Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/710

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methods as a permanent basis for results, and with that largeness of vision and special understanding born of her special opportunities, yet true to her woman's instinct, which nothing can eradicate, has seen what might be bettered, and is bettering it in that place which is most potent for all that is good or evil in life—the home.


IN the rush and whirl toward the end of a century so fertile in discoveries and inventions; when, day by day, we are coming to accept the most marvelous announcements of science and new creations for comfort, for safety, or pleasure with lessening enthusiasm, as if they were only an anticipated right—at such time, when, enjoying so much, the world is already looking forward in reveling wonder to the "Century of Electricity," it were well to single out and assign to their merited place those who have most contributed to make this progress possible. Among them should be ranked Charles Goodyear, the discoverer of vulcanization.

Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut, December 29, 1800. He was the son of Amasa and Cynthia (Bateman) Goodyear, and a descendant of Stephen Goodyear, who was the associate of Governor Eaton, and after him head of the company of London merchants who founded the colony of Kew Haven in 1638. Amasa Goodyear was an inventor of important agricultural implements. The boy observed the good accomplished by some of his father's innovations, and this contributed to his inventive bias. His early years were passed in New Haven. He is described as a studious boy; at ten, serious and manly, with no taste for boyish plays, and, if missed, was generally discovered reading. He had no fondness for machinery, but was always trying to improve articles used in the service of the house and farm; when not at school, was usually occupied with his father's business; was a dutiful son, and at sixteen his father showed his confidence by consulting his judgment. He was early under the influence of strong religious impressions, which were to characterize his life, and desired to enter the ministry, but his father's business constrained him to give up the idea. So from seventeen to twenty-one we find him apprenticed at hardware in Philadelphia.

He then returned to Connecticut to become a partner in the

  1. See also India Rubber and Gutta Percha, by the writer. Popular Science Monthly, March, 1897.