This is a small and simple direct vision spectroscope. The inscription on the case reads “WILLIAM J. HAMMER, CONSULTING ELECTRICAL ENGINEER, 26 CORTLANDT, NEW YORK.” William J. Hammer (1858-1934) worked with Thomas Edison at Menlo Park and had wide interests in electrical science and technology. By 1890 Hammer was an established consulting engineer in New York City. It is unknown how and when the spectroscope ended up in Hammer’s collection. He may have purchased it for use or it may have been given to him for evaluation.
Ref: Robert S. Harding, “Register of the William J. Hammer Collection, c. 1874-1935, 1955-1957,” 1986.
United Press Syndicate, “William J. Hammer: Consulting Electrical Engineer,” no. 1038, ca 1910.
Currently not on view
Object Name
case: 4 in; 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
International Business Machines Corporation

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