Set of Drawing Instruments

This wooden case is lined with blue paper, silk, and velvet. It fastens with brass hooks. The lid has space for a metal plaque, but the plaque is no longer present. The paper on the bottom of the case has had letters scratched into it: ME DR EGM (/) DR E GATLIN MILLER (/) 4347 LAUREL CANYON (/) STUDIO CITY (/) CALI. A compartment inside the lid has a slat for a protractor, but there are no instruments in the compartment.
The main section holds: 6-3/8" brass and steel dividers with a removable leg, reversible needle point, pen and pencil point attachments, and lengthening bar; 4" brass and steel fixed leg dividers with a reversible needle point; 6-1/4" German silver and steel drawing pen with an ivory handle (the handle is broken); 2-3/16" ivory handle broken off another drawing pen (not in the set); 2-1/2" brass and steel pen point for a compass (not in the set); and 3-1/4" German silver and steel drawing pen. Empty slots in the case and instruments that do not fit the slots properly suggest that most of the objects are not original to the set. Compare to MA*315411 and MA*323412.
E. Gatlin Miller, a dentist, donated this case of instruments in 1961. An Elmer Gatlin Miller (1898–1962), a native of Kirksville, Mo., who served in the Army Training Corps at the normal school during World War I, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California in 1925.
References: El Rodeo Yearbook (University of Southern California, 1924), 202; Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative, Soldiers' Records: War of 1812–World War I,
Currently not on view
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
overall: 2.7 cm x 19.8 cm x 11.3 cm; 1 1/16 in x 7 25/32 in x 4 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
Drawing Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of E. G. Miller
Additional Media

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