Ambrose Swasey

Ambrose Swasey
Ambrose Swasey
Exeter, NH, USA
Death date


Honorary Member 1928

John Fritz Medalist 1924

The devotion of Ambrose Swasey, famous manufacturer of precision instruments and mechanisms, to the engineering profession, is evidenced by his founding of the Engineering Foundation in 1914. Doctor Swasey has contributed gifts totaling $750,000 to the Foundation, research agency of the four national societies of civil, mining and metallurgical, mechanical, and electrical engineers. Doctor Swasey was born at Exeter, New Hampshire on 19 December 1846. During the period 1869 to 1880, he was with the Pratt and Whitney Company, Hartford, Connecticut, paying special attention to gearing. In 1880, he went into partnership with W. R. Warner (incorporated in 1900 as The Warner and Swasey Company) for the manufacture of machine tools and astronomical instruments. The firm was first established in Chicago, but soon was transferred to Cleveland, where it has since remained. Since the death of Mr. Warner, Doctor Swasey has been chairman of the board. Many remarkable telescopes have been built by this firm, and during World War I it solved many important problems. In 1924, the John Fritz Gold Medal was awarded Doctor Swasey; he has also received the Franklin Medal, the highest award of the Franklin Institute. In addition to honorary membership in the A.I.E.E., which was awarded him 27 June 1928, he is an honorary member of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (president 1904), American Society of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Great Britain), Institution of Mining Engineers (Great Britain), and the Society of Civil Engineers. He is a chevalier and officer of the French Legion of Honor, and has received several honorary degrees in the United States.

Further Reading

Papers of Ambrose Swasey