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Francis A. Pratt : biography

February 15, 1827 - February 10, 1902

Francis Ashbury Pratt (February 15, 1827 – February 10, 1902) was a Connecticut mechanical engineer, inventor, and co-founder of Pratt & Whitney.

Pratt was born in Peru, New York. In the early 1850s, he designed a milling machine for George S. Lincoln & Company of Hartford, Connecticut, which became the Lincoln miller, in some ways perhaps the most important American machine tool of the late 19th century. Over 150,000 machines were built on this form factor (by many firms)., pp. .

With Amos Whitney he organized Pratt & Whitney in 1860 to manufacture machine tools, tools for the makers of sewing machines, and gun making machinery for use by the Union Army during the American Civil War. He is credited with being first to permit production of fine gear work. Pratt promoted interchangeable parts and the adoption of a standard system for gages for the United States and Europe. Among several machine-tool patents, his most important was for planing metal granted on July 28, 1869.

He died in Hartford, Connecticut.

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