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 Robert Henry Thompson

Robert Henry Thompson

Birth
Union City, Erie County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 25 Jun 1910 (aged 69)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Lot 25677, Section 166
Memorial ID 57434501 · View Source
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Robert H. Thompson was the son of immigrants who came to America in 1840 from North Ireland. He was born in 1841 in Erie County, PA, and was married to Marion Penton Thompson, who died in 1907. They lived in Brooklyn for about 40 years and had two sons, Robert Jr. and James Linton Thompson [burial in Woodlawn Cemetery 1947]. Robert Jr. died in 1886 in Paris from an injury sustained in a boxing match with his brother. Robert Jr.'s wife Amelia Greenwood Murphy Thompson died a year later leaving behind two small children, Robert III and Marion Anna, who were then adopted and raised by their grandparents Robert and Marion Thompson.

Thompson and Henry D. Norris founded the Thompson & Norris Corrugated Paper Company in 1875. They were pioneers in the manufacture of corrugated paper, and the company was the first manufacturer of corrugated paper in the United States. In 1882 Thompson patented a machine to add a second sheet of paper to single-face board, thus strengthening the paper. In 1890 he patented a mechanism for applying adhesive to the second sheet. Through the aggressive purchase and acquisition of patents, the company maintained supremacy in the burgeoning market for corrugated packaging. By protecting their technology, they were positioned to develop and improve their equipment and processes to produce corrugated board, long continuous sheets of corrugated paper, specialty packaging, and shipping containers almost without challenge for twenty years.

In addition to the manufacture of corrugated paper and products, Thompson & Norris produced the raw materials designed specifically for making their products. The company acquired land for growing wheat and built factories for making wheat-straw and paper. The main offices were in Brooklyn. Thompson & Norris expanded to Indiana, Georgia, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, London, and Germany.

Thompson was an early investor in the Edison Portland Cement Company and in 1901 became acquainted with Thomas A. Edison. Thompson became a director in the company and later was named its president, a position he held at the time of his death. Edison served as pallbearer at Thompson's funeral.

Thompson was president of the Thompson & Norris American and Canadian operations from 1890 until his death in 1910. He left an estate of about two million dollars.

In February 1910 the sixty-nine-year-old widower Thompson married a thirty-six-year-old woman who was a stenographer in the company's Boston office. Thompson died four months later. When his will was read, the second wife did not inherit. She sued his son and his grandchildren in a lengthy, highly publicized and bizarre court battle. The widow claimed the family was concealing a second will and contended that the granddaughter exerted undue influence on Thompson by posing as a medium and imposing on him supposed letters from his dead wife. Evidence and testimony presented in the trial included "spook" letters that purportedly came from the spirit world. After twenty-two months, both sides reached a settlement in which the widow received a considerable but undisclosed share.



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  • Maintained by: LCMCNC
  • Originally Created by: T.V.F.T.H.
  • Added: 21 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 57434501
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Henry Thompson (3 Jun 1841–25 Jun 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 57434501, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by LCMCNC (contributor 47829618) .