Astronomical and navigational instruments, Charting instruments

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Parallel rule

Astronomical and navigational instruments

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Object ID NAV0601
Description The parallel rule was designed to assist in drawing parallel lines accurately. For navigators, this is particularly important in laying off a specific course on a chart and parallel rules are still used today. They were invented in 1584 by a Frenchman, Mordente, but do not seem to have become common in navigation until the 18th century. This example is made of ebony with brass fittings. It was originally used by Vice-Admiral the Hon. A. C. Stonatt, when he was naval officer of HMS ‘Lion’ during battle of Jutland. He later became Master of the Grand Fleet.
Date made circa 1914

Artist/Maker Unknown
Place made England
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials brass; ebony
Measurements Overall: 6 mm x 609 mm x 75 mm
  • Parallel rule (NAV0601)
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