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Rockford historian, Jon Lundin, has written the life of Rockford's twentieth century inventor and industrialist Howard Colman, founder of Barber-Colman Company, Rockford's first multinational corporation. He is credited with 149 patents, but he inspired or worked on many more inventions. He was a creative genius, an inventor of Thomas Edison's caliber. Colman invented a warp drawing mechanism and numerous kinds of knotters for use in textile manufacturing. He produced drawings for a jet engine in the 1920's, and invented and patented a dot matrix device that was used decades later in digital computer technology.
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