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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LORAIN, Lorenzo, soldier, b in Philipsburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania, 3 August, 1831" died in Baltimore, Maryland, 6 March, 1882. He had early showed much mechanical skill, and had declined the superintendency of large machine-works to follow civil engineering, when he was appointed to the United States military academy. After his graduation in 1856 he was on the frontier till the civil war, in the early part of which he was disabled by a wound at Blackburn's ford, and saw no further active service. He was promoted to a captaincy on 28 February, 1862, and served as assistant professor of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology at West Point till 1870. He was then on garrison duty, with the exception of a year in 1871-'2, -when he held the chair of physics at Lehigh university till 1875, at which time he became instructor of engineering in the artillery-school for practice at Fort Monroe. Here he placed his department on a practical footing, obtaining new instruments, introducing field reconnoissances, and establishing a photographic department. He held this post till his promotion to major in 1881. He invented the "Lorain telescopic sight" for large rifled guns, and left a "range-finder" that he had not perfected at the time of his death.
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