Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy

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Surveyor's Vernier Compass - click to enlarge

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Surveyor's Vernier Compass

Catalogue number:

"Meneely & Oothout, West Troy, N.Y."

length 16 inches; needle 5.75 inches

This compass was made in 1837, and the word "Warranted" indicates that Meneely & Oothout guaranteed its quality. It has a variation arc on the south arm that extends 30 units either way; the vernier is moved by a heavy tangent screw on top of the south arm, and reads to 2 minutes. There are two levels on the north arm. The compass was originally owned by Joseph Ham, a surveyor in Dutchess County, New York.

Ref: Conrad S. Ham, "A Family History of a Group of Surveying Instruments 1750 to the Present Year 1954," Annual Report of Proceedings of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers 70 (1954): 134-138.

Further Information:

Meneely & Oothout
Surveyor's Compass