Ainsworth Solar Transit – S/N 2946 – Nice Condition – Circa 1915

Ainsworth Solar Transit – S/N 2946 – Nice Condition – Circa 1915

***Price Drop*** $1900

This is a very nice solar transit made by Ainsworth, an instrument maker based in Denver Colorado. The solar attachment is a Saegmuller unit, and the transit was made in about 1915 based on its serial number. Comes with a tripod but not box.


Circa 1915



Country of manufacture

North America

Categories: Surveying Instruments & Mining, Engineering antiques


This is a really neat circa 1915 Ainsworth Solar Compass.   Ainsworth had a unique approach to attaching a Saegmueller Solar unit to a transit.  Ainsworth would modify a Saegmueller solar unit to fit on a mining transit designed for a second scope and counterweight (like Berger used).  I’ve asked around and Ainsworth was apparently the only maker who took this approach.



Note that the counterweight loop is only a half loop.  I have no idea what that’s about – never seen that before.  



This Ainsworth solar transit has an earlier style Saegmueller solar unit, which is interesting.   The Ainsworth manual shows later style a Saeg unit.  The counterweight on my unit also looks larger than what the manual shows.  I suspect that the purchaser of this Ainsworth might have already had a Saeg solar unit and had Ainsworth modify his Saeg unit to fit on the this Ainsworth transit.  Don’t know for sure of course – maybe Ainsworth had an old Saeg unit sitting on the shelf.



Either way, this is a really neat and very solar transit.



No box, but has a tripod (probably not original).



9.5 inches telescope.  2.5 inch compass needle.  Serial number 2946.  Missing one vernier glare guard.   Compass hard to read – small 2.5 inch needle

The levels contain liquids.



Optics work on both scopes. No crosshairs on the big scope. The Saeg might have crosshairs – hard to tell.  Solar unit wobbles a bit – needs tightening.  


Please see my Ainsworth Instrument Maker Webpage for more information about Ainsworth.



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US The Compleat Surveyor

The Compleat Surveyor specializes in rare instruments and books related to land surveying. This initially was a family business - my father (F. D. Uzes) was a noted surveyor, collector and author (Illustrated Price Guide To Antique Surveying Instruments and Books - published in 1980). Having spent a lifetime surrounded by old instruments and books, I now run the business myself. I use my website ( to both sell instruments and provide historical information related to land surveying.

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