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Here, a hollow brass tube (13 inches long) sits atop a brass stand (15 inches high). At one end of the tube is a glass mirror that can be aimed in various directions. At the other is an eyepiece with an analyzer, and a graduated circle. The “Soleil Fils Opticien / Rue de l’Odéon No 35 à Paris” inscription on the side of the tube refers to J. B. F. Soleil, an optical instrument maker who opened a shop at this address in 1825 and who, for a while, used the term “Fils” to distinguish himself from his father, who also made optical instruments. The U.S. Military Academy bought this instrument between 1834 and 1844.
This form was often associated with the French physicist, Jean-Baptists Biot.
Ref: Lerebours & Secretan, Catalogue et Prix des Instruments d'Optique, de Physique, de Chimie (Paris, 1853).
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca. 1834-1844
date made
around 1850
Henri Soleil (Soleil fils)
Soleil, Jean Baptiste Francois
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
overall: 15 in x 13 in; 38.1 cm x 33.02 cm
overall: 16 7/8 in x 12 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 42.8625 cm x 32.385 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
U.S. Military Academy
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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