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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MERRICK, Samuel Vaughan, manufacturer, born in Hallowell, Maine, 4 May, 1801 ; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 18 August, 1870. In 1816 he left school and went to Philadelphia, where he entered the counting-house of his uncle. He subsequently studied engineering, and about 1835 established at Philadelphia the Southwark iron-foundry, which became the finest work of the kind in this country. Among other important constructions he built the iron light-houses that were erected along the Florida reefs, some of them the largest in the world: and the machinery for the United States ships "Mississippi," " Princeton," "San Jacinto," and " Wabash." Mr. Merrick took a deep interest in public affairs. He was active in introducing illuminating gas into Philadelphia, to further which measure he became a member of the city councils, and in 1834 he was sent by the councils to Europe to examine into the methods of manufacturing gas there. His report led to the construction of the Philadelphia gas-works, the building of which he superintended. He was at one time president of the Pennsylvania. railroad, and of the Catawissa railroad, was one of the founders of the Franklin institute, and a member of the American philosophical society from 1833 until his death.
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