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Surveyor's Folding Rule, by Humfrey Cole, London, 1575

preview image for Surveyor's Folding Rule, by Humfrey Cole, London, 1575
Object is on display.
Inventory Number: 49631
Object Type:
Persons: Humphrey Cole (Maker)
Date Created: 1575
Place Created: London England United Kingdom Europe
Accession Number: 1950-41
Brief Description: This is one of four surviving instruments of similar design by the leading English instrument maker of the 16th century.

Developed from a simpler craft instrument, the wooden 'carpenter's rule', Humfrey Cole's device is a multipurpose instrument that could be used for surveying, map work and specialised calculation. It incorporates an inch ruler and scales of equal parts, as well as scales for reckoning areas and volumes. When equipped with sights it could be used to measure horizontal angles and, with the further addition of a plumb bob, vertical angles can be taken with its quadrant and shadow square.

Produced in expensive brass and neatly engraved, it demonstrates both the engagement of mathematical practitioners with practical tasks and also their distance from the humble instruments of craft practice.
Primary Inscriptions: "* Humfrey . Cole . 1575 *"
Provenance: Purchased.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Brass
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
332 62 5 mm


Image with multimedia irn 19720Image with multimedia irn 19718

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