Events Calendar

Clock and Compass: The Works of Benjamin and David Rittenhouse

Clipboard01Join us for a special presentation on Monday, May 21, 2018 when collector Ed Kane takes a look at the works of Benjamin and David Rittenhouse.

David Rittenhouse was born in Philadelphia, but his family had a farm in what is now East Norriton. It was there that Rittenhouse observed the transit of Venus (when the planet Venus appears to cross directly across the sun). He was the first person to do so from North America. He used the data he collected during the transit to calculate the earth’s distance from the sun as 93 million miles. A typical Enlightenment thinker, Rittenhouse was self-taught from his family library. He showed great aptitude for math and science from an early age. Rittenhouse surveyed the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania (Mason and Dixon built on his work), was professor of astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the first director of the US Mint. Rittenhouse was a friend of Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson and worked as a military engineer during the American Revolution. David’s brother, Benjamin Rittenhouse, was born in Norriton township, now Montgomery County, Pennyslvania about 1740 and died in Philadelphia in 1825. Both men were prolific craftsmen, creating some of the nation’s finest clocks and surveying instruments.

Kane Ed webEd Kane is co-founder & senior advisor of HarbourVest Partners LLC in Boston, MA. He joined John Hancock’s corporate finance department in 1979 and co-founded Hancock Venture Partners in 1982, which later became HarbourVest Partners. Ed was previously a Major in United States Army Intelligence where he trained in  electronics and telecommunications and graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College. He received a BA (cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975. Ed is a Trustee of the Redwood Library, and was a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

This special presentation will take place on Monday, May 21, 2018. The evening will begin at 6:30 with a social gathering and light refreshments. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm and last for about an hour with time for questions at the end. This program is free and open to the public.