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Plotting protractor

Date: c 1809
Overall: 150 x 150 mm, 0.25 kg
Medium: Brass, iron, glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dorothy Sharp
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Protractor
Object No: 00028679
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    This ship's plotting protractor, manufactured by Matthew Berge of London, was used in conjunction with a compass to take a bearing from a nautical chart.
    SignificanceFor hundreds of years, protractors have been used to measure angles and circles. Plotting protractors were essential for safe water navigation, especially when using charts that did not come with a compass rose. This protractor highlights the development of surveying instruments and their manufacturers in the 19th century.
    HistoryMatthew Berge was an apprentice of the famed London scientific instrument maker Jesse Ramsden. After the death of Ramsden in 1800, Berge took over the firm and continued the business trading under the title 'Berge late Ramsden'. Optical instruments, levels, and sextants made and sold by Berge are generally signed 'Berge late Ramsden', while others such as gunner callipers and marine barometers are marked 'Berge' or 'M. Berge London'. Nathaniel Worthington, an apprentice for seven years, became Berge's successor upon his death in 1819.

    A catalogue of 'Optical, Mathematical and Philosophical Instruments' manufactured by Matthew Berge dated 1801, advertises protractors for sale from '5s to £4/14s/6d'.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Plotting protractor

    Primary title: Plotting protractor

    Related People
    Manufacturer: Matthew Berge

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