John Isaac Hawkins

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Isaac Hawkins was born in Taunton, Somerset, England back in 1772 to Isaac and Joan.  His father was a watchmaker later becoming a Wesleyan minister.  John emigrated to the United States attending the College of New Jersey studying medicine and later, chemical filtration. He opened a non-vocational craft school in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

He returned to England in 1803, opening a London sugar refinery, he worked as a patent agent and consultant.  He joined the Institution of Civil engineers in 1824.  He superintended the construction of the Thames Tunnel.  He also served as president of the Anthropological Society of London.

What you may not know about John is that he was also an inventor.  He invented the “pianoforte” the first portable grand piano.  He also invented and patented the first autopen.  He moved back to the United States and died in poverty in 1855.

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Rainer
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Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH
GRI

Reading his information made me think if the phrase "stick to the knitting". Such a diverse variety of accomplishments-yet he died in poverty.  Always looking for he next best thing and not tending to business?   Interesting person. Thank you, James.

Jul 08, 2020 03:36 AM #1
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Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Like other inventors their ideas and accomplishments were noteworthy but they could not manage money very well.

Jul 08, 2020 04:16 AM #2
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this interesting story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Jul 08, 2020 04:47 AM #3
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Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Creativity does not translate into business acumen. But creative describes John. Enjoy your day!

Jul 08, 2020 04:55 AM #4
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Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

It's surprising how many inventive geniuses die penniless James Dray . You would think some of that creative knowledge would carry over to finance but obviously it doesn't.

Jul 08, 2020 05:16 AM #5
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Obviously a man who could find a new way, The Thames Tunnel for example, but unfortunately did not seem to find happiness and constantly moved always thinking that things would be better elsewhere.

Jul 08, 2020 05:32 AM #6
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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray -Who knew a grand piano was portable? !! I will have to look this up... 

Jul 08, 2020 06:08 AM #7
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Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Another life well lived. He may have died in poverty, but gave much to the world.

Jul 08, 2020 06:28 AM #8
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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - although I wasn't aware of Mr Hawkins, we know that similar stories are a part of life.  Sadly and unfortunately.  

Jul 08, 2020 06:30 AM #9
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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello James,  Once again another history lesson for us here in the rain but can not understand how he was poor when he past.

 

Jul 08, 2020 07:00 AM #10
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - what a shame with all of  the fame that he died in poverty.

Jul 08, 2020 07:01 AM #11
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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

From wax to ink and now electronic!

Make yourself an interesting day.

Jul 08, 2020 07:08 AM #12
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

James,

Thank you for teaching me something each morning.  I had no idea about the invention of a pianoforte...Love saying the words, it rolls off the tongue...A

Jul 08, 2020 07:58 AM #13
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing another interesting story.  Wish it could have had a better ending.  He gave a lot and didn't take or keep much in return, apparently.

Jul 08, 2020 06:11 PM #14
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- all of his achievements and yet he died in poverty. Very sad. 

Jul 08, 2020 06:44 PM #15
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

James:

Wow, another rather diverse career and some impressive achievements. What a shame to end up impoverished.

Jeff

Jul 08, 2020 08:32 PM #16
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James and I though all watchmakers lived in Switzerland:)Endre

Jul 08, 2020 10:14 PM #17
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

It does not appear his American dream came true...

I hope your week continues to be awesome, James Dray 

Jul 08, 2020 10:32 PM #18
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John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

It is sad to learn such a genius and innovator as John Isaac Hawkins could die in poverty and not live our his days in comfort from the benefits of his inventions.

 

Jul 12, 2020 12:41 PM #19
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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Died in poverty?  A guy who claimed to be the inventor of golf ball and spinning hat kids wore told me that.  Look, the Chinese invented golf centuries before you and I set our feet on soil.   Sam, I sued the heck of PGA, and Disney. They got tired paid me off. I know how to sue.

Aug 06, 2020 08:36 AM #20
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