Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brooks & Forman Papers - William Forman Brooks

[William F. Brooks was born 29 Aug 1811 to William S. and Eleanor [Forman] Brooks]

     William F. Brooks, the gifted son, was said to be "the handsomest young man in the State of Vermont." He also had fine manners and conversational brilliancy: because of his personal charm and a natural susceptibility to environment, Grandmother evinced anxiety for the future of her eldest son to whom she was particularly devoted. She feared that "William would either be a very good man or a very bad one."
     In 1829- 1830, when he was ten years of age, he began his career as clerk in the store of Gardner C. Hall at Putney, which was at this time a more important town than Brattleboro, and lived with Mr. And Mrs. Hall. He was Captain of the Brattleboro Light Infantry the same year.
     In 1834-36 he entered into business in Manchester, England, with his cousin, Samuel R. Brooks, a man of gentlemanly tastes, but visionary in matters of business. The undertaking was a failure. In 1836, he lived at Waterloo five miles from Liverpool.
     The family have in their possession illustrated books, vases, candlesticks and other household furnishings, all in exquisite taste, sent by William Brooks from England to his people at home, for he was generous to a fault, and a good friend to his brothers and sisters, -- interested in the education of those younger than himself and always ready to give them assistance to the best opportunities of the period.
     On his return to America he made some important inventions, but the money obtained from them accrued to others, as is so often the experience of inventors, so that his life would have been a struggle if it had not been relieved by the practical aid of his brother Horace.
     He was handsome, and charming, and generous to the end.

"From William F. Brooks when in England, came the art of making seamless brass and copper tubing, and patents therefor have been sold to the amount of $500,000." Burnham's History of Brattleboro.

In 1862 he received an order for 10,000 carbines.

© 2010, copyright William C. Haskell

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