Townsend Historical Society
 
Rufus Porter
May 1, 1792 - August 13, 1884
    Artist
       Musician
            Teacher
                 Promoter
                      Inventor
                           Founder of
                             "Scientific American Magazine"

Photograph from the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.


 

     Rufus Porter was a traveling folk artist and inventor who decorated walls with stenciled images  and original paintings throughout New England during  the first half of the 1800s.  His payment was often "bed and board" rather than hard cash.  So it is very possible that he laid his head down in Townsend Harbor while creating the scenes on the Reed Homestead's bedroom walls. 

     His wall paintings were less costly for home owners than expensive imported wallpaper of the time. 
     Unfortunately much of his work elsewhere in the region was destroyed when wallpaper was applied in later years. Subsequent stripping the paper removed the mural paint underneath.  The Reed Homestead murals have escaped damage, and appear as bright as they probably did in the early 1800s.


    Rufus Porterís Inventions

Aerial Locomotive

Floating Dry Dock

Air Pump

Fog Whistle

Automatic Grain Weighing Machines

Horsepower Mechanism

Blind Fastener

Horse-Propelled Twin Boat

Cam Lever Vise

Life Preserver

Chair-Cane

Prefab Movable House

Churn

Punching Machine

Cork Maker

Revolving Almanac

Corn-Sheller

Revolving Rifle (Sold to Colonel Colt)

Distance Measuring Appliance

Rotary Plow

Fan Blower

Self-Adjusting Cheese Press

Fire Alarm

Steam Engine 1858



For more information visit:

http://www.pactu.com/rufuspor.htm

http://www.askart.com/artist/P/rufus_porter.asp

http://www.epreservation.net/resources/materials/finishes/rufusporter.html


This page last updated: April 12, 2017