James Hartness

James Hartness books and biography


James Hartness

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58th Governor of Vermont
In office
1921 – 1923
Lieutenant(s) Abram W. Foote
Preceded by Percival W. Clement
Succeeded by Redfield Proctor, Jr.

Born September 3, 1861
Died 1934
Political party Republican
Spouse Lena Pond
Profession Inventor

James Hartness (September, 3 1861 - 1934) was an American inventor and aviator, who also served as the Governor of Vermont from 1921 to 1923.



Hartness was born in Schenectady, New York and settled in Springfield, Vermont after becoming a superintendent at the struggling Jones and Lamson machine shop. A trained machinist, Hartness had been known in his early career as an innovator and used this creative energy to revitalise the company. He invented the flat turret lathe which increased efficiency and productivity, and he licensed the tool to J & L for a $100 royalty on each machine.

Though soon wealthy, Hartness' creativity never flagged, and over the next 44 years he would acquire 120 patents. He also served as the president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This energy inspired others around him and soon Springfield became a booming manufacturing town.


Hartness was one of the first 100 pilots in America. He obtained his pilot's license in a Wright Flyer. He encouraged, and served as president of, the Vermont Aero Club.


Hartness had a love of astronomy which led to his development of a telescope mount with the revolving dome on an equatorial plane. The success of this patent led to more telescope activities and commissions. With Hartness' encouragement and financial support, Russell W. Porter initiated the Springfield Telescope Makers. The club still celebrates their annual Stellafane gathering in Springfield.

Further reading

  • Renaissance Tool Man
  • Works by James Hartness at Project Gutenberg
    • Industrial Progress and Human Economics by James Hartness

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Industrial Progress And Human Economics

By James Hartness
United States , American History

Industrial Progress And Human Economics
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