Credit: ©The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.12468

    Quadrature of the circle

    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (object): 194mm
    width (object): 107mm
    depth (object): .25mm
    height (box): 204mm
    width (box): 120mm
    depth (box): 15mm
    Content object
    Demonstration of a ‘solution’ to the impossible problem of the quadrature (or squaring) of the circle: consisting of a circular brass plate with an equatorial bar and with attached steel angles.

    The bisected brass ring is inscribed recto: ‘To His Royal Highness Prince Augustus Frederick Duke of Sussex President of the Royal Society of London are Most Respectfully Dedicated by the original Discoverer. Charles Hudson of Calcutta; the Solution and Demonstration of The Quadrature of the Circle and Geometric Mean Anno Christi 1831’. Inscribed verso: ‘See Letters to the Royal Society of London dated 20th January 1825- 2 April 1825 9th June 1826, 20th June 1828, 12 November 1830 by Charles Hudson. See Preface to the Society Philosophical Transactions Part 1 of the Years 1827 and 1828.’

    The instrument has a red leather case with brass catches and hinges. The interior has a white silk padded lid and a red velvet lined base.

    Charles Hudson (active 1825-1836) British civil servant based in India. The Calcutta Monthly Journal and General Register for 1836 notes a functionary of that name as ‘head uncovenanted assistant in the Office of the Civil Auditor.’ Hudson sent several letters and papers to Thomas Young at the Royal Society in the period 1825-1830 mainly on inventions and his business address is given as ‘at the Accountant General’s Office’ None of these papers were published, but are preserved in the archives as AP/12/11-13. Hudson published his ideas independently as A new and demonstrative solution of the geometric quadrature of the circle and of the geometric mean… by Charles Hudson, of Calcutta (Calcutta, printed by Andrew D'Souza, c.1831).
    Object history
    Presented by Charles Hudson, 1831.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    <The World>
       > Asia
          > India
             > Kolkata (Calcutta)
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