Mathematical Instrument by T. S. & J. D. Negus

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Brothers Thomas S. Negus (1828-1894) and John Davidson Negus (1831-1890), dealers in navigational instruments in New York City, were the sons of English immigrants to the United States. Thomas began dealing in nautical instruments around 1848, and his brother joined him within a few years. The firm remained in business until the 1960s.
This particular instrument consists of a trapezoidal metal frame in which wire may be wound to produce eleven lines converging toward a point outside the short side of the trapezoid. An ivory handle is attached to the side of the trapezoid opposite the shortest. The leftmost wire is not numbered; the remaining wires are numbered from 1 to 10. A mark on the handle reads: TS&J.D.Negus.
No example of this instrument appears in Nevus catalogs from 1899 and from about 1936.
Burt Cifrulak, “A Marine Chronomerter’s Story,” NAWCC Watch and Clock Bulletin, September/October 2015, pp. 439-448.
T. S. and J.D. Negus, Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Nautical and Optical Instruments. . ., New York, 1899.
T. S. and J.D. Negus, Illustrated Catalog of Nautical Instruments, New York, ca. 1936. The cover indicates that the firm was founded in 1848.
Currently not on view
T. S. and J. D. Negus
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 4.5 cm x 17.2 cm; 13/32 in x 1 25/32 in x 6 25/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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