Barrois' Compasses

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Name coined by the inventor ("compas Barrois").



Fran├žois Barrois

Historic Period



Instrument composed of two intersecting graduated diopters that take the shape of double proportional compasses or a double folding square. On one leg slides a cursor to which is hinged a graduated perpendicular vane with sights. The instrument served to measure the internal and external angles of a building, construct regular polygons, measure heights and distances, and conduct surveying work.

Bibliographical Resources

Barrois, Francois. La fabricque et quelques traits plus sommaires de la practique du compas Barrois, le plus facile, le plus prompt et le moindreen frais de tous les instrumens qui ont presentement bruit a l'usage de geometrie. A Paris, chez Iacques Le Roy, 1598.

Existing Instruments

Florence, Museo Galileo. Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Inv. 656

Author of the entry: Filippo Camerota

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