Worcester Reed Warner (May 16, 1846 – June 25, 1929) was an American mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, manager, astronomer, and philanthropist. With Ambrose Swasey he cofounded the Warner & Swasey Company.


Life and career

Warner was born near Cummington, Massachusetts.[1] He met Swasey at the Exeter Machine Works. On the completion of their apprenticeship in 1870, both entered the employ of Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut.[1]

In 1880 he co-founded a business to manufacture machines with Ambrose Swasey. The firm, Warner & Swasey, was initially located in Chicago but soon moved to Cleveland.[2] Worcester Warner would design the 36-inch refracting telescope installed at Lick Observatory in 1888. He later built telescopes that were used in Canada and Argentina.

Further activities

Warner was a charter member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,[1] and from 1897[1] to 1898 he served as the 16th president of ASME. (Ambrose Swasey would later serve as the 23rd ASME president.) In 1900 the firm was incorporated as Warner & Swasey Company.[3] Warner served as president and chairman of the board, but retired in 1911.

Both Warner and Ambrose Swasey also became trustees of the Case School of Applied Science. As both men had an interest in astronomy, they donated an entire observatory to the school. This became the Warner and Swasey Observatory. It was dedicated in 1920.

The gravesite of Worcester Reed Warner

The Warner Building on Case Western Reserve University houses the Worcester Reed Warner Laboratory, named after the former university trustee. The construction of this building was partly funded by Worcester Warner.

The crater Warner on the Moon is named after him.


Warner died in Eisenach, Saxe-Weimar, Germany and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Worcester Reed Warner Medal

The Worcester Reed Warner Medal is awarded by the ASME for "outstanding contribution to the permanent literature of engineering".[4] It was established by bequest in 1930. Some or the recipients are:



External links