Ship with gimballed chair, 16th cent.

Ship with gimballed chair, 16th cent.

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 16th century illustration showing a ship with a stabilised chair. The chair is on the poop deck (over the bows) and is inside a globe that is mounted on perpendicular axes. Thus, no matter how the ship moves, the chair is imagined to stay still through its own inertia. This is essentially how ships' compasses were later to be mounted in dual gimball mounts. However, the system relies on extremely low friction in the axle bearings to work correctly. This woodcut illustration comes from Le cosmolabe by Jacques Besson, published at Paris in 1587.

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Keywords: 1500s, 1587, 16th century, axle, besson, black, chair, cross, drawing, french, gimball, horizontal, illustration, landscape, le cosmolabe, maritime, monochrome, motion, mounting, nautical, naval, perpendicular, sea, ship, stabilised, stability, stable, swell, theatrum instrumentorum, two-axis, waves, white, woodcut

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