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Alvah C. Roebuck
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Entrepreneur
    (January 9, 1864-June 18, 1948)
    Born in Lafayette, Indiana
    Co-founded Sears, Roebuck and Company with Richard W. Sears (1892)
    Worried that he might be held liable for the company’s debts, he sold his share of the business to Sears (1895) and became a salaried employee instead.
    After suffering financial setbacks in the Great Depression, he came out of retirement and returned to Sears, Roebuck and Co.
    He was given jobs writing a company history and making publicity appearances at store openings.
    He was a self-taught watchmaker by his teens.
    He designed a magic lantern (an early motion picture projector) and started a company to manufacture it (1899).
    He served as president of the Emerson Typewriter Company (1909-24), where he developed an improved model, the Woodstock.
    Asked if he had regrets about missing out on a fortune by selling his stake in the business to Sears, he replied, ‘He’s dead. Me, I never felt better.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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