William Cranch Bond

William Cranch Bond, painting by Cephas Thompson, 1849. William Bond and Son, a family firm begun by William Cranch Bond’s father in 1793, became one of America’s best known chronometer dealers. Its instruments were vital tools for New England’s maritime enterprise. The company’s success enabled the younger Bond to pursue his passion for astronomy. He became the first director of the Harvard College Observatory in 1839. He conducted longitude expeditions and started a service for telegraphing time signals to New England.

Painting of William Cranch Bond
Type: Photograph
Image Date: 1849
Credit: Harvard University
Origin: Smithsonian Institution
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Painting of William Cranch Bond