made one of the shallowest mouths of the Mississippi permanently navigable for ocean steamers." The story of his life reads like a romance. Born at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, May 23, 1820, he was even as a small child passionately fond of machinery. The family moved to Louisville when he was James B. Eads, LL. D. nine years old. At ten years he was busy making models of all sorts of machines—sawmills, fire engines, steamboats, and steam engines. Financial reverses forced him to take care of himself at the age of thirteen. At that time the family moved to St. Louis, and, curiously, the steamboat on which they were traveling burning, the boy found himself on shore, barefooted and coatless, upon the very spot where later he was to locate the abutements of the great and famous bridge. For a time he sold apples on the street. Then, securing a position in a mercantile house, he labored diligently, reading in his leisure hours books borrowed from the library of one of his employers. In 1839 he was purser on a river steamer. In 1842 he invented a diving-bell boat to recover cargoes from lost steamers, and later a boat to raise sunken steamers. In 1845 he sold out his interest in this business, and started a glass factory, which completely failed in two years. Helped by his creditors to a small capital, he returned to the work of raising wrecked steamers, and in ten years he was out of debt and had business interests worth five hundred thousand dollars. In 1861 there began those great public enterprises which rendered his name famous the world around. At the request of the Government he designed and constructed a squadron of ironclad river gunboats. The next year he built others, some of which bore turrets of novel pattern, in which the guns were worked by steam. In 1874 he completed the St. Louis Bridge, a marvel of engineering, in the building of which several new problems had to be solved. Later on, in the face of doubt and lack of confidence, he devised and carried on to successful completion the jetty system at the mouth of the Mississippi. Had his ideas with reference to the improvement of the river farther up been carried out, there would be
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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.