Tag: Inventors & Inventions

Zachariah Allen

Zacharian Allen, 1795-1882, was a lawyer, inventor, and civic leader of the nineteenth century. One of his most notable inventions was the home hot-air furnace. He also originated the Providence Water Works and is credited with introducing the first vehicles to the Providence Fire Company. Allen was also instrumental in setting up the mutal fire

Read More »

Joseph R. Brown

Joseph R. Brown, 1810-1876,  was a mechanical genius who co-founded Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. which became one of the leading manufacturers of machine tools.

Read More »

William Claggett Sr.

William Claggett, sr., 1696-1749, of Newport, was a pioneering experimenter with electricity who influenced Benjamin Franklin, craftsman and colonial Rhode Island’s finest clockmaker. The versatile Claggett gained recognition not only for his timepieces, but also for his skills as an organ-builder, compass maker, engraver, printer and author.

Read More »

George H. Corliss

George H. Corliss, 1817-1888,  was the developer of the steam engine. The famous gigantic engine built by Corliss won a first prize at the Paris Exposition of 1867 as well as many other awards.

Read More »

John Goddard

John Goddard, 1724-1785,  was an early Amercan cabinetmaker and the nation’s first furniture craftsman. He was the originator of block front knee-hole desks and secratary’s desks.

Read More »

Frederick Grinnell

Frederick Grinnell was an industrialist and president of the firm that bears his name. As President of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company that later became the Grinnell Corporation, he patented the automatic sprinkler and emerged as the acknowledged world leader in automatic fire protection. He was instrumental in organizing the National Fire Protection

Read More »

Domina C. Jalbert

Mr. Domina Jalbert was a world renowned researcher and inventor of parachutes, sails, and kites. He was born in Quebec but lived for many years in Woonsocket, RI. He was the designer of the Dolly Spinnaker for the yacht Stars & Stripes, which won the 1987 America’s Cup. He was a track star in his

Read More »

Sol Koffler

The late Sol Koffler, was the inventor and manufacturer of the internationally famous Tourister Luggage. Although active in Jewish affairs, his philanthropy transcended all race, religion, or color.

Read More »

Dr. Harry Kroll

Dr. Harry Kroll worked as one of the world’s leading scientist and research chemists. He holds fifty-one world patents issued by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and France. As senior scientist for Technic, Inc., in Cranston, he has done extensive cancer research, having worked as an American Cancer Society Fellow and earlier with

Read More »

Henry M. Leland

Henry Leland approached his boss at Brown & Sharpe with a preposterous proposal: He planned to quit his job and move west to begin a business, and he wanted to take one of his best co-workers with him. To start his new business he would need to borrow $2,000, the current equivalent of $50,000; he

Read More »

Walter Scott

The steps leading to the invention of an American cultural original, the diner eatery, began in Providence through the initiative of Walter Scott. He was born on November 28, 1841 in Cumberland, the son of lawyer Joseph A. Scott and Juliet Howland Scott. By age eleven Scott was peddling candy, fruit, and newspapers on the streets of

Read More »

Simon Willard Wardwell

Simon Wardwell, 1849-1921, was a 19th-century visionary industrialist, patenting numerous machines for improving the manufacture of textiles and clothing items. The manufacture of textile machines in the Blackstone Valley was a crowded field, not for the faint of heart; it was like making cars in Detroit or steel in Pittsburgh. However, for Simon Willard Wardwell,

Read More »

David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson (1771-1852) a Pawtucket native, was a successful Industrial Revolution-era inventor and mill owner. When an historical movement is particularly successful, it is logical that there would be many claims of authorship. This is certainly true of the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of the American factory system. At the center of the Industrial

Read More »
Scroll to Top