Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Knight, Edward Henry

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KNIGHT, Edward Henry, mechanical expert, b. in London, England, 1 June, 1824; d. in Bellefontaine, Ohio, 22 Jan., 1883. He was educated at the Friends' school in England, and in 1845 came to the United States, having previously taken a course in surgery, and learned the art of steel-engraving. In 1846 he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was a patent attorney for seven years, and then followed agricultural pursuits until 1863, when he was called to Washington for service in the preparation of the annual reports of the U. S. patent-office, also acting as surgeon under the Christian commission. The meagre reports that were then issued at governmental expense for gratuitous distribution were replaced by him in 1871 by the “Official Gazette of the United States Patent-Office,” which has since been issued as a profitable weekly publication. He also organized the classification of inventions, under which the work of the patent-office has since been carried on. Mr. Knight was a member of the international juries at the World's fairs in Philadelphia in 1876 and in Paris in 1878, and at the Atlanta exhibition of 1881, and was U. S. commissioner at the World's fair in Paris in 1878, receiving the appointment of chevalier of the Legion of honor from the French government in recognition of his services. His brain was found to weigh 64 ounces, being the second largest on record, that of Cuvier weighing 64½ ounces. He was a member of scientific societies both in the United States and abroad. He received the degree of LL. D. in 1876 from Iowa Wesleyan university. He edited the “Reports of the Paris Exposition,” and contributed the chapters on “Agricultural Implements” and “Clocks and Watches,” and, besides other official reports, he compiled “A Library of Poetry and Song” (New York, 1870; revised ed., 1876); “American Mechanical Dictionary” (3 vols., 1876); and the “New Mechanical Dictionary” (Boston, 1884).