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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Cyrus Buckland

BUCKLAND, Cyrus, inventor, born in Manchester, Connecticut, 10 August, 1799. He received a common-school education, turned his attention to mechanical pursuits at the age of twenty-one, and assisted in building the machinery in a cotton factory at Monson, Massachusetts, and in the first mills erected at Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. In 1828 he became a pat-tern-maker in the United States armory at Springfield, Massachusetts. He rose to be a designer of machinery and tools for the manufacture of fire-arms, and at different times was employed as inspector in all the different parts of the armory, and also as inspector of cannon. His skill and inventive powers were called into requisition in remodeling old weapons and designing new ones, and in devising labor-saving machinery for producing the arms used in the United States service. The machinery in the armory was in a primitive condition when he entered it; but the improvements suggested by him raised the machinery and appliances to a standard of mechanical attainment far above any private establishment in -the country. A set of stocking-machines of his invention, perfected in 1842, comprises thirteen machines for working gunstocks from the rough state, as they were served out at the mills, to a degree of finish that requires only the smoothing of the outer surface to complete the manufacture. One machine cuts the groove in the stock in which the barrel is inserted; a second profiles the stock; a third cuts the groove for the butt-plate and bores the holes for the screws that fasten it; a fourth cuts on, in a single operation, the three bands that bind together the stock and the barrel; a fifth trims off the surplus wood between the bands; a sixth returns the stock and gives it the final form; a seventh cuts the bed for the guard, with mortise, screw-holes, etc. and an eighth is a finishing-ma-chine for cutting in the band-springs, boring for band-spring and ramrod-spring, wires, grooving for the ramrod, etc. Buckland invented machines for turning the upper band of the musket; for punching and cutting various parts of the arm; for finishing the cone ; for milling screws ; for finish-milling and tapping the cone-seat; for checking the comb of the hammer; for boring and turning the barrel; for milling the lock-plate edges; for rifling muskets; and for cutting the thread of the screw on the inside of the barrel and milling the breech-screw. This last invention, perfected in 1857, effected a great improvement in the manufacture of small-arms by producing a perfect interchange of parts, any screw fitting any barrel. The stocking apparatus and other inventions of Mr. Buckland reduced the cost of making muskets fifty per cent. The British government sent over commissioners, who had the gun-stock machines copied in Chicopee, and imported men from the Springfield armory to work them. Continental governments likewise adopted this machinery. Mr. Buckland received no compensation for his valuable inventions beyond his daily wages, but when he retired congress voted him a grant of $10,000. His nervous system broke down under the protracted mental strain, and he retired from the armory, an invalid, in 1859.

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