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Robert W. Nelson

ROBERT W. NELSON, HARTFORD: President Thorne Type-Setting Machine Company.

R. W. Nelson was born in Granville, Washington county, New York, September 20, 1851. He was educated at the Union School of Schenectady, learned the printerís trade, became an associate publisher of the Joliet (Ill.) News, spent some years in Chicago, was for two years a merchant, and in 1882, in connection with Major O. J. Smith and O. W. Cummings, organized the American Press Association of New York city, with which he was connected for five years. He was doubtless largely instrumental in accomplishing the phenomenal success which has attended that associationís progress almost from the outset. He personally introduced the patent stereotype plate matter of the association to hundreds of established newspapers throughout the country; and through his agency, and by the aid of such "matter," additional hundreds of new periodicals were started, many of which have since come into prominence and success. Five years ago, while still connected with the American Press Association, Mr. Nelson became interested in the ingenious Thorne Type-Setting Machine, then manufactured in a small way in Hartford by its inventor and patentee, Joseph Thorne. He acquired first a one-half interest in the enterprise, and a year or two later bought out Mr. Thorne altogether, and proceeded, with the aid of expert assistants to improve and at length to perfect the machine. 

Having accomplished this, he organized the Thorne Type-Setting Machine Company, with a capital of one million dollars, established a factory in the west wing of Coltís Armory, in Hartford, filled it with special machinery, and is now employing about seventy-five skilled mechanics in the manufacture of type-setting and distributing machines, the product of the plant being about twenty of these machines per month. The Thorne is the only type-setting machine now in use to any considerable extent. It revolutionizes the art of composition, as the introduction of power presses revolutionized the art of printing. Mr. Nelson is president of the company, and its general manager; as such, he has introduced the "Thorne" into all parts of the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.

Mr. Nelson is married and has one child. He is a member of the Asylum Avenue Congregational church, the Hartford Club, and the Aldine Club of New York city.

SourceIllustrated Popular Biography of Connecticut - 1891 Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding Hartford Conn.  Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company 1891

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