museum of the history of science by john cairns 19 11 18 84

Before the 19th century, ‘mathematics’ had a much broader meaning than it does today.

‘Mathematical instruments’ included those used for surveying, engineering, architecture, navigation and precision measurement generally.

Our collections in this field include many early navigational instruments such as octants and sextants, as well as early surveying equipment and drawing instruments used by architects and engineers from the 16th to the 20th century.