BFNA Official Genealogy Website - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Physician & Author of "Our Bodies and How We Live" copyright 1889
Dr. Albert Franklin Blaisdell, Physician & Author, was the son of John Harper Blaisdell and the father of our own Blaisdell Family National Association. Dr. J. Harper Blaisdell was also an explorer in the Blaisdell family history, though his own interest was really inspired by that of his son who took up the grandfather's devotion to this task.
Dr. Albert Blaisdell was a graduate of Dartmouth, in 1869, and Harvard Medical, in 1879, but he earned his living mainly as an editor of textbooks, in which he made national fame with more than 100 books including revisions being attributed to him.
In his later years he, too, devoted himself to Expand-ing the knowledge of our forebears and spent uncounted hours in the genealogical libraries in the effort to solve the genealogical problems of the family and expand our knowledge of scattered lines. He was a resident of Winchester, Massachusetts.
Sources used in this biography include the following:
Line of Descent: John Harper Blaisdell, John Blaisdell, Lt. Samuel Blaisdell (6.113)
Charles Oswald Blaisdell — The Inventor
by Marilyn Blaisdell Chilton
Charles Oswald Blaisdell, 1899-1981, from my earliest recollections, was always building something. As a child, I remember him making stilts for us and a push cart (fore-runner of the stroller) for my sisters. I realized as I grew up that he built many interesting things.
Charles, BS (Electrical Engineering), 1924, Univ. of Wisconsin, began his career with Western Electric Co., Chicago, where he worked for 26 years before being transferred to Indianapolis.
Making Talking Movies
He was assigned to work on ways to synchronize sound with movies to make talking movies. The DuPont process was eventually chosen as the
industry standard. He designed many of the components in today’s telephone, receiving numerous patents for his ideas and innovations.
At home in 1934 he made several talking home movies. He made a miniature electric motor that fit inside a 1-½ volt flashlight bulb (5/16ths of
an inch in diameter).
Half-scaled 1908 Olds
During WWII, he built a three-wheeled bicycle, driven with an electric motor. His “tricycle” was featured in the November 1944 edition of the Popular Mechanics. In the 1950’s he made a self-contained camping trailer; in the 1960’s he built a ½ scale model of a 1908 Oldsmobile. He licensed it to drive around Pasadena, CA.
A Unique Clock
In the 1940’s he modified a grandfather clock, incorporating hand carved animated figures that struck bells on the hour and quarter hour. In the
1960’s he started building clocks in which the mechanism that operated the clocks was hidden from view. One of these clocks is in our home. On this clock the numbers and hands are glued to pieces of round glass, and there is no visible means to move the hands. The clock is fastened to the
wall, supported by two cylindrical rods. The secret is that he used three separate pieces of glass. The numbers are glued to a stationary glass, and
the hour and minute hands are each glued to two separated pieces of glass.
He made ring gears to fit the hour and minute hand pieces of glass, and incorporated shafts running through the support tubing that extend into the next room, in this case, the garage. There he installed a motor and a series of gears and chains to drive the clock. The clock has kept perfect time for over 40 years.
Clock-making is in the Genes
Charles is a descendant of David Blaisdell (1712-1756), the clock maker who lived in Amesbury, Massachusetts. We do not think that he was aware of David Blaisdell’s skills as a clock maker. We do know that he inherited a lot of those clock-making genes!
From Blaisdell Papers, Vol. 15, No.2, p. 117-118.
Line of Descent: George Nicholas Blaisdell, Joseph William Blaisdell, Nicholas Blaisdell, Joseph Blaisdell — (6.199) — David Blaisdell — (4.21)
David Blasdell, clockmaker, was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts on Feb 5, 1711-2. He was a son of Jonathan, and grandson of Henry and great-grand-son of Ralph Blasdell. He married Abigail Colby, daughter of Samuel Colby, on Nov 16, 1733, and probably died while a soldier in the French and Indian War, as he made his will at Fort William Henry, at Lake George, being very sick, Aug 10, 1756. It is recorded that he “died in the army in 1756.” His will was proved on May 9, 1757. His wife Abigail survived him and was still his widow in 1772. 12 children were born to them in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
In his day, David was celebrated as a skillful clockmaker. One of his clocks, described as a tall “grandfather’s clock,” and made in the 1750 is, is still keeping good time in the house of his great-great-grandson, Mr. Charles Melville Blaisdell, of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Charles was one of the Blaisdell's who served his country during the civil war.
