Curve Pen

This 4-7/8" pen for making engineering, surveying, and railroad drawings consists of a steel curved tip with a tightening screw attached to a thin rod that runs through a ridged German silver cylinder to be secured by a German silver screw top. Tightening or loosening the top allowed the user to create straight or curved lines. (The blades of the pen point swiveled when the top was loosened.) Numerous sellers of drawing instruments offered curve pens in the first half of the 20th century; they usually charged about $1.50.
The donor, Sebastian J. Tralongo (1928–2007), served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then worked for the Vitro Corporation in Rockville, Md., for 35 years. He patented a device for signaling from deeply submerged submarines. The object was received with several other drawing instruments in a wooden box, 1984.1071.13.
References: "Tralongo, Sebastian James 'Subby'," Hartford Courant, May 26, 2007; Sebastian J. Tralongo, "Submarine Signal Device" (U.S. Patent 2,989,024 issued June 20, 1961); "Vitro Corp. – Company Profile,"
Currently not on view
Object Name
pen, curve
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 12.4 cm x .8 cm x .5 cm; 4 7/8 in x 5/16 in x 3/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Pens and Pencils
Science & Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
Drawing Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Pens and Pencils
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Sebastian J. Tralongo

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