THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   GERRIT F. FITCH, for some time Secretary and Treasurer of the Fitch Battery and Electric Company of Oneida, which has recently been transferred to New York City parties, is a son of D. H. Fitch, a native of Cazenovia, Madison County. It was through the efforts of the last-named that the company of which his son is Secretary was organized. D. H. Fitch in his younger days was a telegraph operator; and, being of an inventive turn of mind, he made many improvements in telegraphic instruments and their use. For many years he was Superintendent of Telegraph Lines and Train Despatcher, and for some time was connected with the military telegraph supply department of Missouri. He afterward held the position of Assistant General Freight and Passenger Agent for the Brunswick & Western Railroad Company in Georia, remaining in the Southern States several years. His health failing, he returned to New York, and established electrical works at Cazenovia. He married Mary J. Haws, who was the youngest living of a family of six children, he himself being the seventh child of his parents. He is now fifty-six years old, and resides in Cazenovia. He and his wife are the parents of five children, namely: Charles A., of Paterson, N.J.; Gerrit F.; James E.; Edith May; and Elsie L.
   Mr. D. H. Fitch has been the inventor of numerous articles of importance in the electrical line, among them the Perfect Battery and the Perfect Battery Excitant. The Perfect Battery, for open-circuit service, is a pure carbon battery, and "has more desirable qualities than have ever been combined in any other, among which are unequalled cleanliness, high and steady efficiency, low internal resistance, quick recuperation, and long duration without care or renewal." The Perfect Battery Excitant is at once both an excitant and a depolarizer, which is an original feature and a step in advance of all others. With this excitant there is a powerful, soluble, depolarizing ingredient in the solution, which is replaced whenever the solution is renewed, and without the expense of replacing exhausted negatives. Hence all the advantages of both an efficient depolarizing agent and a permanent or non-perishable negative. In this battery nothing but the solution and zinc are consumed by use, and they are so proportioned that they are consumed uniformly and are exhausted at the same time. There is no wear on the carbon and it lasts an indefinite length of time.
   Besides the above, Mr. Fitch, Sr., is the inventor of the Chlorine Galvanic Battery and Faradic Battery. In the Chlorine Battery the spent residue, or the result of chemical action, instead of being sulphate of zinc, as in other batteries in which sulphuric acid or any of its salts are used, is the chloride of zinc, a deliquescent salt: hence there is no tendency to crystallize or spread above the surface of the liquid in the jar. The solution remains strikingly clear and clean through years of service, and it is very rarely necessary to empty or to clean the cells. The Faradic Battery, or Electro-medical Apparatus, for professional and family use, is constructed partly upon the Du Bois-Reymond principle, and in accordance with the latest developments in electrical science. It gives direct currents of adjustable strength, and every kind and quality of Faradic currents that it is possible to secure from any Faradic machine. Besides the above there are other and minor, appliances to be used in connection with them, and independently of them.
   Derrick H. Fitch, the grandfather of Gerrit, was a Captain in the War of 1812. He lived to be eighty-eight years old. Gerrit F. Fitch was born at Peterboro, in this county September 12, 1868. Diligently improving his opportunities for earning, he attended public schools in Illinois, Missouri, and in New York, in this State at Cazenovia, until he was fifteen years old. After this, at an early age, he became engaged with his father in the electrical works at Cazenovia, making himself familiar with the details of the entire business, and assisting in the manufacture of various articles pertaining to the trade. The business being removed to Oneida, occupying a building erected by the Chamber of Commerce, and subsequently purchased by the company, he went there in May, 1890, and was employed at first as a workman, but soon took the Secretaryship of the company.
   Politically, the subject of the present sketch is a Republican, and, religiously, an Episcopalian. He is also a strong advocate of temperance principles and practice, and has been President of the Oneida Castle Temperance League. His education has been of the most practical nature: he has gained as much from observation as from book, and probably more. He keeps himself well informed on political, social, and other current events. Being a young man of a literary rather than a scientific turn of mind, his predilection is rather for letters and the power of expression than for the mechanic arts. Notwithstanding this fact, he has a good knowledge of electrical matters, and was well qualified for his position in connection with the Fitch Battery and Electric Company.

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