Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year…’
Yes, it’s Paul Revere’s Ride Day – a famous feat by a person about whom we are actually taught very little. Here are some of the more interesting bits:
He was named for his father, Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot who came to America and soon changed his name. Revere Sr. was apprenticed to a silversmith, got married and had twelve children. Paul Jr. would eventually marry twice and father 16, of whom 11 reached adulthood.
That’s a lot of mouths to feed, which is why Paul Revere is one of the first real entrepreneurs in our history – when his silver business suffered before the Revolution, he took up dentistry. When the economy was further depressed afterward, he experimented with other metals, opening an iron foundry first, then the first copper rolling mill in the country.
He added a brass foundry and incorporated as Revere Copper and Brass, Inc. After many mergers it became the Revere Copper Company and a century later, an employee figured out how to attach copper to the bottom of a saucepan and Revereware was born.
Revere was the go-to guy for metalwork in colonial Boston – he provided the copper dome for the State House and sheathing for the hull of the U.S.S. Constitution. It was Revere copper that was used for the boilers on one of Fulton’s first steamboats.
Paul Revere lived to the ripe old age of 83, died in his bed and is buried in the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street in Boston.
And speaking of Massachusetts, it’s Conan O’Brien’s birthday – he was born in Brookline 49 years ago, apparently destined for this: