David Rittenhouse


1732 Apr 8: Born in Paper Mill Run near Germantown, PA to Mathias Rittenhouse and Elizabeth Williams. (1)

"William Rittenhouse, the great-grandfather of David Rittenhouse, was the first Mennonite preacher in Pennsylvania, and settled in Germantown. He built, on a tributary of the Wissahickon, the first paper mill in this country, and supplied William Bradford, the first printer in Philadelphia, with a superior quality of linen and parchment paper." (3 p135)

"[David] became an astronomer, mathematician, instrument maker and one of the leading American scientists of the eighteenth century, second only to Benjamin Franklin." (2)

"Next to Franklin, Rittenhouse was the leading figure in eighteenth-century American science. His achievements reflect an unusual combination of theory and practice; while his major contributions were primarily observational and experimental, his name has become synonymous with precision instruments." (1)

1796 Jun 26: Died in Philadelphia, PA. (1)


1. John J O'Connor and Edmund F Robertson, "David Rittenhouse," www-history.mcs.st-a...ies/Rittenhouse.html (Scotland: School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, 2005 Aug; accessed 2007 Nov 7).

2. "David Rittenhouse (1732-1796)," www.archives.upenn.e...ttenhouse_david.html (University of Pennsylvania; accessed 2007 Nov 7).

3. Lillian Ione Rhoades, The Story of Philadelphia (American Book Company, 1900). Also books.google.com/boo...ladelphia%22+rhoades (Accessed 2007 Nov 7).

1   Notes