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This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.
|Abstract||Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1872-1943) of Salem, N.C., was an inventor and the founder of the American Machine and Foundry Company. The collection contains letters, 1894-1895, to Patterson about the development of tobacco processing machinery; two letters, 1896 and 1900, from Patterson to his wife, Margaret; printed articles about Patterson; and a scrapbook, 1967, of materials related to the Patterson World Tobacco Engineering Center, Richmond, Va.|
|Creator||Patterson, Rufus Lenoir, 1872-1943.|
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Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1872-1943) of Salem, N.C., was an inventor and the founder of the American Machine and Foundry Company. Patterson was the son of Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879), a lawyer and planter, and his wife Mary Fries Patterson (1844-1927). He gave up formal schooling at the age of fifteen, worked a short while for a railroad, then spent a year studying at the University of North Carolina.
Patterson left the University to work with North Carolina inventor William H. Kerr and in 1891 went to England to introduce the Kerr tobacco machine. After studying in England for two years he returned to Durham, N.C., and in 1898 became associated with James Buchanan Duke and the American Tobacco Company, of which Patterson later became a vice-president. During this period Patterson developed several machines, including the Patterson packer, to weigh, pack, label, and stamp smoking tobacco, which revolutionized the tobacco industry.
When in 1900 American Tobacco spun off its machinery division as the American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF), Patterson became its first president, a position he held until 1941 when he became chairman of its board of directors. Patterson was also president of the International Cigar Machinery Company, which eventually became an AMF subsidiary.
Under Patterson's leadership, the companies developed a number of machines, including the Standard Tobacco Stemmer, 1908; the Standard Cigarette Machine, 1908; and a long filler cigar machine, 1918; used in the tobacco industry, and diversified into other fields beginning with the development of the Standard Bread Wrapper in 1924.
In 1895 R. L. Patterson married Margaret W. Morehead and they had one son, Morehead, and one daughter, Lucy Lathrop. When he retired as president of American Machine and Foundry Company in 1941, he was succeeded by his son Morehead, who also became chairman of the board following his father's death in April 1943.Back to Top
The collection includes letters, 1894-1895, to Rufus Lenoir Patterson about the development of tobacco processing machinery; two letters, 1896 and 1900, from Patterson to his wife, Margaret; printed articles about Patterson, his machines, and the American Machinery and Foundry Company; and a scrapbook, 1967, of materials related to the dedication of the Rufus Lenoir Patterson World Tobacco Engineering Center, Richmond, Va., June 1967.
The letters to Rufus Lenoir Patterson concern the development, manufacture, sale, and patenting of the tobacco-bagging machine designed by Patterson. Topics include plans for the sale of the machine, the terms offered for the development of the machine, similar machines already patented by other companies, and the assumption and assignment of patent rights and royalties. Most of the correspondence is with William Kerr. Other correspondents include Lewis K. Keizer, Julian S. Carr, and T. B. Fuller. There are also letters, 1895, to Patterson from American consuls in Scotland, England, Germany, and France about tobacco consumption and manufacture in their respective countries, and two letters, 1896 and 1900, from R. L. Patterson to his wife which include news of his daily life, mutual friends, and his business and professional plans, including comments about his relationship with James Biddle Duke.Back to Top
|Image Folder PF-4154/1|
Oversize Volume SV-4154/1
Processed by: SHC Staff
Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007
Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, May 2009
This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.Back to Top