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Interest calculator manufactured in the Vermont hinterlands

A rare paper instrument for calculating interest. The web site of the Smithsonian provides background and instructions for the instrument’s use: “In the early 19th century, Joseph Jelleff of Butternuts, New York, and Gilbert D. Lowe of Hampfield, Pennsylvania, took out patents for mathematical tables that eased calculations of interest. This instrument is a version […]

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1833 Loring Terrestrial Globe

Lovely 12” Josiah Loring terrestrial globe

A lovely Josiah Loring terrestrial globe produced in Boston in or around 1833.  In beautiful condition, with none of the craquelure that often mars early American globes.   Josiah Loring (1775-ca. 1840) was the first commercial globe maker active in Boston and one of the first American makers to follow pioneer James Wilson (According to Bedini’s Thinkers […]

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A. Duplessy [Duplessis], GLOBE PLAT OU MAPPE-MONDE d’une Projection nouvelle DÉDIÉE ET PRÉSENTÉE A S. A. S. MGR. LE PCE. DE CONTI. Paris: A. Duplessy, [1769-70.]

Rare 18th-century paper instrument with an unusual flat earth projection

A rare and unusual instrument, featuring a volvelle with a distinctive flat earth projection of the world. One of only three examples located. The instrument consists of a large engraved diagram mounted on a heavy pasteboard backing, as issued. The central feature of the diagram is a map of the world projected on a single […]

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John Balch, CENTENNIAL Revolving Almanac From 1800 to 1900 inclusive. Boston, 1837.

A very rare perpetual calendar by the mysterious John Balch

A rare perpetual calendar issued in Boston in 1837, with a rotating volvelle and housed in the original frame. The instrument features a calendar in the form of an arch spanning two finely-engraved Corinthian columns. Between the columns is a table of “dominical letters” for the years 1800-1900 and a brief paragraph of instructions: “Find […]

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Amos Pettengill Stellarota 1828

The Stellarota … an early American planisphere

Only the fifth known example of Amos Pettengill’s 1828 Stellarota, possibly the earliest known American planisphere. Reverend Amos Pettengill (1780-1830), a pastor who served in various New England communities, was living in Connecticut when he published A View of the Heavens (1826), an astronomical textbook for children. A brief mention of the Stellarota in the textbook […]

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One of earliest globes made in America

One of the earliest American globes, and a great New England success story. The production of accurate, attractive globes demanded expertise in copper plate engraving and printing, casting and precise engraving in brass, and wood turning and joinery. Thus, while globes were made commercially in Europe as early as the 16th century, the wide range […]

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[A.] Duplessy [Duplessis], CALENDRIER PERPETUEL. Paris: A. Duplessy, [1764-5.]

An intricate and very rare 18th-century perpetual calendar

A rare perpetual calendar of unusual design by the all-but unknown Parisian maker A. Duplessy (Duplessis). An amazing survival of a fragile paper instrument, and one of only two examples located. The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in France in 1582. The new calendar was constructed on complex mathematical principles which allowed those with […]

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