Charting instruments, Astronomical and navigational instruments

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Proportional dividers

Charting instruments

Object connections:

Collection Charting instruments, Astronomical and navigational instruments
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID NAV0553
Description Dividers are used for measuring distances, in particular on charts and maps. Proportional dividers like these can also be used to enlarge or reduce distances by a set amount by fixing the locking screw at the appropriate point on one of the scales, and so can be used to transfer information between maps or charts drawn to different scales. The dividers are made of brass with steel points and have four different scales, marked ‘Planes’, ‘Solids’, ‘Circles’ and ‘Lines’, depending on how the instrument is being used. The original rayskin-covered case also survives. The maker’s name and address - 50, Holborn, London - are engraved next to the scales on the front of the dividers.
Date made circa 1830

Artist/Maker William Harris & Co.
Place made London
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials brass; steel; rayskin
Measurements Overall: 15 mm x 164 mm x 14 mm
  • Proportional dividers (NAV0553)
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