Edward Henry Knight was born in London, England, June 1, 1824, and died in Bellefontaine, January 22, 1883, where he had had legal residence the last twenty-five years of his life, although absent a large part of the time in Washington, Paris and England. He was educated in England, where he learned the art of steel-engraving and took a course in surgery. In 1846 he settled in Cincinnati as a patent attorney.
In 1864 he was employed in the Patent Office at Washington, where he originated the present system of classification. In 1873 he issued his most important work, the "American Mechanical Dictionary." He was a member of the International Juries at the World's Fairs in Philadelphia, in 1876, and Paris in 1878; was U. S. Commissioner at the latter, receiving the appointment of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the French government in recognition of his services. He was a member of many scientific societies, both American and European. In 1876 he received the degree of LL.D. from Iowa Wesleyan University.
He compiled what is known as Bryant's "Library of Poetry and Song;" was the author of a number of valuable scientific and other works, and one of the most useful men in research and literature that America has produced.
His knowledge of books, men and things is said to have been marvelous. After death his brain was found to weigh sixty-four ounces, being the heaviest on record, excepting that of Cuvier. The average weight of the brain of Europeans is 49 and a half ounces (av.) Among the large brains on record are those of Agassiz, 53.4; Lord Campbell, 53.5; Daniel Webster, 53.5; Abercrombie, 63; Knight, 64; Cuvier, 64.5.
Historical Collections of Ohio, Vol 2, by Henry Howe. (pub 1888)