Information about Henry Voigt

Henry Voigt (1738 - 7 February 1814)

Henry Voigt or Henry Voight was a clockmaker, mathematical instrument maker, machine and steam engine builder, and Chief Coiner of the first United States Mint. He operated a wire mill in Reading, Pennsylvania and repaired clocks and watches for Thomas Jefferson, who knew him well.

In Philadelphia he participated in the development and production of the first practical steamboat with John Fitch that in 1790 that travelled in a commercial operation between 1,300 and 3,000 miles at speeds estimated from 6 to 8 miles per hour. He is credited with some of the first U.S. coin designs and participated in the 1770 production as one of the "hands" or helpers.

In 1791, Voigt and his business partner John Fitch both applied for jobs in the new United States Mint, hoping that while they held these offices they would have time to perfect their steamboat design. In their petition, Voigt was described as perfectly acquainted with all machinery and processes of coining, and capable of making the necessary instruments himself, having worked in a mint in Germany in his younger years, during which he had introduced valuable improvements. Fitch was unsuccessful in this endeavour, but Voigt obtained an appointment as Chief Coiner, a position he held for many years.

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