Charles Billings was born in Weathersfield, Vermont back in 1834 to Ethan and Clarissa. He apprenticed at Robbins and Lawrence as a machinist. In 1856 when he was 21 he moved to Hartford, Connecticut to work for the Colt Armory as a die sinker and tool maker. While there he became their expert on the drop forging process.
In 1862, he joined the E. Remington & Sons, helping build their forging plant, thereby increasing its efficiency many times. At the end of the American Civil War he returned to Hartford as the superintendent of the Weed Sewing Machine Company.
By 1868, you could find him at the Roper Repeating Arms Company in Amherst, Massachusetts. When the company failed in 1869 he helped in founding the Billings & Spencer Company where they manufactured sewing machines, drop-forged hand tools and machine tools. He perfected a drop hammer for metal forging. In 1870, he designed the copper commutator which was central to the operation of electrical generators and motors.
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