Joseph Saxton (1799-1873), a self-educated inventor and machinist, developed his skills in mechanics, etching, and watchmaking while working as a watchmaker in Philadelphia for eleven years. In 1828, Saxton left for Great Britain in order to further his education. While in Great Britain, Saxton was employed by the Adelaide Gallery of Practical Science in London. There, Saxton became well known for building and exhibiting scientific novelties and machines. In 1837 he returned to the United States to work for the United States Mint in Philadelphia as Constructor and Curator of the standard weighing apparatus of the Mint. From 1843 until his death, Saxton was Superintendent of Weights and Measures at the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, D. C.
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