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Zachariah Allen (1795-1872)

Zachariah Allen was a textile manufacturer, scientist, lawyer, writer, inventor and civil leader from Providence. He became a lawyer in 1815 and during his lifetime was civically engagd serving on the Providence Town Council, and was a commissioner for the North Burial Ground for 32 years. He was a founder of the Providence Athenaeum and the RI Historical Society and a trustee of Butler Hospital. As a manufacturer he established the Allendale Mill and Georgiaville Mill and also was an incorporator of the Manufacturers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company. His inventions ranged from the first hot-air furnace system for the heating of homes to the automatic cut-off valve for steam engines, his most famous invention. His house is now the Brown University faculty club.

Francis J. Leazes Jr. PhD Rhode Island College