Cruver Sextant

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This sextant was made for emergency use during World War II. The body is plastic. The scale is graduated every degree from -5° to +140° and read by vernier to 3 minutes of arc. The box is marked "U.S. MARITIME COMMISSION / CRUVER MFG. CO." The Cruver Manufacturing Co., in Chicago, began making novelty objects of plastic in the early 1900s. The U.S. Maritime Commission (fl. 1936 to 1950) was responsible for further developing and maintaining a merchant marine for the promotion of American commerce and defense.
Ref: W. J. Eckert, Lifeboat Sextant. Instructions for Use in Finding Latitude and Longitude Together with Simple Sailing Instructions (U.S. Naval Observatory, 1944).
Currently not on view
date made
Cruver Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 9.5 cm x 27 cm x 27 cm; 3 3/4 in x 10 5/8 in x 10 5/8 in
overall in case: 3 5/8 in x 10 1/4 in x 9 1/8 in; 9.2075 cm x 26.035 cm x 23.1775 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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