Brandis & Sons Sextant

This sextant was probably made for use in World War I. Brandis termed it a "U.S. Navy surveying sextant, 6 inch radius, reading 30 seconds of arc." New it cost $120. The frame is anodized brass. The silvered scale is graduated every 10 minutes from -5° to +182° and read by vernier with tangent screw and magnifier. The inscriptions read "BRANDIS & SONS, BROOKLYN, N.Y." and "5670." The words "U.S. Navy-N-4705" are scratched onto the arc. The serial number inside the wooden box is 3946.
Ref: Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co., Catalogue No. 20. Instruments of Precision (Brooklyn, n.d.), p. 298.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1917
Brandis & Sons, Inc.
radius: 6 in; 15.24 cm
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
World War I
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
C. Richard Hoshaw

Visitor Comments

11/10/2015 9:24:52 AM
Stacey simonton
Just purchased an old sextant no. 1899 and curious how to find out who might have used it or when it was used. Are their these types of historical records?
2/8/2017 6:48:03 PM
Andrew McKenna
Does your sextant # 1899 have any other numbers on it? Is it a Brandis & Sons unit? Many Brandis sextants were used by the US Navy, and if so usually have a USNO number etched into the arc of the unit. Brandis 1899 was probably made prior to WWI, but could have still been in use during the War. lots of information on Brandis sextants can be found at or at Best AMCK
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