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This unsigned sextant belonged to Oberlin College, and may date from the time of the founding of that school in 1833. The frame is brass. The silvered scale is graduated every 15 minutes from -5° to +160° and read by vernier with tangent screw and swinging magnifier to single minutes of arc. One trade card in the box is that of Thomas Hemsley (either father or son) who were in business in London throughout the first half of the 19th century, offering a wide variety of instruments and other items for navigational use.
Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1995), p. 132.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
19th century
radius: 7 1/2 in; 19.05 cm
overall: 4 5/8 in x 13 in x 10 3/4 in; 11.7475 cm x 33.02 cm x 27.305 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Oberlin College
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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