Nationally known inventor Joseph Davenport was born in Massachusetts, but lived most of his life in Massillon.
He founded Massillon Bridge Company in 1869 after designing the first wrought iron cantilever bridge in the United States. One of his early iron bridges is preserved in Oak Knoll Park in Massillon.
In 1840, Davenport and his brother invented the cowcatcher for the front of railroad engines and developed railroad passenger cars with the center aisle instead of a single side aisle. In his nineties Davenport dabbled in designing flying machines.