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Mathematical Treasure: Scheiner's Pantograph and Sunspot Device

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Christoph Scheiner (ca. 1573-1650) was a German Jesuit priest, an astronomer, and a physicist. Scheiner is credited with being the inventor of the pantograph, in 1630, a linkage mechanism that allows the duplication or scale-altering of a given diagram or drawing. He published his results in Pantographice, seu ars delineandi res quaslibet per parallelogrammum lineare seu cavum, mechanicum, mobile (1631).

Scheiner's pantograph:

Scheiner’s device for measuring sun spots:

The text can be further examined in the Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC) Digital Library.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Scheiner's Pantograph and Sunspot Device," Convergence (January 2019)