Astronomical and navigational instruments, Herschel family, The Herschels as experimenters

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3D eyeshades

Astronomical and navigational instruments

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Object details:

Object ID AST1030.64
Description One pair of coloured eyeshades called a 'plastograph', used for observing stereoscopic (3D) images, contained within an envelope that refers to eclipse dates. The eyeshades are not suitable for observing eclipses. These eyeshades come from a 14-drawer cabinet found in the Herschel family home in the 1950s. The contents of this and a similar cabinet seem to suggest that they were used by successive generations of the family to store specimens, material and apparatus for carrying out experiments. The writing on the envelope reads: 'ASH June 18th 1907' then in pencil 'Total eclipse' then again in ink 'For use again in June 29-1927'. 'ASH' is Alexander Stewart Herschel, the date refers to the day Alexander died rather than that of an eclipse (the closest eclipse to that date is the 14 January 1907 visible only from central Asia and North East Africa). The eclipse on 29 June 1927 was probably noted here because it was visible from the UK.
Date made

Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection
Materials plastic; card
Measurements Overall: 3 mm x 145 mm x 95 mm
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