The `Sable Astronomer', first black American scientist, born in Ellicott's Mills, MD of a family of former slaves. As a young man, Banneker borrowed a pocket watch, took it apart, made a drawing of each component, and reassembled it; after which he made out of wood a working, enlarged replica which lasted over 50 years. At age 58, he began the study of astronomy and was soon predicting eclipses.