Eli Whitney Blake
Born January 26, 1795 – August 18, 1886
Machine for Crushing Stone
Patent #: 20,542
Eli Whitney Blake developed machinery used for crushing stone, creating a
more efficient method for road construction.
During Blake’s tenure on a committee to build a stretch of road near New
Haven, Connecticut, he observed that crushing rock necessary for road
construction relied on an individual breaking stone with a hammer. Inspired
by this realization, Blake spent the next years of his life designing a
machine that could crush rocks to the desired size.
Blake’s machine consisted of a pair of jaws—comprised of a stationary and
movable jaw—that delivered the crushing mechanism. This enabled the
crusher’s operator simply to feed stones into the machine and the closing
action of the jaws would crush stone to the desired size. Blake formed the
Blake Rock Crusher Company to produce his device and over 500 machines were
in use by 1879. The inventor himself estimated that the crusher, by that
time, had saved its users upwards of $55 million. Still in use today, the
Blake rock crusher has played an instrumental role in road construction.
Born in Westborough, Massachusetts, Blake graduated from Yale
College. His interests also extended into the realm of theoretical
science, and he contributed to the field of mechanics and fluid