Scientific Instruments Collection

Featuring nearly 400 historical, scientific instruments and apparatus from as early as the 17th century, Union College’s Scientific Instruments Collection, part of the Permanent Collection, includes items from Union’s “First Purchase” in 1797, such as the Orrery and Hadley’s Quadrant. Many other instruments comprise the collection which includes devices used in optics; acoustics; electrical, fluid, and mechanical measurements; navigation and surveying; and mathematics. Additionally, the Scientific Instruments Collection boasts the largest single group of Théodore Olivier’s string models used for demonstrating the relationships and intersections of geometric shapes in space. The models were made in Paris in the 1830s for French mathematician Théodore Olivier (1793-1853).