Abbot Augustus Low

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Abbot Augustus Low (Gus Low)[1] (1844–1912) was an entrepreneur and inventor from Brooklyn, who lived in St. Lawrence County, New York and was the owner of the Horseshoe Forestry Company.[2] He was the son of Abiel Abbot Low[3][4][5] and owned 32,000 acres (130 km2) in an area of upstate New York known as Horseshoe, located on the Western shore of Horseshoe Lake, in Piercefield, New York[6] and extending onto bordering land in Colton, New York.[6]

Low was an inventor and held various patents, such as a means of preserving maple sugar,[7] a motor,[8] an exhaust system,[9] an igniter,[9] and a bottle.[10] Low filed a patent application in 1909 for a "waste-paper receptacle" [11] that is believed to have been the first paper shredder. It received the U.S. patent number 929,960 on August 31, 1909, but was never manufactured. When Low died, the only inventor with more patents registered than him was Thomas Edison.[1]

Low's property around Lows Lake, also known as the Bog River Flow, included a narrow gauge railroad, a blacksmith shop, an energy generating plant, a stable, an engine house, storehouses, maple sugaring buildings, employee housing and boathouses.[6] Low developed the property with two dams to produce electricity and aid annual log drivings.[2] It is now part of the Bog River Management Unit in Adirondack Park.[2] Low's business enterprises included spring water production, maple syrup, wild berry preserve and wood products.[2]

Abbot Low and his brother Seth Low, president of Columbia University,[4] and later mayor of New York City, built a hospital in Wu-Chang, China in memory of their father, Abiel Abbot Low, a "successful" merchant in Canton.[12]


Lows Lake, a man-made lake created by Low with two dams (built in 1903 and 1907), is named after Low.[13]


  1. ^ a b Randorf, Gary (2002). The Adirondacks: Wild Island of Hope. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 90. ISBN 0801869536.
  2. ^ a b c d Yuan, Julia Bog river: a paradise for many February 1, 2005 New York State Conservationist
  3. ^ Google Books 1915 Annual report of the corporation of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York
  4. ^ a b Abbot Augustus Low dies; Brother of ex-Mayor Seth Low and Director in Many Corporations September 26, 1912. New York Times
  5. ^ In and about the City; A. A. Low's willO. Bulk of his property divided to his relatives January 31, 1893 New York Times
  6. ^ a b c Google Books New York supplement, Volume 98 By West Publishing Company
  7. ^ The Louisiana planter and sugar manufacturer, Volume 29
  8. ^ New marine patents Hysler Carbon motor for boats The Master, mate and pilot, Volume 1 page 19
  9. ^ a b 751,188 Google Books page ccvi, ccviii Proceedings of the annual meeting, Volume 21 By American Gas Light Association
  10. ^ [Patent 785,012 What's New] patent for a bottle The Spatula: a magazine for pharmacists, Volume 11 edited by Irving P. Fox page 424
  11. ^ Abbot Augustus Low Waste-paper receptacle February 2, 1909 Patent filing
  12. ^ Memorial hospital in China; Built in Wu-Chang by the Sons of Abiel Augustus Low October 22, 1894, page 10 New York Times
  13. ^ "Bog River Flow (Lows Lake)". NY Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
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