French-Style Sector Signed by Nicolas Bion

Description
This brass instrument has rectangular arms hinged at one end. The hinge is decorated with a flower on both sides. One side has double scales of chords, running from 10 to 180; of solids, running from 1 to 64; and for the specific weights of five metals, marked with their symbols. The outer edge has a scale that runs from 1/4 to 64 and is labeled poids des Boulets. The sector is marked: N. Bion (/) AParis.
The other side has double scales for equal parts, running from 10 to 200; for architectural drawings, running from 1 to 64; and for the lengths of the sides of inscribed regular polygons, from 12 sides to three sides. The outer edge has a scale running from 1/4 to 64 and labeled Calibre des pieces.
Nicolas Bion (c. 1652–1733) made and sold mathematical instruments in Paris in his own shop and as royal maker for Louis XIV. He included a lengthy discussion of sectorial scales in his famous 1709 manual on the construction and use of mathematical instruments. Albert Haertlein (1895–1960), who collected this sector, graduated with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1918, served in the engineering corps of the U.S. Army during World War I, and taught engineering at Harvard from 1919 until 1959. He was prominent in the American Society of Civil Engineers.
References: Nicolas Bion, Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des instruments de mathematique (Paris, 1709), 29–74; "News From the Classes," Technology Review 21 (1919): 645; Albert Haertlein, Papers, HUG4444, Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, Mass.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
sector
date made
1681-1733
maker
Bion, Nicholas
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: .4 cm x 17.5 cm x 3 cm; 5/32 in x 6 7/8 in x 1 3/16 in
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
1985.0580.05
accession number
1985.0580
catalog number
333930
subject
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Sectors
Rule, Calculating
Sectors
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Sectors
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Albert Haertlein
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries 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.