Garland Collection of Classical Physics Apparatus


Garland Collection of Classical Physics Apparatus


The selection and purchase of the pieces in the collection was undertaken in 1875 by Landon C. Garland, the first Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, who was at the time the University's first chancellor. The pieces were originally procured mainly for instructional purposes and represent what an experienced college teacher of physics and astronomy would have needed to present his subjects properly more than one hundred years ago.

Items in the Garland Collection of Classical Physics Apparatus Collection

Watch Presented to E. E. Barnard upon His Discovery of Amalthea
This watch was presented to E. E. Barnard upon his discovery, in 1892, of Amalthea, the fifth and first non-Galilean, moon of Jupiter. The gift was from Frank H. McConnell, watchmaker and jeweler of San Francisco.

Garland Collection of instruments: Sextant
A sextant is used to determine the angle between an astronomical object and the horizon and was used by sailors for celestial navigation. The angle, combined with the time it was measured, was used to calculate position on a chart.

There is some dispute about early telescopes, but they were probably invented in the early 17th century. Galileo built one in 1609 and was the first to point a telescope at the skies. In the beginning they were cumbersome, but soon nautical…

Until the mid-18th century, sailors traveling out of sight of land had few ways of measuring their longitude. It could be done if the ship could know the time difference between local time and some set standard. The chronomer allowed for the accurate…

Stellar Spectroscope for use with a telescope.
The stellar spectroscope is from the Garland Collection and is currently being held by the Dyer Observatory. It is constructed with multiple prisms to allow one to visually observe the spectrum of the stars.

Altazimuth Telescope
An altazimuth is a telescope designed to measure the altitude and azimuth of a star in order to fix its position in the night sky. The instrument is designed to move vertically to measure altitude (height), and to move horizontally to measure the…