Daniel Davis, Jr.
   Daniel Davis, Jr. was born in 1813, during a decade which saw the birth of most of the well-known American apparatus makers of the nineteenth century. Like his contemporaries, Davis' entry into the field of scientific instruments was as an artisan, rather than as a scientist. At the age of 20 he worked in a factory which produced chemical soda, and was then employed by a manufacturer and dealer in electrostatic machines. In 1837 he set up a shop with his brother Ari in Boston for the making of electric apparatus. His 1838 catalogue lists him as a "manufacturer of philosophical instruments", but in the 1842 edition of his Manual of Magnetism he describes himself as a "magnetical instrument maker."  In this capacity, he was closely associated with the members of the American scientific community: Robert Hare of the University of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Silliman of Yale, Moses Farmer (an inventor of electrical apparatus), Joseph Henry (at this time at Princeton), John Webster of Harvard, and the electrical inventor Charles Grafton Page.
    In 1848 Davis retired from the business, which was carried on by his former employees, George Palmer and Thomas Hall, under the name of Palmer and Hall. The firm became "Thomas Hall/(Successor to Daniel Davis)/Magnetical and Telegraphic Instrument Maker" in 1857. His obituary in Scientific American concludes, "In 1852 he retired to his farm, relinquishing science for agriculture. He died [in 1887] comparatively unknown, as he suffered the march of progress to go by him."

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