Our civilization owes much of its advancement to the measurement of various elements that surround us, primarily encompassing distance, angle, weight, and time. From a young age, I have been captivated by the construction of grand architectural marvels, intricate bridges, expansive roadways, and the mysteries of navigation across vast oceans. I've pondered over how people of the past managed to weigh objects and measure time, armed with the knowledge available to them at the time. The spark for this project ignited one evening as I sat before an array of LEGO components. In that moment, I made a resolute decision to recreate antique measuring instruments using the materials I had at hand.
The journey began with the construction of a surveyor's scope, a device designed to meticulously gauge the relative distances and angles between points, a vital tool in the realm of construction. This instrument typically accompanies a tripod, and its sophistication endures even in the modern era. I endeavored to infuse a touch of playability into this creation, with the most enjoyable aspect being the assembly of a tripod to the correct scale. The scope exhibits the ability to swivel both horizontally and vertically, and I meticulously added numerous adjustment knobs to mirror the complexity of the original device.
The sextant, a crucial instrument for maritime navigation, played an indispensable role in calculating a ship's latitude and longitude on the open sea by measuring the angle between the horizon and celestial bodies such as the Sun, Moon, or stars. The sextant's name derives from its one-sixth arc shape, aptly stemming from the Latin "sextus," meaning "one-sixth." Replicating not only the curved shape but also the relative positioning of the sextant's components proved to be a significant challenge. The finished product is both sturdy and evokes the true essence of this ingenious invention.
Subsequently, I embarked on crafting a replica of a traditional weighing scale, operating on the principle of balance. By placing the object to be weighed on one pan and sliding the counterweight until the beam balanced horizontally, the weight could be determined by reading the scale on the arm. My design included a pin indicator to signify perfect balance, and the experience of using it proved to be highly enjoyable.
The final addition to my project was the sandglass, a device ingeniously devised to measure time intervals by allowing sand to flow from one chamber to another. This was the precursor to the timers we commonly employ today. In my model, the sandglass could be rotated, much like its real-life counterpart, and a convenient handle on the support allowed for easy transport.
These are the instruments of yesteryears, serving as the foundations of measurement in our history. They not only serve as splendid display pieces but also, when handled and explored, impart a tangible sense of their significance in shaping the course of our civilization. These measuring instruments stand as a testament to the diligence of our forebears, who played an essential role in advancing our society and improving our way of life, a legacy that persists to this day.