A Peek Into History: April 8, 1732, David Rittenhouse, Director of the US Mint

David Rittenhouse was born on April 8, 1732 in Germantown Pennsylvania.


You never heard of David Rittenhouse before? He was very active in Early America! To his credit he was an astronomer, inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, scientific instrument craftsman, and public official.




While Sir Isaac Newton and others were making giant scientific strides in Europe, Rittenhouse was making his own discoveries right here in America. While in his thirties, and still greatly unknown, he produced America's first planetarium. It was a mechanical reproduction of our solar system that ran like a huge clock. Today that planetarium is housed at Princeton University.




Rittenhouse also predicted that Venus would move across the sun which was met with a lot of skepticism. It is said that on June 3,1769 when his prediction became observed fact, Rittenhouse fainted.


Rittenhouse was treasurer of Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1789, but his career in financial backbones did not end there. With the help of George Washington, he became the first director of the United States Mint.
Rittenhouse had a belief that the design of a nations coins reflected the sophistication and culture of that nation. The first United States coins were made from silver tableware that was provided by Washington himself. These test coins were hand-struck by Rittenhouse, and were given to Washington as a token of appreciation for his making the United States Mint a reality.

In 1784, Rittenhouse undertook a complete, end to end, survey of the infamous Mason-Dixon Line. This line is sometimes confused as separating Free States from Slave states in Early America, it in all honesty is a line that sets the borderlines between the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and at that time Virginia and has no dealings with North, South or even slavery. This borderline dispute was well over 100 years old by the time of this survey. King Charles I set the boarders of Maryland along one line, but then King Charles II set the lines of Pennsylvania and Delaware along a different line. So the four states argued over which had control of the lands along those competing lines…




Three cheers for David Rittenhouse, American Patriot! HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH!

I hope this short peek into history was of interest to you. I plan on posting more short historical interest pieces like this as time allows. I am using the NSSAR Key Hole to History as a foundation.

I am a Member of the William Prince Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, in Princeton KY.

If you are interested in History I’d like to recommend that you become active in your local Historical and Genealogy Societies along with the SAR or DAR. History needs you!

History does not repeat itself, but it most assuredly rhymes!
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Father, retired Firefighter

American History, no such thing as a single cause
American History, no such thing as a single cause

History is a muddy mess! If someone tells you ANY event in history happened due to one thing or issue, RUN! They are an idiot! Example 1:American Revolution. What caused it? Taxes, representation, military over reach, distance, King George? All good answers but there are hundreds more! Example 2: "Civil War" was all about slavery. Lincoln called for the invasion in 1861 yet he created West Virginia in 1863 as a NEW UNION SLAVE STATE. Many more examples are out there...

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