Blaisdell clocks can still be found in the following locations/museums:
David was also a rather prominent man, more perhaps because of his mechanical ability than otherwise.
He lived near Charles Blasdell’s, at Kendrick's lane, and his shop was in Jr. Blasdell's front yard. His business was really a little of everything: He, of course, made and repaired clocks, and he also made and repaired augers, andirons, steelyards, gunlocks, repaired tin and brassware, shod horses, spoons, forged ironwork for vessels, sold groceries, dry goods, meal, wood, made tow combs, and all kinds of nails from shingle to double tens.
He served his community as a selectman (Chairman) in 1754 and was several limes assessor in the East Parish.
His son David continued his business at the same location for many years.
Sources used in this biography include the following:
Line of Descent: Jonathan Blaisdell, Henry Blaisdell, Ralf Blaisdell (1.1)
Rep. Daniel Blaisdell, U.S. Eleventh Congress,
U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire (March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1811)
Daniel was also active in New Hampshire politics:
* Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1812-1813)
* Member of the New Hampshire Senate (1814-1815)
* Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1824–1825).
Daniel was a veteran of the U.S. Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.
Line of Descent: Hon. Daniel Blaisdell, Elijah Blasdel, Enoch Blaisdell, Jonathan Blaisdell, Henry Bleasdale, Ralf Bleasdale
The F. William Blaisdell, M.D., Medical Library
The F. William Blaisdell, M.D., Medical Library, University of California Davis Health System Center for Education in Sacramento was completed in the winter of 2007. The 13,383 square foot building includes a media center, two rooms for special collections and wired/wireless network connections.
Dr. Blaisdell, San Francisco, CA, inherited the regimental history and surgical tools of his great grandfather, Solon Greenleaf Blaisdell, who used them during the Civil War. Solon also wrote a diary of his experiences during that war. These historical artifacts have been given to the library.
A room within the new library has been designated as the Blaisdell Room where the collection will be housed for use by scholars throughout the world.
A graduate of Stanford School of Medicine (1952), as was his father, Frank E. Blaisdell, Jr., and his grand-father, Frank E. Blaisdell, Sr., Dr. F. William Blaisdell is considered the father of the modern trauma center for his work at San Francisco General Hospital, 1966-1978, before he became Professor and Chairman of Surgery at the Univ. of California Davis Health System Center.
He was the recipient of the Stanford School of Medicine’s J. E. Wallace Sterling Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He is board–certified in these surgical fields: general, thoracic, vascular and critical care. In 2002 he was chief of surgery for the VA Northern California Health Care System, Sacramento.
Interviewed by Stanford Medicine magazine, Dr. Blaisdell said, “A general surgeon works hard; the hours are long; the stress can be great...I also enjoy the black box of not knowing what you’re going to encounter [in trauma care]….Trauma prepares a surgeon to deal with any part of the body….a chance to use all of [one’s] medical training.”
Line of Descent: Frank William Blaisdell From: Frank Ellsworth Blaisdell, Jr., Frank Ellsworth, Sr., Solon Greenleaf, Greenleaf C., Joshua Blaisdell — (6.124) From: Blaisdell Papers, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 65, June 2006
Major General, USAF, Ret
Franklin Judd Blaisdell, Major General, U.S. Air Force, retired (2004), Clifton, VA, b. September 15, 1949, B.A., Syracuse Univ., 33 years active duty, 1971-2004.
