Nathan Storrs Plain Compass and Matching Tripod – Circa 1795
This is a beautiful early American Surveying Compass and matching tripod. I believe the tripod to be original to the instrument, but don't know for sure obviously. The Tripod fits the custom-size adapter perfectly, and the tripod head is full of wear holes from the thumbscrew on the adapter.
Country of manufacture
Nathan Storrs was born in Mansfield, Connecticut in 1768. Nathan’s family engaged in jewelry making, silver-smithing, and other related activities.
In 1792, he formed a partnership with Samuel Stiles as Stiles & Storrs. This partnership quickly dissolved and in 1792 Nathan joined Jedidah Baldwin in business as Baldwin & Storrs. This partnership lasted until 1793 when Baldwin moves to Hanover, NH. After that Storrs operated on his own for the most part.
Nathan Storrs had perhaps the broadest range of engraving styles of any Early American engraver – from very formal European style to a wonderfully contemporary look. Take a look at the other compass that he engraved on my Nathan Storrs Maker Webpage.
I believe the tripod to be original to the instrument, but don’t know for sure obviously. The Tripod fits the custom-size adapter perfectly, and the tripod head is full of wear holes from the thumbscrew on the adapter.
The sight vanes are wonderful – one of the very few early sight vanes I’ve seen that are not bent.
The vanes and thumbscrews are numbered #1 and #2, so they are matched to the compass which also has #1 and #2 stamped on the arms.
The glass is a later replacement. The holder of the glass has a very neat twist off system- the holder twists on and off, but locks in place.. I haven’t seen this type of twist off system on an early compass before, and it shows the level of craftsmanship that Nathan Storrs had. See the bottom pic for a side view of the twist off locking system.
The needle on the compass is 4.25 inches.
This is a wonderful compass, and makes for a killler display when mounted on top of its Early American tripod.
If you would like to more about this Storrs compass, please go to my Nathan Storrs Plain Compass and Matching Tripod webpage.
If you would enjoy learning more about early American Compasses, please see my webpages relating to Collecting Colonial and Early American Compasses.
Ask the Dealer
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 (www.CompleatSurveyor.com) to both sell instruments and provide historical information related to land surveying.