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Saint-Léger Didot (1767-1829)
1767 Born the son of Pierre-François Didot
Saint-Léger Didot devoted his attention to paper-making in the famous factory of Essonne, where one of his workers, Louis-Nicolas Robert invented a machine to make "endless" paper, and eventually 'sold' the patent to Didot.
c.1802 Robert's original working model of his papermaking machine was imported and sent to Hall's Dartford works. One of the Fourdrinier brothers, Charles, worked alongside Leger Didot, who had been involved with the machine's development in France, Gamble, and Bryan Donkin (one of Hall's former apprentices), to develop it.
1803 After experimenting for three years at Dartford, they installed the machine at Frogmore Mill, Hertfordshire, acquired by the Fourdriniers for the purpose. Gamble remained technically and financially associated with the Fourdriniers until 1811. Bryan Donkin and the Fourdriniers embarked on making a larger and much improved machine.
A thorough acccount of Robert's machine and its subsequent development was written by R. H. Clapperton in 1967