Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BOGARDUS, James, inventor, born in Catskill, New York, 14 March 1800; died in New York City, 13 April 1874. He received the ordinary school education afforded by his native town, at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to a watchmaker, and soon became skilled as a die-sinker and engraver. His inventive ability was first manifested by an eight-day, three-wheeled chronometer clock, for which tie received the highest premium at the first fair of the American institute, after which he produced an eight-day clock with three wheels and a segment of a wheel, which struck the hours, and, without dial-wheels, marked the hours, minutes, and seconds. In 1828 he invented the "ring flier" for cotton-spinning, which afterward came into general use, and in 1829 devised an eccentric mill, in which the grinding-stones or plates run in the same direction with nearly equal speed. In 1831 he made an engraving-machine with which gold watch-dials could be made, turning imitation filigree works, rays from the centre, and the figures in relief, all by one operation. The steel die from which the gold medal of the American institute is struck, and other beautiful medallions, were made with this machine. He also invented the transfer-machine for producing bank-note plates from separate dies, which is now in general use. In 1832 he invented the first dry gasmetre, and in 1836, by giving a rotary motion to the machinery, he made it applicable to all era' rent fluids. While in England, in 1836, he produced a metallic engraving-machine, with which portraits of the queen, Sir Robert Peel, and numerous other distinguished persons were engraved, and he also agreed to construct in London a machine for engine-turning that would copy all kinds of known machine engraving, but could not imitate its own work. The British government in 1839 offered a reward for the best plan of manufacturing postage-stamps, and that submitted by him was selected from among 2,600 competing designs, and it is still in use. His later inventions include a machine for pressing glass, appliances for shirring India-rubber fabrics, and for cutting India-rubber into fine threads. Besides improvements in drilling-machines and in eccentric mills, he patented in 1848 a sun-and-planet horse-power, and a dynamometer for measuring the speed and power of machinery while in motion. His factory in New York City, built in 1847 entirely of cast-iron, five stories high, was the first building so constructed in the United States, and probably the first in the world. His success in this undertaking led to his engaging in the business of erecting iron-ware buildings throughout the country. He invented a pyrometer of great delicacy, and a deep-sea sounding-machine, which can be used without a line and is very accurate, and also made numerous improvements in the manufacture of tools and machinery.
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