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The sextant belonged to the University of Pittsburgh, a school that began as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. The frame is brass. The silvered scale is graduated every 15 minutes from -3° to +143° and read by vernier with tangent screw and swinging magnifier to 15 seconds of arc. The signature on the arc reads "Chapman London." There were several instrument makers and dealers named Chapman working in London during the middle decades of the 19th century. The trade card in the wooden box is that of Benjamin Pike, Jr., who was in business as an instrument dealer in New York from 1843 to 1864 and who probably imported this sextant into the U.S.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
mid 19th century
associated person
Pike, Jr., Benjamin
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
United States: New York, New York City
overall: 11.8 cm x 30.5 cm x 34 cm; 4 5/8 in x 12 in x 13 3/8 in
overall in box: 4 5/8 in x 13 1/4 in x 12 in; 11.7475 cm x 33.655 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
University of Pittsburgh
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Data Source
National Museum of American History
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