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Probably made in Glasgow

Postcard of Clinometer.
© National Museums Scotland


A clinometer is a surveying instrument used for measuring the angle of inclination. This example used for levelling drains was made around 1870, probably by Gardener & Co. of Glasgow. It was sold by Glasgow-based scientific instrument seller, James Brown.

The clinometer has a push-fit focusing telescope, with a level tube below. The scale reads +12 to -12 degrees from the horizontal and is divided into 0.5 degrees. The instrument is signed 'JAMES BROWN GLASGOW'.

The enormous growth of Glasgow in the late 19th century led to the building of sewage systems to counter diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-705-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1966.61
Date: Around 1870
c. 1870
Material: Wood box. Inscription: JAMES BROWN GLASGOW
Dimensions: 13.75" min L telescope / box 14.50" L x 2.75" H x 7.50" B
What: Clinometer / box / plumb bob
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Surveying (Departmental Classification)
Who: Gardener and Co., Glasgow (Maker)
James Brown, Glasgow (Retailer)
Where: Scotland, Lanarkshire, Glasgow
Description: Clinometer in a fitted wooden box with a plumb bob, probably by Gardener and Co. and sold by James Brown, Glasgow, c. 1870
  • For James Brown's business biography, see 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. E 
  • For sanitary problems and their solutions, see Smout, T.C. A Century of the Scottish People 1830-1950. London: 1987. pp 32-57 
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