Fosse Proportional Dividers

This oversized wooden instrument has two slotted arms, with corroded steel points at both ends of each arm. The end of the slot by the short point on the back arm is broken. A screw, anchored by two rectangular metal pieces and adjusted with a wing nut, holds the arms together. A proportional scale labeled 1/4, 1/3, 2, 3, 4, and 5 is on one arm. Both arms are marked: Fosse. The mark is inside an oval, and the letters E and O appear on either side of the mark on the back arm. No information was found for a maker or brand named Fosse. The object may have been used for classroom demonstrations.
Currently not on view
Object Name
proportional dividers
date made
ca 19th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 5 cm x 99.7 cm x 10.8 cm; 1 31/32 in x 39 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Dividers and Compasses
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Dividers and Compasses
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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