Wooden Pantograph, with Silver-Colored Substitue Joints

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This instrument consists of four flat wooden bars. Three bars are eighteen inches long, and one is ten inches long. Each bar has a set of irregularly spaced holes that are marked from ½ to 1/16. One of long bars has a metal and wooden piece at one end with points on the bottom for fixing it to table. Another long piece has metal pointer through one end. The third long piece has rounded metal piece through one end which can be used to secure it to a second bar. With three additional joints of this sort and a pencil point, the device could be used as a simple pantograph, an instrument for enlarging and reducing drawings.
The object has no maker’s mark. It was transferred to the Smithsonian from the U.S. Geological Survey in 1907.
For an example of a pantograph with similar scales, see the 1859 catalog of J. Molteni & Cie.
J. Molteni & Cie., Catalogue et Pris Courant des Principaux Produits, Paris, 1859, p. 59.
Currently not on view
date made
before 1907
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 4.5 cm x 45 cm x 3.8 cm; 1 25/32 in x 17 23/32 in x 1 1/2 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Geological Survey
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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