Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

 
Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy

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Waywiser - click to enlarge

Waywiser - click to enlarge

Waywiser - click to enlarge

Waywiser - click to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge.

Waywiser

Catalogue number:
PH*319204

Inscriptions:
"JAMES M. BEERS Maker New Haven, Conn" and "No 55"

Dimensions:
height 32 inches; width 20 inches; length 57 inches; wheel 32 inches diameter

Discussion:

The dial of this instrument is divided into 100 sections, and has 2 pointers. The box in front of the dial can hold supplies. The vertical pole serves as a staff for a surveyor's compass. James Morris Beers (1841-1918), described himself as "an expert machinist and an inventor of talent," noting that he made "carriage and wood working machinery, steam and hydraulic pumps, electrical apparatus, surveying, drafting and philosophical instruments, machinery for the use of manufacturing druggists and chemists, and experimental and special machinery of all kinds." He was probably related to Smith Beers, also of Connecticut, who obtained a patent for an odometer in 1839.

Ref:

The Industrial Advantages of the City of New Haven, Conn. (New Haven, Conn., 1889), p. 139.

Further Information:

Waywiser

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