Franz Schmidt & Haensch Saccharimeter

Franz Schmidt & Haensch Saccharimeter

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This is a half shadow saccharimeter marked “Franz Schmidt & Haensch, Berlin S. No. 4645” and “D.R.P. No. 82523.” This firm began in business in Berlin in 1864 making saccharimeters and other optical instruments. It trades today as Schmidt & Haensch.
The two screws below the eyepiece indicate that this instrument has a double-quartz wedge compensation, a feature that relieves the observer from the necessity of checking the instrument against a standard solution or quartz plate. The German patent 82523, granted in 1895, describes the polarizer that enables the observer to equalize the darkness (rather than the color) of the various parts of the image.
The graduated scale, viewing scope, and 400 mm observation tube are missing. The additional inscription–“BS 482”–refers to the National Bureau of Standards, the organization that purchased this instrument in the early 1900s and transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1960. For many years the Bureau standardized the saccharimeters and other apparatus that customs agents used to assess the saccharine quality of sugar coming into the United States.
Ref: Franz Schmidt & Haensch, “Halbschatten-Polarisationsapparat,” German patent 82523 (1895).
Eimer & Amend, Illustrated Catalogue with Prices Current of Chemical & Physical Apparatus (New York, 1895), p. 392.
Geo. Stade, “Modern Polariscopes,” International Sugar Journal 1 (1899): 65-72.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
after 1895
Franz Schmidt & Haensch
place made
Germany: Berlin, Berlin
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 15 in x 29 in; 38.1 cm x 73.66 cm
overall: 15 5/8 in x 11 1/4 in x 29 in; 39.6875 cm x 28.575 cm x 73.66 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
National Bureau of Standards
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object