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Bowie, William (06 May 1872–28 August 1940), geodesist, was born at Grassland, near Annapolis Junction, Maryland, the son of Thomas John Bowie, a government official, and Susanna Hall Anderson. After attending local public schools, Bowie received a general education at St. John’s College in Annapolis before embarking on engineering studies, first at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he received his B.S. in 1893, and then at Lehigh University, where he received his professional engineering certification (C.E.) two years later. Following a family tradition of public and military service, Bowie spent his professional career with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. He joined the survey in July 1895, working first as a junior officer and later as a chief of survey parties engaged in triangulation work in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. In 1899 he married Elizabeth Taylor Wattles of Alexandria, Virginia; they had one child....

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Chandler, Seth Carlo, Jr. (16 September 1846–31 December 1913), astronomer, geodesist, and actuary, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Seth Carlo Chandler, Sr., a businessman, and Mary Cheever. Chandler attended the English High School at Boston, graduating in 1861. During his last year in high school he became associated with ...

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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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Hassler, Ferdinand Rudolph (07 October 1770–20 November 1843), geodesist and mathematician, was born in Aarau, Switzerland, the son of Jakob Hassler, a prosperous watch manufacturer and a member of the town council. His mother’s name is unknown. Hassler received his early schooling in Aarau and at the age of sixteen went to work in the state archives department in Bern. His father felt that this experience would prepare him for a career in the civil service and the law, but he found himself drawn to mathematical studies and land surveying (geodesy) and studied mathematics and geodesy with Johann Georg Tralles, a German professor of mathematics and physics. Tralles’s method of surveying, known as triangulation, made Swiss mapmaking more accurate, and Hassler became an accomplished surveyor....

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Hayford, John Fillmore (19 May 1868–10 March 1925), geodesist, was born in Rouses Point, New York, the son of Hiram Hayford and Mildred Alevia Fillmore, farmers. Hiram Hayford died when his son was eight years old, and after several years during which the young John worked on the farm before and after school, he was sent to finish high school in Detroit, living with an older sister, Mrs. Emily Coates. He completed high school in 1885 and enrolled in the College of Engineering at Cornell University. Hayford worked his way through college, waiting on tables and caring for a local professor’s horse, and graduated in 1889....

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Hilgard, Julius Erasmus (07 January 1825–08 May 1891), geodesist, was born in Zweibrücken, Rhine-Palatinate, the son of Theodor Erasmus Hilgard, a judge, and Margaretha Pauli. His formal education consisted entirely of the first three grades of the local Gymnasium. In 1835 his family immigrated to the United States and settled the following year on an established farm in Belleville, Illinois. Hilgard was then taught at home by his father until 1843, when he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to live with a married sister and study civil engineering....