The sextant belonged to the University of Pittsburgh, a school that began as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. The frame is brass. The silvered scale is graduated every 15 minutes from -3° to +143° and read by vernier with tangent screw and swinging magnifier to 15 seconds of arc. The inscription on the arc reads "Chapman London." There were several instrument makers and dealers named Chapman working in London during the middle decades of the 19th century. The trade card in the wooden box is that of Benjamin Pike, Jr., who was in business as an instrument dealer in New York from 1843 to 1864 and who probably imported this sextant into the U.S.

Date Made: mid 19th century

Associated Person: Pike, Jr., BenjaminMaker: Chapman

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, LondonSold: United States: New York, New York City

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: University of Pittsburgh

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.334886Catalog Number: 334886Accession Number: 315134

Object Name: sextant

Measurements: overall: 11.8 cm x 30.5 cm x 34 cm; 4 5/8 in x 12 in x 13 3/8 inoverall in box: 4 5/8 in x 13 1/4 in x 12 in; 11.7475 cm x 33.655 cm x 30.48 cm


Record Id: nmah_1187741

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