The transit in the tower: English astronomical instruments in colonial America

Annals of Science 54 (2):161-196 (1997)

Summary Although by the mid-eighteenth century colonial American makers of mathematical instruments were producing many of the scientific instruments required in the British Colonies of North America for surveying and navigation, it was not until after the first quarter of the nineteenth century that American makers had the capability to produce sophisticated precision optical instruments for astronomy and microscopy. Until then, these had to be imported from overseas, chiefly England, at considerable cost and after long delays. Included among them were historically important instruments required for establishing provincial and territorial boundaries, and for making astronomical observations. Although generally treated with the utmost care while in use, eventually one after another was misplaced, lost, destroyed by fire, or, in one instance, carefully hidden away then forgotten until it was discovered more than a century later
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DOI 10.1080/00033799700200511
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