North Carolina – Carl R. Livemon-May 13

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 13

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

Inventions are important pieces to a society advancing. There is no doubt that early inventions impacted mankind including; the wheel, paper, and the compass. These early inventions were not necessarily patented.

Stone Wheel

Patent records, however, can tell us about many inventions. In the 1800s, for example, North Carolinians often created devices and machines to improve agriculture and farming. These inventions, like many others, made life easier for people or saved time.

Carl Raby Livermon was born November 7, 1883 in the tiny town of Roxobel, NC which today boast a population of about 240. It is located in Bertie County. It dates to 1724 and was originally known as Cotten’s Cross Roads. Carl Livemon attended boarding schools in Scotland Neck and Windsor, Va., before entering Wake Forest College.

Livermon invented an improved peanut picker in 1912. After he left Wake Forest, his father set him up in a business that failed to prosper. One fall he persuaded his father to allow him to operate his peanut picker for hire. Although this project was financially successful, Livermon decided that there was too much time wasted on breakdowns. Consequently, he started studying the problems involved and thinking of ways to correct them. The internal chains seemed to be the major trouble, so he designed a machine that had only two chains.

His 1915 Patent Drawing is found below.


Livermon patented that device and others but also invented things for which he did not seek patents, including a two-lever cart for hauling peanut stacks; retractable wheels used to put under a rocking chair to move disabled people from room to room; a central air-cooling device; and a folding wheelbarrow.

Livemon was instrumental in the operation of the Roanoke-Chowan Bank, where he served as a director from 16 Jan. 1918 to the day of his death March 21, 1968—a period of fifty years. In 1969 Roanoke Chowan Bank was acquired by Southern National Bank. Southern National headquarters were in Lumberton NC.

In 1897, former North Carolina governor Angus MacLean and Judge Thomas A. McNeill started the Bank of Lumberton with $15,000. In 1955, MacLean’s son Hector became president, and in 1959, The National Bank of Lumberton changed its name to Southern National

Livermon was buried in the Roxobel-Kelford Cemetery.



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