Linus Yale, Jr

Linus Yale, Jr

Birth
Salisbury, Herkimer County, New York, USA
Death 25 Dec 1868 (aged 47)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Shelburne Falls, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Section L30
Memorial ID 52830523 · View Source
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Springfield (MA) Republican 23 Jan 1869
"Linus Yale, Jr."

The New York Evening Post gives this sketch of the life and character of Linus Yale, Jr., the well known lock inventor and manufacturer, who lately died at New York: He was born in Salisbury, Herkimer county, N.Y., April 4, 1821. He was married in 1844. As a boy he showed an aptitude for art. At the age of sixteen he got from a traveling portrait painter a few hints on the use of colors, and this was all the direct instruction he ever received. He soon after became a professional portrait painter, and followed his calling until 1851. He never made a disagreeable picture. He had the faculty of choosing the sitter's best moment; his dye was guided by his imagination, and his hand governed by cool discretion. His portraits are like and life-like. He diffused through them his own quality, subtilizing and ennobling. He loved nature, and had a knowledge of rocks and trees beyond science. "Do you know that wood?" he said once, pointing to a picture of his, a blackberry girl leaning against a fence. "No other splits in that way." Such was the delicacy and dexterity of his manipulations that in the opinion of one of the first of American sculptors -- the author of the statue of Washington in Union square, New York -- he might have done even better in sculpture than in painting. With all these gifts a great future seemed to be before Mr Yale, when, in his thirtieth year, he invented a bank lock. His mind had often been engaged by the subject of locks and safes, owing to the fact that his father was an inventor and manufacturer of locks. He was sure of the value of his invention, and thought by a few years' devotion to the getting it before the public to gain a competence with which afterwards to follow his beloved art for its own sake. But, being vexed by the troubles common to inventors, it was not until shortly before his death that he seemed fully to have succeeded. The patience with which he bore the misrepresentations of rivals was wonderful. Once when asked why he did not prosecute a wealthy firm which was thought to have infringed upon an important patent, he said: "I can do better; I have already made a better invention." In 1855 he picked the celebrated Hobbs's lock, so called. The same year he removed to Philadelphia, and in 1861 to Shelburne Falls. Within the last seventeen years he invented not less than thirty devices in locks alone. Besides his inventions in locks and safes, and in machinery for their manufacture, he was constantly obtaining patents for other devices which he had not time to use. His portfolios show the activity of his brain. Even his diaries are filled with mechanical drawings, made while travelling; often a face or a charming bit of landscape graces a page. A friend, looking at his drawing of a certain instrument, said: "It is astonishing that a common thing can be so glorified." It was done by such minute and delicate touches as not to show a line. Among his friends Linus Yale was a constant delight. The letters of condolence with his family written by business men are full of admiration and tenderness, and a great grief seems to have settled down on the workmen in his employ. No man of equal merit was ever less known by the public; none loved in a broader private circle. There was sorrow in a thousand hearts when the New York papers announced his death. Gentle, silent, resolute, cultivate, self-respecting, generous, suave and strong -- a gentleman and a genius -- he cannot be allowed to pass away without some tribute of appreciation.


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  • Created by: Daisy Sandheaver
  • Added: 25 May 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 52830523
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Linus Yale, Jr (4 Apr 1821–25 Dec 1868), Find a Grave Memorial no. 52830523, citing Arms Cemetery, Shelburne Falls, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Daisy Sandheaver (contributor 47291847) .