Fauth Geodetic Transit

Description
"This is an entirely novel form of Transit made by us for the United States Coast Survey, and designed by G. N. Saegmuller, Chief Mechanician, U.S.C.S. It is intended to be set up in the prime vertical, so that the telescope points due east and west. By the use of a prismatic objective, any star that passes the meridian will be reflected and seen in the field. . . ." With these words Fauth & Co. described the Coast Survey Prismatic Transit in 1877. Saegmuller would later acknowledge that Carl August Steinheil in Munich had suggested this design as early as 1849.
This example belonged to the U. S. Coast Survey. It is marked "Fauth & Co. Washington, D.C." and "U. S. C. S. No. 15." It was thus made after 1874, when Fauth & Co. began in business, and before 1878, when the Coast Survey became the Coast and Geodetic Survey. With a telescope of 2.5 inches clear aperture, two eyepieces, illuminating and reading lamps, and all accessories, it cost $790.
Ref: Fauth & Co., Catalogue of Astronomical and Surveying Instruments (Washington, D.C., 1877), pp. 22–23.
George N. Saegmuller, Description and Price–List of First–Class Engineering & Astronomical Instruments (Washington, D.C., 1894), p. 72.
C. A. Steinheil, "Ueber einen neuen Meridiankreis," Astronomische Nachrichten 29 (1849): 177–186.
Object Name
geodetic transit
maker
Fauth & Co.
designer
Saegmuller, George Nicholas
Measurements
overall: 15 in x 12 1/2 in x 32 in; 38.1 cm x 31.75 cm x 81.28 cm
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
PH*314635
accession number
208213
catalog number
314635
subject
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
cited
Fauth & Co.. Catalogue of Astronomical and Surveying Instruments, 1877
Saegmuller, George N.. Description and Price-List of First-Class Engineering & Astronomical Instruments

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.