Birdsill Holly, Jr.
Born November 8 1820 – Died April 27 1894
Improvement in Systems of Water-Supplies for CitiesPatent No. 94,746
Birdsill Holly invented a system to supply water to cities without reservoirs or standpipes, and to extinguish fires through a system of hydrants that eliminated the need to equip fire engines with water tanks.
Holly was born in Auburn, New York, where his common school education ended at age eight. He was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker, and later to a machine shop owner. He became a shop superintendent in his late teens, and was granted the first of many patents before he was thirty. In 1859, he founded the Holly Manufacturing Company in Lockport, New York.