Civil War prisoner
Robert Avery and his brother, Cyrus, designed the Avery Return Flue Steam Engine.
Robert Avery spent time in the infamous Andersonville
Confederate Prison after he was captured as a Union soldier in the Civil War.
To keep his mind active and his hopes alive, he spent most of his time thinking about farm tools and implements.
After his release, he went home to recuperate. He helped his brother on his farm and later rented his own.
In 1877, the two brothers established a manufacturing company under their name. They began manufacturing steam engines and grain threshers in 1891.