August Lingke Theodolite

This is clearly a German theodolite, quite unlike those made in England or the United States. Albert Joseph Seligman (1859-1935) probably bought it in the late 1870s, when he studied mining engineering at Freiberg, and he probably donated it to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, around 1899, when he obtained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
The horizontal circle is beveled, silvered, graduated to 20 minutes, and read by opposite verniers to single minutes. The vertical circle is silvered, graduated to 20 minutes, and read by opposite verniers to single minutes. The signature reads "AUGUST LINGKE & CO FREIBERG IN SA NO 4265."
Currently not on view
Object Name
theodolite telescope
August Lingke & Co.
overall: 5 7/8 in x 4 in x 8 1/8 in; 14.9225 cm x 10.16 cm x 20.6375 cm
horizontal circle: 11 1/2 in; 29.21 cm
vertical circle: 8 1/2 in; 21.59 cm
telescope: 20 1/2 in; 52.07 cm
striding level: 8 1/2 in; 21.59 cm
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Freiberg
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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