Schoenner Wallet Case of Drawing Instruments

This folding cardboard case is covered with green leather and lined with blue velvet. The back of the case is marked: 1905. Inside the lid flap, the left end is marked in silver: THE SPECIAL. A drawing of a sword runs through the words. The right end of the flap was missing when the set was received by the Smithsonian, but originally it likely was marked with the name of the retailer. The set includes:
1) 6-1/4" German silver compass with bendable legs and removable pencil and pen points. The central joint is marked: PATENT (/) MARCH 17 (/) 1903. Inside one leg is marked: C 36. Inside the other leg is marked: SCHOENNER ||. The ends of the pencil and pen points that insert into the compass leg are marked: 36 C. A latch on the pen point for widening the point is marked: PAT.FEB.4.04.
2) 6" German silver and steel dividers. The central hinge is marked: PATENT (/) MARCH 17 (/) 1903. Inside the other leg is marked: SCHOENNER ||.
3) 3-1/2" German silver extension bar. The end that inserts into the compass leg is marked: 36 C.
4) 4-3/8" and 5-1/2" ebony, German silver, and steel drawing pens. A latch on the point of the longer pen is marked: PAT.FEB.4.04.
5) 3-1/4" German silver and steel bow dividers, bow pencil, and bow pen.
6) 1-3/8" cylindrical metal case with three leads.
7) 1-1/8" blue metal joint tightener.
Schoenner was an instrument maker in Nuremberg, Germany, that particularly targeted the U.S. market. The firm held the rights to the March 17, 1903, patent, which covered the design of the pivot joint on drawing compasses. Georg Schoenner Jr. applied for the patent mentioned on the pen latches on February 4, 1904, and received it on June 14, 1904. For company history, see 1989.0305.05.
References: Wilhelm Schwarzer, "Compass" (U.S. Patent 723, 041 issued March 17, 1903); Georg Schoenner Jr., "Ruling Pen" (U.S. Patent 762,848 issued June 14, 1904).
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
ca 1905
Schoenner, Georg
Physical Description
cardboard (overall material)
leather (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
wood (overall material)
steel (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
overall: 1.6 cm x 24 cm x 10 cm; 5/8 in x 9 7/16 in x 3 15/16 in
place made
Deutschland: Bayern, Nuremberg
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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
The John R. Gerwig, Jr., Collection
Additional Media

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