Davenport Surveyor's Compass

This is a wooden compass with a paper card that is marked "ANTHONY DAVENPORT, PORTLAND." Davenport ran a mathematical instrument shop, At the Sign of the Quadrant and Compass, in Portland, Me., during the period 1823-1838. Most of his wares were for nautical use, but according to an undated trade card now in the Mystic Seaport Museum, he also sold "Brass and Wood Surveyors' COMPASSES." The Davenport signature on this example appears on a small circle of paper that has been pasted over the name of the man for whom the compass card was originally made. The words "Callender scp." on the card refer to Joseph Callendar (1751-1821), an engraver who produced the plates for the compasses and trade cards used by several New England instrument makers and dealers.
Ref: Davenport advertisements in the New American Practical Navigator (1826 and 1838).
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (surveyor's plain)
Davenport, Anthony
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall length: 13 3/4 in; 34.925 cm
needle: 5 1/2 in; 13.97 cm
place made
United States: Maine, Portland
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

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