Franz Schmidt & Haensch Saccharimeter

This instrument is marked "Franz Schmidt & Haensch. Berlin, S." and "No. 6883" and "D.R. Pat. No 82523." It is a half-shadow polariscope on a trestle stand that was probably made shortly before World War I. The referenced German patent, dated 1905, describes the polarizer which enables the observer to equalize the darkness (rather than the color) of the various parts of the image. A dust-proof housing encloses the quartz wedge compensator (which is moved by the vertical rod with milled head) and the linear scale (which reads from -25 to +100 degrees Ventzke). The (missing) observation tube is 400 mm long. This was used at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Ref: Franz Schmidt & Haensch, “Halbschatten-Polarisationsapparat,” German patent 82523 (1895).
Arthur H. Thomas Co., Laboratory Apparatus (Philadelphia, 1906), p. 320.
Arthur H. Thomas Co., Laboratory Apparatus and Reagents (Philadelphia, 1914), p. 430.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Franz Schmidt & Haensch
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 31 1/4 in x 9 in x 16 1/8 in; 79.375 cm x 22.86 cm x 40.9575 cm
place made
Deutschland: Berlin, Berlin
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
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.

Enter the characters shown in the image.