Reuben Rodney James – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

Reuben Rodney James worked as a farmer and in a woolen mill. He also invented the adding machine and a grain meter. He received a patent for his adding machine invention in 1878 and for the grain meter in 1881.

Early life

Reuben Rodney James was born in Rising Sun, Indiana on August 21, 1826. He was born to Henry James (1797-1880) and Rebecca Hatch Athearn (1805-1834). Reuben was the first child in the family to survive.

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Career: Phase 1

The United States Census records report that Reuben Rodney James was a farmer in 1850 and 1860. He was then the proprietor of a woolen mill in 1870 in Rising Sun, Indiana.

Career: Phase 2

Later in his life, James began working on and inventing mathematical devices. Reuben Rodney James invented an adding machine and a grain meter. He eventually received a patent for both devices.

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Invention 1

Reuben Rodney James took out a US Patent №209690 for an adding machine on November 5, 1878. It is now the property of the Smithsonian National Museum.

Invention 2

His second invention was a grain meter. Reuben James and his fellow Rising Sun resident Mirabeau Norman Lynn took out a patent (US Patent №238122) for the grain meter in 1881.

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