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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COLBURN, Warren, educator, born in Dedham, Nass., 1 March, 1793: died in Lowell, Massachusetts, 13 September, 1833. His parents were poor, and when a boy he worked in factories in the different villages to which they moved. He learned the machinist's trade, but early manifested a taste for mathematics, and was graduated at tlarvard in 1820. He then opened a select school in Boston, but in April, 1823, became superintendent of the Boston manufacturing, company at Waltham, Massachusetts, and in August, 1824, of the Merrimack manufacturing company at Lowell. While here he invented important improvements in machinery, and delivered a series of popular lectures, illustrated with the magic lantern, on commerce, natural history, physics, and astronomy, which was continued through many years. He was also superintendent of schools at Lowell, was elected a fellow of the American academy of arts and sciences in 1827, and was for several years an examiner in mathematics at Harvard. His reputation rests largely on his " First Lessons in Intellectual Arithmetic" (Boston, 1821), the plan of which he had carefully completed while yet an un- dergraduate at Harvard. It had a large circulation, both here and abroad, and has been translated, not only into most of the languages of Europe, but also into several of the eastern tongues. He also published a "Sequel" to his arithmetic (1824: revised ed., 1833), and an "Algebra" (1827).
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