Rice, Isaac Leopold

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RICE, ISAAC LEOPOLD (1850–1915), U.S. lawyer and promoter. Rice was born in Wachenheim, Bavaria, and taken as a child to Philadelphia. He abandoned a career in music to study law, graduating in 1880 from Columbia Law School where he taught from 1882 to 1886. He devoted himself to railroad law, and was instrumental in reorganizing several southern railroads, which later constituted the Southern Railway, and the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. In the 1890s Rice turned to electrical inventions, working on the electric storage battery, electric automobiles, and electric boat industries. He was president of the Electric Boat Co., the National Torpedo Co., the Electric Storage Battery Co., the American Casein Co., and numerous other firms manufacturing railway and marine vehicles and rubber tires. A prominent chess player, Rice invented the "Rice Gambit" opening and received the silver trophy for the International Universities Chess Match. Rice wrote What Is Music? (1875) and contributed to several periodicals, including The Forum, which he founded.


ajyb, 6 (1904/05), 167–8; ajhsp, 25 (1917), 175–6; New York Times (Nov. 3, 1915), 15.

[Edward L. Greenstein]