Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7056
Saxton, Joseph, 1799-1873
Joseph Saxton Papers, 1821-1856
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.
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.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878
- Saxton, Joseph, 1799-1873
- Adelaide Gallery (London, England)
- United States Mint
- U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7056, Joseph Saxton Papers