Mary Walton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mary Elizabeth Walton was a nineteenth-century American inventor who was awarded two patents for pollution-reducing devices. In 1879, Walton created a method for reducing the environmental hazards of the smoke emitted from locomotive, industrial and residential chimneys. Her system deflected the emissions being produced by factory smokestacks into water tanks, where the pollutants were retained and later flushed "into the sewer, or into other suitable channels for conducting them to a distant or any desired locality".[1]

Mary Walton also invented a system for reducing the noise produced by the elevated railway systems that were rapidly expanding in New York City, where she lived near the Sixth Avenue Line. Her system deadened the noise caused by trains running over the tracks by cradling the tracks in a wooden box lined with cotton and filled with sand.[2][3] The rights to her invention, patented in 1881, were sold to the Metropolitan Railroad for $10,000 and the system was soon adopted by other elevated railway companies.[4]


  1. ^ Walton, Mary E. (1879). Improvement in Locomotive and Other Chimneys. U.S. Patent 221,880, filed October 6, 1879 and issued November 18, 1879, retrieved 17 October 2012
  2. ^ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Nov 1996). "Mary Walton". Inventor of the Week. Retrieved 23 Oct 2012. 
  3. ^ Walton, Mary E. (1881). Elevated Railway U.S. Patent 237,422, filed January 7, 1879 and issued February 8, 1881, retrieved 23 October 2012
  4. ^ Stanley, Autumn (1995). Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology. Rutgers University Press. p. 334. ISBN 978-0-8135-2197-8. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 

External links[edit]