Locke Level

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John Locke, a physician and scientist in Cincinnati, Ohio, described a reflecting level at a meeting of the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists in 1842, and obtained a patent (#7,477) in 1850. Locke's instrument consists of a small spirit level on a brass sighting tube, with a small diagonal reflector so arranged that the user can see the bubble and a distant sight at the same time. This simple and perhaps homemade Locke level belonged to the Anglo-American physician and scientist, William Draper (1811-1882), or one of his descendants.
Currently not on view
overall: 7 3/4 in x 3/4 in; 19.685 cm x 1.905 cm
overall: 7 3/4 in x 1 3/16 in x 7/8 in; 19.685 cm x 3.01625 cm x 2.2225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper
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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