W. J. Young Surveyor's Vernier Compass

The "Wm. J. Young Maker 3641 Philadelphia" signature indicates that this compass was made around 1859. The face is dark, and the needle ring is silvered. An outkeeper is on the face at west, and a circular level at east. The variation arc on the north arm extends 20 degrees either way, and reads by vernier to single minutes. The arms are unusually thick, making the compass unusually heavy. The box is marked "J. H. Marvin Lexington Ky."
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (surveyor's vernier)
Young, William J.
overall length: 16 in; 40.64 cm
needle: 6 in; 15.24 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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

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.

Enter the characters shown in the image.