Pantograph in Case by Cary of London

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This brass pantograph consists of four linked rods with rectangular cross section. The two longer rods are about 49.5 cm. (19 ½ inches) long. The two shorter rods are about 9 inches and ten inches long. Marks near the ends of the rods away from the fulcrum read: B; D; [nothing]; C. Two adjacent rods (those marked B and D) are marked from 11:12 to 2:3 near one end and from 1:2 to 1:12 further up. Slides on these rods carry round holders. A round stone disc placed into the fixed outermost holder anchors the pantograph. A tube with a cup at one end fits into either of the two remaining round holders (the tube would hold a pencil point; the cup would hold pebbles, shot, or some other weight to keep the pencil on the paper). The tracer point which would go in the other holder is missing. The pantograph moves over the paper on four ivory wheels. A mark on the top of one arm reads: Cary London. The instrument fits in a shaped wooden case.
According to Gloria Clifton, from 1789 until 1891 William Cary, his descendants, and their associates in London sold instruments, including a pantograph, under the name Cary.
This instrument was once at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Compare MA.317868, MA.327891, MA.334888, and 2005.0182.8.
Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851, Zwemmer, 1995, p. 51.
Currently not on view
Cary, William
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
stone (overall material)
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 9.6 cm x 53.5 cm x 14 cm; 3 25/32 in x 21 1/16 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Museum of Science and Industry
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History