Sunday, March 1, 2015

We used to make things in this country. # 178: The Bristol Company of Canada, Toronto

This old metal/cardboard tube was being used to store stove knobs by a previous owner, who donated it to a thrift shop. I bought it for the container.  

Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, William H. Bristol (1859-1930) was a brilliant American inventor.  He graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology as a professional engineer and returned to his Alma Mater as an instructor in 1886, becoming a professor of mathematics in 1899.  During his tenure, his patents included a pressure chart recorder, so that year he joined forces with his father and brother to found the Bristol Company to manufacture the device.  By 1915, the factory at Platts Mills was manufacturing the largest and most complete line of industrial instruments in the world.  

Waterbury Time Machine III

In 1904, he also invented the first practical pyrometer, for which he formed another company, the William H. Bristol Pyrometer Company in New York City.

Waterbury Time Machine III
According to Wikipedia, 

In 1915, he invented the “Bristolphone” to simultaneously record voices and other sounds with motion in moving pictures. He founded the William H. Bristol Talking Picture Corporation to develop “synchronized talking motion pictures,” and produced one of the first full-length motion pictures with sound. The Bristolphone was used in nearly one hundred movie houses in the U.S. He also developed and manufactured loud speakers, power amplifiers, radios and phonograph recorders. His “Audiophone,” which was used at Yankee Stadium and Grand Central Station in New York, revolutionized public address systems.

By the time of his death, he had nearly 100 patents to his name.

Evidently, the company had a separate company in Canada in Toronto.  There's no longer a "Duchess Street" in that city, so I don't know where exactly it was located.

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