Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,320 pages of information and 219,072 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Joseph Flather (1837-1907)
Born 1 April 1837 in Bradford, Yorkshire, son of Mark (1807-1873) and Helen (Hodgson) Flather (1812-1875). Died in Nashua, New Hampshire, 3 February 1907.
At the age of 11 he entered the repair shop of a large mill in Norwich, and remained there for a year before returning to Bradford as an apprentice under his uncles William Hodgson and Henry Hodgson, makers of worsted machinery. On completing his apprenticeship at the age of 19, he sailed to Philadelphia with his father, landing in September 1856. Failing to find employment there, they moved to Harper's Ferry. ..... More information here and here
He worked as a machinist for Silver and Gay, machine tool makers of North Chelmsford, but soon moved to Gage, Warner and Whitney in Nashua. After a few years he and a partner started an engineering business, but it failed. He later reorganized as Flather and Co to make machine tools only, later specialising in lathes. 
Joseph and a number of brothers and cousins became prolific contributors to machine tool development in the USA.