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Wonderful Circa 1840 Roach & Warner Vernier Compass – Barely Used

This wonderful Roach & Warner Vernier Compass is in Excellent to Near Mint Condition. It has seen very little field use. Perhaps none at all. The compass is simply stunning. John Roach was a famous San Francisco based Instrument Maker. Roach lived and worked in NY before moving to SF. Roach and Henry Warner formed Roach & Warner in 1833 to make optical instruments. Roach & Warner only lasted until 1843, however, so coming up with a ballpark age for Read More...

Really Nice Troughton Simms Theodolite – Circa 1870s?

I’m not a UK Theodolite expert. But this is a very nice looking theodolite, and I love the look of the extra long telescope. From what I can tell, English theodolites have become very affordable over the last decade or two. As a result, you can get a good deal of eye-pop with a theodolite for a pretty good price. I guessed at the circa 1870s date. I have two Troughton Simms catalogues, 1844 and 1897, on my Makers Read More...

Fantastic 1927 Berger 1G Transit

This Top of the Line Berger 1G Transit is in WONDERFUL condition – Excellent to Near Mint.  This 1G transit was purchased initially by the South Dakota School of Mines in 1927. A pic of the purchase order is attached below. At some point General Electric Corporation also owned this transit. The transit has a little G.E. Electric Locomotive plaque on it, and the box has some handwriting on it (dated 1942) that supports a G.E. Railroad connection. The plaque Read More...

Really Nice Circa 1845 Benjamin Pike & Son Compass Kit

This is nice Benjamin Pike & Son Plain Compass. The compass was likely made circa 1845. The compass comes with all the necessary accessories – a hand made box, a very nice 33 ft Gunter chain, a good number of hand carved wood stakes (drop pins used with the chain), and a Sharkskin drafting kit (probably circa 1845 as well) that has 3 items in it. All together, the compass and accessories would make for an awesome display! The compass Read More...

Wonderful Elijah Whiton 1824 Semi-Circumferentor With Transversal (Updated Description)

This is a beautiful 1824 Elijah Whiton Semi-Circumferentor – made in Groton Massachusetts.   This Semi-Circumferentor includes a rarely encountered transversal scale, which allowed surveyors to read a single degree in 10 minute incredments.   This wonderful instrument comes with its original box, drafting tools, a staff adapter and a really cool lock for the box.  The instrument, box and accompanying pieces makes for an incredible display set.   This Semi-Circumferentor checks all of the boxes when it comes Read More...

Colonial Semi-Circumferentor With Engraved Trough Compass

This colonial era unsigned Semi-Circumferentor is one of the more common varieties – trough compass, brass semi-circle, brass alidade  and sight vanes, and a wood block.   The engraved compass card is another story, however.  Wow.  Semi-Circumferentors made largely out of wood were supposed to be a fairly cheap way for a surveyor to buy an instrument that could measure independently of the needle.  So why would an affordable instrument have such a wonderfully engraved compass card???   I came across Read More...

W. Wilbraham Falconer’s Arthrometer for measuring joint movement

During the years following World War I, W. Wilbraham Falconer was the Superintendent of Mechanical Treatment at the Red Cross Clinic for the Physical Treatment of Disabled Officers in London. He is generally credited with introducing the term arthrometry and the development [C1920] of the first accurate arthrometer.  In his words: ”Arthrometry or joint movement mensuration may be defined as a system for  measuring by means of an instrument the various angles of movement of a joint  of the Read More...

Cased Civil War Era Chain Saw w. Ebony Handles

A nicely cased example of a chain saw with ebony handles. Length of case: 4.5″. The mahogany case never had a lid, as it would have been fitted into a slot in large Civil War era ampuation set. This type of  saw, often wrongly described as a “gigli saw” (gigli saws employ a  wire rather than a chain), was used in bone surgery for resection and exsection. The half circle in the case housed a needle. No maker’s mark, Read More...

Unsigned Colonial Semi Circumferentor – Owned by Silvio Bedini

This unsigned colonial semi circumferentor was featured in the 1964 Bedini book (PDF) at Figure 34 and the accompanying text.   As indicated in the book, Bedini owned this instrument, and I came across a number of pics of the instrument while I reviewed Bedini’s files at the Smithsonian.  I included a front and back scans of one oft he Smithsonian photos below.   In his book, Bedini describes his semi circumferentor:   “Of equal interest is a large semicircumferentor made by an Read More...

Beautiful Restored c1885 Hernstein Prince Transit

This is a beautifully restored circa 1885 transit made by a maker that was only in business for a few years.  Hernstein Price instruments rarely pop up for sale.   This transit has an 10 inch telescope and a 4.5 inc needle.  The transit reads to 30 seconds (1 minute on the vertical arc), and all the levels have liquid.   The optics are nice with crosshairs – I did not see any stadia wires.   The beautiful transit includes a gradienter which Read More...

Near Mint Gurley Architect Level – Circa 1883 – With Tripod

Very few levels crack the $1000 barrier.  This very special level merits the four digit price.   This is an unrestored and very legitimate Near Mint instrument.  I suspect this level and matching tripod were never actually used in the field.  The instrument overall shows only the very slightest of wear.  (The eye shade for some has more nicks on it for some reason – which you can see in the 360 Spinner above).  This 140 year old instrument is about Read More...

A fine and unusual set of Perkins Tractors

A fine and unusual  set of Perkins tractors. Patented in 1896, this beautifully cased and fully signed  set has a removable chamois divider. They are  slightly smaller and more pronouncedly  tear-shaped than the other sets we’ve seen. Length: 2.4″ The case is covered on top and sides in red morocco leather and green leather on the bottom; the hook and eye closure is intact and functional. Included among our images is Gillray’s 1801 satirical drawing of the tractors in use. Read More...