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Josiah Hornblower (1729–1809) was born on 23 February 1729 in Shropshire, the fourth son of Joseph Hornblower.
He accompanied his brother to Cornwall in 1745 and assisted in his engine building business.
Joseph Hornblower and his sons were given the task of superintending the order for an engine to drain the Schuyler copper mine at New Barbadoes Neck, New Jersey. Josiah accompanied the parts from London, sailing in the ship Irene on 6 June 1753. The weather encountered was so severe that the voyage took thirteen weeks instead of the usual six, and Hornblower arrived at New York on 9 September. The Schuyler family, owners of the Schuyler Copper Mine, had ordered a Newcomen Engine from Jonathan Hornblower. Josiah was to deliver the parts and assemble the first steam engine in the New World.
He developed such a dread of crossing the ocean that he remained in America for the rest of his life. Another factor may be that, after he took over supervision of the mine, he fell for Elizabeth, daughter of Schuyler's neighbour Colonel W. Kingsland! They married in 1755 and had eight sons and four daughters.
Josiah became engaged in political activity, but returned to full time running of the mine. In 1794, he built an ore-stamping mill, the first to operate in the U.S. The mill was located outside Belleville, where the mine owners, Messrs Roosevelt, Mark, and Schuyler, also built a foundry and a machine shop. There, the first steam engine to be made in America was built, based on the scheme of Newcomen that Hornblower brought with him.
1809 January 21st. He died at Belleville, Newark, New Jersey, USA