Thursday, April 26, 2007

16th Century Multi-Tool

The Watchismo Times reports: [edited]

Portable watches had only been around a few decades when this [10.8cm diameter] multi-function timepiece was built in southern Germany circa 1590.

Consisting of a round powder flask made of rosewood with inlaid and engraved rosette-shaped ornaments of brass and bone.

A small clock with 1-12 hours twice situated on the outer ring. The small funnel of bone is closed with a springy lid made of brass.

Below the center under the engraved lid with a transversally placed hinge, there is a horizontal sundial with indication of the hours from six o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the evening.

A small compass with north-south indication but without correction for the magnetic pole.

The string gnomon [that's the bit of the sundial that casts a shadow, ed] is stretched by opening the lid and is only valid for one latitude.

On the side of the flask, there is an opening to a funnel-shaped small pipe which is placed in the socket and allows for filling up the powder flask.

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