A heliostat throws sunlight where it might be used for photography or scientific observations. This example has one glass mirror 9.5 cm in diameter, a clockwork mechanism, and a tripod base with leveling screws. The “Gambey à Paris” inscription refers to Henri-Prudence Gambey, a mathematical instrument maker who won a gold medal at the Paris exhibition of 1823 for his heliostat of new construction.

Ref: D. J. Warner, “Gambey’s American Customers,” Rittenhouse 4 (1990): 65-78

Date Made: ca 1830

Maker: Gambey, Henri Prudence

Location: Currently not on view

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

Subject: Science & Scientific Instruments


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences, Science & Mathematics, Optics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: U.S. Military Academy

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.315645Catalog Number: 315645Accession Number: 217544

Object Name: heliostat

Measurements: overall: 22 in; 55.88 cmoverall: 16 1/2 in x 15 1/2 in x 10 1/4 in; 41.91 cm x 39.37 cm x 26.035 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ae-1f4b-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1461998

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