Octant or Hadley Quadrant - ROM2006_6305_1


Octant or Hadley Quadrant

Maker: Spencer, Browning & Rust (London, 1784–1840)
Medium:Ebony, bone and brass
Geography: London, England
Date: c. 1790-1810
35.5 (height) x 28.7 (width) x 8.1 (depth) cm
Object number: 958.9.2
Credit Line: Gift from the Estate of William Eason Humphreys
On view
Gallery Location:Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada
DescriptionThe octant or Hadley quadrant, also known as a reflecting quadrant, had a small mirror or mirrors which allowed the alignment of a reflected image of the sun or a star with the horizon. It was easier to handle than the Davis quadrant and was therefore less prone to error. Patented in 1734 by John Hadley (1682-1744), an astronomer and mathematician who relied on a concept of Sir Isaac Newton’s, the Hadley quadrant was soon adopted by most British navigators.
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