Thomas F. RowlandThomas Fitch Rowland (March 15, 1831 – December 13, 1907) was an American engineer and shipbuilder. In 1861, he founded the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which built ironclad warships for the United States Navy during the American Civil War, most notably , which successfully neutralized the threat from the Confederate ironclad CSS ''Virginia'' in the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862.
After the war, Rowland's Continental Works diversified into the construction of gasworks and other industrial fittings, and became a pioneer of welding technology, producing welded, corrugated boiler furnaces and other welded products. During the Spanish–American War and World War I, the company produced munitions. After World War I, it focused increasingly on the manufacture of gas mains and large-diameter water pipes. The plant closed in 1928, with the retirement of Rowland's eldest son from the business.
Rowland was described as an energetic and inventive leader, who designed many of his own company's machine tools, accumulating more than fifty patents in the course of his lifetime. He also had an interest in philanthropy, and is credited among other things with having pioneered the Saturday half-day holiday in New York for employees. In 1884, he endowed the Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for outstanding engineering papers, which is still awarded annually as of 2020. Provided by Wikipedia