Pantograph in Case by Molteni


This instrument has four black wooden bars. Two are 19 5/8" (50 cm.) long. The other two are 11 1/4" (8 cm.) long. The brass fulcrum joining the two longer bars rests on an ivory wheel. One short bar is attached to each long bar, about half way down its length. The short bars are joined opposite the fulcrum. An iron weight attaches to one of the long bars, a pencil is attached to one of the short bars, and a tracer attaches to a long bar. The position of the weight and the pencil are moved to change the amount of enlargement or reduction. A black thread may be strung between various joints. The instrument fits in a plain wooden case which has a brass handle and metal hinges and fasteners. A mark on the back rim of the case reads: $28.00. An instruction book in French has museum number MA.211531.02.

According to the documentation, this pantograph was designed by L. Blondeau, a geographical draftsman employed by the Bureau des Cartes et Plans of the French Ministry of War. It was manufactured by Molteni & Cie., opticians and manufacturers, which had the address 13 Boulevard St. Denis in Paris. L. Blondeau took out his French patent for a pantograph in 1841, the same year that the firm Molteni & Cie. was established. Molteni & Cie. was at the address 13 Boulevard Saint-Denis in 1844, but by 1854 had moved to another address. Assuming that the instructions were printed at the same time the pantograph was made, this dates the instrument and the instructions to the period 1841-1853.

Compare MA.333850 and MA.314869.

Date Made: ca 1850

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Mathematics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Pantographs, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Transfer from Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.314869Catalog Number: 314869Accession Number: 211531

Object Name: Pantograph

Physical Description: metal (overall material)wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 11.2 cm x 53.5 cm x 14.6 cm; 4 13/32 in x 21 1/16 in x 5 3/4 in


Record Id: nmah_690236

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