Charvoz S-801 Bow Compass and Divider

This metal instrument has a handle with vertical ridges above a ring. Unlike almost all of the other bow compasses in the collection, the bow screw has tips on each end. A thumb screw on the leg with the pencil point allows for fine adjustments of the angle at which the instrument is set. Screws near the points and on the front and back of the instrument adjust the length of the needle and pencil points. The top of the leg with the pencil point is marked: CHARVOZ (/) GERMANY.
A clear and blue plastic case is marked with the Charvoz logo and charvoz (/) S - 801. The flap closes in the back and is marked: WESTERN–GERMANY. Inside the case is a clear plastic cylinder holding two replacement pencil leads and a second needle point, allowing the compass to be used as a divider. The bottom of the cylinder is marked: MADE IN GERMANY. A pen point is wrapped in brown paper. The screw on the pen point is marked: GERMANY.
Charvoz, not to be confused with Charvoz-Roos, the short-lived slide rule manufacturer in New Jersey, made sets of drawing instruments in West Germany in the second half of the 20th century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bow compass
drawing compass and divider
bow compass and divider
date made
mid 20th century
Physical Description
graphite (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 4 cm x 14 cm; 13/32 in x 1 9/16 in x 5 1/2 in
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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 Norma P. Wieler
Additional Media

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