Amos Whitney

1832 – 1920

Amos Whitney

Amos Whitney was born in Biddeford, Maine. At age 13, he was apprenticed to the Essex Machine Company of Lawrence, Massachusetts. After a year as a journeyman, he came to Hartford and found work at Colt Manufacturing Company. It was at Colt that Whitney met Francis Pratt.

Both Pratt and Whitney left Colt in 1854. According to Whitney’s obituary, they were making $8 a day at Colt, but took positions at Phoenix Iron Works at $2 a day for the opportunity to do contract work. Pratt became superintendent of the Phoenix Iron Works and Whitney was his assistant. 

Pratt & Whitney 

In 1860, the duo began manufacturing machinery resulting in the founding of Pratt & Whitney. The company was formally incorporated in 1869. They manufactured guns and gun making machinery, as well as tools to make sewing machines, putting into practice the concept of interchangeable parts. 

Whitney served as superintendent, and later vice president, of the company. In 1898, with the retirement of Pratt, Whitney became president. He retired in 1901 when the company was acquired by Niles-Bement-Pond Company. 

Whitney was known for establishing policies leading to successful training of apprentices. 

Section 12, Lot 27


Hartford Courant. “Amos Whitney Dies in Hotel in Maine.” August 6, 1920 Amos Whitney. Accessed at

Pratt & Whitney. As the Years Passed, History Book 2.

Wikipedia. Amos Whitney. Accessed at

Photo Credit:

Amos Whitney, Public Domain