Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Kensett

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James Isaac Thomas Kensett was born on 16 August 1786 to Thomas and Sarah Kensett, and baptized in St Mary's Parish Church, Hampton, Middlesex.[1]

Apprenticed to an engraver.

1802 Emigrated to America, aged 16. Worked as an engraver in Philadelphia, before moving to New Haven. Went into partnership with another engraver, Alfred Daggett, and married Alfred's sister, Elizabeth.

1816 Partnership ended, and Kensett started experimenting with food canning.

Note: Commercial canning of food had commenced some years earlier in Britain by Bryan Donkin and John Gamble, based on pioneering work by Nicolas Appert in France. Peter Durand took out an English patent in 1811 on the basis of work communicated to him, presumably by Appert, and sold it to John Hall (of Dartford).[2]

Kensett formed a partnership with his father-in-law, Ezra Daggett to undertake the canning of food. In 1822 they moved their business to New York City. They obtained a patent in January 1825. Daggett left the partnership in February 1825.

1829 Thomas Kensett died on 16 June 1829.

Except where otherwise referenced, the above information is condensed from 'Tin Cans & Patents' by Ruth Levitt[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. 'Bryan Donkin - The Very Civil Engineer 1768-1855' by Maureen Greenfield and Russ Day, Phillimore Book Publishing, 2016
  3. [2] 'Tin Cans & Patents' by Ruth Levitt, 2013