Patriot Paul Revere’s Investments Still Paying Off 200 Years Later

Patriot Paul Revere’s Investments Still Paying Off 200 Years LaterFrom the September / October edition of The Quarter Roll
Patriot Paul Revere’s Investments Still Paying Off 200 Years Later
By Bill Myers

When you think of Paul Revere what comes to mind? Of course, you may think about his 1775 midnight ride to warn the MinuteMen that the Redcoats were coming! However, would you be surprised to learn that this American patriot was also an amazing craftsman and the shrewd owner of a highly profitable small business? His story is an amazing tale of a man who not only served his country in dramatic fashion, but also tied together his love for freedom and his trade through entrepreneurship and a mix of profitable businesses. Today, over 200 years later, Paul Revere's business, the Revere Copper Products company, continues to profitably operate in Rome, New York.

How did Paul Revere get started? Just like so many small business owners who learned their initial skills while on the job for someone else (see our interview with personal trainer Tim Schilcher), Paul Revere became a silversmith apprentice when he was 13. He also served time in the Army as a young man and was deeply involved in supporting the cause for freedom against Britain. It is even believed that he was present for the opening shots that started the American Revolution. Throughout his biography there are many references to his superior craftsmanship with metals, a skill he used during the war to help the Revolutionary cause by using his printing press to engrave currency plates.

He was a gifted artist and had an extraordinary ability to create engravings in silver goods. Perhaps the most important thing Revere did for his career was to invest in himself by constantly learning new work skills. Once he mastered working with one metal, he would begin training and experimenting with another. Thus, his ability to work with silver also translated into a skill with copper, and then iron later on in his career. The educational investment he made in himself gradually broadened and honed his already superior work skills; it was an investment that would pave his way to business success.

Financial lessons learned from Paul Revere
Turn your expertise into small business income. Revere turned his metal fabricating expertise into a small business. While he could have gone to work for someone else, he decided to leverage his unique ability into his own business. This allowed him the freedom to branch out into other ventures as well, most famous of which is the still running Revere Copper Products company!

Take advantage of economic opportunities. After the war there was an increased interest in attending church. That meant more church bells were needed. It was during this time that Paul Revere took the opportunity to turn his passion into profit, and became well known for the superior quality of the church bells he manufactured and sold. Maximizing his skill on a project that was in demand at the time, led to tremendous financial growth for Revere.

Never stop expanding your skills and knowledge. During the time Paul Revere was making church bells in his foundry, he was also learning how to make many consumer goods from iron. Leaning on his core crafting skills, he began to design and manufacture many needed metal goods for ordinary people. He even opened a hardware store. The fact that he continued to learn new skills allowed him to make even more money through new opportunities as they presented themselves.

Invest your money.
In 1800 Paul Revere invested $25,000.00 in copper rolling. His copper sheeting was used for many of the merchant and war ships that were being built. With his years of business experience, crafting expertise, and monetary investment he eventually owned an extremely profitable business as he enters his 70's. That business continues to run today and their copper products are used in buildings that set the bar for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

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