Florence – Museo Galileo (Box for Mathematical Instruments)

This is one of those excellent museums which gives some brief information about the object on a panel nearby, whilst adding more details on-line for those who want to find out more. So, the description by the object simply said that this was an eighteenth-century box for storing mathematical instruments. On-line, there’s lots more information about what’s inside the box:

“The inside contains a drawer and three shelves carrying the instruments, some of which are missing. There are now several proportional compasses, reduction compasses and dividers; polymetric compasses (i.e., capable of multiple measurements); a plumb level; a few squares including a double square; a radio latino; several rulers; a quadrant; a surveying compass; a trigonometer, and a cylindrical weight tapering to a point and fitted with a ring.”

I don’t really have that many mathematical instruments to store, but if I did, I’d like it in a grand red book-like box like this. Incidentally, I had to look up what a radio latino was, apparently it’s “a measuring instrument used in surveying and military engineering starting in the 16th century”.