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Timothy Fruman Washing Machine Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 15 Jul 2009

Biographical History

Nothing is known of Timothy Fruman, other than the information given in the collection: that he was a resident of Cazenovia, New York, and that he patented a "new and useful improvement, being a Washing Machine." Of the purchaser or the patent, David Thorpe, likewise nothing is known.

The first U.S. patent for a washing machine was granted March 3, 1797 to Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire, so although this is not the first, it is still a quite early instance.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Timothy Fruman Washing Machine Collection consists of a single sheet of handwritten notes describing a washing machine invented by Timothy Fruman of Cazenovia, New York, and an 1809 agreement granting David Thorpe of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, "full and exclusive right of making, constructing, using, and vending" said washing machine in his hometown.

Arrangement of the Collection

Items are in no particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Fruman, Timothy.
Thorpe, David.


Washing machines -- History.


Cazenovia (N.Y.) -- History.
Perth Amboy (N.J.) -- History.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Timothy Fruman Washing Machine Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Adah C. Blackman Fund, 2009.

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