Monday, December 26, 2016


Atwater Kent - Inventor, Industrialist and Philanthropist
The previous blog post, “Memorial Maintenance,” mentioned the recently refurbished Atwater Kent memorial. It was installed in 1946 on the Schooner Head Path, south of downtown Bar Harbor, ME and just beyond High Seas, the former home of pathmaker and Princeton professor, Rudolph Brunnow.*1

Kent memorial - Champlain Mountain background
The inscription on the bronze plaque reads:

ATWATER KENT FIELD
ATWATER KENT FIELD
OF APPROXIMATELY 62 ACRES
WAS DONATED IN 1946 BY THE
ATWATER KENT FOUNDATION
TO THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA
AS A PART OF
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK



                                    Library of Congress
A. Atwater Kent



Arthur Atwater Kent (1873-1949), an entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist, was born in Burlington, VT.  He made his fortune by inventing the automatic ignition for automobiles and afterwards establishing the country’s biggest radio manufacturing business which, starting in 1923, produced the popular, eponymously named radio. He closed the Philadelphia-based business in 1936 and retired to Bel Air, CA.



In 1946 the Atwater Kent Foundation gave Acadia National Park 62 acres off Schooner Head Road. That same year, the Atwater Kent Properties Corporation sold 210 acres for $21,500 to the U.S. Government which was to be designated as the “Atwater Kent Field.” This property ran north-south from the High Seas estate to Schooner Head and east-west from the coast to Champlain Mountain.

While a summer resident of Bar Harbor, Kent owned the former Frederick Vanderbilt’s estate, Sonogee, and the Robert Abbe estate, Brookend, off Eden Street on the north and south sides of Duck Brook, respectively. Among his other holdings were Long Porcupine and The Hop, two islands off Bar Harbor in Frenchman Bay.

                                                     Find A Grave
Kent grave
Kent died in 1949 at his Bel Air home and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in nearby Glendale. In his will, he left $1.3 million to charities and educational institutions.







*Footnote:
1 GPS coordinates of the Kent memorial: N44° 21.083' W068° 10.995'

1 comment:

  1. So this is how you spent Christmas.

    ReplyDelete