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Davidson, George (09 May 1825–02 December 1911), surveyor, geodesist, and astronomer, was born in Nottingham, England, the son of Thomas Davidson, and Janet Drummond. His family emigrated to Philadelphia when he was seven, and he attended its public schools. At Central High School, ...

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Taylor, Richard Cowling (18 January 1789–26 October 1851), mineral surveyor and practical geologist, was born at Hinton in Suffolk (not Banham Haugh, Norfolk), England, the son of Samuel Taylor, a farmer and Unitarian, and Jane Cowling. After schooling at Halesworth, Taylor began his English career in July 1805, when he was articled to Edward Webb of Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire. Here he was taught the elements of land surveying and draftsmanship, just as Webb’s most famous pupil, the geologist William Smith, had been. Surveying involved the use of pantagraphs, theodolites, scales, compasses, and engineering to determine the application of the power of water and the planning of machinery. Taylor’s connection with Webb then led to his becoming “an admiring pupil” of Smith himself, that “extraordinary man and original genius.” In 1811 they worked together in the Bristol Coal Field and the Kidwelly harbor project in South Wales....