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ID number:  BIRRC-P0007
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Historic Physics Collection
Artist / Maker:  Heath and Co.
Title / Object name:  Sextant
Object type:  Optical instrument
Place made:  New Eltham, London SE9
Date made:  1944
Materials:  Brass etc. in wooden case
Measurements:  Sextant ~24 x 24 x 11 cm, Case 28.5 x 28 x 13 cm

This is a high quality marine sextant of very common design. Its purpose is to measure the elevation of the Sun or stars above the horizon. Very similar instruments exist from at least as early as 1910, but this one has a calibration certificate in the lid of the case dated 4.1.1944. The certificate shows no corrections at the level of 0.1 min of arc. The instrument is complete with all lenses, filters etc and has probably rarely been used. It is a puzzle as to how it comes to be in the Physics collection.

Inscriptions / Translations:  On scale: KK873 Heath & Co, New Eltham, London SE9
On tangent screw: “Hezzanith” Endless Tangent Screw Automatic Clamp SEMPER PARATUS

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