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Four inch sextant in a fitted wooden case, by Cary of London, 1901, used to take bearings on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1901 - 1904

Museum reference



History of Science

Object name

Sextant, Case, Quintant

Production information

Cary, Instrument maker
London, England, EUROPE


c. 1901


Aluminium alloy, Wood, Silver, Mahogany

Physical description

Aluminium alloy / fitted wooden case


Previous owner: Admiralty
Antarctic Expedition


  • Earth in Space (29 Jul 2011)
    National Museum of Scotland


A.D. Morrison-Low, R.H. Nuttall and A.D.C. Simpson, 'Ten Important Twentieth-Century Items from the History of Science Collections of the National Museums of Scotland', Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, No 63 (1999), pp 23-8

For aluminium instruments, see John Burnett, 'The Use of New Materials in the Manufacture of Scientific Instruments c. 1880 - c. 1920', in J.T. Stock and M.V. Orna (eds.), The History and Preservation of Chemical Instrumentation, Dordrecht, 1986, pp 217-238

Anita McConnell, 'Aluminium and its Alloys for Scientific Instruments, 1855-1900', Annals of Science 46 (1989), pp 611-620

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