MATHEMATICAL, METEOROLOGIC, TOPOGRAPHIC AND NAUTICAL INSTRUMENTS

Mathematical instruments - such as compasses of various kinds, protractors and rulers - were commonly used by astronomers of all ages. Likewise surveying instruments - like graphometers, theodolites, squares, compasses - were irreplaceable tools for measuring angles, both for topographical calculations and the drawing of maps, and thus became an integral part of every astronomical observatory’s equipment.
It should not be forgotten that for a long time the astronomer also taught balistics and astronomical navigation, which explains why it was possible to find part of the mathematical, topographic and nautical equipment in the Bolognese Specola.
As regards meteorology, Bologna, in 1782, under the direction of abbot Petronio Matteucci, became part of a meteorologic network organized by the Academy of Mannheim, under the protection of the Palatine Elector Charles Theodore. With a few interruptions, the astronomer recorded temperatures, pressures, winds and meteors daily from 1782 to 1792, the date when the network ceased to function. Before then the Bolognese physicist and chemist Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari (1682-1766) had privately begun a series of meteorologic observations, starting in 1714. Matteucci’s successors restarted daily recordings and continued uninterruptedly from 1813 to today. The records of all these observations are kept in the Archives of the Department of Astronomy.