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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

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge.

Surveyor's Compass

Catalogue number:
1982.0104.04

Inscriptions:
"Jas. W. Queen, Philada. Warranted."

Dimensions:
length 15.875 inches; needle 5.875 inches

Discussion:

This compass was made between 1853 and 1859, and came from Gettysburg College. The signature indicates that James W. Queen sold the compass and guaranteed its quality. The style, however, indicates that it was made by W. & L. E. Gurley, the Troy, New York, firm that was rapidly becoming the largest producer of complex mathematical instruments in the United States. The Queen Catalogue of 1859 offered several compasses, levels, and transits, with illustrations and descriptions copied from the Gurley Manual of 1855. And, while Queen did not identify the source of their wares, they did indicate that these instruments were "Warranted." A compass of this sort, with 6-inch needle, two straight levels, outkeeper, and mounting for use on a Jacob staff, cost $30. A paper label inside the box reads "James W. Queen 264 Chestnut St., near 10th, Philadelphia."

Ref: James W. Queen & Co., Illustrated Catalogue of Mathematical, Optical, and Philosophical Instruments and School Apparatus (Philadelphia, 1859), p. 14.

Further Information:

Queen
Surveyor's Compass
W. & L. E. Gurley

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