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A chartometer measured distances on maps and charts. Edward Russell Morris, a draftsman in the Small Arms Factory in Birmingham, England, obtained a British patent (#3948) on the form in 1873. He called it an “improved pocket instrument for measuring and recording distances.” This example belonged to Spencer Fullerton Baird, the naturalist who served as the second Secretary of the Smithsonian. The case is marked “CHARTOMETER / MORRIS’S PATENT.” The glass cover opens to allow different paper scales to be fitted to the face.
Ref: Notice in The London Gazette (Dec. 12, 1873).
“The Chartometer,” The Gardner’s Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette (May 24, 1873): 718-719.
Currently not on view
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overall: 2.5 cm x 9.3 cm x 6.8 cm; 31/32 in x 3 21/32 in x 2 11/16 in
overall; case: 1 1/8 in x 2 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 2.8575 cm x 6.6675 cm x 9.2075 cm
overall; chartometer: 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in x 3 1/8 in; 1.27 cm x 5.715 cm x 7.9375 cm
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
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National Museum of American History
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