Brown & Sharpe Bevel Protractor


This metal instrument consists of a circular protractor housed within an irregularly shaped blade. An 11-1/2" trapezoidal blade slides into the housing. A screw on the protractor fixes that blade in place. The protractor is divided by single degrees and marked by tens from 0° to 90° to 0° to 90° to 0°. A vernier, attached by another screw, permits angle readings to five minutes of accuracy. The protractor has a hinged case of leather over wood, lined with black satin. The case is gouged in several spots.

Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Co. introduced a "universal bevel protractor" in 1899, according to "Trade Notes," Science and Industry 4 (1899–1900): 274–275. Although there is no signature on this instrument, this protractor matches the illustrations in this article and in Brown & Sharpe catalogs at least as early as 1899 and at least as late as 1948.

References: Kenneth L. Cope, intro., A Brown & Sharpe Catalogue Collection, 1868 to 1899 (Mendham, N.J.: The Astragal Press, 1997); Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co., Small Tools: Catalog No. 27 (Providence, R.I., 1916), 92–93; The Brown & Sharpe Handbook: A Guide for Young Machinists (Providence, R.I., 1948), 49–54, 110–112.

Date Made: 1899-1949

Maker: Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: MathematicsProtractorDrafting, Engineering


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Ursula N. Forbes

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0316.03Accession Number: 1986.0316Catalog Number: 1986.0316.03

Object Name: protractor

Physical Description: steel (overall material)satin (overall material)leather (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 cm x 35 cm x 10 cm; 1 3/16 in x 13 25/32 in x 3 15/16 in


Record Id: nmah_904416

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