Stackpole & Brother Transit

This transit is marked "Stackpole & Brother New York 655." The Museum has the original bill of sale showing that John Ferris, a surveyor of Dutchess County, N. Y., bought it from the Stackpoles in 1866. The basic instrument cost $250, while the meridian finder-marked "Stackpole's Mern. Findr. Patented, Sep. 26, 1865 107"-cost an additional $40. William Stackpole's patent (#50,182) describes a small reflector that attaches to the objective end of the telescope, and that enables a surveyor to easily use the sun to locate the true meridian.
Ref: Conrad S. Ham, "A Family History of a Group of Surveying Instruments, 1750 to the Present Year 1954," Annual Report of Proceedings of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers 70 (1954): 134-138.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Ferris, John
Stackpole and Brother
needle: 4 1/2 in; 11.43 cm
telescope: 10 in; 25.4 cm
hanging level: 6 in; 15.24 cm
overall: 13 1/4 in; 33.655 cm
horizontal circle: 6 in; 15.24 cm
vertical circle: 5 in; 12.7 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
maker 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
Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers. Annual Report of Proceedings of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers

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