The Spirit of Enterprise

Evidence of American enterprise was everywhere to be seen. On the banks of the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts, Nathan Appleton was successful in the manufacture and printing of American textiles; in Cincinnati, Nicholas Longworth's horticultural experiments made strawberries cheap and plentiful; in Boston, Elias Howe invented a "new and useful machine for sewing seams," for which he was awarded a patent on September 10; from New York, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt sent his steamships afloat to a hefty profit; and in all directions, the lines of Samuel F. B. Morse's magnetic telegraph pushed forward. "All physical and scientific difficulties are vanquished," Morse wrote in October.

Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Nathaniel Jocelyn
Oil on canvas, 1846
29 15/16 x 25 inches
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (NPG.78.281)

Cyrus McCormick
Cyrus McCormick
Charles Loring Elliot
Oil on canvas, circa 1846
20 x 16 1/4 inches
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation and Mrs. Gilbert Harrison (NPG.75.2)

George Bancroft
George Bancroft
John Plumbe, Jr.
Daguerreotype, circa 1844
4 3/16 x 3 11/16 inches
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (NPG.77.46)

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