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Edward Troughton

Born: Oct-1753
Birthplace: Corney, Cumberland, England
Died: 12-Jun-1835
Location of death: London, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England

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

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Early scientific instruments

Edward Troughton was an early maker of astronomical, navigational, and surveying instruments. He designed and made the first modern transit circle (allowing an object's two coordinates to be determined simultaneously) for Stephen Groombridge, invented the Troughton reflecting circle and the dip sector. He first gained scientific respect in 1809, when he published a paper explaining the methodology behind his device for dividing a circle -- knowledge not devised by Troughton, but previously held in secrecy by instrument-makers. He made substantial improvements in accuracy to the balance, compensated mercurial pendulum, portable astronomical quadrants, marine and mountain barometers, and large-diameter theodolites used for the American coast survey of 1815. He also supplied all the scientific instruments used by George Everest to conduct his survey of India. He was color-blind, and never married.

Father: Francis Troughton (farmer)
Mother: Mary Stable Troughton (instrument maker)
Brother: John Troughton (instrument maker, b. 1739)

    Copley Medal 1809
    Royal Society 1810
    Royal Astronomical Society Founding Member
    Royal Society of Edinburgh 1826
    Risk Factors: Color Blindness

Author of books:
Method of Dividing Astronomical and Other Instruments (1809)


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