Record Bow Compass

This steel instrument has a pen point on one leg. Two screws adjust the width of the pen point and allow it to be removed. The needle point and its screw are missing from the other leg. A thumbscrew for adjusting the width of the instrument is outside the leg with the pen point. A cylindrical ridged handle is directly attached to a ring inserted into the legs. That leg is marked: RECORD. The object was received with several other instruments in a wooden box, 1984.1071.13.
The mark may refer to the British brand of woodworking tools. The Record factory operated in Sheffield, England, from 1909 until about 2002, when its parent company was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid. 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 and assigned the rights to Vitro.
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); David Lynch, "Record Hand Planes: A History,"
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass, drawing
date made
mid 20th century
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
overall: 10.5 cm x 3.2 cm x 1 cm; 4 1/8 in x 1 1/4 in x 13/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Dividers and Compasses
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Dividers and Compasses
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Sebastian J. Tralongo

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