Joseph Rider

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An 1890 article in the Newark Advocate quotes a piece from the Cincinnati Enquirer as saying that the wealthiest man in Newark at the time was Joseph Rider. His worth was estimated at $500,000 with large land holdings in Ohio, New York and Indiana. What Rider is best known for, however, are his inventions. He held over 100 patents in various fields, mostly in firearms. [1]

Rider was born in Pennsylvania in 1817. He left home at 16 and moved to Wooster, Ohio, where he became a shoe-maker. During this time, he invented an adjustable shoe and boot pattern, which was still in use at the time of his death. He moved to Newark in 1853 with his wife and five children, where he co-owned a jewelry store. This business was well-known enough to attract a contract to build a town clock for Ithaca, New York. [2]

Rider soon began patenting improvements to firearms, and in 1858, he invented the double-action percussion revolver. For this, he was paid 12 brace of revolvers and 400 acres of Ohio land by Remington. This formed the basis of Rider's future land deals. He continued working with Remington for about 25 years. His improvements led to the Remington Rolling Block Rifle, which was called the "best single shot rifle ever produced and the most famous of any Remington firearm." It was manufactured for about 70 years.

Joseph Rider is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, with his wife and family. He continued working on inventions until about one month before his death in 1901. One of his diagrams is in the time capsule in the cornerstone of the Licking County Courthouse.


  1. (1890, January 2). The Newark Advocate.
  2. Hutslar, D. (1973). Gunsmiths of Ohio, 18th & 19th centuries,. York, PA: G. Shumway.