George Bomford collection
George Bomford was born in New York City around 1782, the son of a military officer, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1805. Initially an engineer, he rose to the rank of captain while serving along the Atlantic coast and developed an expertise in ordnance, which led to his invention of the Columbiad cannon and to an appointment in the Office of Ordnance in 1815. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he oversaw the operations of the country's arsenals, and in 1832 he became chief of ordnance, a position he held until 1842. In addition to his official duties, he invented the versatile Columbiad cannon, used against Great Britain in the War of 1812. He died in Boston in 1848. He and his first wife, Louisa Sophia Catton, had at least three children; he later married Clara Baldwin, with whom he had three children.