US Air Force, 1971-2004: Officer, Minuteman II & III Missile; Commander, largest missile operations group, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, WY, “Best Minuteman Wing”; Blanchard Trophy “Best in Missiles”; Commander of the largest missile operations group in Air Force, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, with 12 consecutive successful space lift missions, Gen. Robert T. Herres Award for “Outstanding Space Wing.”
Commander of 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, CO, Thomas S. Moorman Trophy “Best Wing in Air Force Space Command”; Commandant, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA; first Inspector General to inspect Space Wings worldwide. His last assignment: Director of Strategic Security, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Air & Space Operations, Hq., US Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, DC.
A graduate of the Squadron Officers School; Command and Staff School; National War College; Senior Managers in Government
Course, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Univ.; National Security Decision-making Seminar II, Syracuse Univ. & Johns Hopkins Univ.
Other recognitions: Distinguished Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal + 3 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Combat Readiness Medal; National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star.
Director, Business Development, Rapid Initiatives Group, Raytheon, 2004-2010; Franklin J. Blaisdell Consulting since 2010.
Line of Descent: Russell Lloyd Blaisdell, John Blaisdell, George Uriah Blaisdell, John Blaisdell, Ephraim Blaisdell, III, Ephraim Blaisdell, Jr. (6.34).
DOWN MEMORY LANE
FREDERICK E. BLAISDELL, INVENTOR
THE BLAISDELL PENCIL
Blaisdell Papers Vol.7-No.5 - Jun 1968
The following story was told to Lowell S. Blaisdell
by Dr. James Å Blaisdell
Submitted by Vema A(Blaisdell) Matz
"Frederck Elijah Blaisdell, born 1864 at Chicago, Illinois, was the oldest son of Charles Wesley Blaisdell, a journalist and newspaper editor. His grandfather, Elijah Whittier Blaisdell, Sr., had been editor of the Vergennes Vermonter and uncles and cousins were, or had been, in the newspaper business. Charles Wesley was the editor of the Chicago Times and hoping his son, Frederck would become Interested in newspaper work, secured him a position with the Chicago Times, Uninterested in tris work, Frederick would leave his job numerous tunes for days and weeks at a time, to work at inventing various things. Each time his father would bring him back to the Times to work."
"Later he left the family home in Chicago and spent some time in Philadelphia, sailing from Philadelphia for London, England, he obtained a job as a clerk to make a living while continuing his hobby of inventing things. The first article which he invented, and patented was a tie clasp."
"One night while working late and alone in the once at his clerical job, at some writing or figures, the only lead pencil he had split and broke the wood around the lead so that all he had was the lead itself The work he was doing was very Important and had to be finished that night and the lead kept breaking off as he tried to use it without wood around it, Finally he tore off a strip of newspaper and wrapped it spirally around the lead and In that way was able to keep the lead from continually breaking and
enabled him to complete his work, As the point of the lead would wear down, he would untwist some of the spirally wrapped paper around the lead, until he had another point working.
"This gave him his big idea for his greatest invention, the Blaisdell Pencil! He interested some Londoner in it, who financed it and Frederick patented the idea. formed a company and The Blaisdell Pencil Company7, pencils of Which can still be purchased today , was then born. They built a factory in London and eventually expanded with factories in Canada and in the United States"
"Frederick made his home in London after 23 years of age. In London he married Florence Washington of Toronto, Canada. They had two daughters (Margaret) Margot Blaisdell and Ruth Blaisdell, He died in London about 1918."
Later the pencil business was sold to other parties and for many years no Blaisdell has held any financial Interest In it. However, the firm continues doing business as The Blaisdell Pencil Company, from their Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania factory They have recently added a special marker for laboratory use to their line. It has a high degree of heat resistance, and temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit Will not blur the marks. The Blaisdell Laboratory Marker can be used on glass, film, plastic, and metal and Will not wear off until erased .
Line of Descent: Frederick Elijah Blaisdell From: Charles Wesley Blaisdell, Elijah Whittier, Parrit (6,223).
