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

Click photos to enlarge.

Surveyor's Compass

Catalogue number:
PH*319340

Dimensions:
length 14.5 inches; needle 5.5 inches

Discussion:
Like many compasses made in New York in the first half of the 19th century, this one has an ornate floral design on its face. Unlike most American compasses of the period, however, the face reads clockwise. The rim is graduated every 30 minutes, and there are level vials on the north and south arms. The donor believed that this compass, and the associated chain, pins, tally, and drawing instruments had been used by James Griswold, while laying out the Erie Railroad.

Further Information:

Compass

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