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By Alex I Askaroff

 

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Walter Hunt
The forgotten Genius
A brief history without the boring bits
by
Alex I Askaroff

 

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Alex has spent a lifetime in the sewing industry and is considered one of the foremost experts of pioneering machines and their inventors. He has written extensively for trade magazines, radio, television, books and publications world wide.

 

See Alex Askaroff on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-NVWFkm0sA&list=UL

 

 

 
 

Walter Hunt
The Forgotten Genius


A very early photograph of Walter Hunt 1797-1859

"All in all Walter Hunt

 has probably tried for more inventions

than any American alive to date."

New York Tribune

Walter Hunt was one of the most prolific inventors in American History. His inventions are still in use today. The safety pin, the sewing machine, the fountain pen, Walter invented just about everything from ice breakers for ships to repeating rifles, nail making machines, safety lamps, knife sharpeners, rope twisting machines, wood saws, heating stoves, self filling ink wells even bottle stops. The man had an inventive streak second to none.

So why doesn't every school child know the name of this genius? We all know Edison and Bell, Faraday, Voltaire and many more but Walter Hunt! Never heard of the man! And more importantly why is he still so ignored....

Walter was one of the first pioneers of the sewing machine. He ended up fighting nearly every patent holder and manufacturer of sewing machines in his volatile life and gaining almost nothing.


Walter Hunt's Fountain Pen of 1847. He went on to patent several ink filling pots. I love the plunger it is like an early syringe. Why did he not make the profits Parker Pen did?

Walter spent nearly 15 years fighting court battles (some financed by Isaac Singer) to prove and secure his inventions. Walter was born like most of us, without wealth. He had to struggle to make ends meet and pay the rent. Had he been born wealthy he may have been the most famous American inventor ever!

Unfortunately his humble beginnings in Martinsburg, New York, meant that every time he had a stroke of inventing genius he sold it to pay off debts or simply for food and a roof over his families head. This was a pattern that he repeated over and over with his inventions. He would spend all his efforts on inventing a new product, often not even bothering to patent it, then sell it to the highest bidder.

No one knows exactly how many things Walter actually invented but we do know it is many more than we have records for. He was well known for selling ideas as quickly as he could to get enough money to start his next project. He even sold all the rights to the safety pin for $400. The safety pin went on to earn millions for its owners.

His fascinating journey is one of success and failure with one final twist that overshadows him for all time.

The complete story of Walter Hunt is now available as in instant download on any portable device. Click on the Glory Days image for more information on how to order.


Glory Days by Alex Askaroff contains the complete story (including images) of Walter Hunt.

Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

 

 
  Well that's it, I do hope you enjoyed my work. I spend countless hours researching and writing these pages and I love to hear from people so drop me a line and let me know what you thought: alexsussex@aol.com

Books by Alex Askaroff

 

Dear Alex,
As the managing editor for The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles here in the U.S., my duties include seeking interesting writers on what could be droll topics (if strictly covered with hundreds of footnotes) who will bring the human side of history to the topic covered. You do that in spades!

I absolutely love your website and just finished The History of the Sewing Machine, as well as the wonderful Walter Hunt article, and was hoping you would consider writing a feature article for our publication -- perhaps an abridged version of Walter Hunt article? I just loved it.

Judy Weaver Gonyeau
Managing Editor
The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles
journalofantiques.com
888-698-0734

 

I found this article fascinating.  I grew up in Lowville, New York but 
had never heard of Walter Hunt or of the Lowville Textile Mill.  I Will 
spend some time learning more about my home town now.  Thank you for 
your articles.  Not only I have learned a lot but your writing style 
is very enjoyable to read.

Susan C
Greenville TX

Fancy a funny read: Ena Wilf  & The One-Armed Machinist

A brilliant slice of 1940's life: Spies & Spitfires


Alex's stories are now available to keep. Click on the picture for more information.

 

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