Weiss & Heitzler Transit

Paul Weiss (1864-1943) was born in Switzerland, and moved to the United States in 1881. By 1891 he was working as an optician in Denver, Colorado. From 1904 to 1910 he worked in partnership with Frank Heitzler, whose patent (#891,733), dated June 23, 1908, described a telescope with two prisms in the optical train, making it substantially shorter than telescopes ordinarily used with surveying instruments. The telescope of this transit is of that type. The horizontal and vertical circles of this transit are silvered, graduated to 30 minutes of arc, and read by verniers to single minutes. There is a clamp and tangent to the telescope axis. The inscription on the telescope reads "Weiss & Heitzler Makers No. 32 Denver, Colo Patent June, 1908."
Ref: Charles Smart, The Makers of Surveying Instruments in America Since 1700, vol. 2 (Troy, N.Y., 1967), pp. 207 and 257.
Currently not on view
Object Name
engineer's transit
date made
Weiss and Heitzler
overall: 11 7/8 in; 30.1625 cm
horizontal circle: 5 1/4 in; 13.335 cm
needle: 3 1/2 in; 8.89 cm
vertical circle: 5 in; 12.7 cm
telescope: 8 in; 20.32 cm
hanging level: 4 in; 10.16 cm
place made
United States: Colorado, Denver
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


Add a comment about this object