Amanda Jones (inventor)

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For other people with the same name, see Amanda Jones (disambiguation).
Amanda Theodosia Jones
AmandaJones August1879a rescanned.jpg
Amanda at age 44 (1879).
Born (1835-10-19)October 19, 1835
East Bloomfield, NY
Died March 31, 1914(1914-03-31) (aged 78)
Brooklyn, NY
Cause of death Pneumonia
Resting place Riverside Cemetery, Cleveland, OH
Nationality American
Occupation
  • Inventor
  • Poet & author
  • Spiritualist
Spouse(s) Never married
Parent(s) Henry and Mary Alma Mott Jones

Amanda Theodosia Jones (October 19, 1835 – March 31, 1914) was an American author and inventor, most noted for inventing a vacuum method of canning called the Jones Process.

Early life and education[edit]

Amanda Jones was born in East Bloomfield, New York, on October 19, 1835, the fourth child of Henry and Mary Alma (Mott) Jones. She attended district schools in East Bloomfield and Black Rock, New York; she completed normal school training at the East Aurora Academy in New York and began teaching at the age of fifteen.

Literary publications[edit]

She quit teaching in 1854 after her first poem was published by the Ladies' Repository of Cincinnati. In 1861, she published Ulah, and Other Poems; a second book of verse, Poems, was published in 1867. Her health had been fragile since contracting tuberculosis in 1859; after the publication of Poems, she spent a year recuperating at the home of her widowed mother in Wisconsin.

Books[edit]

Amanda published six books in her lifetime. All are available online at archive.com.

  1. Ulah: And Other Poems. Jones, Amanda T. Buffalo: H.H. Otis. 1861
  2. Poems. By Amanda T. Jones, Published/Created: New York, Hurd and Houghton, 1867.
  3. A Prairie Idyl, and Other Poems. Published/Created: Chicago, Jansen, McClurg & company, 1882.
  4. Rubáiyát of Solomon, and Other Poems. By Amanda T. Jones; Introduction by J. N. Larned. Published/Created: New York, Alden brothers, 1905.
  5. Poems, 1854–1906, by Amanda T. Jones. Published/Created: New York, Alden Brothers, 1906.
  6. A Psychic Autobiography / by Amanda T. Jones; with introduction by James H. Hyslop. Published/Created: New York: Greaves Publishing Co., c1910.

Ladies Repository of Cincinnati Publications[edit]

Between 1855 and 1864 Amanda published frequently in the Ladies Repository. These poems, along with one she published in Overland Monthly and Out West magazine in 1894, are available at the University of Michigan's Making of America Journals digital library.

Influence of spiritualism[edit]

Influenced by the writings of Thomas Dick and the spiritualism movement, Jones became a convert to spiritualism in 1854 and believed herself to be a medium. In 1869, believing that the spirits wanted her there, she moved to Chicago, where she wrote for a number of periodicals, including Western Rural, Universe, Interior, and Bright Sides.

Patents and inventions – 1872–1880[edit]

In 1872, Jones developed a vacuum canning process for preserving food, with the help of Professor Leroy C. Cooley of Albany, who was the brother-in-law of her sister Emily. The following year she obtained five patents relating to her process, of which two listed her as sole inventor. Again following the advice of the spirits she communicated with, she developed another invention, an oil burner, which she patented in 1880. However, her attempts to establish businesses based on her inventions were unsuccessful, and she returned to writing, publishing A Prairie Idyll in 1882.[1] There is one reference (Stanley, Autumn – See Bibliography) that maintains she has a patent for a Ready-Opener Tin Can, but that is the only, unsupported, reference to this patent.

Founding of Women's Canning and Preserving Company – 1890[edit]

A strong supporter of women's rights and suffrage, she founded the Women's Canning and Preserving Company in Chicago in 1890, which employed only women. In an address to her employees, Jones said that "This is a woman's industry. No man will vote our stock, transact our business, keep our books, pronounce on women's wages, supervise our factories. Give men whatever work is suitable, but keep the governing power. This is a business training school for working women – you with all the rest. Here is a mission; let it be fulfilled."[2] When this venture failed in 1893, she left Chicago for Junction City, Kansas, where two of her sisters lived.

Later life[edit]

Jones continued to work with both of her inventions, obtaining patents on the canning process in 1903, 1905, and 1906, and additional patents relating to the oil burner in 1904, 1912, and 1914. She continued to publish occasional literary works, including the Rubaiyat of Solomon and Other Poems in 1905.

Following the Spanish–American War the U.S. Navy began investigating the transition from coal fired ships to oil.[3] In 1904 they released a 489-page report which detailed extensively a comparison between coal and oil.[4] Amanda Jones was asked to write a technical review of the report for Engineer: With which is Incorporated Steam Engineering. According to her obituary she was paid liberally for her contribution of four articles in 1904 and 1905.[5] Those articles are online at the Hathi Trust:

In 1910, she published her autobiography, A Psychic Autobiography, which focused on her interest in spiritualism. Late in her life, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, to pursue business interests, where she died of influenza in 1914.[5][note 1] She was listed in Who's Who in America for 1912–13 and in Woman's Who's Who in America for 1914–15.[1]

She is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio in her brother William's plot.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jones, Amanda Theodosia," Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, Volumes 1–3: 1607–1950. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul Boyer, Eds. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1974, vol. 2, pp.284–85.
  2. ^ Amanda Jones, A Psychic Autobiography, with introduction by James H. Hyslop. Published/Created: New York: Greaves Publishing Co., c1910., p. 414.
  3. ^ Petroleum and Sea Power – The American Oil & Gas Historical Society
  4. ^ Report of the U.S.Naval "Liquid Fuel Board" (Government Printing Office, 1904)
  5. ^ a b Obituary:The Junction City Daily Union (Junction City, Kansas), 1 April 1914, page 3.
  6. ^ a b c d The Engineer, with which is incorporated steam engineering. 1881. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/api/volumes/oclc/2446704.html.
  7. ^ Find A Grave Memorial# 51759352

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Most sources say influenza while obituary says pneumonia

Bibliography[edit]

The following books have articles about Amanda:

  • Vare, Ethlie Ann, Greg Ptacek, and Ethlie Ann Vare. 1988. Mothers of Invention: From the Bra to the Bomb: Forgotten Women & Their Unforgettable Ideas. New York: Morrow. (pages 105–107)
  • Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske. 1889. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York [N.Y.]: D. Appleton and Co., Vol. 3, page 463. (Short Bio) (Available Online as full text PDF)
  • Cefrey, Holly. 2003. The Inventions of Amanda Jones: The Vacuum Method of Canning and Food Preservation. New York: PowerKids Press. (Juvenile book)
  • Casey, Susan. 1997. Women Invent: Two Centuries of Discoveries that Have Shaped our World. Chicago, Ill: Chicago Review Press. (Pages 4–5)
  • Altman, Linda Jacobs. 1997. Women Inventors. New York: Facts On File. (Pages 1–11)
  • Macdonald, Anne L. 1992. Feminine Ingenuity: Women and Invention in America. New York: Ballantine Books.
  • McHenry, Robert. 1983. Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Dover. (page 214)
  • James, Edward T., Janet Wilson James, and Paul S. Boyer. 1971. Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Pages 284–85.
  • Stanley, Autumn. 1993. Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press. (Page 64) (Only reference to the Ready-Opener Tin Can patent) Online
  • A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-Seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life. Buffalo [N.Y.]: C.W. Moulton, 1893., Page 426. Online (Sequence 430) (Accessed 25 Nov 2015)

External links[edit]