George Nicholas Saegmuller (1847–1934) was born in Bavaria and educated at
the Polytechnic School in Nuremberg. He moved to England in 1865 to work as a
draftsman for Thomas Cooke & Sons. In 1870, after serving a brief stint in
the German army, Saegmuller moved to Washington, D.C., to work for William
Würdemann. He became chief of the Instrument Shop of the United States Coast
Survey in 1874. That same year he joined with his brothers-in-law, Camill Fauth
and Henry Lockwood, to form Fauth & Co. In 1887, when Fauth retired,
Saegmuller became manager and sole proprietor of the firm. Although Saegmuller
began trading under his own name in 1892, offering "All kinds of Fixed and
Portable Astronomical and the higher grades of engineering Instruments," he
continued labeling his instruments Fauth until 1905, when he moved to Rochester,
N.Y., and allied himself with Bausch & Lomb.
In 1879 Saegmuller obtained a patent (#212,405) for a quick-leveling tripod
head for use with any transit or leveling instrument. In 1881 he obtained a
patent (#240,849) for a solar attachment that fit onto a standard surveyor’s
transit and enabled the observer to determine the astronomical meridian in an
expeditious manner. In later life Saegmuller developed fire control instruments
and other apparatus for the United States Navy.
Ref: "George Nicholas Saegmuller" in Transactions of the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1935): 457.