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Charles Mason

Born: Apr-1728
Birthplace: Weir Farm, England
Died: 25-Oct-1786
Location of death: Philadelphia, PA
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia, PA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Astronomer, Scientist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Mason-Dixon Line

English astronomer and surveyor Charles Mason spent his early career as an assistant at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, where his chief responsibility involved compiling tables of lunar distances for deriving longitude. Accompanied by Jeremiah Dixon, he observed the transit of Venus from Cape Town in 1761, and the same two men were subsequently engaged to voyage to America and settle the long-running border dispute between the colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Stone markers were embedded along their Mason-Dixon Line at every mile, engraved with a "P" for Pennsylvania on the north side and an "M" for Maryland on the south. When winter made their work impractical, Mason and Dixon used a pendulum clock to conduct the first scientific observations of gravity in America.

Father: Charles Mason (baker/miller)
Mother: Anne Damsel Mason
Wife: Rebekah Mason (d. 1759)
Wife: Mary Williams Mason

    High School: Sir William Romney's School, Tetbury, England

    American Philosophical Society
    Royal Society

Author of books:
The Journal of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (1969, posthumous)


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