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Unidentified · Astronomy

This object consists of a roughly square wooden box varnished in a dark colour. In the centre of the lid there is a circular brass piece. Next to this there is a handwritten note.

Inside the box is a brass instrument supported by several wooden blocks with felt on surfaces that would touch the insrument. The instrument has a round flat surface attached to a wooden handle. Around the rim of the circle is a scale measured graduated in ones and labelled in tens, measuring degrees. In the centre of the round surface there is vertical rod supporting a rectangular mirror angled somewhat downwards towards the surface. This mirror can be moved independently.

Further from the centre there is a cylindrical brass piece also supported horizontally above the flat surface; this contains a glass bubble chamber. On the rim of the circle is a another attachment consisting of two knobs and rods, one of which is threaded for adjustment. Untightening this allows for the mirror and bubble chamber to be rotated around the circular base on a brass piece. At the far end of this rotating piece is a fluted end which is marked with a vernier scale marked from 0-30 in tens.

Apparently associated with this instrument are two brass tubes that fit together to make a longer tube. The narrow end of one of these seems to fit a rough hole in the handle underneath the instrument.

Accession Number: 2017.ast.46

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Wood, Copper Alloy, Felt, Iron Alloy


On the circular surface of the instrument: “[??]llond London” [ Likely. “Dollond”]

On the paper note attached to the top of the box: “Presented to the Library of Univ. College Toronto by Dr. J. Morrison of Houston, Tex. May 1916”

Dimensions (cm): Box: 25cm x 16cm x 19.5cm


Unknown astronomical or navigational purpose.


Fair. The box of the object has cracked significantly lengthwise along the top. The attached letter is very worn and the edges are cracked in places. Inside, the various supports for the instrument have detached and many are lying about loose.

The instrument itself appears to be in good condition. It shows evidence of extensive use in the form of circular scratches where the instrument has been rotated.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Dollond, London

Date of Manufacture: 19th Cent.?


Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: