B. Rittenhouse Surveyor's Compass

This is marked "BENJAMIN RITTENHOUSE" and seems to be a typical Benjamin Rittenhouse compass from the period 1785–1796. The face is beautifully engraved, and the graduations on the needle ring are done with great accuracy. The socket joint can be adjusted so that the compass is held rigidly in place. The signature is off–center, however, with scant room for the final E.
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (surveyor's plain)
Rittenhouse, Benjamin
overall length: 14 3/4 in; 37.465 cm
needle: 5 3/4 in; 14.605 cm
ID 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
Additional Media

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