Jason Clarke Antiques

Cased Japanese Demonstration Gyroscope on Stand by Tokyo Keiki Co Ltd


For sale, a large Early Twentieth Century cased Japanese demonstration gyroscope on stand by the Tokyo Keiki Company Limited.

This solid brass gyroscope is held in a U shaped frame from which a circular mount is attached. The mount holds the central rotor disc which is attached by a spin axis to the top and bottom and can be spun to high resolution by means of winding a string around the axis which is threaded through a small hole in the axis.

The U shaped frame and integrated solid brass base bears the name “Gyroscope” and the maker’s name and logo of the “Tokyo Keiki Co Ltd”.

The name gyroscope was coined by the French scientist, Leon Foucalt in 1852 as a result of his investigations into the rotation of the earth and the development of the ideas of the German scientist Johann Gottlieb Bohnenberger from 1817. The experiment was commonly used thereafter to show how a spinning rotor resists changes to its orientation due to the angular momentum of the wheel. A phenomenon also known as gyroscopic inertia or rigidity in space, gyroscopes have been central to development of navigational instruments.

The Tokyo Keiki Company began in 1896 as a manufacturer of pressure gauges and measuring devices. By the early Twentieth Century it had diversified into marine instrumentation providing compasses, depth sounders and other navigation devices to the Japanese market. As with most scientific instrument manufacturers of this period, the company also became engaged in the aviation industry and continue to supply the marine, aviation and railway sectors to this day.

An unusual and very robust example

Circa 1930

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