Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HEYWOOD, Levi, inventor, born in Gardner, Massachusetts, 10 December, 1800; died there, 21 July, 1882. After attending school, he taught during the winters in 1820-'2, kept a country store with his brother in 1823-'9, and in 1826 began to make wood-seated chairs. In 1853 the Heywood chair-manufacturing company was organized. Mr. Heywood was among the first to experiment in shaving and splitting cane, and made many useful inventions, including a tilting-chair, machines for splitting, shaving, and otherwise manipulating rattan, and machinery for bending wood. He also invented a process for in-jeering rattan with India-rubber as a substitute for whalebone. He was active in public affairs, was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1853, and of the legislature in 1871. The town of Gardner owes much of its prosperity to him, and he gave liberally for the support of schools there. --His brother, Walter, born in Gardner, Massachusetts, 13 February, 1804, was for some time associated with Levi in his business, and in 1869 organized the Walter Heywood chair company at Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and became its president.
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