Inventor of the Zippo Lighter
George G. Blaisdell, 1895-1978, Bradford, Pennsylvania, invented the world-famous Zippo lighter in 1932. Since then, 300 million windproof lighters have been produced with a life-time guarantee. Except for making it ¼” smaller and rounding the corners, the lighter has remained virtually unchanged.
Expelled from a military school in the seventh grade, George trained in metalworking in his father’s Blaisdell Machinery Company. By the beginning of WWI he had taken over his father’s company, which he sold in 1920. He went into the oil business, which was successful until the Great Depression.
Then by chance at a formal dance one evening Blaisdell stepped outside to have a cigarette and encountered a very suitably attired gentleman with a rather dysfunctional lighter. This encounter changed his life. He rented a corner floor office in the Rickerson & Pryde, Inc., building for $10. per month and set about designing and inventing his lighter. It had to be small enough to fit in the hand, and most of all it had to be highly functional.
Why Zippo? At the time a company called The Talon Company of Pennsylvania developed the slide fastener called the Zipper. Blaisdell loved the way the word sounded so he called his lighter the Zippo.
Today Zippo Manufacturing is a highly diversified organization with a substantial product line of high quality products, including tape measures, knives, money clips, writing instruments and key holders. All of these items, including the Zippo lighter, can be imprinted with art work, such as a corporate logo, military emblem, or a coat of arms. It has expanded its sales operations nationally and internationally in more than 100 countries throughout the world.
Line of Descent: Philo Chase Blaisdell, Ebenezer Ferren Blaisdell, Ebenezer Blaisdell, Jr., Capt. Ebenezer Blaisdell (6.23)
Nevada's First Governor
Nevada Governor Henry Goode Blasdel, a devout Methodist and temperance advocate, was born on January 20, 1825, in Dearborn County, Indiana. From age 17 he began to study law, married and entered the produce shipping business. By age 21 he was captain of his own Mississippi River steamboat.
Like many of his generation who emigrated west he was an individual with many skills, strong of principle and flexible of disposition.
Neglected for some time by history, the Governor’s fame and reputation live on in the sliver that he acquired for the family home that is now the property of the Society of California Pioneers. Blasdel came west in 1852. He made a fortune in grain speculation,
and then lost it all in the financial panic of 1860.
He became superintendent of Hale & Norcross Mine. He refused to work his men on the Sabbath, causing him to resign his post. Eventually, he became a mine owner, regained his fortune, and began to purchase silverware from dealers in Virginia City (Frederick),
Sacramento (Tucker) and San Francisco (Vanderslice, Shreve).
Upon return from a trip to Indiana, Henry Goode Blasdel was surprised to learn he had been nominated as the Republican gubernatorial candidate for the new and hastily formed State of Nevada. He won the election and used the state’s silver-rich wealth to help support the Union in the final years of the Civil War. He made peace with the Shoshone Indians, accompanied by an aide, a translator and a few officials.
Visitors to the Governor’s residence in Carson City recall that alcohol was never used – a departure from the hard-drinking mindset of the state’s early residents – and earned Henry Goode Blasdel the reputation of being the “Chocolate and Tea Governor.”
(Printed in Volume 14 No. 9 June 2005, p. 754 of the Blaisdell Papers.)
Line of Descent: Henry Goode Blasdel is a descendant of Ralph Blaisdell through his father, Jacob Blasdel (6.229).
Revolutionary War Veteran. and Indiana Pioneer
Jacob Blasdel, a pioneer to the Indiana Territory, was born April 8, 1754, in Amesbury, MA, the seventh of ten children to Enoch & Mary (Satterlee) Blaisdell. He became a Lieutenant after three enlistments from New Hampshire during the Revolutionary War and was paid a land Warrant by the U.S. government.
He married Ruth Morse March 26, 1778, and they had nine children: Enoch, Jacob, Nabby, Polly, Ruth, Jonathan, Sally (Sarah), Elijah and Betsey. He was an ironworker and a blacksmith in Tamworth, Eaton and Burton, NH. He represented Tamworth in the Legislature of New Hampshire.
