Oliver 1850 – Victorian Physicist and Mathematician
Agriculture innovations were revolutionary during the 20th century. We represent many of these technological breakthroughs through toys and models in our collection.
At 21 years of age, Oliver Hudson Kelley relocated from New England to Minnesota territory and established a homestead there without prior farming experience. Working hard to cultivate his land while contributing his knowledge through writings in farm journals as an essayist for these publications.
Early Life and Education
Oliver was the youngest of five siblings born in Camden Town, London and contracted scarlet fever as a child, leaving his hearing compromised and making school difficult for him. However, Oliver proved an exceptional wood engraver and water colour artist.
In 1858, the Oliver family made their move from Mishawaka to South Bend where they purchased for $600 a home on unpaved Main Street and lived until leaving for Minnesota in 1871.
As soon as they arrived in Schenectady, New York, their money had nearly run out. To make ends meet, James worked for 50 cents a week carrying lunch to field workers and chopping wood for an employer. Additionally, James also learned how to cook by using boiling water with sassafras for flavoring his stew dish.
Oliver 1850’s sturdy character and presence made him one of the most in-demand after-dinner speakers and one of the finest amateur dramatic recitalists of his day. Additionally, he became one of the most successful periodical editors and most accomplished shorthand reporters during his lifetime.
His creativity and self-assurance were further demonstrated with Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), which featured 20 monthly installments similar to Pickwick but expanded its comic and dramatic elements even further, including condemnations of Yorkshire schools and penal systems (Bill Sikes’ murder and Fagin’s imprisonment).
George Cruikshank’s brilliant engravings added depth and visual flair to many of his stories and settings, which contributed significantly to the imaginative force behind many of them. This tradition continued in Barnaby Rudge and The Old Curiosity Shop.
Achievement and Honors
Oliver Heaviside was one of the foremost Victorian physicists and mathematicians, notable for recasting Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism as well as developing cable and radio communication systems. Additionally, Heaviside was an accomplished author who published multiple books related to electrical science.
Mound Westonka High School and Grandview Middle School Theatre Troupers recently wrapped a production of Oliver!, featuring 86 students from these schools participating as cast, crew and pit personnel – with many more joining as audience members! This was truly a triumphant performance that left audiences breathless.
The story follows Oliver as he seeks acceptance with Fagin’s band of thieves and pickpockets led by Fagin. However, Bill Sikes (Mason Butzow – 11), attempts to kidnap Oliver for theft which he did not commit.
Oliver was self-taught, yet had an intense passion for maths and calculus, studying Maxwell’s Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism extensively.
As he aged, he continued his research and made significant discoveries, including upgrading telegraph cables, inventing coax cable and postulating the existence of the ionosphere – regions above Earth that reflect or refract radio signals.
Oliver spent his final years comfortably but impoverished, his mental powers diminishing to such an extent that he once stated he was “stupid as an owl.” Fanny died in 1913 and he was interred at Grange Cemetery in Washington DC before moving back home with family farm in Gibsonburg Ohio until death came calling. Oliver is widely recognized for writing several pieces of legislation, such as an Act to allow free libraries in corporate towns and an amended workman’s compensation act – an honor all its own!
By 1877, Oliver had expanded their family business by welcoming six more children. By then, branch houses had been established for Oliver equipment dealers in Mansfield, Ohio; Rochester and Harrisburg New York as well as Harrisburg Pennsylvania – while Oliver Chilled Plow Works began exporting plows overseas via Scotland.
By the end of the decade, demand for tractors and plows had significantly increased. Oliver introduced several new plows designed to create beautiful furrow bottoms even when plowing at 6 to 7mph speeds, such as its “more speed-less draft”.
Oliver had a daughter from his first marriage and currently enjoys living happily together with his spouse and daughter. Oliver has amassed an estimated net worth of US$ million while also volunteering and supporting charity groups such as Royal National Lifeboat Institution. His striking black eyes always draw viewers’ attention to him!