Franz Schmidt & Haensch Saccharimeter

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This is a Soleil-Scheibler saccharimeter marked "Franz Schmidt & Haensch BERLIN Newe Schönhauser Str No. 882." The address indicates that it was made between 1869 and 1877.
Jean Baptiste François Soleil, an optical instrument maker in Paris, described the saccharimeter in 1845. Carl Scheibler, director of the research institute of the Association of the German Beet Sugar Industry, modified Soleil’s design in 1869. He added a second tube for reading the scale, and a rod with wheel and pinion for rotating the polarizer.
Scheibler also replaced the arbitrary scale used on French instruments with the scale devised by the German sugar chemist, Carl Ventzke. Each degree of the Ventzke scale is one-hundredth part of the rotation produced in the plane of polarization of white light in a column 200 millimeters long, by a solution of pure sucrose at 17.5 degrees C.
In this example, the scale is ivory, linear, graduated every degree from -30 to 0 to +100, and read by vernier to .5 degrees. Also present are two glass observation tubes suitable for carrying 100 and 200 mm of liquid, a brass cylinder 200 mm long, and a wooden box. The base is missing.
Currently not on view
Franz Schmidt & Haensch
place made
Deutschland: Berlin, Berlin
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 21 1/2 in x 6 1/4 in x 4 in; 54.61 cm x 15.875 cm x 10.16 cm
overall in case: 4 1/8 in x 21 1/2 in x 6 1/4 in; 10.4775 cm x 54.61 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History