Nathaniel Bowditch, 26 Mar 1773 - 17 Mar 1838 Search this
Object w/out socle: 66.7 x 38.7 x 26cm (26 1/4 x 15 1/4 x 10 1/4")
Socle footprint: 31.8 x 22.9cm (12 1/2 x 9")
Undated cast after 1838-39 original
Nathaniel Bowditch was one of America’s great practical scientists. His contributions to navigation and astronomy were signal achievements in the new republic, helping to create an identity distinct from England. Self-taught and ambitious, Bowditch had a successful career as a businessman but also turned his restless mind to scientific inquiry. His most important book was the New Practical Navigator (1802), which simplified navigational problems for seamen.
Bowditch’s bust rests on the first volume of his translation and annotation of Pierre-Simon de Laplace’s Celestial Mechanics, a study of physical astronomy.
(Phillips, June 6, 1984), New York; purchased NPG 1984