Protractor (obverse)

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probably made in London

Postcard of Protractor (obverse).
© National Museums Scotland

Protractor (obverse)

This is the obverse of a semicircular brass protractor used to set up and measure angles. Dating from 1660, it was probably made by Henry Sutton, a scientific instrument maker based in London from about 1649 to 1665.

The protractor is pierced with two quarter windows and has pricking holes at the centre and at 90 degrees. It is divided into half degrees around the outside and marked for parallel lines inside. The obverse is inscribed 'H: Sutton fecit 1660'.

Protractors were used in practical mathematics, particularly in skilled trades such as surveying and navigation, and in the construction of instruments for these trades.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-054-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1972.72
Date: 1660
Material: Brass. Inscription: H [colon] Sutton fecit 1660
Dimensions: 147 mm x 99 mm; 66 mm radius
What: Protractor
Subject: 19. MATHEMATICS (Departmental Classification)
Who: H. Sutton, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Brass protractor made by H. Sutton of London in 1660
  • Scott-Scott, M., Drawing Instruments 1850-1950. Princes Risborough, 1986, pp 25-7 
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