Early Dividers from Pompeii
Posted on 13 May 2016
Here are the earliest dividers I’ve seen in person. These bronze dividers (or “compass” if your name is Peter or Jennie) were found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was destroyed in A.D. 79.
The originals reside in the Munich Residenz. Museum officials made a copy that is displayed in the Deutches Museum in Munich. A quick search of the web site of the Residenz revealed nothing about the dividers – mostly just pictures of the jewelry of princes and the like. Yawn.
These bronze dividers are interesting because they are a lot like the slightly more modern tools used for navigating on the sea. (Lee Valley offered a set in brass I believe.)
The Deutches Museum was a treasure trove of cool tools relating to making things, everything from an entire section on sectors to water-powered machinery, shipbuilding, early machine tools, the history of casting, you name it.
The best part: Every room smelled like a different lubricant.
— Christopher Schwarz