Grant, George Barnard

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b. 21 December 1849 Farmingdale, Gardiner, Maine, USA
d. 16 August 1917 Pasadena, California, USA
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American mechanical engineer and inventor of Grant's Difference Engine.
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George B.Grant was descended from families who came from Britain in the seventeenth century and was educated at the Bridgton (Maine) Academy, the Chandler Scientific School of Dartmouth College and the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard College, where he graduated with the degree of BS in 1873. As an undergraduate he became interested in calculating machines, and his paper "On a new difference engine" was published in the American Journal of Science in August 1871. He also took out his first patents relating to calculating machines in 1872 and 1873. A machine of his design known as "Grant's Difference Engine" was exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Similar machines were also manufactured for sale; being sturdy and reliable, they did much to break down the prejudice against the use of calculating machines in business. Grant's work on calculating machines led to a requirement for accurate gears, so he established a machine shop for gear cutting at Charlestown, Massachusetts. He later moved the business to Boston and incorporated it under the name of Grant's Gear Works Inc., and continued to control it until his death. He also established two other gear-cutting shops, the Philadelphia Gear Works Inc., which he disposed of in 1911, and the Cleveland Gear Works Inc., which he also disposed of after a few years. Grant's commercial success was in connection with gear cutting and in this field he obtained several patents and contributed articles to the American Machinist. However, he continued to take an interest in calculating machines and in his later years carried out experimental work on their development.
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Bibliography
1871, "On a new difference engine", American Journal of Science (August). 1885, Chart and Tables for Bevel Gears.
1885, A Handbook on the Teeth of Gear Wheels, Boston, Mass.
1891, Odontics, or the Theory and Practice of the Teeth of Gears, Lexington, Mass.
Further Reading
R.S.Woodbury, 1958, History of the Gear-cutting Machine, Cambridge, Mass, (describes his gear-cutting machine).
RTS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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