Instruction Manual for Coradi Planimeters

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The citation information for this 40-page booklet is: G. Coradi, The Coradi Planimeters: Description and Instructions for the Use and Testing, with a General Elementary Explanation of Their Operation (Zurich, 1912). Gottlieb Coradi (1847–1929) established a workshop in Zurich in 1880 and began making wheel and disc polar planimeters in the Amsler style soon thereafter. In 1894, he designed the compensating polar planimeter, and by 1900, his firm was selling a precision rolling planimeter.
This booklet explains the mathematical theory behind planimeters, which are used to measure the area bounded by a curved diagram. Coradi then describes the general parts of a planimeter and provides instructions for the forms manufactured by his workshop: the rolling sphere planimeter (see MA.333660 and 1977.0112.01), the precision disc planimeter (see MA.321745), and the compensating polar planimeter (see 1987.0929.01 and MA.321777). Olaus Henrici (1840–1918), a German mathematician who taught at English universities, helped Coradi prepare the booklet.
The donor also provided three Coradi pamphlets on the coordinatograph, an instrument for quickly plotting points on a map according to their rectangular coordinates. According to the illustrations at the back of this booklet, Coradi's firm also made integraphs and pantographs.
References: "People: Gottlieb Coradi," Waywiser, Harvard University Department of the History of Science,; Olaus Henrici, "On Planimeters," in Report of the Sixty-fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (London, 1894), 496–523.
Currently not on view
date made
Coradi, Gottlieb
place made
Schweiz: Zürich, Zurich
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 15.6 cm x 23 cm; 6 5/32 in x 9 1/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Koppers Company, Inc.
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History