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François-Philippe Charpentier was born in France back in 1734. His father was a bookbinder who made sacrifices so that François could attend a Jesuit college at Blois. After a few years he left so he could support himself. He started working as an engraver of copperplate in Paris. As they say the rest is history.

He invented a way of engraving the copper plate resembling a watercolor (aquatint). A few years later he sold the secret. King Louis XVI appointed him the “Royal Mechanician” providing him a studio. He used a burning-mirror for melting metals without using fire. He also invented a fire-engine adopted in 1771, a machine for drilling metals. He also invented a mechanical engraving machine which enabled lace-manufactures to engrave in a few hours elaborate patterns which would have required several months before his invention. However, it was his invention for lighthouse-illumination that so pleased Louis XVI, that he offered him a pension which François refused.

He invented a machine which bored six gun-barrels at once and a machine that sawed six boards simultaneously. He died as he lived, in poverty in 1817.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray ....Francois surely did invent machines that saved time with production .... and what would we have done without illumination from lighthouses....

Jun 13, 2019 03:13 AM #1
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

He had many good inventions.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jun 13, 2019 04:20 AM #2
Donald Urschalitz
One World Realty Inc. - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

With such inventions it appeared he was not good with his money.

Jun 13, 2019 04:22 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Seems the power of his mind had no space for money! Enjoy your day!

Jun 13, 2019 04:37 AM #4
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Sounds like we have an early pioneer for mass production.

Jun 13, 2019 06:14 AM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is certainly some story about a bright and incredible guy.

Jun 13, 2019 06:24 AM #6
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

James, we was quite an accomplished inventor. Thanks for the fun facts.

Jun 13, 2019 07:23 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - quite inventive as well as being creative and prolific.  Interesting to think of what he could have become if circumstances were different.  

Jun 13, 2019 08:24 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I know of a lot of people that are very appreciative of his inventions, I have never been into that sort of stuff though.

Jun 13, 2019 08:31 AM #9
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a smart inventor Charpentier was.  Too bad, he did not profit from his brilliance.  A

Jun 13, 2019 11:08 AM #10
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Sounds like if you needed anything done to or with metal François-Philippe was the man to see.

Jun 13, 2019 01:56 PM #11
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI James Dray - That lighthouse illumination was a big deal.  It was important into the 20th century!

Jun 13, 2019 04:32 PM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- as creative as he was, it is a shame he died in poverty. 

Jun 13, 2019 05:14 PM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James - he might have known what was coming for LouisXVI.

Jun 13, 2019 06:24 PM #14
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

James, I was curious how  a man of inventions and ideas died in poverty.  I went to the Internet and discovered greater detail of his financial picture.  Seems he was offered money for his ideas and inventions from not only France, but also Russia and England and for some reason chose to live and die as his father, in poverty...early conditioning?!?

Jun 15, 2019 05:15 AM #15
Jonas Hillstrand

Good piece of history. It is interesting that many people back then are very resourceful and intelligent enough to invent such useful machine. I just got his bullbar from 4WheelOnline, it is machined well with great chrome finish.

Jun 16, 2019 05:40 PM #16
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James loved all these inventions, too bad he died poor, Endre

Jun 17, 2019 12:00 AM #17
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