Merrill and Davis Surveyor's Compass

This compass is marked "Merrill & Davis New York" and dates from the period 1835-1837 when Robert Merrill and William C. Davis were in business together in New York City. Two level vials are on the north arm. The decoration on the face (a circle of leaves) is a typical feature of New York compasses. The bottom of the wooden box that holds the compass is marked "Wiltberger, City of Washington, D.C." This may refer to C. H. Wiltberger, who was listed in the 1843 Washington Directory as "register of the corporation, City Hall, west wing, second story."
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (surveyor's plain)
date made
Merrill and Davis
overall length: 11 7/8 in; 30.16504 cm
needle: 4 1/8 in; 10.4775 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Mrs. Eugenia W. Pierpoint
Additional Media

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