Sturtevant, Benjamin

Sturtevant, Benjamin (Franklin)

(1833–90) inventor; born in Norridgewock, Maine. Raised on a farm in near poverty, he learned the cobbler's trade and, as a labor-saving device, invented a shoe-pegging machine. He lost the rights to this invention through misadventure, but his rotary exhaust fan, which he developed to clear dust out of shoe factories, made his fortune. By 1878 his manufacturing company was turning out 5,000 fans a year and selling to a worldwide market.