Reference Entry

Blanchard, Thomas

Carolyn C. Cooper

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Blanchard, Thomas (24 June 1788–16 April 1864), inventor, was born in Sutton Township, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Blanchard and Susanna Tenney, farmers. As a child he stammered, rarely attended school, avoided farm chores, and showed mechanical aptitude, making an apple-paring machine at the age of thirteen. Set to work in his older brother’s tack-making shop in nearby Millbury, he invented a tack-counting device and then, after several years, during which he invented and patented a machine for shearing woolen cloth, he invented a machine that cut and headed 500 tacks per minute. He sold his tack-making patent rights for $5,000 and set up his own water-powered shop in West Millbury....

Reference Entry.  1293 words. 

Subjects: Engineering and Technology

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