Schoenner Set of Drawing Instruments

This mahogany case is lined with maroon satin and velvet. It has a lock, but the key is missing. A tray lifts out and holds the following instruments:
1) 6-1/4" German silver and steel dividers with two removable legs, needle point, extension bar, pencil point, and pen point. The pieces are each marked: 11. The central screw on the dividers is marked: D.R. PATENT (/) No 44741.
2) 5-1/4" German silver and steel dividers with one removable leg. The central screw on the dividers is marked: D.R. PATENT (/) No 44741.
3) 4" German silver and steel dividers with two removable legs, pencil point, pen point, and needle point. The central screw on the dividers is marked: D.R. PATENT (/) No 44741.
4) 3-1/8" bow dividers, bow pen, and bow pencil.
5) 1-3/4" brass cylinder with seven pencil leads.
6) 1-1/4" metal cylinder with seven pencil leads.
7) Two steel, German silver, and ivory drawing pens (4-5/8", 5-3/8"). The ivory handle for the longer pen is no longer attached to the metal portion.
Georg Schoenner (1821–1899) of Nuremberg received the German patent mentioned on the dividers on February 5, 1888, for the construction of the hinge on dividers and compasses. He opened his workshop in 1851 and added his son as partner in 1877.
According to the donor, Charles S. Stones of St. Louis owned the instruments. From the early 1890s until the beginning of World War I, he used the set in his work building stairs. In order to get a building job in St. Louis at that time, Stones had to learn German. After the war, demand for showy stairways lapsed. Stones then used the instruments to draw house plans until about 1928.
Reference: Georg Schoenner, "Zirkelgelenk" (German Patent 44741 issued February 5, 1888),; accession file.
Currently not on view
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
ca 1890
Schoenner, Georg
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
overall: 6.5 cm x 27.2 cm x 18.7 cm; 2 9/16 in x 10 23/32 in x 7 3/8 in
place made
Deutschland: Bayern, Nuremberg
ID Number
catalog 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 Victor L. Stones
Additional Media

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