The protractor is a mathematical instrument used for measuring or drawing angles. Most protractors use degrees as the unit of measurement and this is printed on the device. The two main types of simple protractors are the half circle protractor (180 degrees) and the complete circle (360 degrees). There are also more complex models such as the bevel protractor and 3 arm protractor (station pointer). Continue reading to find out who invented this important measurement tool.
Who invented the protractor?
Basic half circle protractors have existed for at least 4 thousand years and it is not known who invented this device or even which ancient civilization is responsible for its creation.
The bevel protractor was patented by inventor Laroy S. Starrett on July 29, 1890. He also patented the combination square and bevel protractor on December 27, 1904.
The 3 arm protractor, also known as the station pointer, was invented by Captain Joseph Huddart in 1801. It had a fixed arm and two movable arms, which was used to find the position of a ship at sea.
Did you know?
Although Joseph Huddart was very successful at surveying harbors and coasts, he actually made his fortune by improving the manufacture and design of rope.
Laroy S. Starrett had over 100 patents and founded the L. S. Starrett Company. This company still produces high quality precision measuring instruments today.