Wild Theodolite

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The "Universal Theodolite" that Heinrich Wild introduced in 1923, later known as the T2, incorporated a radically new design. It was also highly successful—about 100,000 of these instruments were eventually produced. This example is marked "Heinrich Wild Heerbrugg No. 218." Wild Heerbrugg, Inc. gave it to the Smithsonian in 1961, stating that it had had been delivered on April 12, 1924, and used until July 1960 in the Swiss Canton of Tessin. The serial number probably means that this is the 18th instrument of this sort made for the market.
This Wild theodolite has a steel frame, and weighs only 9.5 pounds. The horizontal and vertical circles are glass, and read directly to single seconds. The telescope magnifies 24 times and, equipped with stadia wires, it can be used for tachymetry. An auxiliary eyepiece lying alongside the telescope allows the user to read either circle without moving away from the station. By a combination of internal optics, each reading gives the mean of two opposite points on the circles.
Ref: Henry Wild's Universal Theodolite (Heerbrugg, about 1925).
Currently not on view
date made
overall: 9 1/2 in; 24.13 cm
overall in case: 12 in x 7 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in; 30.48 cm x 19.05 cm x 16.51 cm
overall; bracket: 4 11/16 in x 3 3/4 in x 5 5/16 in; 11.90625 cm x 9.525 cm x 13.49375 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Wild Heerbrugg Instruments, Inc.
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History