Franz Schmidt & Haensch Saccharimeter

Description
This is a half shadow saccharimeter marked “Franz Schmidt & Haensch, Berlin S. No. 4645” and “D.R.P. No. 82523.” This firm began in business in Berlin in 1864 making saccharimeters and other optical instruments. It trades today as Schmidt & Haensch.
The two screws below the eyepiece indicate that this instrument has a double-quartz wedge compensation, a feature that relieves the observer from the necessity of checking the instrument against a standard solution or quartz plate. The German patent 82523, granted in 1895, describes the polarizer that enables the observer to equalize the darkness (rather than the color) of the various parts of the image.
The graduated scale, viewing scope, and 400 mm observation tube are missing. The additional inscription–“BS 482”–refers to the National Bureau of Standards, the organization that purchased this instrument in the early 1900s and transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1960. For many years the Bureau standardized the saccharimeters and other apparatus that customs agents used to assess the saccharine quality of sugar coming into the United States.
Ref: Franz Schmidt & Haensch, “Halbschatten-Polarisationsapparat,” German patent 82523 (1895).
Eimer & Amend, Illustrated Catalogue with Prices Current of Chemical & Physical Apparatus (New York, 1895), p. 392.
Geo. Stade, “Modern Polariscopes,” International Sugar Journal 1 (1899): 65-72.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
saccharimeter
date made
after 1895
maker
Franz Schmidt & Haensch
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 15 in x 29 in; 38.1 cm x 73.66 cm
place made
Deutschland: Berlin, Berlin
ID Number
PH*318124
catalog number
318124
accession number
231765
subject
Optics
Sugar
Germany
Measuring & Mapping
Saccharimeters
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Saccharimeters
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
National Bureau of Standards
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.