Hiram Capron's Life
Capron's early life
While not much is known about Capron’s early life, there are a few stories that shed some light on his youth. From a young age, Capron was noted for his neat handwriting, and he took a job as a handwriting instructor. If all had gone well, he might have stayed in Vermont and Paris might never have known his influence. However, after he was caught giving “one of his fair pupils a lesson in a more difficult art” (Warner 437) than handwriting, Capron left Vermont in a hurry and headed West for New York. While he left Vermont under seamy circumstances, he made an acquaintance on his arrival in New York that would change his life (Smith, 27).

Capron arrived in Manchester, New York, where he met with a friend of the family named Theophilus Short. In Manchester, Short was an influential businessman. He built flour mills and sawmills, which helped to develop the town in New York that is still known as Shortsville today. But the most important thing he built, for Capron, was his blast furnace – a furnace for purifying iron from raw ore.

Capron started out as a bookkeeper, but before long was promoted to superintendant. For an ambitious young man like Capron, however, even this was not enough; soon he would begin preparations to build his own blast furnace, supported by Short, and launch his own career as a businessman. There was no place more suited for him than Ontario, and soon he would move to Canada to build a furnace in Long Point on Lake Erie (Smith, 27-28). For more information on the blast furnace business, check the essay on Capron's career linked to on the left.
A blast furnace. Photo used under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en_CA">Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license</a>.
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