Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Buffham

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William Buffham (1801-1871) was born in London.

c.1820 moved to Rochdale.

c.1825 Constructed a medallion engraving machine.

1842 Making optical instruments.

1850 Emigrated to the USA, settling in Millburn (Lake County, Illinois) with his wife and six children in 1850 and set up an optical instrument shop.

Buffham is noteworthy for being a maker of optical and astronomical equipment at a time when there were only a few manufacturers of scientific instruments in the United States.

William and his eldest son, William Sharpe Buffham made microscopes and telescopes.

See here[1] and here for source of this and more information [2]

An unusual set of taps for threading, made by Buffham in 'Rosedale' (presumably Rochdale), England in 1845, were preserved by George Gorton II of the George Gorton Machine Co of Racine, Wisconsin, and featured in the American Machinist in 1913 [3]. Buffham was the grandfather of George Gorton II.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] Richard Gorton's website: Biographical and Genealogical information of George Gorton II's grandparents
  2. [2] Lake County, Illinois, History blog - Inventor William Buffham
  3. [3] American Machinist, 28 Aug 1913, pp.377-8