Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BRUSH, Charles Francis, inventor, born in Euclid, Ohio, 17 March, 1849. His earn life was spent on his father's farm, after which he entered the public schools in Cleveland and was graduated at the high school. During the years so occupied he was interested in physics, chemistry, and engineering, in which subjects he became very proficient. Much of his leisure was spent in experimenting and in manufacturing scientific instruments. As early as 1864 he constructed microscopes and telescopes for himself and his companions, and during the same year he devised a plan for turning on gas in street-lamps, lighting it, and then turning it off again. Soon after leaving the high school he entered the University of Michigan, where he was graduated in 1869 with the degree of M. E. Returning to Cleveland, he fitted up a laboratory, became an analytical chemist, and within three years obtained a high reputation for the accuracy of his work. Then for four years he was engaged in the iron business. In 1875 Mr. Brush's attention was directed to electric lighting. The problem of producing a dynamo machine that could generate the proper amount and kind of electrical current for operating several lamps in a single current was submitted to him, and in less than two months a machine was built so perfect and complete that for ten years it has continued in regular use without change. A lamp that could successfully work upon a circuit with a large number of other lamps, so that all would burn uniformly, was then necessary, and this he produced in a few weeks. These two inventions were successfully introduced in the United States during 1876. Since then he has obtained more than fifty patents, two thirds of which are sources of revenue. They relate principally to details of his two leading inventions--the dynamo and the lamp--and to methods for their production. All of his patents, present and future, are the property of the Brush electric company of Cleveland, and his foreign patents are owned by the Anglo-American Brush electric light corporation of London. Mr. Brush has been fortunate both in honors and in pecuniary reward. In 1880 he received the degree of Ph. died from Western Reserve, and in 1881 the French government decorated him chevalier of the legion of honor.
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