This is a brass instrument on a square wooden base, with a rectangular mirror at the bottom, and vertical arch along which the instrument can recline at various angles. Above this is a horizontal circle that holds two brass rods that hold an unsilvered glass mirror in a brass frame that is moveable about a horizontal axis, a moveable stage with circular glass lens, and a Nichol prism analyzer in a graduated circle at the top. The “J. Duboscq / à Paris” inscription on this circle is that of Jules Duboscq (1816-1886), an important optical instrument maker who began in business around 1849, and who referred to this form as a Norrenberg (sic) apparatus perfected by Wheatstone. The words “Ph. P. R. B. 12” are painted on the base; a tag on the bottom reads “STEVENS TECH 20660.”
This was probably in the large collection of scientific apparatus amassed by Charles N. Bancker, a Philadelphia entrepreneur, and bought for the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1871.
Ref: J. Duboscq, Catalogue Systématique des Appareils d’Optique (Paris, 1870), p. 25.
Charles Wheatstone, “Experiments on the Successive Polarization of Light, with the description of a new Polarizing Apparatus,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 19 (1870-71): 381-389 and plate IV.
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