American merchant and silk-manufacturer; born at Prague, Bohemia; died at Hartford, Conn., 1898. He emigrated to America as a result of the revolution of 1848-49. Kohn was a manufacturer of silk braid, and he took part of his machinery with him. He first settled in New York, but removed to Hartford, Conn., and by the year 1858 had established a good business there. He soon occupied an entire block (which came to be known as the "Kohn block") with his braid-works, and during all this time was experimenting constantly with silk-weaving, then an absolute novelty in the United States. In 1859 he wove the first piece of silk goods produced by a loom in that country.
Kohn devised machinery and methods of his own, which at first he did not protect; but between 1865 and 1868 he took out several patents, and his success had great influence in establishing the silk-industry in Paterson, N. J., where some of his inventions were used. Family misfortunes afterward depleted his fortune and saddened his later life.