He sold upwards of 1,000 acres of land in New Hampshire before heading west in 1799 by horse, oxen, and foot to the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, where the family with possessions floated downstream by flat boat to Columbia, Hamilton County, OH, near the Great Miami River and stayed five years. Polly, age 15 and a twin, died in 1800.
At age 51 in 1804 he bought Section 28 and ¼ of Section 29 in township 6 of Range 1 west, in the Indiana Territory, three miles from Ohio. With courage and self-reliance, he began to clear the land with an axe and rifle. He named the place Cambridge [Pella today] and established a 20’ x 24’ Academy, believed to be the first college in the Indiana Territory.
On Tanners Creek he built and operated a grist mill and a sawmill. He established the Cambridge Cemetery in 1821 and was buried there after his death in 1831 with all four of his sons and two of his five daughters: Enoch, Jacob, Jr., Jonathan, Elijah, Nabby and Sally. He was survived by eight children and 45 grandchildren at the time of his death.
His cemetery was declared in 2003 an Historic Cemetery among Indiana’s Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The cemetery is maintained by members of the Lt. Jacob Blasdel Family Association.
Line of Descent: James Arnold Blaisdell (1867-1957) From: Dr. James Joshua Blaisdell, Hon. Elijah William Blaisdell, Hon. Daniel Blaisdell (6.224)
College President, Co-Founder of BFNA
James Arnold Blaisdell (December 15, 1867 – January 29, 1957) was a minister, theologian and most notably the third president of Pomona College (1910–1927) and founder and “Head Fellow” of the Claremont Colleges (1927–1935).
He was born in Beloit, Wisconsin; his father was a philosophy professor at Beloit College. Blaisdell graduated from Beloit College in 1889, and went on to become a minister in Waukesha, Wisconsin for a time, until he went back to Beloit College to be the Chair of the Bible Department, as well as the director of the library, in 1903.
He became president of Pomona College in 1910 and the College’s finances, success and visibility quickly increased. He envisioned what would become the Claremont Colleges in 1923 when faced with increasing enrollment at Pomona, so that rather than compromising the small college’s atmosphere, several small schools could coexist and share common facilities such as a library, much like Oxford. He became the head of the Claremont University Consortium in 1927, when he resigned as president of Pomona. He continued in this capacity until 1935, retiring to La Jolla, California, but upon the death of his wife in 1940, returned to Claremont, California for the last 17 years of his life, observing and overseeing the growth of what had become five institutions.
MARRIAGE: (2) by Dr Allen C Blaisdell
NOTE: See "Who's Who"; James A Blaisdell Park was dedicated 28 Jun 1962 at Claremont, CA
OBITUARY: June 1957 - by Lowell S Blaisdell
"Clergyman, Educator, Administrator, College Professor, College President, Author, Composer, Genealogist, Business Executive
Published in Blaisdell Papers: Vol 8, No 3, June 1957 full tribute.
First Woman Sea Captain
Myrtle Molly (Kool) (Blaisdell) Carney was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain. She earned her captain’s papers in 1939 at age 23 after graduating from the Merchant Marine Institute, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and sailed the Atlantic Ocean between Alma, New Brunswick and Boston for five years.
She was a woman of courage, tenacity and endurance, and she was described as pretty and frivolous, adrift in a men’s world. She could repair engines, run the winch, set the sails and handle the lines. She also sewed canvas and spliced ropes as needed.
Her friend Mary Majka said of her, “She was good enough that she won the respect of the old salts.” She sailed her father’s 70-foot boat, the Jean K, in the dangerous waters of the Bay of Fundy. The ship hauled heavy cargo from ships anchored off shore.
She gave up being a mariner when she married Ray Blaisdell of Bucksport, Maine in 1944. They were married until his death in 1962. She later married John Carney. She died February 25, 2009, at the age of 93. Her ancestral home in Alma will be moved to a knoll in nearby Fundy National Park overlooking the bay.
Published in Blaisdell Papers, June 2009.
