Cenco Student Spherometer

A spherometer is a device used primarily for measuring the curvature of objects such as lenses and curved mirrors. For further information about spherometers, see object MA*315739. This instrument is marked with the "Cenco" trademark of the Central Scientific Company of Chicago, founded in 1900. They manufactured and sold educational scientific apparatus. Their 1936 catalog describes this item as "Spherometer, Student Form" and lists experiments in several popular physics textbooks that can be performed with this instrument. This instrument includes a demonstration optical flat and a large double-convex lens. This particular setup was probably used by students to replicate the Newton's Rings experiment. This spherometer is small (3.5 inches in height) and has both a vertical scale and a horizontal scale on the disc. This spherometer sold for $4.50 in 1941. This spherometer was originally owned by Columbia University.
Central Scientific Company, Catalog (1941): 1014.
Currently not on view
Object Name
spherometer, student form
date made
ca 1906-1950
Central Scientific Company
Physical Description
metal (instrument material)
glass (flat material)
overall: 9.3 cm x 7 cm x 6.5 cm; 3 21/32 in x 2 3/4 in x 2 9/16 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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