Dividers & Compasses
Compasses

A collection of dividers and compasses in the Division of Medicine and Science's Mathematics collection.

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.