1786: David Starr’s Invention

MIDDLETOWN, (Connecticut) Jan. 29.

In your eighth number I observed an account of a discovery in hydrostaticks, made by a Mr. Allen, of Martha’s Vineyard, viz. separating fresh from salt water. The discovery is indeed useful and important, but not novel. –Captain David Starr, an inhabitant of this town, made an experiment of that kind 20 years ago, and succeeded so far as to supply 1300 men with fresh water ten days. Necessity, which is justly termed the mother of invention, induced him to the trial, and he doubtless would have improved on his original discovery, had not want of encouragement, which is too often the misfortune of genius, prevented him from prosecuting his philosophical researches.

From the Pennsylvania Gazette, Mar. 8, 1786.

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