Thursday, June 22, 2017

Statue of Historic Figure: Nathaniel Bowditch - Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, MA

Nathaniel Bowditch
Watertown, MA

N 42° 22.424 W 071° 08.680

Short Description: 

A bronze statue of American mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch is located in a landscaped area at the intersection of Central Avenue and Chapel Avenue on the grounds of Mount Auburn Cemetery,

Long Description:

A 62" by 31.5" by 47.5" bronze statue mathematician and the founder of modern maritime navigation Nathaniel Bowditch rests on a 56" by 44" by 57.5" granite base. The statue was sculpted by Robert Hughes Ball and originally cast in 1847 and recast by Gruet Foundry of France in 1886.

Nathaniel Bowditch is depicted seated on a massive, arm-less chair. He is wearing a a long coat with a quilted collar which covers his clothing except for his knee length boots. over his clothing. He is holding a book propped against his right knee with his right hand. His left hand rests on his left knee. Several books are stacked on the floor by his right side. On his left side are a glove and a sextant. The sculpture is surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The front of the bronze plinth is inscribed BOWDITCH.

Nathaniel Bowditch was born on March 26, 1773 in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony. As a youth he was an apprentice as a bookkeeper to a ship chandler. He taught himself algebra, calculus, Latin and French. When he was 18 he discovered many errors in John Hamilton Moore's The New Practical Navigator which led to the creation of his most famous work The American Practical Navigator, which is the most important book on navigation that is still used today by the US Navy. He also would be a translate Pierre-Simon de Laplace's Mécanique Céleste, a reference work on mathematics and theoretical astronomy. This translation was critical to the development of astronomy in the United States.

Among his works in print today are:

The American Practical Navigator

The New American Practical Navigator

The Marine Sextant: Selected from American Practical Navigator

The Complete Nautical Dictionary

Useful Tables from the American Practical Navigator

Methods of Computing the Orbit of a Comet Or Planet: Appendix to the Third Volume of the Translation of the Méchanique Céleste

Bowditch for yachtsmen: Piloting : selected from American practical navigator

Coastal Navigation

Waves, wind, and weather: Selected from American practical navigator

Bowditch's Useful Tables

No comments:

Post a Comment