Curtis- Seeberger Family Papers
OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Manuscript or Audiovisual Collections
The Curtis- Seeberger
c. 1820s- 1930s
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
MSS 973; MSS 973 AV
The Curtis- Seeberger Family Papers
Curtis- Seeberger Family
c. 1820s – 1930s
MSS: 14.75 cf. AV: 4.5 cf.
4/ 62/ 2- 3; AV: 3/ 11/ 5 – C; 5/ Rm 528/ Cab. G/ Dr. 4 ( blueprints) Negatives: 5/ Nitrate Storage/ Cab. 1/ Dr. C.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE CURTIS- SEEBERGER FAMILY
Henry B. Curtis ( 1799 – 1885) was a founding father and leading citizen of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Curtis and his family came to Ohio from upstate New York in 1809. At age 17, he moved to Mt. Vernon, where he studied law, admitted to the bar in 1822. In addition to his successful law practice, Curtis invested in the development of Ohio’s canal system and organized one of the state’s first railroads. In 1847, he also founded the Knox County Bank. In 1885, Curtis was integral in the establishment of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, later renamed the Ohio Historical Society. He served as the Society’s first vice- president.
The mansion home he established in Mt. Vernon, “ Round Hill” was restored in the 1990s.
Henry B. Curtis’s granddaughter, Emma ( only child of Ada Curtis Bridge), married Charles D. Seeberger in 1879. Mr. Seeberger is credited with inventing and promoting the escalator in the United States. Self- employed in the early 1890s, Seeberger reached contractual agreements for research, production, and promotion with the Otis Elevator Company in 1896. His escalator was first formally exhibited in 1900 at the Paris International Exposition. He coined the word “ escalator” and controlled hundreds of patents for it. He severed his direct managerial ties with the Otis Co. in 1908 but received 8.5% of their gross escalator sales for more than 25 years beyond that.
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