Thomas Godfrey (inventor)
|Founding Member, American Philosophical Society|
Thomas Godfrey (December 1704 – December 1749) was an optician and inventor in the American colonies, who around 1730 invented the octant. At approximately the same time an Englishman, John Hadley, also invented the octant independently.
Benjamin Franklin describes Godfrey at length in his Autobiography, referring to him as a "Great Mathematician" who nevertheless was "not a pleasing Companion", demanding in conversations a "universal Precision in every thing said." Godfrey was a founding member, with Franklin, of the American Philosophical Society.
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