Duboscq-Soleil Saccharimeter


Jean Baptiste François Soleil, a leading optical instrument maker in Paris, invented the saccharimeter in 1845, described it to the Académie des Sciences, and received a gold medal from the Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale. This new instrument was a form of polariscope that determined the saccharine strength (or purity) of a sugar solution by measuring the extent to which that solution rotated the plane of polarization of polarized light passing through it.

The inscription on this example reads "SACCHARIMETER-SOLEIL J. Duboscq, rue de l’Odeon 35 a Paris" and "No. 133." Jules Duboscq was an instrument maker who apprenticed with Soleil, married his daughter, and assumed control of the scientific side of the business following Soleil’s retirement in 1849. The address is that of the Soleil shop where Duboscq remained until the early 1860s.

This saccharimeter used a Nicol prism to polarize the light and a pair of quartz wedges to analyze it. A linear scale developed by the French chemist Clerget (missing in this example) indicated the optical rotation of the liquid in the observation tube. The vertical cylinder in the tube held a thermometer.

Date Made: 1850-1859

Maker: Duboscq, Jules

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: France: Île-de-France, Paris

Subject: OpticsSugar


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences, Saccharimeters, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.327501Catalog Number: 327501Accession Number: 266156

Object Name: Saccharimeter

Physical Description: iron (overall material)brass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 16 3/4 in x 16 1/2 in x 8 in; 42.545 cm x 41.91 cm x 20.32 cmoverall: 19 5/8 in x 8 3/4 in x 8 in; 49.8475 cm x 22.225 cm x 20.32 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-4af8-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1184338

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