Biography of Charles M. Clinton
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Clinton, Charles M., was born in Newark Valley, Tioga county, N. Y., January 26, 1834, a son of Samuel Clinton, who moved to Candor in 1841, and in the spring of 1845 came to Ithaca, locating first on a farm and later moving into the city, whereSamuel Clinton died in 1858. Our subject is the youngest son of Samuel Clinton, and he early developed a taste for machinery, going in 1850 into the machine shop of E. G. Pelton to learn the trade; there he remained one year, during which time he was promoted, and the following year was engaged. with Treman Brothers on sewing machine work. In 1853 he and his brother, Miles L. started a small shop in their residence, their first attempt at model making and experimental work, using foot power, and they built a 10 H. P. engine in their little shop. About 1856 they bought a power privilege on Cascadilla Creek and built a foundry and machine shop 130 by 40 feet in dimensions, where they (lid general job work and manufactured boilers and engines. In 1858 they patented the Clinton sewing machine and manufactured about 600 machines. In 1861 fire destroyed their work and in 1862 Mr. Clinton went to Yonkers to work in the armory of the Star Arms Co. He returned to Ithaca in 1863. On December 4, 1863, Mr. Clinton married Addie Rolfe, of Enfield; they had one son who died aged six years. In 1864 he engaged in the manufacture of models. and experimental work, which he has since followed except about one year. He was the designer of all tools used in the Ithaca Calander Clock Co., and superintended the manufacture. In 1868, in company with Lynfred Mood, they patented the Marine Calender Clock, which patent they sold to the Ithaca Clock Co. Clinton & Mood also patented a self dumping horse rake. He and his brother Miles L. patented a vegetable slicer, which he now manufactures. He patented a railroad indicator, also grain binder, and indicator for water meter, and improvements in grain drills. He patented the Clinton fishing reel, the finest trout reel made. He made many improvements in dental appliances, besides all machinery and tools used in his model making and machine shop. He has assisted many other parties in perfecting inventions. Mr. Clinton's reputation as a model maker and experimenter is second to none. His last invention is a typewriter, which, in company with James McNamara he was working for over two years, and it has proved one of the best machines ever invented It is named the Peerless, and is to be manufactured by the Ithaca Gun Co., which is just starting work on it.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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