Line of Descent: Myrtle “Molly” (Kool) (Blaisdell) Carney w/o Raymond Shirley Blaisdell From: Fred Howard Blaisdell, Guilford Blaisdell, Philip Gross Blaisdell, James Blaisdell — (6.157) — and, From: Fred Howard Blaisdell, Caroline Brown (Sunders) Blaisdell, Hudson Saunders, Sarah (Blaisdell) Saunders — (6.161).
Mayor of Honolulu
Neal Shaw Blaisdell, 1902-1975, served as Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii 1954-1968 while Hawaii became the 50th State in 1959.
He was the first-born to William Wallace Blaisdell II and Maliaka Alaneo (Merseberg) Blaisdell in Honolulu.
He graduated from Bucknell University, where was captain of the football team. He had a brief career as a professional baseball pitcher and became a coach and athletic director in Honolulu before he was elected Mayor.
While mayor the Wilson Tunnel in Kalihi Valley and the Hawaii International Center were constructed. After his death the Center was renamed the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.
Blaisdell Papers, Vol 16 No 5, June 2013, p. 334
Line of Descent: Neal Shaw Blaisdell (11.156), William Wallace Blaisdell, John Lewis Blaisdell, Richard Sanborn Blaisdell, Moses Blaisdell, Daniel Blaisdell, Jonathan Blaisdell, Henry Bleasdale, Ralf Bleasdale
Founder, John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence
Richard Kekuni Akana Blaisdell, M.D., Honolulu, HI, BA (Pre-Med), Univ. of Redlands; MD, Univ. of Chicago School of Medicine, is a retired physician who specialized in Internal Medicine and Hematology and established the university of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, which focuses on faculty and curriculum development, research, retention, health and information services. He is the Convenor of Pro-Kanaka Maoli Independence Working Group, advocating Hawaiian independence.
See also: The Petra Foundation for details of his accomplishments.
Line of Descent: Richard Kekuni Akana Blaisdell From: William Kah’ i Blaisdell, William Wallace Blaisdell II, William Wallace Blaisdell, John Lewis Blaisdell, probably Richard Sanborn Blaisdell, Richard Sanborn Blaisdell (6.156)
“Schindler of the Korean War”
Russell Lloyd Blaisdell, Col, US Air Force, Chaplain, b. September 4, 1910, in Hayfield, Dodge Co, MN – d. May 1, 2007, in Las Vegas, NV. Burial: US Veterans Cemetery, Boulder City, NV.
Russell earned a BA degree in 1934, from Macalester College; MDiv, 1937, McCormick Theological Seminary; Pastor, Coggan & Wilton, IA, 1937 - 1940; He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Chaplain, 1940-1966; and the NY State Dept. of Social Services, 1966-1977.
He was named “The Father of the Korean War Orphan” for his leading role with his sergeant’s assistance to save the lives of over 1,000 orphans from the streets of Seoul during the Korean War. They risked their lives and careers in doing so. Three miracles of God’s provision allowed them to escape from being found and killed by the invading Chinese and North Korean Armies in the “Kiddy Car Airlift” December 20, 1950.
He returned in January 2001 to a hero’s welcome by the Korean government when the press dubbed him “The Schindler of the Korean War.”
A bronze statue of Chaplain Blaisdell was dedicated in December 2009 at the Statuary Park, Nam Gu, Gwangju Metropolitan City. He holds a wounded orphan girl in his right arm, while an orphan boy looks up with admiration at his left. The plaque quoted his motivation: “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” (Matt. 25:40)
Three books were published in both English and Korean by Choong Hyun Orphanage under the direction of the Rev. Dr. HaeRyang Yoo Kim: Kids of the Korean War: Father of a Thousand (2007, 2011); The Father of the Korean War Orphan (2018).
* “The Father of the Korean War Orphan,” Blaisdell Papers, June 2022, p. 23.
Line of descent: John Blaisdell, George Uriah Blaisdell, John Blaisdell, Ephraim Blaisdell, III, Ephraim Blaisdell, Jr. (6.34)