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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ORMSBY, Waterman Lilly, engraver, born in Hampton, Windham County, Connecticut, in 1809; died in Brooklyn, New York, 1 November, 1883. He received a public-school education, removed to New York city, and was for many years an engraver there. He invented several ruling-machines, transfer-presses, and other implements that are used in bank-note engraving, a machine for engraving on steel called the "grammagraph," and one for splitting wood. He was a founder of the Continental bank-note company, which during the civil war and afterward executed a large amount of work for the United States government; and the peculiar design of the five-dollar bank-note was largely the result of Mr.Ormsby's idea for the prevention of counterfeiting. it is claimed that he assisted Samuel F. B. Morse and Henry A. Munson in the invention of the Morse alphabet, and, aided by Mr. Munson, he transmitted messages at the first public exhibition of the telegraph in New York city. He published several pamphlets, and a quarto volume entitled "Ormsby Bank-Note Engraving" (New York, 1852).
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