This level was used by the French engineers who laid out the Panama Canal in the 1880s. It is made of nickel-plated brass, and has a striding level rather than a hanging level. Maximilien
Balbreck began in business in Paris in 1854. He produced instruments for surveying, geodesy, and astronomy, and won awards at several international exhibitions. By 1878 he was trading as Balbreck ainé (Balbreck the elder), and by 1893 he was trading as Balbreck ainé et fils (Balbreck
the elder and son).