Zeiss Theodolite

Zeiss brought out its first optical theodolite with graduated glass circles, the Th I, in 1924, and they produced the Th II, a one-second instrument of this sort, during the years 1935-1941. This example may be one of the many instruments that American intelligence officers captured from the German geodetic office at the end of World War II. The U. S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency transferred it to the Smithsonian in 2000.
The signature reads "Th II CARL ZEISS JENA Nr. 34390." A brass tag on the box reads "SICKLER KARLSRUCH.I.B.gegenuber der HAUPTPOST." The inscription painted on the box--"No. 45 AMS GEOD DIV"--refers to the Geodetic Division of the U. S. Army Map Service.
Ref: Carl Zeiss, Zeiss Repeating Theodolite II, Instructions for Use (Jena, 1936).
Currently not on view
overall: 9 1/2 in; 24.13 cm
aperture: 1 3/4 in; 4.445 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
U.S. Department of Defense, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Geodesy and Geophysics Department
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History