Nantucket Atheneum Podcast

The Bonds, The Mitchells & The Dawn of Time: The Dawn of Precise Time

November 03, 2022 Nantucket Atheneum Season 4 Episode 1
Nantucket Atheneum Podcast
The Bonds, The Mitchells & The Dawn of Time: The Dawn of Precise Time
Show Notes

In this season of the podcast, we are going to take a closer look at two families, the Bonds and the Mitchells, and the immeasurable impact they had on our world today. We’ll dive into their personal struggles, the politics and controversies that hindered and helped their work, and we’ll even do a bit of 19th century name dropping. 

But before we get into the juicy details, we need to rewind the clock back to the early 1800s when time was relative and relatively irrelevant.

We’re going to get a bit technical in this episode, but bear with us. It’s important to understand the technology that was available at the time, so you can appreciate the colossal advancements the Bonds and the Mitchells made.



This has been a production of the Nantucket Atheneum

Written, edited and narrated by Janet Forest 

Special thanks to the Atheneum’s Reference Library Associate Jim Borzilleri and Historian and Deputy Director of the Maria Mitchell Association Jascin Leonardo Finger for their research and insights.

Resources and additional information:
If you want to know more about this topic, check our this very thorough list of resources that Jim has compiled:

• Jim refers to 360 degree of longitude. While this is mathematically true, most folks think of Longitude as split 180 degrees East/West at Greenwich.  Before Greenwich was officially recognized as 0 degrees Long, the split could be at any arbitrary point.

• John Harrison developed and perfected the chronometer, but it took a long time for him to receive recognition. Read more here:

• More about the founding of the US Coast Survey:


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