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Charles Henry Brightly was born in 1817 in Bungay, Suffolk. He emigrated with his family to the USA in 1831.
He was in Philadelphia in 1844-48, working as a machinist, and again in 1867, working as an instrument maker.
In 1870 Brightly went into partnership with Charles H. Heller as Heller & Brightly. It appears that Brightly worked on their large circular dividing engine, which had been built by Kaiser in Stuttgart. Brightly may also have made the firm's linear dividing engine and their smaller circular dividing engine. Brightly withdrew from the firm on July 13, 1889, went into business on his own.
The above information is condensed from 'The Brightly Circular Dividing Engine' by Randall C. Brooks.