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THE WESTERN STAR, 24 September 1898
Obituary of JACK R. GRANT

A Former Resident of Coldwater Dies Suddenly on the Eve of Fame and Fortune.

From the Wichita Eagle.
Jack R. Grant, who formerly lived in Wichita, dropped dead in New York City last Thursday. There were three of the Grant boys here known as Grant Bros., painters. They moved from here to Coldwater about ten years
ago, moving back within a few months afterward. After another year's residence they left here and went to Tacoma, Washington, where Jack Grant patented the famous air bag system for raising ships. At the time
of his death Mr. Grant was working under contract with Lieutenant Hobson to raise the Cristobol Colon, one of Cervera's fleet sunk in Santiago harbor, or rather in an attempt to escape from the harbor on July 3.
Grant Bros., were offered a million dollars for the patent within thirty days after the invention. It was given a world wide name when a large ocean steamer was raised off the coast of Washington about a year ago.
Probably not half a dozen people in Wichita who read of the plan to raise the sunken Spanish war vessel knew by seeing the accounts of Grant's system of air bags for ship raising, that it was Jack Grant, who had put the paint on a hundred Wichita houses.

The work of raising a big vessel is accomplished by divers going down to a considerable depth and fastening the bags to the hulls and then pumping them full of air, the buoyancy finally becoming so great that the vessel lifts out of the sea. As soon as it was determined by the
government to raise the Colon and the tank was turned over to Lieutenant Hobson, Mr. Grant had a few conferences with Mr. Hobson and secured the contract.

Grant returned to New York three weeks ago to confer with Hobson again and to prepare for his trip to Cuba, where the air bags were to be used in raising the vessels of Cervera's squadron. On Wednesday night he talked to several of his friends about the triumphs that had crowned his life of toil. He told them how the government had entered into contract with him for the use of his invention, and how he would be paid a large
sum for his invention.

Nothing was seen of him on Thursday morning, and when the chambermaid knocked at 11 o'clock, there was no response. The door was broken open and the old man was found lying in bed, dead. Cerebral apoplexy had carried him off, painlessly, in the night, leaving Hobson to use the Grant air bags without the advice of the man who conceived them.
Transcribed and Contributed by Shirley Brier

Last Updated:  Wednesday, December 14, 2005 22:23:34

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