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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PEASE, Joseph Ires, engraver, born in Norfolk, Connecticut, 9 August, 1809; died at Twin Lakes, near Salisbury, Connecticut, 2 July, 1883. At the age of fourteen he was placed in a dry-goods store in Hartford, where he employed his time in imitating labels and such other designs as came under his notice. He early showed the inventive faculty, and when a mere boy constructed a turning-lathe. Before he knew that such a thing had been thought of by others, he built a power-loom with which he wove a strip of cloth six inches wide by simply turning a crank. He also devised a propeller on the plan of those that are now in use, and fitted it into a boat with perfect success. This was several years before the adoption of the propeller for steam navigation. He abandoned trade very soon, and made an attempt at engraving, with an awl for a tool and a piece of thermometer brass for a plate. This resulted in his being placed with Oliver Pelton, an engraver in Hartford, with whom he remained until he was of age. In 1835 Pease went to Philadelphia, and there he engraved some of his choicest plates for the "Gift," an annual. He left Philadelphia in 1848, went to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and finally settled on a farm at Twin Lakes, where he died. Like most of our engravers, he found employment during his later years on bank-note work. His plates are engraved in pure line, with much taste and excellence of execution, and are faithful renderings of the original paintings. His "Tough Story " after Mount, "Mumble the Peg " after In-man, and "Young Traders " after Page, are choice examples of his work.
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