Fitch

Fitch

[fich]
Fitch, Clyde (William Clyde Fitch), 1865-1909, American dramatist, b. Elmira, N.Y. An extremely prolific and versatile playwright, he wrote over 36 original plays, including melodramas, farces, social comedies, and historical dramas. Much of his best work reflects American social life of the period. Among his most notable plays are Nathan Hale (1898), The Climbers (1901), The Girl with the Green Eyes (1902), The Truth (1907), and The City (1909). His works were popular both in the United States and in Europe.
Fitch, John, 1743-98, American inventor, b. Windsor, Conn. Fitch began (1785) work on the invention of the steam engine and steamboat and secured soon afterward the exclusive right to build and operate steamboats on the waters of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Virginia. A trial run of his first steamer (1786) was only a partial success. His next vessel, launched and operated on the Delaware River in 1787, was followed by two others. Although Fitch was not alone in developing the steam engine and steamboat, there is good evidence that he invented the first American steamboat. Nevertheless, he failed to receive either the opportunity to commercialize his invention or the recognition he justly deserved. Frustrated by endless disappointments, Fitch committed suicide in Bardstown, Ky.
Fitch, Thomas, c.1700-1774, colonial governor of Connecticut, b. Norwalk, Conn. A lawyer, Fitch was an assistant in the colony (1734-35, 1740-50). The assembly elected him deputy governor in 1750, and for the next three years he was returned to that office by the qualified voters. Elected governor in 1754, he remained chief executive until 1766, when he was turned out by the Whigs. Although he had been the chief author of the colony's protest against the Stamp Act, he felt duty-bound to take the oath of office required of governors by the act and was, as a result, consistently defeated for reelection thereafter.

See A. C. Bates, ed., The Fitch Papers (2 vol., 1918-20).

Fitch, Val Logsdon, 1923-, American nuclear physicist, b. Merriman, Neb., Ph.D. Columbia Univ., 1954. Fitch and co-researcher James Watson Cronin were awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for a 1964 experiment that proved that certain subatomic reactions do not adhere to fundamental symmetry principles. Specifically, they proved, by examining the decay of K-mesons, that a reaction run in reverse does not merely retrace the path of the original reaction, which showed that the reactions of subatomic particles are not indifferent to time.
fitch: see polecat.

European polecat (Mustela putorius)

Any of several carnivores of the weasel family (Mustelidae), found in Eurasia and Africa. The polecat hunts at night, principally on the ground, feeding on small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, and eggs. Species differ in size and colour. The European, or common, polecat (Mustela putorius), also called foul marten for its odour, weighs 1–3 lb (0.5–1.4 kg) and is 14–21 in. (35–53 cm) long, excluding the 5–8-in. (13–20-cm) bushy tail. Its long, coarse fur is brown above, black below. In the U.S., skunks are often called polecats. Seealso ferret.

Learn more about polecat with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Fitch may refer to:

Family name

People

Places

Businesses

Ships

Heraldry

  • Fitch (or cross fitchy), a cross in heraldry where the lower part is shaped like a sword blade

Mathematics, logic and technology

Animals and plants

  • Fitch, the European polecat (Mustela putorius), a ferret-like predatory mammal
  • Fitch, a name for the spice kalonji, the seed of Nigella sativa (used in the King James's Version of the Bible)

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