Clinometer, also known as dip-sector

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probably made in London

Postcard of Clinometer, also known as dip-sector.
© National Museums Scotland

Clinometer, also known as dip-sector

A clinometer is a surveying instrument used for measuring the angle of inclination. This example (pictured here in its wooden case) was made around 1820, probably by Thomas Jones (1775-1852) a scientific instrument maker based in London's Charing Cross.

The box has a trade label for 'Thomas Jones,/ Astronomical, Mathematical, Optical/ AND PHILOSOPHICAL/ Instrument Maker,/ No 13, Panton Street, Haymarket,/ London.' The instrument is inscribed below the scale 'I.2/ Thomas Jones, 62 Charing Cross London.'

Clinometers were used in the measuring of comparative heights of landmarks. They were part of the specialised equipment necessary for coastal mapping. This example appears to based on a design by Edward Troughton, to whom Thomas Jones had been apprenticed.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-169-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1911.101
Date: Around 1820
What: Specimen / surveying instrument / dip sector
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Surveying (Departmental Classification)
Who: Thomas Jones, 62 Charing Cross, London (Instrument maker)
Where: England, London
Description: One of a collection of surveying, nautical, astronomical, meteorological and drawing instruments - a dip sector made by Thomas Jones of Charing Cross, London
  • For the marking of instruments for the Hydrographic Office, see Stimson, A.N., 'Some Board of Longitude Instruments in the Nineteenth Century' in De Clercq, P.R., Nineteenth Century Scientific Instruments and their Makers, Amsterdam and Leiden, 1985, App 
  • For Thomas Jones FRS, see Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851, London, 1995, p 154 
  • Simms, F.W., A Treatise on the Principal Mathematical Instruments used in Surveying... 1st edition (London, 1834), pp 48-51 
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