Bubble Sextant

Description
This instrument was developed for the Navy by the Aeronautical Instrument Section of the National Bureau of Standards in 1924, and produced by the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company. The instrument bears a plaque that reads “BUBBLE SEXTANT / U.S. NAVY / BUREAU OF STANDARDS / MODEL NO. 2 / 1924 / NO. 4.” Phillip Van Horn Weems, who donated this example to the Smithsonian, noted that "Six sextants were made at the time for $250,000 each. Bausch & Lomb lost money on the deal but naturally recuperated on later orders and on later models. I drew this sextant from the storeroom in North Island, at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, and made numerous tests with it, along with Byrd, Lindbergh, Ellsworth, etc. etc."
Object Name
octant
sextant
user
Weems, Philip Van Horn
maker
Bausch & Lomb
Measurements
overall: 6 in x 8 3/4 in x 7 in; 15.24 cm x 22.225 cm x 17.78 cm
associated place
United States
ID Number
AF*59069-N
catalog number
59069-N
accession number
242229
subject
Measuring & Mapping
Time and Navigation
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Naval
Time and Navigation
Exhibition
Time and Navigation, National Air and Space Museum
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.