12-inch inclinometer
Photo: Monica Stevenson
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Inclinometer

Back in the 1870s, a tool's decorative beauty was as important as its function. Case in point: this 12-inch inclinometer for finding the pitch of rafters and stair rails. The part that registers the incline is a simple disk of engraved brass, but the frame around it is ornately filigreed cast-iron highlighted with gold and black japanning, a baked-on enamel.
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