Dietzgen 1084S Wallet Case of Drawing Instruments

This black synthetic leather case is lined with purple velvet and fastens with a snap. The top flap is marked: 1084 S. Inside the flap is marked: DIETZGEN (/) "PREP". A brass plate on the inside front of the case has a paper label handmarked: WIELER. Below the plate is marked: PAT. APPL. FOR. The back of the case is marked: Germany. The set includes:
1) 5-3/8" steel dividers lacking all attachments.
2) 3" aluminum handle missing its lid.
3) German silver and steel 4-1/8" extension bar and 2-1/8" pen and needle point attachments for dividers.
4) 2-1/4" aluminum and steel screwdriver.
5) 1-3/8" aluminum cylindrical case for leads, with two needle points.
6) 5-1/2" aluminum and steel drawing pen. The German silver adjusting screw is marked: DIETZGEN (/) GERMANY.
7) 3-3/4" German silver and steel bow dividers and bow pen. The bow dividers are marked: CHARVOS, INC. U.S.A. The screw on the bow pen is marked: DIETZGEN (/) GERMANY.
Around 1880, Eugene Dietzgen emigrated from Germany and became a sales distributor for Keuffel & Esser in New York. In 1885, he began to sell mathematical instruments on his own in Chicago. In 1893, his firm started manufacturing instruments under the name Eugene Dietzgen Company. In 1928, the business began importing these particular instruments to sell as the Prep product line for students. Model number 1084S was then priced at $4.70. By 1936, the set cost $5.45. In 1938, the handles on the pen and screwdriver were painted black and no longer were ridged. The patent referenced on the case is not known.
The large dividers and bow dividers clearly were put into the set later to replace original pieces. Charvoz made sets of drawing instruments in West Germany in the second half of the 20th century. According to the donor, this set of drawing instruments was used by her husband, the electrical engineer Robert H. Wieler (1923–1993). He likely acquired the set around 1937 as a school student.
References: Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 13th ed. (Chicago, 1928), 144; Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 14th ed. (Chicago, 1931), 156; Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 15th ed. (Chicago, 1938), 188.
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
Eugene Dietzgen Company
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
leather (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
overall: 2.6 cm x 22 cm x 9.5 cm; 1 1/32 in x 8 21/32 in x 3 3/4 in
place made
place distributed
United States: Illinois, Chicago
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
Gift of Norma P. Wieler
Additional Media

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