Rufus Porter, The Inventor
Among the many things to his credit is:
The Cam Lever Vice

Photograph of Porter's vise patent.

Full size copy will be included at a later date.

   This letter written two years before his death illustrates much about Porter. Colorfully describing how he searched through his basement for the ten year old vise patent, having lost the patterns sometime ago he dismisses his misfortune as his 'luck.'
   Messrs Bartholomew refer to G.W. & H.S. Bartholomew. H.S. is listed as a brace maker in Bristol, Connecticut (1861–1879).
   Notice the usage of the long "s" in the word Messrs – clearly showing his 18th century roots. Also notice that while the paper is ruled, Porter at age 90 did not use or need the rulings.

Son Frank Porter (1859-1942) describes below how his father developed and sold a cam lever vice. The contents are taken from a letter written to the Scientific American editors. Obviously, after 60–70 years, the son's memory has faded and the story has been colorfully embellished.

This account of Porter's development of the vice is described in Lipman's book RUFUS PORTER Yankee Pioneer, Crown Publishers, 1968.

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Old_tools/rufuspor updated May 3rd, 2002
Copyright © 1996-2002 Philip A. Cannon All Rights Reserved