Protractors
Innovation

Some examples of protractors in the collection

While only one patent model for a protractor survives in the Smithsonian collections—from an inventor with a colorful personal history—several of the other objects also provide examples of technical innovation. For instance, some are manufactured versions of patented inventions. Others were named for the person with whom they were associated, even if that engineer or craftsman laid no claim to designing that protractor.