Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Disston

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Henry Disston (May 24, 1819 – March 16, 1878) was an English American industrialist who founded the Keystone Saw Works in 1840. He was the father of industrialist Hamilton Disston.

Disston was born in Tewkesbury, Glos., in 1819. The family emigrated in 1833, intending to go to to Albany, New York. Just days after their ship arrived in Philadelphia, Disston's father died, and Disston took a job as a saw-maker's apprentice. By 1840, he had started his own saw-making business. Around this time he married, first to Amanda Bickley, then after she died suddenly, to Mary Steelman.

By 1850, Disston's saws were renowned in the USA.

By 1871, Disston moved his business to Tacony (N.E. Philadelphia). He constructed homes for his workers, designed in an effort to improve their surroundings from their former homes in Philadelphia.

After falling ill in 1877, he suffered a stroke and died in 1878. He is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The above information is condensed from the Wikipedia entry.

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