Did you know that David Rittenhouse was born today in 1732? He was a well-known American astronomer, clock and scientific instrument maker, mathematician, and surveyor. As an astronomer, he built one of the first telescopes in America and was able to observe the transit of Venus (when Venus could be seen moving in front of the sun). From his observations, he calculated the distance between the earth and the sun. As a surveyor he helped to mark the boundaries of many states including Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. He was also the first director of the United States Mint and created the first coins for the United States of America. According to legend, these coins were made from silverware donated by George and Martha Washington.
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