E. O. Richter & Co. Wallet Case of Drawing Instruments

This folding wood and cardboard case is covered with black leather and lined with teal velvet. The back of the case is marked: MADE IN GERMANY. The snaps fastening the case are marked with a ring of decorative letter Ps. The insides of the snaps are marked: C-PM-C (/) C-PM-C. The letters P and M are superimposed on each other. Inside the top flap is also marked with a backward E and superimposed R and O. This is the trademark for E. O. Richter, a German firm that made mathematical instruments from 1892 to the 1980s. The set includes:
1) 2-1/2" German silver and steel screwdriver containing a metal bar and a pen nib.
2) 3-1/8" German silver pen handle containing four needle points.
3) 6-1/4" steel dividers with removable needle, pencil, and pen points, and extension bar. The center hinge is marked: Richter, followed by the Richter trademark.
4) 5-5/8" steel fixed-leg dividers. The center hinge is marked: Richter, followed by the Richter trademark.
5) 5-1/8" steel and 4-7/8" wood, German silver, and steel drawing pens. The blades are marked: PAT. AUG 9, 92 (/) MAY 7, 95. The backs of the blades are marked: T. A. & SON. These marks indicate the pens were made by Theodore Alteneder & Sons of Philadelphia. The pens do not fit their slots in the case and may not be original to the set.
6) 4-1/4" steel bow dividers, bow pencil, and bow pen. The side of each instrument is marked: D.R.P. (Richter held German patents on several of its drawing instruments.) Below the mark is the Richter trademark.
The Smithsonian received this object in 1964. A date around 1930 would be consistent with other items received in the accession. The instruments are almost certainly newer than those in the similar set, 2007.0039.01.
References: D. M. Riches, "E. O. Richter," http://www.mathsinstruments.me.uk/page51.html; Ferdinand A. Alteneder, "Drawing Pen" (U.S. Patent 480,541 issued August 9, 1892) and (U.S. Patent 538,811 issued May 7, 1895).
Currently not on view
date made
early 20th century
E. O. Richter & Co.
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Chemnitz
Physical Description
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 2.4 cm x 26.3 cm x 11.8 cm; 15/16 in x 10 11/32 in x 4 21/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Llewellyn N. Edwards
Drafting, Engineering
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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