- Thomas Godfrey (inventor)
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.
Godfrey was born on his family's farm in Bristol Township, near
Germantown, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklindescribes Godfrey at length in his "Autobiography", referring to him as a "Great Mathematician" who nevertheless was "not a pleasing Companion", demanding in conversations an "unusual Precision in every thing said."
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