Nathan Read, an American inventor, born at "Warren, Worcester co., Mass., July 2, 1759, died near Belfast, Me., Jan. 20, 1849. He graduated at Harvard college in 1781, and was tutor there for four years. In 1796 he established, with others, the Salem iron foundery, and invented a machine, patented in January, 1798, for cutting and heading nails at one operation. From 1800 to 1803 he was a member of congress. In 1807 he removed to Belfast, Me., and for many years was chief justice in the court of Hancock co. He was the author of many inventions, was one of the first to experiment with steam for navigation, and invented multitubular boilers and high-pressure engines. He also invented a method of equalizing the action of windmills, by accumulating the force of the wind by winding up a weight; a plan of using the force of the tide by means of reservoirs alternately filled and emptied in such a way as to produce a constant stream; different forms of pumping engines and threshing machines; and a plan for using the expansion and contraction of metals, multiplied by levers, for winding up clocks and other purposes.
He was a member of the academy of arts and sciences. - See "Nathan Read, his Inventions," etc, by his nephew David Read (1870).