Thomas Parker (president) 1810-1830

Clockmaker, Bank President, and Abolitionist

Philadelphia clockmaker Thomas Parker sold Lewis, of the famous Lewis and Clarke expedition, a gold chronometer for $250, the most expensive single item purchased for the expedition.

The chronometer was a clock of sorts that had to be wound every day at noon and allowed them to compare local time with Greenwich Mean Time. The device allowed the travelers to find their longitude through astral determination. Latitude could be discovered by noting the angle of the sun at noon.

Thomas Parker was also an active Quaker and a member of the Abolition Society through which he was a witness in the contract that freed Richard Allen, a famous ex-slave and minister, from the bonds of slavery. Parker was also the president of board of managers of Philadelphia Almshouse, member of city council and active in organizing the construction of the Fairmount Waterworks.

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