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Object Name: brass and steel dividers
Date: 1600-1650
Inventory Number: DW0724
Classification: Dividers
Maker: French
Cultural Region: France
Dimensions: 17.5 x 8.5 x 1.5 cm (6 7/8 x 3 3/8 x 9/16 in.)
Materials: steel, brass
Description: Very common type of early modern French dividers. The upper half of the jointed legs is made of brass, while the lower half is made of steel points.
Signed: unsigned
Function: Dividers were used for mathematics, navigation, surveying and drafting, to name but a few disciplines. They were, for instance, an essential tool to mathematical instruments such as a slide rule and a sector (for taking off and transferring dimensions). Because they were used not only by mathematical practitioners but also by craftsmen, seamen, draughtmen, etc., dividers were manufactured in different sizes and materials throughout the early modern period.

For a thorough definition, see the Epact website.
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