Peirce, Benjamin, 1809–80, American mathematician and astronomer, b. Salem, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1829. From 1833 he was a professor at Harvard; he helped establish the Harvard Observatory and was an organizer of the Dudley Observatory, Albany, N.Y. In the field of mechanics he made studies of the forms of elastic sacs containing fluids. From 1867 to 1874 he was superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. He was the father of Charles Sanders Peirce. His fundamental contributions to mathematics were collected as Linear Associative Algebra (1870). He also wrote A System of Analytic Mechanics (1855).