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Date: 19th century
Overall: 330 x 310 x 100 mm
Medium: Brass, metal, wood, ivory inlay.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Quadrant part
Object No: 00007737
Place Manufactured:Liverpool

User Terms

    A quadrant made by Gramham and Parkes of Canning Place, Liverpool.

    The quadrant is so named because its arc represents a quarter of a circle (from Latin quadrans), a quadrant is an instrument of double reflection and by means of two mirrors is capable of measuring angles up to 90 degrees.

    SignificanceThis quadrant is typical of instruments used by navigators for determining latitude from the 18th to the 19th century.
    HistoryIn 1731, John Hadley described what is now known as a quadrant, to the Royal Society of London. He obtained a British patent in 1734 and as a result, quadrants are sometimes referred to as Hadley quadrants. The earliest examples of quadrants date to around 1460. They were often large and difficult to use and were limited in their accuracy.

    After details of Hadley's new patented quadrant were announced, the Admiralty ordered a series of tests to be conducted, and as a result of these Hadley's quadrant became widely accepted. The quadrant remained in common usage until replaced by the more accurate sextant toward the end of the 18th century.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Quadrant

    Collection title: Rice collection

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