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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BUCHANAN, Joseph, inventor, born in Washington county, Virginia, 24 August, 1785; died in Louisville, Kentucky, 29 September, 1829. He removed to Tennessee in 1795, was educated at Transylvania university, Kentucky, studied medicine, and practised in Port Gibson, Mississippi, but in 1808 removed to Lexington, Kentucky, where in 1811 he was appointed professor of the institutes of medicine in the medical depart-meat of Transylvania university. Among his numerous inventions was a new musical instrument, in which the notes were produced by glasses of different chemical composition, and a steam-engine with which, in 1824, he ran a wagon through the streets of Louisville. He claimed to have discovered a new motive power, derived from combustion without the aid of water and steam, which is now utilized in the air-engines of John Ericsson and others; and also originated what he called "the music of light," to be produced by means of " harmonific colors luminously displayed." Dr. Buchanan edited the "Palladium" in Frankfort, the "Western Spy" and the "Literary Cadet" in Cincinnati, and the "Focus" in Louisville, and was the author of the " Philosophy of Human Nature" (Richmond, Kentucky, 1812). He was the father of Joseph Rodes Buchanan (vol. i., p. 436).
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