Christian Heiden
Christian Heiden was both a mathematician and an instrument maker and was born on 2 May 1526. He studied mathematics in Leipzig and Wittenberg, where his teacher was Philipp Melanchton. In 1556 he was registered as a schoolmaster in mathematics in Nuremberg. Between 1566 and 1576 he published several almanacs and prognostics, including one on the Super Nova of 1572, known as 'Tycho's Star'.

Several scientific instruments made by Christian Heiden are known to have survived, such as sundials, astronomical compendia, quadrants and clockwork-driven globes. He also made several innovations in the art of dialling, such as a magnetic sundial (modified from the original 1527 design of Georg Hartmann) and in 1552 the 'needle-level' (an upright needle under a plumb bob) for accurately adjusting sundials to the vertical.

In 1553 he presented a sundial to his former teacher Melanchthon. Christian Heiden on occasion also worked together with other Nuremberg instrument makers. In 1571 he collaborated with Hans Tucher in the construction of an elegant diptych dial for Emperor Maximilian II, for whom he also made mechanical clocks which displayed the planetary motions. Christian Heiden died in Nuremberg on 9 February 1576.

For instruments by Christian Heiden, see:
   Diptych Dial, Signed by Christian Heiden, Nuremberg, Dated 1569 (Oxford, MHS)
   Quadrant, Signed by Christian Heiden, German, Dated 1553 (Oxford, MHS)


E. Zinner, Deutsche und Niederl?ndische astronomische Instrumente des 11. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (2nd ed., Munich, 1967), pp. 369-71, and p. 682; J. H. Leopold, Astronomen Sterne Ger?te: Landgraf Wilhelm IV und seine sich selbst bewegenden Globen (Luzern, 1986), pp. 72-86.

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