Crosby, Francis William
Institute Archives and Special Collections
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
.2 cubic ft. (6 folders); MC082
Francis William Crosby, 1822-1909, was a geologist and inventor who built and operated boats and worked as a builder and bridge contractor before the Civil War. As a member of the Union Army, 1861-1865, he took part in Sherman's March to the Sea and was wounded at the Battle of Corinth. After the war he managed, then owned, silver and gold mining properties in North Carolina, Michigan, and Colorado. Among his inventions are the Ballard furnace for use in mining, which he developed with the help of his son, William Otis Crosby, and the Westinghouse air-brake. Collection consists primarily of correspondence with Crosby's family during the Civil War in which he tells of his travels and experiences, including Sherman's March to the Sea; the letters include a map of the march and a railroad map of Georgia. Also included is biographical information; a eulogy for Crosby; and 1881 patent records for an electrical voting recorder.