Inductees in Inventors & Inventions

  1. Zachariah Allen

    Zachariah Allen (1795-1882)

    Inducted in 1973

    Zacharian Allen, 1795-1882, was a lawyer, inventor, and civic leader of the nineteenth century. One of his most notable inventions was the home hot-air furnace. He also originated the Providence Water Works and is credited with introducing the first vehicles to the Providence Fire Company. Allen was also instrumental in setting up the mutal fire insurance system in early America . Read more >

  2. Joseph R. Brown

    Joseph R. Brown (1810-1876)

    Inducted in 1973

    Joseph R. Brown, 1810-1876,  was a mechanical genius who co-founded Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. which became one of the leading manufacturers of machine tools. Read more >

  3. William Claggett, Sr. (1696-1749)

    Inducted in 1998


    Claggett, William, 1696-1749

    William Claggett was born the son of a baker in England or Wales, and as a youth he migrated with his family to Boston.  He served an apprenticeship to clockmaker Benjamin Bagnall of Boston, and at age nineteen married Mary Armstrong in a ceremony presided over by Cotton Mather.  His son William, who also became a noted clockmaker, was born in 1715.

    By 1716 the young clockmaker and his family came to Newport where Claggett lived and worked for the next thirty-three years until his death in 1749. Read more >

  4. George H. Corliss

    George H. Corliss (1817-1888)

    Inducted in 1973

    George H. Corliss, 1817-1888,  was the developer of the steam engine. The famous gigantic engine built by Corliss won a first prize at the Paris Exposition of 1867 as well as many other awards. Read more >

  5. John Goddard (1724-1785)

    Inducted in 1973

    John Goddard, 1724-1785,  was an early Amercan cabinetmaker and the nation's first furniture craftsman. He was the originator of block front knee-hole desks and secratary's desks. Read more >

  6. Frederick Grinnell

    Frederick Grinnell (1836-1905)

    Inducted in 1984

    Frederick Grinnell was an industrialist and president of the firm that bears his name. As President of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company that later became the Grinnell Corporation, he patented the automatic sprinkler and emerged as the acknowledged world leader in automatic fire protection. He was instrumental in organizing the National Fire Protection Association, and subsequently formed the General Fire Extinguisher Company. Read more >

  7. Domina C. Jalbert

    Inducted in 1988

    Mr. Jalbert was a world renowned researcher and inventor of parachutes, sails, and kites. He was born in Quebec but lived for many years in Woonsocket, RI. He was the designer of the Dolly Spinnaker for the yacht 'Stars & Stripes', which won the 1987 America's Cup. Read more >

  8. Sol Koffler

    Inducted in 1981

    The late Sol Koffler, was the inventor and manufacturer of the internationally famous Tourister Luggage. Although active in Jewish affairs, his philanthropy transcended all race, religion, or color. Read more >

  9. Dr. Harry Kroll

    Inducted in 1983

    Dr. Harry Kroll worked as one of the world's leading scientist and research chemists. He holds fifty-one world patents issued by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and France. As senior scientist for Technic, Inc. Read more >

  10. Walter Scott

    Walter Scott (1841-1924)

    Inducted in 2009

    The steps leading to the invention of an American cultural original, the diner eatery, began in Providence through the initiative of Walter Scott. He was born on November 28, 1841 in Cumberland, the son of lawyer Joseph A. Scott and Juliet Howland Scott. By age eleven Scott was peddling candy, fruit, and newspapers on the streets of Providence to supplement his widowed mother's small income. Read more >

  11. Simon Willard Wardwell (1849-1921)

    Inducted in 2008

    Simon Wardwell, 1849-1921, was a 19th-century visionary industrialist, patenting numerous machines for improving the manufacture of textiles and clothing items.

    The manufacture of textile machines in the Blackstone Valley was a crowded field, not for the faint of heart; it was like making cars in Detroit or steel in Pittsburgh. However, for Simon Willard Wardwell, it was a place not only to build products for other producers but also a place to build a reputation.

    During a lifetime of bright ideas Wardwell amassed one-hundred-and-seventy patents. Read more >

  12. David Wilkinson

    David Wilkinson (1771-1852)

    Inducted in 2000

    David Wilkinson (1771-1852) a Pawtucket native, was a successful Industrial Revolution-era inventor and mill owner.

    When an historical movement is particularly successful, it is logical that there would be many claims of authorship. This is certainly true of the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of the American factory system. At the center of the Industrial Revolution's story is, of course, Samuel Slater; but it does not detract from Slater's reputation to add more personalities to the story. Read more >



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