Biography of Ambrose Swasey
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

AMBROSE SWASEY has given to the City of Cleveland a special distinction through his large and noteworthy achievement in connection with important manufacturing industry and applied science. He was born at Exeter, New Hampshire, December 19, 1846, and was there reared and educated. His education along scientific lines eventually carried itself to distinction, and it is to be noted that in 1905 he received from the Case School of Applied Science, at Cleveland, the degree of Doctor of Engineering, and that in 1910 Denison University, at Granville, this state, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science.

In 1880 Mr. Swasey formed a partnership with W. R. Warner, under the title of Warner & Swasey, and engaged in the manufacture of machine tools and astronomical instruments. By this concern were manufactured the famed 36 inch Lick telescope; the 26 inch telescope of the Naval Observatory, in Washington; and the 40-inch Yerkes telescope. Many other important products perpetuate the fame of this firm, including an exceptionally accurate dividing engine. Mr. Swasey invented the Swasey Range and Position Finder, adopted by the United States Government. He became a director of the Cleveland Trust Company, a trustee of Denison University, and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France (1900). In 1894 he was president of the Cleveland Engineering Society, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers found in him an influential and valued member. He served as president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, and became a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Great Britain; a member of the British Astronomical Society; and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He became also a member of the Engineers Club of New York, and served at one time as president of the Union Club in Cleveland. To the literature of applied science Mr. Swasey made valuable contributions, including his monograph on "A New Process for Generating and Cutting the Teeth of Spur Wheels," and his article entitled "Some Refinements of Mechanical Science."

October 24, 1871, recorded the marriage of Mr. Swasey to Miss Lavinia D. Martson, of Hampton, New Hampshire.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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