Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MORTON, Alexander, inventor, born in Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland, 8 March, 1820; died in New York city, 12 October, 1869. He came to this country in early life, and entered Yale in 1844, but failing health prevented his graduation. He began the manufacture of gold pens in New York city during the summer of 1851, and between that year and 1860 invented automatic processes for pointing, tempering, and grinding them which had previously been done unequally, and often imperfectly, by hand. His pens attained a high reputation, and he amassed wealth and gave generously in aid of the National government during the civil war.
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