Magazine Case of Drawing Instruments

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This polished wooden case has an unmarked brass plate on the lid. A lock is on the front of the case, which is lined with blue velvet. The top tray holds:
1) 2-1/8" metal joint tightener.
2) One 6-1/4" and two 5-1/4" German silver and ivory drawing pens.
3) 4-7/8" German silver and ivory dotting pen.
4) 1-5/8" metal straight pin.
5) 2-3/4" and 3-3/4" German silver and steel pencil points and pen points, none of which appear to fit any of the drawing compasses in the case.
6) 4-1/4" German silver and steel dividers with bendable legs.
7) 5-1/4" German silver and steel dividers. The removable leg is broken.
8) 3" steel and ivory bow pencil and bow dividers.
9) 2-3/4" steel and ivory bow pen.
10) Two 9/16" metal thumbtacks marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER Co.
11) Three 7/16" metal thumbtacks.
The second tray holds:
1) 2" German silver beam compass with steel needle, pen, pencil, and divider points. There is no connecting beam for the compass.
2) 4-1/2" German silver and ivory opsimeter (measuring wheel).
3) 3-3/4" brass semicircular protractor divided to single degrees and numbered by tens in both directions from 0 to 180.
4) 4-7/8" and 4" steel and wood lettering pens. The lettering point on the longer pen is marked: &C2. The lettering point on the shorter pen is marked: 6 (/) JOSEPH.
5) Sixteen metal lettering pen nibs of various sizes. Eight are marked: JOSEPH GILLOT'S (/) CROW QUILL. Four are marked: C. BRANDAUER (/) BIRMINGHAM. Two are marked: M. L. LEMAN'S (/) EXTRA LINE. One is marked: ELLSWORTH PEN (/) D. APPLETON & Co (/) NEW YORK E F. One is marked: HARRISON (/) 505 (/) BRADFORD.
6) 1-1/8" steel and brass pen point.
7) Paintbrush with broken clear plastic handle.
Loose in the three-sectioned bottom of the case are:
1) 5-1/8" German silver extension bar that does not appear to fit the dividers in the top tray.
2) Two wood and graphite pencils, one of which is marked: A. W. FABER. No I. There are also five sharpened end pieces of wooden pencils.
3) 6-1/2" wooden art stick.
4) 1" green rubber eraser marked: NEWMAN'S (/) EMERALD GREEN (/) SOHO SQUARE. There are also two pieces of red eraser and an unidentifiable hardened gray piece.
5) 1-1/8" metal key.
6) Folded piece of paper with red ink powder.
7) 1-5/8" red and blue crayons. There are also numerous broken pieces of crayons and pencil leads.
The donors' family was prominent in the history of American science. John William Draper (1811–1882) was a chemist who also made innovations in photography. He had three sons: John C. Draper (1835–1885), who was a physician and chemist; Henry Draper (1837–1882), who was an astronomical photographer; and Daniel Draper (1841–1931), who established the New York Meteorological Observatory in Central Park in 1868 and directed it until 1911.
References: William Ford Stanley, Mathematical Drawing and Measuring Instruments, 6th ed. (London: E. & F. N. Spon, 1888), 288; "Brandauer Timeline,"; Robert S. Harding and Jeffrey L. Tate, "Draper Family Collection, ca. 1826–1936," Archives Center, National Museum of American History,
Currently not on view
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
graphite (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 7.5 cm x 23.5 cm x 15.3 cm; 2 15/16 in x 9 1/4 in x 6 1/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper
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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