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
Young, William J.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
overall length: 16 in; 40.64 cm
needle: 6 in; 15.24 cm
overall in case: 4 3/4 in x 16 5/8 in x 8 3/8 in; 12.065 cm x 42.2275 cm x 21.2725 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
William S. Carley
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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