Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

 
Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy

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Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge.

Surveyor's Compass

Catalogue number:
PH*333620

Inscriptions:
"Merrill & Davis New York"

Dimensions:
length 11.876 inches; needle 4.125 inches

Discussion:
This compass dates from the period 1835-1837 when Robert Merrill and William C. Davis were in business together in New York City. There are two level vials on the north arm. The decoration on the face (a circle of leaves) is a typical feature of New York compasses. The bottom of the wooden box which holds the compass is marked "Wiltberger, City of Washington, D.C." This may refer to C. H. Wiltberger, who was listed in the 1843 Washington Directory as "register of the corporation, City Hall, west wing, second story."

Further Information:

Surveyor's Compass

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