Forces Gauge

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Fabrizio Mordente

Historic Period

ca. 1570


Instrument fabricated in two versions described by Giacono Contarini as the invention of Fabrizio Mordente. In the first variant the instrument consists of a quadrant carrying an index bearing a variable weight along its length and an arm bearing a counterweight. The instrument was used to measure the ratio of the force required for a man to climb two different gradients, or to tighten two screws with differently inclined thread. In the second variant the instrument has the form of an astrolabe. It is a sort of "balance" mounted on a graduated disc and connected to an index adjustable in relation to a given inclination. The instrument was used to measure the ratio between weight and counterweight to reach a situation of equilibrium. It was used in designing wheels for mills and pumps for drawing water from wells.

Bibliographical Resources

Contarini,Giacomo, Figure d'Istromenti Matematici e loro uso, ms, ca. 1590, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Canon. Ital. 145, cc. 41-44.


Author of the entry: Filippo Camerota

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