Dividers & CompassesCompasses
One characteristic of the compasses in the collection is the variety of ornamentation molded into their metal parts. More often than the instruments on the other pages, compasses were manufactured in the United States, and Americans received patents for adding innovations to the instrument. Several of the objects below were used in schools, and some were even designed to prevent schoolchildren from poking themselves and each other. This page also contains spare parts for compasses.
"Dividers & Compasses - Compasses" showing 1 items.
- In the years following the Civil War, American mathematics teachers began to use oversized compasses like this one to draw circles on a chalkboard. This example was sold by the Frederick Post Company of Chicago. It consists of two maple arms, each about sixteen inches (41 centimeters) long, which are held together by a wing nut at one end. At the other end are a rubber tip and a piece of chalk.
- Makers often sold such instruments as part of a set that also included a straight edge, a protractor, a T square, and a triangle. After passage of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, such instruments could be purchased by secondary schools with subsidies from the federal government. This particular object was used in mathematics teaching at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland.
- Blackboard dividers that are different from this instrument are advertised as model number 1781 in the Frederick Post Company's 1930 and 1936 catalogs. The instrument is not shown in the 1949–1950 catalog.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1950
- Frederick Post Company
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center