The Turn Of The Century Electrotherapy Museum
(C) Jeff Behary 2011 

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Geo. W. Fairbanks
Maker of Davis & Kidder Magneto-Electric Machines

(VIII) George Washington Fairbanks, son of Joel Fairbanks (7), born in New Boston, New Hampshire, March 28. 1828, died in Lynn, Massachusetts, November 27, 1884. He was educated in the public schools of his native town. He was apprenticed to a harness maker, but disliking the trade he ran away and shipped as a sailor on a sailing vessel. In 1849 he was appointed a messenger in the library of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and attended lectures in the Institution several years. He made meteorological observations under the direction of Professor Joseph Henry, then secretary of the Institution. In November, 1851, he went to New York. He was a skillful mechanic both in metals and wood, and he became associated with an inventor named Ari Davis in making magneto-electric machines, which become a recognized necessity for the physical laboratories of schools and colleges, and were employed quite extensively by physicians and in the United States hospitals in nervous diseases ; though at this time the manufacture of electric appliances was in its infancy, and were often little more than fashionable toys. Ari Davis sold his patent-right to a Dr. Kidder who sold to William Burnap, for whom Mr. Fairbanks made the machines in Lowell, Massachusetts, and in New York City, for a number of years, with constantly increasing demands, in medical practice, and the arts. In 1861 Mr. Fairbanks removed to Lynn, and there purchased a dwelling house with a large lot of land on Lewis street, which is still occupied by his wife and daughters. He still worked at the old trade in New York City, and again located there for a time between 1867 and 1871, but finally returned to Lynn for a permanent residence in 1871, and there for a time manufactured the machines in his own name. He had also worked as a shoe-cutter and a carpenter in Lynn, at intervals while his business was unsettled. Several years before his death he retired from active life. He died November 27, 1884. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias order, which commended his genial and amiable qualities in resolutions at his death; he was independent in politics, and connected with no church.

He married, at Washington, February 26, 1852, Jane Clark, born at Pictou, Nova Scotia. June, 1826, daughter of David and Marjorie (McIntosh) Clark. Children: 1. George Augustus, born in New York City, January 21, 1853, died there September 17, 1853. 2. Abbie Loetta, mentioned below. 3. William Henry, born November 16, 1860, in New York City, died in Lynn, May 22, 1864.

C) Jeff Behary, 2011