1795 – 1882
Who was Zachariah Allen?
Zachariah Allen was an American textile manufacturer, scientist, lawyer, writer, inventor and civil leader from Providence, Rhode Island. He was educated at Philips Exeter Academy and at Brown University where he graduated in 1813.
Allen became a textile manufacturer and in 1822 constructed a woolen mill in which he incorporated innovative fire-safety features and his own mechanical improvements. He also built the first hot-air furnace system for the heating of homes. In 1833 he patented his best-known device, the automatic cut-off valve for steam engines.
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