J. Quincy Octant

Description
This octant has a mahogany frame, flat brass index arm with ornate floral pattern, and ivory name plate. The ivory scale is graduated every 20 minutes from -5° to +95° and read by vernier to single minutes of arc. There is also a back sight and a back horizon glass that could be used to measure angles greater than 90°. The "QUINCY, MAKER, N. YORK" inscription refers to J. Quincy, a mathematical instrument maker in New York City in the 1780s. In the stepped wooden box is a trade card of William Hooker, who operated a nautical shop in New York around 1820.
Ref: Deborah J. Warner, "American Octants and Sextants: The Early Years," Rittenhouse 3 (1989): 86-112, on 107.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
octant
date made
ca 1800
maker
J. Quincy
Measurements
radius: 18 in; 45.72 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
1988.0412.01
catalog number
1988.0412.01
accession number
1988.0412
subject
Measuring & Mapping
Navigation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Navigation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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.