"Rasselas Prince Whitcomb was born in 1808 at Pottsdam, New York. Early in manhood he was a civil engineer and surveyor and was in the United States Government employ during which time he surveyed part of the Territory of Wisconsin. Later he went to Cincinnati, Ohio where he lived some forty years; his business in the city was the manufacture of mathematical instruments. He was very successful financially and stood high in the Masonic Order. He died in 1884 in Umatilla, Florida.
The Cincinnati directories list him as follows:
1851-52 Whitcomb, Rasselas, 121 Walnut, boarding at 103 West Fifth.
1855 Whitcomb, R. inst. mkr. 137 W. 5th
1856 Whitcomb, Raselas, math. inst. mkr. n.w.c. 5th & Plum
1857 Whitcomb, Raselas, math. inst. mkr. s.w.c. 5th & Race.
He is not listed in 1858.
1859 same as 1857.
He continued to be listed off and on until 1877-78 Whitcomb, R. & Co., (R. W. and Herman Pfister) Manufacturers of Surveying and Engineering Instruments, 119 W. 5th Room 6. Herman Pfister bought the business of Rasselas Whitcomb in 1878.
Reference: Smart, Charles E. The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700 Troy, New York: Regal Art Press. 1962