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Bond House, Huebener Brick no. 63
Map detail showing Bond House 1831
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 The Bond family traced its lineage back to the time of William the Conqueror in 1066. Thomas Bond, a chemist and surgeon in Plymouth in 1750, married Thomazine Phillips. Of their four children, only one, William, had children of his own. William Bond was born in Plymouth England on October 4, 1754. He married Hannah Cranch of Kingsbridge in 1777, and they came to this country in 1786. William and Hannah settled in Falmouth, Casco Bay (now Portland) in May 1786, bringing with them their two children Thomazine and Thomas. William Cranch Bond, their son who was born in America, said: ?The brig John in which they came had been chartered by my father for that and commerical purposes. He was made a free citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by special act of the General Court, passed November 23, 1785.?3 William engaged in shipping lumber from Casco Bay to Bristol, England, and he also established a branch station on Frenchman?s Bay. When this venture proved unsuccessful, the family moved to Boston, where he began business as a silversmith and watch and clockmaker, trades he had learned in London in his youth. William Bond died in Cambridge in 1848.

Illustration: Detail from 1831 Baker map showing Cottage Street leading northwest from Five Corners (Edward Everett Square today). Boston Street leads off the right edge toward South Boston. Dorchester Avenue is the straight angled road at the lower right.



The Edward A. Huebener collection of over 100 bricks originally collected by Mr. Huebener exhibits brick paintings of the houses from which the bricks came. The bricks have upon them painted scenes of (mostly) old Dorchester houses and landmarks. To see a list of all the bricks, choose the term Architecture in the list at the left of the screen and choose the first subsection -- the Edward A. Huebener Brick Collection and scroll to the bottom of that page to see icons for all the bricks.



William Cranch Bond
William Cranch Bond
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 William Cranch Bond was born in Portland, Maine, September 9, 1789. It was necessary for the young Bond to do his part towards supporting the family. He early evinced the ingenuity and fertility in mechanical contrivances for which he was subsequently distinguised. At the age of ten (1799) he made a wooden clock, and became famous among his playfellows for his skill in the manufacture of traps, toys, etc. He left the public school at an early age and became an admirable workman. At the age of fifteen (1804) he constructed a satisfactory shop chronometer, and at about the same time a quadrant, which was also a very serviceable instrument. His attention was turned to astronomy by the remarkable total solar eclipse of 1806, when the sun was hidden for no less than five minutes. The comet of 1811 was discovered in Europe, but with no knowledge of that discovery, Bond discovered it independently. He loved science for itself, and cultivated it with a private passion--he had been observing the great comet of 1811 for months before his observations came to the knowledge of Professor Farrar of Harvard and Dr. Nathaniel Bowditch of Boston.

Illustration: William Cranch Bond. Scan of illustration in Memorials of William Cranch Bond and George Phillips Bond by Edward S. Holden. San Francisco: C.A. Murdock & Co.; New York: Lemcke & Buechner, 1897. Reproduced from a painting by Mr. C.G. Thompson (1849) now in the possession of the Harvard College Observatory

House in Dorchester
William Cranch Bond House
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 Farrar and Bowditch, who were planning an observatory for Harvard, gave Bond the mission of making examinations of the building at Greenwich when they learned that he was planning a trip abroad in 1815. In 1819 he married for his first wife his cousin Selina Cranch in Kingsbridge, Devonshire. They had six children: William Cranch Bond Jr., Joseph Cranch, George Phillips, Richard Fifield, Elizabeth Lidstone, Selina Cranch. After his wife?s death in 1831, William Cranch Bond married her elder sister Mary Roope Cranch, who left no children.



House in Dorchester
Bond House, Cottage Street
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 The first house that he owned was in Dorchester. The only parlor was sacrificed to science and converted into an observatory. A huge granite block, some tons in weight, rose in the center of the room, and the ceiling was intersected by a meridian opening. There were stone blocks in the gardens and neighboring fields as well for the tupport of instruments, meridian marks,etc. Life was not easy, and he spent his evenings as a watchmaker to meet the current household expenses.

Illustration: Scan of photograph in the collection of the Dorchester Historical Society. Written on back: No. 158 W.C. Bond house showing west end. William Cranch Bond's grandson was later Dr. William Cranch Bond Fifield of Dorchester.

Silhouette
William Bond silhouette
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 In 1838 when he received an appointment from the United States Government to cooperate with the exploring expedition of Com. Charles Wilkes, although his equipment was amply sufficient, he added new buildings and a new suite of instruments. In a short time a new observatory was erected in Dorchester and was fully equipped for investigation of magnetic and meteorological elements.


Harvard College Observatory
Harvard College Observatory
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 Then in 1839 he reluctantly moved to Cambridge to take the position of Director of the Harvard College Observatory, which however afforded no salary until the year 1846. Until then life continued much the same with Bond having to earn his living with jobs outside astronomy. His sons helped out in the Observatory as they had in the Dorchester home. William Cranch Bond, Jr., died an untimely death in 1841, and his father was deprived of an able assistant. George P. Bond helped his father and succeeded him as Director of the Observatory when Bond died in 1859.

George Phillips Bond was born in Dorchester in 1825 and died in Cambridge in 1865. He married Harriet Gardner Harris in 1853, and they had children: Elizabeth Lidstone Bond; Cahterine Harris Bond; Harriet Denny Bond (died in infancy). George attended Harvard College and took over the directorship of the Observatory after his father died. Although the chronometer and clock business of the firm of William Bond & Son was successful, George could not keep up a personal investment in the Observatory to match that of his father, and he always felt guilty about that. Nonetheless he carried on the activities of the Observatory at a high level and made his own discoveries. In 1865 he became the first American to receive a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society for services to science.

He is known as the father of astrophotography.

Related Images: showing 8 of 1503 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 1503 images.
Representative Harry H. HamMap detail Cushing School 1933Savin Hill and Jones from Rockmere StreetHenry L Pierce School, Washington Street
Lowell Mason School, Cummins HighwayDorchester South Burying Ground entranceClapp Avenue, Dorchester Old North Burial Ground100 Melville Avenue
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Created: June 12, 2009   Modified: April 16, 2011