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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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FARWELL, Fay Oliver

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FARWELL, Fay Oliver. (Pecatonica, IL, 1859-Toledo, OH, May 24, 1935). While employed by the ADAMS COMPANY (Encyclopedia Dubuque), Farwell led efforts to develop ADAMS-FARWELL AUTOMOBILES. He perfected the air-cooled engine used in the car, an engine later adapted by the French for use in their airplanes. Farwell's experimentation with cars led to one of the first automobiles in the United States that could be driven year-round.

Drawing accompanying a patent application by Fay Farwell.
Farwell's inventiveness with automobiles was but one example of products developed by this creative genius. A list of Farwell's patents includes:

Item Patented

camp chair ……………………October 10,1887

camp chair support ……………July 14, 1890

cash carrier ……………………March 10, 1891

stove back ……………………March 23, 1892

stove damper …………………April 27, 1892

combined anvil and vise………April 5, 1894

non-conducting handle………June 7, 1894

stovepipe damper……………August 21, 1894

molding machine……………September 16, 1895

front grate……………………October 25,1895

oven shelf……………………November 4,1895

milling machine………………February 25, 1896

sand press……………………August 28,1897

current controller/igniting devices for hydrocarbon engines…….. October 21,1904

lubricator……………………November 17, 1904

milling machine……………December 9, 1908

molding machine……………November 4, 1910

internal combustion motor …February 28, 1911

gear-hobbing machine………June 10, 1911

Lesser known was Farwell's development of a timing device that allowed machine gun bullets to be fired through the whirling propellers of airplanes without striking the blades. Near the time of WORLD WAR I, Farwell was called to Washington, D.C. by the War Department to further refine his ideas. Flying had always been one of his interests. He made his "successful flight in an airship" around 1910. Using an airship he constructed that had no motor, Farwell made his flight on "an island some miles below Dubuque." The plane flew on the principle of a glider, sailing in the air as it was pulled by a boat moving downstream. (1)

One of the less complicated but certainly inspired invention reputed to Farwell involved his dining table. It is reported that Farwell had it installed on a track in his home. This allowed the table to be set along with the plates of food in the kitchen. By pressing a switch, the table was moved electrically into the dining room. When the guests were finished, they departed to other rooms for discussions while the table was electrically removed to the kitchen. Cleaned of its plates and reset with desserts, it was electrically moved back into the dining room for the return of the guests.

Farwellmilling.jpg
Farwell left Dubuque in 1921 to demonstrate a merry-go-round he had patented. He sold a phonograph invention to the Victor Talking Machine Company and reportedly made a fortune. (2) He later returned to the gear-cutting business in Toledo. Three sons-Jay, Ray, and Fay survived him.

See: PATENTS

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Source:

1. Simplot, John, "Dubuque 'Up in Air' Long Time," Telegraph-Herald, December 6, 1953, p. 7

2. "Hunt Dubuque-Made Auto," Telegraph Herald, June 24, 1945, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YCdiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OXYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=3106,2979600&dq=adams-farwell&hl=en


History of Parent 806125 to Fay O. Farwell. Online: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?berl:2:./temp/~ammem_ukuL::

Inventions and Inventors 1862-1930. Online: files.usgwarchives.net/ia/howard/history/invent.txt

The Early Electric Car Site. Online: http://earlyelectric.com/carcompanies.html

The Federal Reporter. Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=C6oKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Fay+Farwell+%28inventor%29&source=bl&ots=tzPk1I_YxZ&sig=KrLGZ1wrpi_0CWhNJuJulHadg88&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aDQiT9W8OcP9sQLK2J2gCQ&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Fay%20Farwell%20%28inventor%29&f=false

The Horseless Age: The Automobile Trade Magazine, Volume 12. Online:http://books.google.com/books?id=ogoAAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA542&lpg=PA542&dq=Fay+O.+Farwell+%28inventor%29&source=bl&ots=fPKahiFVm0&sig=DFoy8EivyiLsAp-EuTJgBXHTVSg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BjYiT9OiMoratger4ImiCw&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Fay%20O.%20Farwell%20%28inventor%29&f=false