Beers Waywiser

The dial of this instrument is divided into 100 sections, and has 2 pointers. The box in front of the dial can hold supplies. The vertical pole serves as a staff for a surveyor's compass. The signature reads "JAMES M. BEERS Maker New Haven, Conn" and "No 55."
James Morris Beers (1841-1918) described himself as "an expert machinist and an inventor of talent," noting that he made "carriage and wood working machinery, steam and hydraulic pumps, electrical apparatus, surveying, drafting and philosophical instruments, machinery for the use of manufacturing druggists and chemists, and experimental and special machinery of all kinds." He was probably related to Smith Beers, also of Connecticut, who obtained a patent for an odometer in 1839.
Ref:The Industrial Advantages of the City of New Haven, Conn. (New Haven, Conn., 1889), p. 139.
Object Name
Beers, James Morris
overall: 32 in x 20 in x 57 in; 81.28 cm x 50.8 cm x 144.78 cm
wheel: 32 in; 81.28 cm
place made
United States: Connecticut, New Haven
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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