A chartometer measured distances on maps and charts. Edward Russell Morris, a draftsman in the Small Arms Factory in Birmingham, England, obtained a British patent (#3948) on the form in 1873. He called it an “improved pocket instrument for measuring and recording distances.” This example belonged to Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887), the naturalist who served as the second Secretary of the Smithsonian. The case is marked “CHARTOMETER / MORRIS’S PATENT.” The glass cover opens to allow different paper scales to be fitted to the face.

Ref: Notice in The London Gazette (Dec. 12, 1873).

“The Chartometer,” The Gardner’s Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette (May 24, 1873): 718-719.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.284271Catalog Number: 284271Accession Number: 55865

Object Name: Chartometer

Measurements: overall: 2.5 cm x 9.3 cm x 6.8 cm; 31/32 in x 3 21/32 in x 2 11/16 inoverall; case: 1 1/8 in x 2 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 2.8575 cm x 6.6675 cm x 9.2075 cmoverall; chartometer: 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in x 3 1/8 in; 1.27 cm x 5.715 cm x 7.9375 cm


Record Id: nmah_1183749

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