Megarey Transit

This transit marked "A. Megarey NEW YORK" probably dates from the 1840s, and resembles those that William J. Young was making at that time. The horizontal circle, located outside the compass box, is silvered, graduated to 30 minutes of arc, and read by two verniers to single minutes. One level vial is on the upper plate at west, and another is on the southern standard. The tangent screw that moves the plates is at east. The telescope is not centered, and transits only with the objective end down.
Alexander Megarey (1790-1850) was born in Ireland and served an apprenticeship in London before moving to New York in the mid-1820s. In the 1840s he established a Navigation Warehouse, offering nautical charts and instruments, most of which were imported from England. He published a Nautical Almanac copied from that produced in London. He also operated a small shop for the manufacture and repair of surveying instruments.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Megarey, Alexander
overall: 11 1/4 in; 28.575 cm
horizontal circle: 7 1/2 in; 19.05 cm
needle: 4 1/2 in; 11.43 cm
telescope: 12 in; 30.48 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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