Near Washington in Macomb County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
William Austin Burt
Near this site lived William Austin Burt, inventor, legislator, surveyor, and millwright. Born in Massachusetts in 1792, Burt settled in this area in 1824, after spending several years in Erie County, New York. There he had been a justice of the peace, a school inspector, and a postmaster. In Michigan he worked as a land surveyor and a millwright, building over eight mills. He was a member of the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1826-27. He served as Mount Vernon’s first postmaster (1832-1856), a Macomb County Circuit Court judge (1833), a state legislator (1853) and a deputy U. S. surveyor (1833-1853). Between 1833 and 1857 he and his five sons won acclaim for their accurate work on public land surveys. In 1857 Burt moved to Detroit, where he died in 1858.
America’s first patented typewriter was constructed by William Austin Burt in 1829 in a workshop located on this site. It was also here that Burt built the solar compass, patented in 1836, which was the prototype for those used today. Burt’s compass became an indispensable instrument for surveying because it used the sun instead of the magnetic
Erected 1986 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S570.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Science & Medicine • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1792.
Location. 42° 42.967′ N, 83° 5.295′ W. Marker is near Washington, Michigan, in Macomb County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 26 Mile Road and Main Park Drive. Marker is located along the Stoney Creek Lake Bike Loop in Stoney Creek Metropark, about 1.5 miles northwest of Main Park Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4300 Main Park Drive, Washington MI 48094, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stoney Creek School 1850 Red House (approx. 1.9 miles away); Before lawn mowers... (approx. 1.9 miles away); 1840 Van Hoosen Farmhouse (approx. 1.9 miles away); Stoney Creek Village (approx. 1.9 miles away); 1927 Van Hoosen Dairy Barn (approx. 2 miles away); 1927 Van Hoosen Calf Barn/1927 Van Hoosen Bull Barn (approx. 2 miles away); Stony Creek Masonic Lodge No. 5/Mount Moriah (approx. 2 miles away).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. William Austin Burt. While William Burt was the creator of many inventions, he will always be remembered as the man who changed land surveying with his invention of the solar compass. His solar compass and its later adaptations became standard instruments for land survey, helping to survey a good portion of the Western United States, and it was widely used up until the creation of the modern day Global Position System. (Submitted on August 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. William Austin Burt. Burt was a United States government deputy surveyor whose work took him into wilderness areas largely unknown even to the fur trappers. For more (Submitted on August 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. William Austin Burt (Wikipedia). The Burt typographer was the first constructed and operating type-writing machine patented in America. The record of the patented invention in the United States patent office spells out that it is the first time in any country that a working typewriting machine was actually constructed. The original patent was signed by President Andrew Jackson and Secretary of State and future eighth President Martin Van Buren. (Submitted on August 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.