Nixon Sextant

Nixon Sextant

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This sextant is inscribed "J. Nixon. Commercial Road. London" and "U.S. NAVY 8608." It was probably made by the John Nixon who worked in London from 1850 to 1869, and advertised as a "Real Maker of Mathematical Instruments." The silvered scale is graduated every 15 minutes from -5° to +125° and read by vernier with tangent screw and magnifier to 15 seconds of arc.
This sextant may have been lent to the U.S. Navy for use during World War I. It came to the Smithsonian in 1930.
Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1895), p. 201.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
date made
Nixon, John
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
associated place
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Physical Description
metal, brass (overall material)
metal, silver (overall material)
glass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
radius: 7 1/4 in; 18.415 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
U.S. Navy
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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