David Shackman & Sons Sextant

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This instrument resembles the "Mate" sextant made by Henry Hughes & Son, Ltd., of London. It has a blackened brass frame, and a brass scale that is graduated every degree from -5° to +135° and read by drum micrometer to 30 minutes of arc. It was examined at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington, England, in 1942.
The inscription reads "MADE IN ENGLAND FOR KELVIN & WILFRID O. WHITE Co. BOSTON & NEW YORK" and "PATENT APPLIED FOR" and "1775" and "DS&S." The DS&S insignia refers to David Shackman & Sons, the British firm that actually made this sextant. The referenced patent (GB556034), issued to Albert Shackman and Reuben Cyril Shackman in September 1943, describes details of the drum micrometer.
Ref: Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White Co., Nautical Instruments (Boston, 1940), p. 31.
Henry Hughes & Son, Ltd., Husun Navigational Instruments (London, 1939), p. 31.
M. V. Brewington, The Peabody Museum Collection of Navigating Instruments (Salem, 1963), p. 132.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1942
Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White
David Shackman & Sons
place made
United Kingdom: England
case: 5 1/4 in x 11 in x 11 in; 13.335 cm x 27.94 cm x 27.94 cm
overall in case: 5 3/8 in x 10 7/8 in x 11 1/8 in; 13.6525 cm x 27.6225 cm x 28.2575 cm
ID Number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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