Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Super Humans - Truman Henry Safford

Truman Henry Safford (6 January 1836 – 13 June 1901) was an American calculating prodigy. In later life he was an observatory director. Safford was born in Royalton, Vermont, on 6 January 1836. At an early age he attracted public attention by his remarkable calculation powers. At the age of nine, a local priest asked him to multiply 365,365,365,365,365,365 by itself. In less than a minute, Truman gave the correct answer of 133,491,850,208,566,925,016,658,299,941,583,225 with no paper. At around this age he also developed a new rule for calculating the moon's risings and settings, taking one-quarter of the time of the existing method. Unlike many other calculating prodigies, Safford did not give public exhibitions. He went to college and studied astronomy. He became the second director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College, the oldest extant astronomical observatory in the United States. Safford served as director of the Observatory until his death. In 1894, Safford had a stroke. He died on 13 June 1901 at 112 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey where he was living with his son.

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