June 8, 1809

As a child, have you ever gone exploring in your grandparent’s attic or basement or your grandfather’s toolshed? During that excursion, did you open an ancient, battered wooden chest and find strange and odd tools from a forgotten age?  Did you find the one that looked like two wooden rulers that were hinged together so they’d pivot at an angle? Well, that was a goniometer and it was used to precisely measure angles so that even non-mathematicians could easily do it on a construction site or for the building of furniture. On June 8, 1809, Englishman William Hyde Wollastan invented it. So, if you’ve ever pinched your fingers with one while swinging it around like a broken, drunken sword, you claim blame him, and yourself, because you WERE swinging it around like a broken, drunken sword.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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