Galileo’s Instruments of Discovery

With these various instruments, Galileo Galilei was able to look into space and change our view of the universe.

Galileo Galilei invented the geometric and military compass. It was his first commercial scientific instrument. (Franklin Institute)

Triangulation Instrument

Galileo triangulation instrument
(Franklin Institute)

This instrument is inscribed with the words “to find the distance by means of the surface.” It was a device used in surveying. A user could determine the distance of a faraway point by taking measurements from two locations and then using simple geometry. This example dates from about 1560.


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