Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Treadwell, Daniel
|←Travis, William Barrett||Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography
|Edition of 1889. See also Daniel Treadwell on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
TREADWELL, Daniel, inventor, b. in Ipswich, Mass., 10 Oct., 1791; d. in Cambridge, Mass., 27 Feb., 1872. He early displayed inventive talent, his first device, made when he was quite young, being a machine for producing wooden screws. In 1818 he devised a new form of printing-press, and in 1819 went to England, where he conceived the idea of a power-press. This was completed in a year after his return, and was the first press by which a sheet was printed on this continent by other than hand power. It was widely used, and in New York city large editions of the Bible were published by its means. In 1825 he was employed by the city of Boston to make a survey for the introduction of water, and in 1826 he devised a system of turnouts for railway transportation on a single track. He completed the first successful machine for spinning hemp for cordage in 1829. Works capable of spinning 1,000 tons a year were erected in Boston in 1831, and by machines that he furnished in 1836 to the Charlestown navy-yard all the hemp was spun and the cordage made for some time for the U. S. navy. These machines were used in Canada, Ireland, and Russia, and one of them, called a circular hackle or lapper, has been generally adopted wherever hemp is spun for coarse cloth. In 1835 he perfected a method for making cannon from wrought-iron and steel, resembling the process that was subsequently introduced by Sir William Armstrong. He patented it and received government contracts, but the great cost of his cannon prevented a demand for them. From 1834 till 1845 he was Rumford professor in Harvard, and in 1822, with Dr. John Ware, he established and conducted the “Boston Journal of Philosophy and the Arts.” His publications include “The Relations of Science to the Useful Arts” (Boston, 1855); “On the Practicability of constructing a Cannon of Great Calibre” (Cambridge, 1856); and “On the Construction of Hooped Cannon,” a sequel to the foregoing (1864).