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this peculiar sun-dial to an atheist, and that it would be apt to give such as had no faith in miracles the idea that this was the sun-dial which, by the retrogression of its shadow, furnished the sign for King Hezekiah; or that it was a similarly constructed instrument having the same property, and which being known to the prophet, he, on that account, proposed that particular test to the King."
During a late visit to Europe, a careful search was instituted in the various museums for a duplicate of this Horologium, but without result. So scarce and sought-after are the specimens of Schissler's ingenuity, that the great Germanic National Museum at Nüremberg contains, I think, merely a small pair of dividers from this great artificer. The museum of his native city, Augsburg, contains nothing whatever of his handiwork.
Failing in my efforts to find a duplicate or a similar instrument in either Germany or France, by the aid of which our own specimen might be restored to its original condition, as a matter of interest, I next endeavored to obtain whatever information was to be had relative to the ingenious mechanic whose name adorns the rim of our specimen. Here I was more successful, thanks to the courtesy of Herr Hans Boesch, Director-in-Chief of the Germanic National Museum. The following references to the artificer were found in the Archives of the Museum, viz. :
In Paul von Steffen's account of the "Kunst-, Gewerbt-, u. Handwerks-Geschichte der Reichsstadt Augsburg," it is recorded, that more noteworthy than any one is Christophorus Schissler. This man, according to his apprenticed trade, was a brassworker in a small way, or brazier. His talents, however, led him into geometry, mechanics and astronomy. Therefore, he subsequently called himself a geometric and astronomical master mechanic (Werkmeister).
From this artist, continues the old chronicler, there stands in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England, a solid gold quadrant, which measures more than a Rhenish foot square, and has a weight of six to eight pounds. Upon this instrument is engraved in large letters, "CHRISTOPHORVS SCHISSLER, GEOMETRICVS AC ASTRONOMICVS ARTIFex, Augustae VINDELICORUM FACIEBAT, 1579.”
I will here state that this quadrant was also known and described by Zacharias von Uffenbach, who states (Vol. iii, 101, 102) that it was of pure gold, and was covered with scales, divisions and calculations, which he thought were poorly executed. The PROC. AMER. PHILOS. SOC. XXXIV. 147. D. PRINTED MARCH 19, 1895.
Librarian of the University at Oxford, however, differed with him, and gave the opinion that the calculations were of even greater value than the precious metal of which the instrument was constructed.
Uffenbach concludes by stating that he would rather have a quadrant with more modern calculations and divisions, and made of gilded brass, as then he would not be afraid to put it to a practical use. He also verifies the dimensions, weight and inscription as
Speaking of the inscription, the question was raised here some time ago as to the meaning of the word "VINDELICORVM" as applied to this instrument. I will state that the term denotes that the artificer was descended from the ancient German race of the Vindelici, whose chief city, in former times, was "AUGUSTA," therefore "AVGVSTAE VINDELICORVM"-the modern Augsburg.
Again referring to the old records in the Germanic National Museum, it is there stated that Schissler constructed numerous ingenious scientific apparatus and automata for the Emperor Rudolph II. of the Holy Roman Empire. This fact alone, continues the old chronicler, furnishes ample proof of the repute that the artificer had gained by his proficiency in the mechanical arts.
In the year 1600, Schissler was commissioned by the authorities to survey and plot his native city and the suburbs as well as the Imperial Bailiwick (Reichs-Landvogtey). The plan of the city was engraved on copper by Alexander Mair, a noted artist of that day. The other plans were stored at the Land Office. (During my search at Augsburg, none were to be found.)
In the year 1606, Schissler constructed a large Sphæra Armillaris, which he presented to the magistrates of his native town, and which was there exhibited for many years in the "StadtBibliothek," but is now missing.
In conclusion, the chronicler states, "in these days (early in the seventeenth century) many of our learned scientists became proficient in Geometry (Messkunst) but chiefly in Astronomy."
An equally interesting reference was found in the old "Memorial Buch," wherein one Hector Maire mentions that, in the year 1561, Christophorus Schissler constructed the four large sun-dials upon the "Perlachthurm," at Augsburg, where they still, after a lapse of three centuries, mark the time of day.
The Perlachthurm is one of the peculiar landmarks of the ancient