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
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METCALF, Mason Jerome, inventor, born in Fairfax, Maine, 16 October, 1807; died in Monmouth, Maine, 23 July, 1883. When a boy he removed to Zanesville, Ohio, with his father, who was a teacher. Afterward he returned to Litchfield, Maine, was edu-rated in the academy at Momnouth, and settled there. He was for several years a manufacturer of stencils in Boston, Massachusetts, alternately residing in Monmouth, where he owned and operated three mills. His most important invention was a method of producing letter-stencils by means of dies, which he was the first to practise and bring into use. Up to that time such stencils had been made entirely with chisels. He also invented a form of fence, often made of slabs from saw-mills, which by reason of its simplicity and cheapness came widely into use, and may still be seen on many farms at the west. His other inventions included a fan-wheel for ventilation. He made many experiments with models for flying-machines, all of them involving the use of a fan-wheel or propeller. He held that men would fly, by the use of spiral wheels, as soon as an engine could be invented that was at once sufficiently light and powerful. He also experimented with a plough that was designed to turn up the soil and pulverize it at the same time by means of a revolving cylinder with curved teeth. None of his inventions were ever patented.--His son, Lorettus Sutton, editor, born in Monmouth, Kennebec County, Maine, 17 October, 1837, was educated at Monmouth academy, in the Boston public schools, and by private tutors. He early became a contributor to periodicals, and at one time was editor and proprietor of five newspapers near Boston. In 1876 he became connected with "The North American Review," and from 1880 till 1885 he performed the editorial duties of that publication. In March, 1886, he issued the first number of the " Forum," published in New York, a monthly magazine for the discussion of current questions, which he founded and still edits (1888).
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