Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

 
Physical Sciences Collection - Surveying and Geodesy

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Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

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Surveyor's Compass

Catalogue number:
PH*327881

Inscriptions:
"Messer London"

Dimensions:
length 13 inches; needle 4 inches

Discussion:

This compass is more British than American, and in Britain it would have been referred to as a "circumferentor." The face reads clockwise The needle rim is graduated to single degrees, and numbered counter clockwise from north. Benjamin Messer was in business in London during the years 1789-1827.

Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1995), p. 187.

Further Information:

Compass

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