Heliostat

Description
A heliostat throws sunlight where it might be used for photography or scientific observations. This simple and inexpensive example was designed in the mid-1870s by Rueul Keith, a mathematician who worked for the U.S. Naval Observatory. It was made by Edward Kubel, a German mechanic who arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1849, and went to work making and mending instruments needed by such agencies as the U.S. Coast Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Army Medical Museum. It was made for Samuel Pierpont Langley, the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and used in the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. A tag reads: “EDWARD KUBEL / MATH. INST. MAKER / WASHINGTON, D.C.”
Ref: D. J. Warner, “Keith’s American Heliostat,” Rittenhouse 10 (1996): 58-64.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
heliostat
date made
late 19th century
maker
Kubel, Edward
Measurements
overall: 24.1 cm x 14 cm x 28 cm; 9 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in x 11 in
place made
United States: District of Columbia
ID Number
PH*314879
accession number
211531
catalog number
314879
subject
Astronomy
Science & Mathematics
Science & Scientific Instruments
Optics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Optics
Astronomy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Additional Media

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