Making History Greater Series: The Work of Benjamin and David Rittenhouse

Making History Greater Series: The Work of Benjamin and David Rittenhouse

More About Making History Greater Series: The Work of Benjamin and David Rittenhouse

David Rittenhouse was born in Philadelphia, but his family had a farm in what is now East Norriton. It was there that Rittenhouse observed the transit of Venus (when the planet Venus appears to cross directly across the sun). He was the first person to do so from North America. He used the data he collected during the transit to calculate the earth’s distance from the sun as 93 million miles.

A typical Enlightenment thinker, Rittenhouse was self-taught from his family library. He showed great aptitude for math and science from an early age. Rittenhouse surveyed the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania (Mason and Dixon built on his work), was professor of astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the first director of the US Mint. Rittenhouse was a friend of Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson and worked as a military engineer during the American Revolution.

David’s brother, Benjamin Rittenhouse, was born in Norriton township, now Montgomery County, Pennyslvania, about 1740 and died in Philadelphia in 1825. Both men were prolific craftsmen, creating some of the nation’s finest clocks and surveying instruments.

Tags: Arts And Entertainment, History




Event Details

Date: May 21, 2018
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Location:
Historical Society of Montgomery County
1654 DeKalb Street
Norristown, Pennsylvania 19401

website

Contact:
Barry Rauhauser
610.272.0297
barryr@hsmcpa.org


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