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George Henry Corliss

George Henry Corliss

1817-1888

American inventor and entrepreneur who revolutionized the design and construction of the steam engine. At age 25 Corliss opened a boot store and patented his own boot-stitching machine. Two years later, while employed as a draftsman for a Rhode Island engineering firm, he worked on improvements for the steam engines the firm manufactured. In 1856 he founded his own company, the Corliss Engine Company, and began selling his new engines for use in cotton mills. His patented Corliss valve, a mechanism for regulating steam flow in engines, was among his most significant design contributions.

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