Gambey Theodolite

This bears the inscription "Gambey à Paris." It was used by the mapping branch of the U. S. Army Engineers—a tag on the box reads "U.S. Topographical Bureau, Theodolite No. 6"—and was probably made in the 1840s. The horizontal circle is silvered, graduated to 5 minutes, and read by four verniers and two magnifiers.
Henri Prudence Gambey (1787–1847) was the foremost maker of precision instruments in France in the first half of the 19th century, and many American physicists and geodesists used instruments from his shop.
Ref: Deborah J. Warner, "Gambey’s American Customers," Rittenhouse 4 (1990): 65–78.
Currently not on view
Gambey, Henri Prudence
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
overall: 12 1/2 in; 31.75 cm
horizontal circle: 10 in; 25.4 cm
telescope: 17 1/4 in; 43.815 cm
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


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