the arts of design in the University of the City of New York, 1832-72, and it was in the University building on Washington square that he completed his experiments, with the help and advice of Professor Henry, with whom he was in correspondence. The models were made of a picture frame, fastened to a table; the wheels of a wooden clock moved by a weight carried the paper forward; three wooden drums guided and held the paper in place; a wooden pendulum containing a pencil at its power end was suspended from the top of the frame and vibrated across the paper as it passed over the center wooden drum. An electro-magnet was fastened to a shelf across the frame opposite an armature made fast to the pendulum; a type rule and type for breaking the circuit rested on an endless bank which passed over two wooden rollers moved by a crank, this rule being carried forward by teeth projecting from its lower edge into the band; a lever with a small weight attached, and a tooth projecting downward at one end was operated on by the type, and a metallic form projected downward over two mercury cups. A short circuit of wire embraced the helices of the electro-magnet and connected with the poles of the battery, and terminated in the mercury cups. By turning the wooden crank the type in the rule raised one end of the lever and by bringing the fork into the mercury it closed the circuit causing the pendulum to move and the pencil to mark upon the paper. The circuit was broken when the tooth in the lever fell into the first two cogs of the types, and the pendulum swinging back made another mark. As the spaces between the types caused the pencil to make horizontal lines long or short, Mr. Morse was able, with the aid of his telegraphic dictionary, to spell out words and to produce sounds that could he read.
The perfected idea was heartily endorsed by those to whom he exhibited it, and after many improvements in the details he published the results of his experiments in the New York Observer, April 15, 1837. In the summer of 1837 Alfred Vail became interested in the instrument and advanced the means to enable Morse to manufacture a more perfectly constructed apparatus. In September, 1837, Morse filed an application for a patent and endeavored to obtain from congress the right to experiment between Washington and Baltimore. He went to Europe to obtain aid, but did not meet with success. He returned to the United States in May, 1839, and it was not until March 3, 1843, just before the close of the session that he obtained from the 47th congress an appropriation of $30,000 for experimental purposes, the first vote standing 90 ayes to 82 nays. He at once began work on his line from Washington to Baltimore, which was partially completed May 1, 1844,and the first message transmitted a part of the way by wire was the announcement of the nomination of Henry Clay for President by the Whig convention at Baltimore, Md. By May 24 the line was practically completed, and the first public exhibition was given in the chamber of the U.S. supreme court in the capitol at Washington, his associate, Mr. Vail, being at Mount Claire depot, Baltimore, Md. Anna G. Ellsworth, daughter of the U.S. commissioner of patents, selected the words, "What God hath wrought," and the message was transmitted to Mr. Vail and returned over the same wire.
The news of the nomination of James K. Polk for President was sent to Washington wholly by wire, and the news was discredited in Washington until the nomination of Silas Wright for Vice-President was received and communicated by Mr. Morse to Senator Wright, who directed Mr. Morse to wire his positive declination of the nomination, the receipt of which so surprised the convention that it adjourned to await a messenger from Washington. A company was formed soon after, and the telegraph grew with great rapidity. In 1846 the patent was extended and was adopted in France, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and Australia. The defense of his patent-rights involved Professor Morse in a series of costly suits, and his profits were consumed by prosecuting rival companies, but his rights were finally affirmed by the U.S. supreme court. Morse now turned his attention to submarine telegraphy, and in 1842 laid a cable between Castle Garden and Governor's Island, N.Y. harbor. He gave valuable assistance to Peter Cooper and Cyrus W. Field in their efforts to lay a cable across the Atlantic ocean, being electrician to the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph company. He was an intimate friend of Jacques Haudé Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype, whom he had met in Paris in 1839, and on his return to the United States constructed an apparatus and succeeded, in connection with Dr. John W. Draper, in producing the first sun pictures ever made in the United States. Morse also patented a marble-cutting machine in 1823, which he claimed would produce perfect copies of any model.
He was married, secondly, Aug. 10, 1848, to Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. Arthur Griswold, U.S.A., and by her had children: Samuel Arthur Breese, Cornelia Livingston, William Goodrich and Edward Lind. Mrs. Morse died at the home of her daughter in Berlin, Germany, Nov. 14, 1901.
After this marriage Professor Morse made his home at "Locust Grove," on the Hudson river, below Poughkeepsie, N.Y., retaining his winter residence on Twenty-second street, New York city, and on the street front of this house a marble tablet has been inserted, inscribed: "In this house S.F.B. Morse lived for many years and died."
In the selection of names for places in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, New York university in October, 1900, his was one of the sixteen names submitted in "Class D, Inventors," and was one of three in the class to secure a place, receiving 80 votes, while 85 votes were given to Robert Fulton, and 67 to Eli Whitney.
He died in New York city, April 2, 1872."
The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume VII, Morse, Samuel Finley Breeze, page 482-484
Eli Whitney is a relatively close relative to we descendants of the Kansas Pioneers. We share approximately a dozen immigrant ancestors with Eli. He was a first cousin of our ancestor Abigail (Whitney) Bruce, who was the mother of our Kansas Pioneer Ellen Serepta (Fisher) Baldwin.
See the Eli Whitney Page.
Eli's French line is:
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