These papers consist of notebooks and diaries in which Saxton wrote detailed information on his experiments and social life in London; an appointment book for 1838;
a scientific sketchbook with notes, which include drawings and descriptions of some of Saxton's inventions; and a textbook. Other Joseph Saxton material may be found in the
Joseph Henry Papers, Record Unit 7001.
Joseph Saxton (1799-1873), a self-educated inventor and machinist, developed his skills in mechanics, etching, and watchmaking while working as a watchmaker in Philadelphia
for eleven years. In 1828, Saxton left for Great Britain in order to further his education. While in Great Britain, Saxton was employed by the Adelaide Gallery of Practical
Science in London. There, Saxton became well known for building and exhibiting scientific novelties and machines. In 1837 he returned to the United States to work for the
United States Mint in Philadelphia as Constructor and Curator of the standard weighing apparatus of the Mint. From 1843 until his death, Saxton was Superintendent of Weights
and Measures at the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, D. C.
A manual of gold and silver coins of all nations, struck within the past century. Showing their history, and legal basis, and their actual weight, fineness, and value chiefly from original and recent assays. With which are incorporated treatises on bullion and plate, counterfeit coins, specific gravity of precious metals, etc., with recent statistics of the production and coinage of gold and silver in the world, and sundry useful tables. By Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E. Du Bois. Illustrated by numerous engravings of coins, executed by the medalruling machine, and under the direction of Joseph Saxton