The collection of ancient instruments consists of over 50 specimens in common use starting from the late nineteenth century, after the foundation of the Institute of Higher Studies in 1859.

In addition to numerous microscopes, often equipped with very high-quality optics even for today's standards, we find a sclerometer to measure the hardness of minerals, fully functional despite being dated 1881. The scales were also very important: the chemical analysis was mainly based on assays and accurate weighing was essential.

Even outside the laboratories, sets of instruments were needed: here are the kits for field analyses, present in two specimens of the late nineteenth century. The following are also preserved: vintage cameras, tourmaline tweezers for the study of light polarization, angle ratios and Wollaston protractors for crystallographic measurements, Westphal scales for density determinations.

The ancient instruments present in the Museum are described in specifically dedicated catalogues, now kept at the Galileo Museum founded in 1930 with the precise aim to valorise these devices.




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