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Henry R. Towne

Mechanical Engineer

Centurion, 1894–1924

Full Name Henry Robinson Towne

Born 28 August 1844 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 15 October 1924 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried East Cemetery, Litchfield, Connecticut

Proposed by Frederick R. Hutton, Henry E. Howland, and George E. Waring Jr.

Elected 7 April 1894 at age forty-nine

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

Henry Robinson Towne had passed through a somewhat remarkable engineering career. It began, picturesquely enough, when the government sent him, a college boy of nineteen but already tested in the work, to take charge of repairs on the Union gunboats during 1863. He prepared himself for his larger technical work by a foreign tour of study and a course in physics at the Sorbonne. It was not strange that, with such a background and a keen intelligence, he should have supplemented his managing work for his company with constant invention of more efficient processes, with pioneer work in plant sanitation and with the harmonizing of industrial relations. That he should have been selected to represent industry on the first board of directors of the New Federal Reserve Bank of New York was the business community’s testimony to his quality.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1925 Century Association Yearbook