Polar Planimeter

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This German silver and steel instrument has a white celluloid measuring wheel and vernier. It is in the general style of an Amsler fixed-scale planimeter, but it has no registering dial. The 4" tracer arm and 6" pole arm are connected by a hinge and form a circle around the measuring wheel when the instrument is closed. The cylindrical weight is screwed to a short revolving arm that is screwed on top of the pole arm. The lengths of the arms are not adjustable.
A wooden case covered with black leather is lined with black velvet. White trim is around the inside edges of the case. A small piece of paper glued inside the bottom of the case is marked: 0.01 [square] in.
There is no mark for a maker or distributor, but this instrument closely resembles a planimeter sold by the Eugene Dietzgen Company in 1926 as model 1800 for $17.75. Compare to MA.318485.
Reference: Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 12th ed. (Chicago, 1926), 180.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1930
Physical Description
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
paper (overall material)
case: 5 cm x 18.2 cm x 5 cm; 1 31/32 in x 7 5/32 in x 1 31/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of LaVerne Watkins
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History