Monday, April 7, 2014

Finding William Bullock

William Bullock
One recent Saturday when I decided to break up the day by going to Pittsburgh, I referred to Typomapp since I recalled that there was a point of interest there, and discovered it pointed out William Bullock's burial site.

William Bullock is sometimes referred to as the father of the web rotary printing press and modern printing. Bullock's press allowed for continuous large rolls of paper to be automatically fed through the rollers, eliminating the laborious hand-feeding system of earlier presses. The press was self-adjusting, printed on both sides, folded the paper, and a sharp serrated knife that rarely needed sharpening cut sheets with rapid precision. The press could print up to 12,000 sheets an hour; later improvements raised the speed to up to 30,000 sheets an hour. He also has the dubious distinction of being among inventors killed by their inventions.

Bullock's Rotary Press
The body of William A. Bullock had previously lay in an unmarked grave in Lot 29, Range 13, Section G of Division 2 of Union Dale cemetery. But due to the efforts of George Swetham of The Pittsburgh Press, a bronze marker mounted on a headstone was erected on his burial site on October 12, 1964, 97 years after his death.

You'd think that after years of genealogy, geocaching, and letterboxing it would come easy to me to find a headstone with a bronze marker. Well, it helps to search for such headstones in the correct division of a cemetery. In my excited rush getting there, we initially spent a lot of time combing through Section G in a different division. Terri was a real sport, and her intuition paid off when she put all of the little bits of my quickly gathered incomplete information together. Bullock's grave site is in the very back of Lot 29, and could be easily overlooked. All in all, it was a great day filled with adventures.

Bullock's headstone
More on Bullock can be found here in the Notables in Union Dale Cemetery; Rootsweb, which has Swetnam's article in Pittsburgh’s Family Magazine in which he campaigned for recognition of Bullock, and Wikipedia.

Found at last!