Plotting protractor

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made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Plotting protractor.
© National Museums Scotland

Plotting protractor

This brass plotting protractor was made around 1870 by Angus Henderson, a scientific instrument maker based in Edinburgh. It is used to divide the circle into sections.

The protractor has 400 'grades' or metric degrees, instead of being divided into 360 degrees. This aspect of metrification never became popular.

Angus Henderson began trading independently as a 'Practical Optician, Microscope, Mathematical and Philosophical Instrument maker' in Edinburgh's Hanover Street in 1861. He ceased to trade in 1884.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-714-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1967.122
Date: Around 1870
c. 1870
Material: Brass scale and verniers, index marked on glass / wooden box. Inscription: A. Henderson Edinburgh / Wm Paton / Alloa
Dimensions: 1.75" H x 9.25" L x 9.50" W; 7.75" D
What: Protractor, plotting / box
Subject: 19. MATHEMATICS (Departmental Classification)
Who: A. Henderson, Edinburgh (Maker)
William Paton (Inscribed on the protractor spokes)
Where: Scotland, Clackmannanshire, Alloa
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Eight-inch plotting protractor, in a box, signed by Angus Henderson of Edinburgh, c. 1870
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. pp 51,64 
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