Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

 
Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy

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Keuffel & Esser

William J. D. Keuffel (1838–1908) and Herman Esser (1845–1908), both recent immigrants from Germany, began in business in New York in 1867, selling drawing materials and drafting supplies. K&E, as the firm was soon known, began offering surveying instruments in 1876, built a three-story factory in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1880. and was incorporated in 1889.

K&E introduced a new line of surveying instruments in the early 1890s, describing them as "a thorough departure from all the styles of similar instruments previously made," and noting that many of their improvements were "the product of the genius of our Mr. John Paoli." John Paoli was an Italian who lived in Hoboken, and who obtained several patents for such things as the twisted standards of a transit, the compass box, the leveling screws, and a telescope with stadia wires and cross hairs.

K&E obtained control of Young & Sons in 1918, and made it the Y&S department of their firm. K&E ceased production around 1969.

Collection:

Abney Level
Abney level #12485
Abney level with compass and pentaprism
Alidade (telescopic) #2447
EDM (AutoRanger)
Forester's and Geologist's Compass #32712
Geologist's Compass #1958
Range Finder (stadimeter)
Sight Compass
Stadia Hand Transit
Surveyor's Vernier Compass
Surveyor's Vernier Compass #183
Tape (LO-VAR)
Transit #18373
Transit #29353
Transit #5884
Wye Level #303